So, if you read my post last month, you may have decided to invest in your professional growth and hire a career coach. Good for you! Professional coaching can bring many wonderful benefits including a fresh perspective, unique ideas from someone who operates in the career search space every day and ultimately increase your confidence regarding future career decisions.
We have put together 3 self-guided questions for determining your personal criteria when selecting a career coach. These questions are followed up with expert tips for selecting the best coach for you based on your personal criteria:
3 questions to ask yourself before you hire a career coach:
1. What do you want to achieve?
Consider where you are today in your career. What would you like to change? Are you ready to take on an advanced role that utilizes all your won knowledge, wishing to make an entire career change or consciously deciding to scale down your career. As they say, you have to first know yourself, to improve yourself. Only after you have clear vision of where you want to go next, can you locate the coach to help you get there.
2. What type of person do you wish to work with?
This goes back to more introspection. Do you respond well to someone who is super action-oriented or would you prefer someone who will delve into the emotional reasons why you are seeking a change before you have an action plan? Are most of your decisions based on logic or emotion? Once you have answered those questions, you can develop a criterion of what type of coach is going to work best with your personality and unique decision-making style.
3. What is your budget?
Just like shopping for any consulting service, you will want to have a sense of your budget prior to securing the services of a professional career coach. Factors such as credentials, expertise, education and years of experience all play a role in the coaching fees. In addition, whether they meet with you virtually or live influences the structure of pricing, as well.
Now that you have a baseline criteria checklist for yourself, we have a few general criteria items to look for when ready to hire a career coach:
- Look for real, solid evidence that this individual is invested in the process of helping others move forward, and has had years of experience supporting people in an empowering way to create the changes they long for. Review their background, credentials and ask for references.
- Research if they offer free materials, articles, resources and content that demonstrate and share their expertise. This can easily be assessed by viewing their website, blogs, videos and downloadable materials. Review their free content. Does it speak to you? Does it appear that their personality resonates with your desired communication style?Are they a subject matter expert in the area you wish to focus? One coach may be a genius at helping clients make dramatic career changes while another may have a track record of pre-retirement coaching and helping clients find meaning during the latter part of their career.
- Interview three coaches before you decide on one. Ask each about his or her experience, qualifications, and skills. Also, ask for at least two references.
Remember, coaching is an important relationship. Make sure a connection exists between you and the coach you choose. You remember that teacher that just made you want to do your best or that supervisor that knew just exactly how to keep you motivated when you felt overwhelmed? Model that relationship with your coach for the most meaningful results.
Finding the right career coach can change your life and kick the next phase of your career into high gear. So, go ahead and decide today to invest in the your most important asset – you!
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.