What Is Career Coaching?

1. What is a Career coach?

A Career coach is an expert in working with people who wish to improve their work satisfaction, change jobs, or make a career change. They are skilled in interviewing and counseling, and have specialist knowledge of the complex cognitive processes involved with making decisions about work choices and how to sustain resilience. They are mature individuals, with the most effective coaches having experience in different careers themselves.

2. The career coach will:

  • Try to find out your life/work values, your purpose in life and identify careers which are aligned with this. The closer your job is to these critical values, the happier and more satisfied you will feel.
  • Help you recognize what jobs you are suited for based on your talents, education, personality and ambition. These can be detected through general discussion, testing and probing questions. The best coaches are very honest and will tell you what you can aspire to and what your limitations are likely to be.
  • Assist you to clarify your long term career goals and assist you to create an action plan to achieve them. This can take several sessions to complete.
  • Structure your job search, help with your application documents as well as coach you to present well in job interviews.

3. The career coach won’t:

  • Make decisions for you. Research indicates that decisions made by individuals themselves result in far higher levels of personal satisfaction and motivation to persist with them. The coach’s purpose is to assist your decision-making by helping you understand what are your values, raise your awareness of the important subconscious factors that may repeatedly cause problems with decision making, and help you identify & overcome any barriers to obtaining a career that fulfills your life purpose.
  • Give you ‘pep’ talks or try to make you believe you can do anything. Career coaches are realistic professionals who will help you strive for the best you can achieve but not try to make you be someone who you are not.

4. What specialised tools does a career coach provide that may help me?

A career coach can deliver computer-based or quiz assessment tools that can classify your personality style, ideal career options and/or work strength/weaknesses. These tools have been researched to be accurate and relevant.

5. How many times do I need to see a career coach?

On average clients attend 3-4 sessions but some find an ongoing coaching relationship is extremely valuable and desire to continue training with their coach for up to several years. At first, sessions are weekly for the first month but then change to fortnightly or monthly.

6. What results can you expect from good career coaching?

After receiving coaching, you should have one or more of these outcomes:

  1. Enhanced self-awareness and direction
  2. Clarity of career and job-search goals
  3. Increased career management skills
  4. Overall improvement of your quality of life

7. Should I see a career coach?

Maybe. The determining question here is: Do you know what you want to do and how to get there? If so, do it yourself. If you are unsure about what career direction to take, if you have little idea of how to get somewhere – speak to a coach and see what they can do for you.

How to Stick to Your New Year’s Career Resolutions

Are you guilty of letting your New Year’s career resolutions fall by the wayside by mid-February?

The first month of the year is usually a time for determined resolutions and vows to turn over a new leaf. Most of you vowed to change your career, gain new skills and secure a promotion this year. However, sticking to New Year’s career resolutions is critical. According to Joseph Grenny, co-author of New York Times bestseller The Power to Change Anything, 97 percent of employees report they have career-limiting habit that keeps them from achieving their career potential.

Be part of the 3% by following these five proven ways to stick to your 2014 New Year’s resolution.

Set clear objectives

Are you still headed in the right direction?

By carefully assessing your skills, education, values, opportunities, strengths, experiences, and competition, you will have a better understanding of what you want to achieve in your career and how to target organizations that match your career goals.

Create your personal motivation and vision statement

Motivational speaker and writer Brian Tracy said that writing down your goals, dreams, plans and vision gives power and commitment to achieving them.

Articulate your dreams by writing a personal motivation and vision statement in first person. Write as if you are already making them happen. Your statement may change over time, depending upon the changes in your life but its components must remain consistent.

Invest in professional development

Don’t let your 8 to 10-hour day work schemes get in the way of your professional development. Learn to make time to better yourself to be more competitive practitioner.

Busy professionals can now take advantage of online learning programs to enhance and acquire new skills. A lot of providers are now offering online continuing education that anyone can do 100% online, from enrollment to certification. You can pick your schedule and attend the online class anywhere you want as long as you are wired.

A decent internet connection is required because most online classes use multimedia such as video streaming platforms for optimal learning experience.

For those who are looking for short training courses, we advise you to explore online learning environments that deliver course content in a convenient manner.

Examples of materials/resources found in online learning environments:

· Video lectures

· Case studies

· Downloadable podcasts, e-books, whitepapers and similar resources

· Facilitated discussion forums

Another helpful tip to get updates on free online resources that are relevant to your career is to look for industry thought leaders and opt in for their newsletters to receive latest news and announcements that matter to you.

Build relationships with the right people

Motivational speaker and bestselling author, Jim Rohn once said that, “you’re the average of the five people you hang out most.”

Believe it or not, a huge part of your success is surrounding yourself with the right people. Spending your time with like-minded, goal-oriented, can-do attitudes will give you the support and push you to reach your ambitions. These are the people who inadvertently encourage you to achieve more and inspire you to accomplish your goals.

Reward yourself

From time to time, it is important to pat yourself on the back. And there’s no better time that after you have accomplished a big task. Whether it is hitting a sales quota or getting your annual marketing plan approved by the boss, you deserve a reward.

Enjoyment is a great motivation factor. It’s what drives us to reach the finish line with a positive attitude. Some people drive themselves too fast in drastic measures that they forget to enjoy the journey. Lighten up and learn to reward yourself because you are worth it!

How to Choose a Career

There is no perfect career, but there is the right career for each person. We all have different interests, experiences and skills. The key is finding the best fit for you. Most careers are filled with average workers who are in the field based on money, status or meet their parent’s expectations. The average employee is not passionate and it shows. People whose job incorporates their passion are in the top ten percent of their industry. How is that possible? People engaged in their work earn more at the higher end of a lower salary range, than making the bare minimal in a high end field. It’s all about making a living doing something that excites you.

For example, say you love fashion. You may never be a high fashion super model, but there are many jobs in the fashion world. You can be a fashion writer, a personal shopper, a buyer, designer, photographer, agent, or even a personal assistant at a modeling agency. Find a way to surround yourself with your passion and pursue a career in the industry that matches you strengths.

Each one of us has something that comes naturally. These are your innate talents. We tend to excel when we use our abilities. The result is a pleasant work experience. When you are satisfied time moves fast and people are drawn to your energy. Of course, you are able to do things that are not part of your natural abilities. But, those tasks feel like work. Considering, the average American works a minimum 2080 hours a year, why not chose a career you love.

Start by understanding where your skills lie and making that your vocation. Combine that with what you have a passion for and make that the subject of the chosen vocation. Not only will you rise in your career but you will also be happy.

While most consciously develop their practical skills as adults, they often give up their passions in childhood. In order to choose a career you need to go back to those earlier days. No matter how much money you make, if you are not excited to get up in the morning you will ultimately feel unsatisfied.

So, how do you rediscover your passion? Your passion is what makes you excited. It is the subject you can’t stop reading or the topic of a regular conversation you can’t stop talking about. When you stand in front of a magazine display, it is the subject of the cover you are drawn towards. Your passion is the hobby you lose yourself in for hours at a time. In short, you can’t get enough of your passion. It is that thing you would still do even if you hit the lottery.

Where most people go wrong is assuming they can’t turn what they love into a viable career. So, they move on to something more “practical.” This is the point where you match your skills with your passion to turn it into a livelihood. Rarely will your skills and passion match up seamlessly. Check the industry where your passion fits. Then research the jobs under that umbrella that your skills match. By bridging the gap between your passion and skills you can choose the perfect career for you.