Do you feel you’ve hit a plateau at your job? Do you want a new position at a prestigious company? Do you want a different career altogether? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, a career coach might be the key to your success.
Hiring a career coach is a growing trend among professionals, and it’s not just for executives, either. People from all different points in their career are actively looking to career coaching for help. From providing basic insight into best practices for resumes and cover letters, to offering complex job strategy and guidance on changing industries, career coaching can be a worthwhile investment.
But just like any investment you make, it’s not something that should be done without conducting adequate research. After all, anyone can deem himself or herself a “career coach,” but that doesn’t mean they’ll be effective at helping you achieve your goals. These five steps will help guide you to a coach that can really help make a difference.
Step 1: Define your objective
Write down what you want to get out of your partnership with a career coach. Knowing your goals and expectations helps direct you toward the right coach. Sharing this information with coaches also helps them vet you to ensure that what you want is indeed something they can actually help you achieve.
Step 2: Seek out coaches who match your needs
Just because a coach comes with accolades galore doesn’t mean he’s a good match for you. If his expertise doesn’t align with your needs, you’ll be disappointed. Someone who specializes in job searches would not necessarily be good at advising you on becoming a business owner.
Step 3: Research candidates
Reach out to your network for referrals, but don’t limit your options to only those others have used. Explore a variety of coaches and research their credentials. A good coach will have a stellar online presence, remain active in the industry by writing articles or giving presentations at events, have several years experience and plenty of recommendations.
Step 4: Leverage services and research pricing
Specialized services like Coach Connect from Muse can save you time and money, helping you find the right coach for your needs at the right price, too.
“Working with a career coach to plan your job search or do a resume review can really accelerate the process and get results. In launching Coach Connect, we selected the best coaches at different price points to help our users take that next step or get that dream job,” says Alex Cavoulacos, founder, COO and head of product at The Muse.
Step 5: Discuss your coach’s expectations
You’ve already communicated your objectives to your coach; now it’s time for your coach to discuss her expectations. A successful partnership goes both ways, and a coach can’t help you if you’re not an active participant. They may have expectations about communication and activity requirements, so discuss everything up-front to prevent surprises.