April 10, 2012, 7:35 AM —
I want to begin this blog by saying that I am not a career coach, I just think they provide great value.
I’m writing on this topic because there were times throughout my career when I think a career coach could have made my professional journey a little easier, a little less complicated, and maybe even a little more lucrative.
I believe that having a paid career coach on your side can be of great value to you professionally for a number of ways because they:
1. Can help you bring clarity to your professional goals and aspirations
2. Don’t tell you what to do, they help you formulate a plan that fits your needs by asking you questions and then helping you listen to your own answers
3. Give you an opportunity to talk through the pros and cons of important career decisions with a truly objective and independent person
4. Can steer you toward resources that can help you professionally
5. Are trained in techniques that help you focus on what is most important to you as you move forward in your career
6. Can help you work though difficult career challenges and roadblocks
7. Can help you improve your professional performance by helping you discover blind spots in your work-life that can be holding you back professionally
8. Can help you make decisions regarding work/life balance based on your beliefs and priorities
Having a career coach is not only of value to you, it can also be of value to your employer. Think of it this way, having an independent voice helping you work though problems in the office, by design, is helping you solve problems at your place of business. Remember, at the end of the day, unless you own your own company, the decisions you make and the actions you take at work effect your employer. Also, if having a career coach
• Improves your productivity
• Helps you grow professionally
• Enhances your motivation
• Helps you make better decisions
• . . . and generally helps you be a better employee,
then you are of greater professional value to your company.
In closing, I’d like to say that simply having a career coach can help you think about and take control of your career. It’s too easy to just take new jobs as they come along, more opportunistically than thoughtfully. Then one day you look up and realize that ten or fifteen years have gone by and you are virtually no closer to your original professional goals than you were so many years ago. Having someone to help you clarify your professional passion, help you devise a plan to get there, help you work though the inevitable problems along the way, and act as an accountability partner when needed, can help you reach your professional aspirations. A career coach, by definition, provides this service.