Is Career Coaching Worth It?



Uncovering the Truth About Career Coaching



I can, first hand, understand what it is like to work with a career coach because before becoming one, I worked with one.

 It was at a time in my professional life where I was struggling to get a grasp on where I was (a job I didn’t like) and where I wanted to go (something I had never really thought about before). I had a professional coach recommended to me to help me figure this all out – or at least that is what I thought it was going to be all about. I remember clearly getting on a phone call with my prospective coach in the parking lot at lunch and talking through my situation. I explained how unhappy I was and that I needed help figuring out my next steps. She blew my socks off with the promises of clarity and a career I would be super jazzed about. So I invested because she had what I wanted – a solution to my problem. 

I struggled for a long time with my coach. She kept offering up advice and solutions to problems that I didn’t think I had and it was nothing like that intro call where everything seemed so clear. I felt a little bit ripped off that I was getting what I wanted. It was a bumpy 6 months but I did come out on the other side. Some of the things we did helped but many didn’t and I had some dark days even with a coach along side me. When I look back at that experience, I wish I had asked better questions of my coach before investing thousands of dollars in them. I would have had more success with a different kind of career coach.

I now have a career as a career coach – go figure – and I hear often how my experience as a coachee isn’t all that extraordinary. As a career coach, however, I hear and understand that many individuals are hesitant to seek coaching services in the first place. However, I want to share with you why hiring a career coach could be one of the best decisions you make for your career, and how you can overcome some of the most common mistakes.



Why Hire a Career Coach

Before hiring a coach, give some thought to where you are really struggling. You have to get honest with yourself and go on a bit of a self-discovery journey. This is going to help you find the right kind of career coach.


1. Do you feel stuck in your career? If you are feeling unfulfilled or unsure about your career path, a career coach can help you clarify your goals and create a plan to achieve them.

2. Do you want to advance your career? If you are looking to take your career to the next level, a career coach can help you develop the skills and strategies you need to succeed.

3. Are you considering a career change? If you are thinking about changing careers, a career coach can help you identify your strengths and transferable skills, explore different career options, and develop a plan to make the transition.

4. Do you need help with your job search? If you are struggling to find a job or are not getting the results you want from your job search, a career coach can help you create a targeted job search strategy, improve your resume and cover letter, and prepare for interviews.


My biggest mistake when hiring and working with my very first career coach what that I didn’t really know what obstacle I was trying to over come. I needed a different job so I hired a coach who was great at the job search stuff. Resumes, interviews, targeted search strategies. They were great at that stuff but what I was really struggling with was a career path and not knowing what I really wanted from my career. I had drifted away from my values and what was important and I need a coach that could help me get back to my self. Questions to ask yourself before you consider hiring a coach.

Now that I am a career coach, I see where people go wrong all the time. I hear it every day when folks reach out to get more clarity about their careers. I am clear on the kind of coach that I am and where I am most helpful. I offer transformational services that not just change behaviours but the also change attitudes and mindsets. It’s foundational stuff and if you are just needed some help with a resume, I’m not going to be the coach for you. That is a misalignment that will not produce results.



Questions to ask yourself before you proceed with a career coach.


 So I wanted to share with you questions I ask every client (or potential client) that will help you decide what kind of coach you need.

 1. What is the problem that you would like to overcome right now?

2. What would it be like if you no longer had that problem?

3. What are the 3 biggest challenges for you right now in your career?

4. Why is this the right time for you to explore the problem?

5. What do you want most from your coach?



Be really clear on what you are looking for and what kind of investment, both financially and time wise. It is an investment and you often get what you pay for. Smaller, less impactful coaches and programs are going to be a lot less of an investment and it often delivers much less impact or improvement.


 Questions to ask your career coach before you hire them.



Now you have a sense of what you are looking for, be clear with the coaches you interview what you are looking for. Here are the tops 3 things to consider when looking for a great coach and coaching program.

1. How is your rapport with the coach? Make sure that the person you are talking to is the person that will be coaching you. Some coaches have someone else do their pre-screening calls and that makes it challenging. I know almost immediately who I can help and who might be a struggle and that helps me connect with my clients. I don’t bring on any clients who I know I can’t help and the rapport is the number one indicator of how open someone will be to dig deep and make a lasting change.

2. Ask about their typical clients and who they tend to serve? This opens the door for the coach to talk about other clients and share success stories and testimonials. If you can see your problem being addressed in the stories they share, you will be more likely to be connecting with a coach that really understands your problem. As a coach, I tend to work with folks who are tired of the corporate hustle culture and are overwhelmed and burning out (if not burnt out already). It is folks that want to show up differently and change the way they work at work and in their whole lives. It’s a very holistic approach that I take and those people who what to feel whole and authentic in the work they do will be better served by my program than someone looking to only climb the corporate ladder or add another zero to their salary.

3. How will you help me get unstuck? This is really the main reason you want to hire a coach…any kind of coach…because you are stuck and can’t move forward on your own. Pay close attention to how a coach answers this question and be leary of any “quick-fixes”. I follow a framework that my clients follow and the power of one-on-one coaching is that it is personalized to you. And so the answer to this question should also be extemely personalized to help you get through your unique roadblocks.


 Notice one thing that is not on the top of my list? Credentials and certifications. These things should be on your coaches website or on there LinkedIn profile so you know that they have had some kind of training in what they do but don’t put too much weight on credentials. I am a credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation and I belong to many working groups and see how many of the coaches coach and not every one of them is a good fit for me. Just like with any professional service – there are still good ones and bad ones regardless of training and education. Just ask anyone that has had a crappy experience with a lawyer or doctor.

Hiring a career coach can be a valuable investment in your career and personal growth. Don’t let concerns or roadblocks hold you back from reaching your full potential. If you’re committed to achieving your career goals, consider working with a career coach to help you gain clarity, develop a plan, improve your skills, and overcome obstacles, and transform your life. Remember, coaching is a collaborative process, and a good coach will work with you to create a personalized plan that meets your unique needs and goals. So take the first step towards achieving your career aspirations and schedule a consultation with a career coach today.

My career coaching programs help you gain a clear understanding of yourself and your fears so that you can look for the work you love. Click here to book a free consultation with me today.


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