I was speaking to someone the other day about coaching and the ways in which it can support people and transform how they see the future. It was an interesting conversation and I thought I’d share some observations about why you need a career coach in this short article.
The person I spoke to said that with so much advice online now, you can find articles and self-help guides for almost anything within a few clicks. Why would anyone need to work with a career coach?
The short answer is that translating that advice to yourself is really difficult. We often can’t see things about our situation and about ourselves. We make assumptions which are not always true. Or our situation is different in some way to the advice we see, so we feel it wouldn’t work.
I’ve worked with many people who are very clever, logical and talented, so you would wonder why they would need a coach?
A coach won’t believe the stories you tell yourself about what’s possible or why you can’t change career. They will question the assumptions you are making and help you see things from a different perspective. There is something which happens when you have a conversation and start to get these thoughts out. You can see them more objectively.
Getting all these thoughts and ideas out it’s great, but it won’t make change happen for you. You might find that these thoughts go round in circles, they defeat each other and you end up back where you started again.
A good coach will help you put some structure and direction into these thoughts. For example when I work with clients on career change, we follow a clear evidence based process that helps them feel that they are making forward progress.
3. Two heads are better than one
Working on your own, there is no doubt that you could come up with some great ideas for how to explore a career change and make things happen for yourself. But a good career coach will feed this creative fire and really help you develop new ideas and new ways of thinking which you wouldn’t have considered. They can help you see shortcuts to achieve and what you want, and alternative routes that you might not have seen on your own.
Putting this into a real example, here’s my former client Matt. We worked together to help him create space and time away from his executive career to live and work in Italy for while. Our conversations helped create the ideas for how he could achieve this and keep all doors open for a return to his former employer (spoiler – he eventually did return to a more senior role in a new part of the business).
4. You commit and things happen
When you work with a coach it makes you commit to treating this as something you want to do something about. We digest so much content online that it’s easy to see a great article with advice and then forget it by the following day so we never do anything about it or commit to putting it into practice!
In a coaching conversation that changes, the coach helps you make yourself accountable and support you in implementing the career change you want. It’s something no article will ever do.
5. You get what you pay for
Good career coaching is not free. It is an investment in yourself, an investment in your future and finding (or creating) work that brings you through job satisfaction. The average person in the UK works over 86,000 hours during their career. That’s a lot of time to spend doing something you hate!
It’s possible to change career on your own, there is a lot of information and advice out there. But a good career coach can help you:
- Be clear on what you really, really want
- Recognise what strengths you have which you can bring to a new career
- Come up with ideas you might never have had
- Avoid blocking yourself with assumptions about what’s not possible
- Turn your ideas into real action
- Keep you focused on your goals and keep you on track
- Help you find a career you love so much more quickly.
What is that worth to you?
If you’re curious about the idea of working with a career coach and are thinking about making a career change, I’d be happy to help you work out what to do next. Find out more below.
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For over 15 years I've helped professionals who feel stuck in their career to find work they love. Find out more about how I can help you.