“Help Me … Help You!” Career Coaches and a Path to Success.
Copyright © Sandra A. Jackson, JobTownResumes.com, 2013. All rights reserved.*
How to Find and Choose a Career Coach
- How to find one.
- How to choose one.
- How they can help you in your career.
- Links to the associations, lists, and questions to ask.
That was unarguably one of the most famous lines in Jerry McGuire, the 1996 movie with Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renee Zellwegger about a sports agent who has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it. He decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him. Remember that line? And the most famous line in the movie? “Show me the Money!” Classic. And don’t forget, “You had me at ‘Hello.’”
Jerry went on to say, “We live in a … cynical world. … a cynical world. And we work in a business of tough competitors.”
Great lines. And they speak to a lot of jobs and careers in need of help. In the most basic way, that’s what career coaches do. Collaborate with you to get you where you want to go. And you have to really participate … you have to help them help you.
PLOT #1: You want a promotion, but you can’t seem to get one. You took a flying leap and ran into a career wall. But you aren’t quite sure how to fix it. Steve or Mary or Elroy, have already gotten a promotion. You are saying to yourself, “I’m able to leap over tall desks in a single bound, save several days in row, and make designer coffee with that milk foam thingy. I think I’ve done everything right, so what’s wrong?” By the way, Sport, can you bring me a cup of that designer coffee while I talk to Mary?
PLOT #2: You hate your job and/or you hate your career and don’t know what to do about it. You are, right now, saying to yourself, “Have I really spent years and thousands of dollars preparing for a job swinging through theater ceilings in a cape and half a face mask? Am I STUCK in this purgatory forever?” (Ok, so maybe this scenario is a little overly dramatic, but you get the point.)
PLOT #3: You are getting ready to graduate from college and you are saying to yourself, “I want to go to Italy and be a top fashion designer, 6 months top. But I’m not sure how to do it.” Uh …. Ok. That’s the spirit, kid.
In ANY of these movie plots, in steps the all-knowing scruffy sidekick (your Career Coach) to guide you to your goals. You come to the crossroads, barely escape the devil, and walk into the sunset with that quirky romantic partner and the funny little dog while the credits roll. (Well … maybe they can’t do ALL that, but they can get you to get your career going in the right direction.)
Career coaches help you figure out how to go about attaining your goals. Some are certified career counselors and some are not. Not all states require certification. They will help you identify and explore career choices. They guide you through the job search process. The career coach/counselor you choose should be qualified and provide clear information about services and fees. Check the National Career Development Association’s Guidelines for Selecting a Career Counselor.
The cost isn’t inexpensive. Career coaches charge anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour.
To find a qualified career coach, you can check the National Career Development Association’s Find A Counselor page, or any organization that certifies career professionals, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF provides independent certification that is the benchmark for the professional coaching industry. College graduates can check their college career office for referrals. And don’t forget to ask friends, colleagues and relatives for referrals to any career coaches with which they have worked.
Here is an article from CBS Money Watch about Life/Career Coaches: “The Top 10 Professional Life Coaching Myths.” This article actually covers career coaches, executive coaches, and life coaches.
And the Huff Post Business Section has a great article entitled, “13 People Who Prove it’s Never Too Late to Career Change.”
Here is a short list of career coaches to choose from. This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are thousands of career coaches across the country. These links will take you to sites owned by other parties. These links are provided as a convenience and providing these links is NOT an endorsement. Career coaching is a very personal service, and everyone’s needs are different. Jobtown Resumes and Sandy Sidebar Blog make no representation as to the nature of the services they will provide to you.
Do you have a Career Coach you would like to recommend? Please send me the information in the comment section below. We’ll add them to our list of referrals.
1. National Career Development Association’s List of Coaches: Find A Counselor
It will be up to you to determine whether any of the coaches have the appropriate skills and experience to meet your needs. To help with this screening process, the Stanford University School of Business has suggested interview questions below.
- What is your coaching process and methodology?
- What key topics are covered in the sessions?
- What self-assessment tools are used? Is there a separate fee for self-assessment?
- What are the benefits of a coaching relationship?
- What type of individuals are within the area of your expertise? (Job change, executives, job reentry, etc.)
- What is your level of experience and what is your track record?
- What are your coaching credentials?
- What if I don’t live in the same city? Can I go through the coaching process by phone and/or email?
- What kind of time commitment is involved outside of the 1:1 sessions? (Hours per week? Is there homework involved?)
- How often will we meet? (Weekly or monthly) How long? (30 min, 1hr, etc.)
- How accessible are you? Can I call anytime or do I need an appointment? What is your preferred method of contact? (E-mail or phone?)
- How many total sessions do your think you’ll need?
- How much do you charge?
- Do you have references available?
See? I told you I had the real deal for you. Now, get out there and “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” Naw. I’m just kiddin’. You had me at ‘Hello.’
Kind Regards, Sandy, Your Resume Writer
GO FORTH AND PROSPER! Oh wait. That’s “Live long and prosper.” ~ Spock
*Note: “While these blogs are humorous in nature, make no mistake about it, career development and job hunting is serious business. It takes research, networking, and knowledge of what employers are looking for to land the position you really want. These blogs attempt to incorporate all of the above. My intent is to make you smile, but give you serious tools to get where you want to be. Hope you enjoy!” ~ Sandy Jackson, JobTownResumes.com. Call or email me and let’s get started on your resume!