Forging a career path is tough when it’s business as usual. Add a global pandemic and the accompanying loss of jobs (660 million people across 20 rich democracies alone by May 2020) to the mix, and the challenge becomes even greater. That’s before we consider exactly how the world of work has changed. Gone are the days when you were able to build relationships in person; now virtual meetings over Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams are the norm. And with 83% of employers indicating that the shift to remote work has been successful, it would seem that the work-from-home format is here to stay.
With dramatic changes, it make sense to ask for help navigating this new world of work. Which is where hiring a career coach can be extremely handy. If you’re looking to overhaul – or just upgrade – your work life with professional pedagogues, these are six things you should know.
1. What is career coaching?
Career coaching is a structured support programme that helps you make tactical, informed decisions about the development and trajectory of your career.
2. What can you expect to get from working with a career coach?
You should get some inspiration, insight, career confidence and encouragement. Plus, a career coach will give you various tools to help you meet your goals; for example, CVs or resumés, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other resources.
The main takeaway though, will likely be a sense of direction and control over your career.
3. What should I not expect to get from working with a career coach?
Coaching is a participation sport; you shouldn’t expect your career coach to do everything for you. Rather, they will mentor you and help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to move towards your career goals.
4. At what point during your professional life is career coaching most useful?
No matter what stage of your career you’re in, a career coach can be extremely helpful. If you’ve just finished your education and are looking to jump into the job market, career coaching can help you identify your passions and create a plan for the future. Equally, if you’re looking to switch jobs, or even industries, getting perspective from a professional can be extremely helpful.
5. How is career coaching different from career counselling?
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between career coaching and counselling.
Career counselling is usually aimed at helping you figure out what you want to do. Counsellors, with the aid of personality and aptitude tests, will help you to identify professions that might suit you.Coaching, on the other hand, looks at your career as it stands to help you establish goals and create action plans to reach those goals.
6. How do I pick a career coach?
Like any decision, choosing a career coach is highly personal. It’s important to think about your needs and what type of person you think would be a good fit based on your personality. Do you need someone who’s an inspiring instructor, or a strict schoolmaster? However you choose, it all comes down to finding a personality that complements yours.
Career coaching is often overlooked by those who are struggling to move forward with their careers. But with the changing world of work and the advantages it can bring, meeting with a career coach can be a huge advantage.