Some people think that the only thing you need to get a job is the right resume and that merit alone is the sole key to hiring success. The truth is that landing your dream job often takes so much more than that.
Even Olympians need coaches. You would never try to break the record in downhill skiing with just your athletic ability and a stopwatch. You need the expertise of a professional, who can take you from amateur status to solid gold.
What Does a Career Coach Do?
A career coach helps you identify steps that you can take toward your goal of employment. A coach will often sit down with you and identify those goals, while giving you an overview of that marketplace and how you might best fit into it.
Your coach can hone your tools of the trade: resumes, cover letters, your LinkedIn profile, or portfolio. Having another set of eyes on your business goals might help you identify people in your personal network or act to shed light on aspects of your career that you may have overlooked.
Who Can Benefit from a Career Coach?
No matter what point of your career you are in, if you find yourself stuck, you will likely benefit from hiring a career coach. If you’re just entering the job market, a career coach can give you solid footing when you submit resumes and interview for the very first time. If you’re currently in a job, it is often difficult to identify your next move, since your existence is focused on your next deadline or what you’re having for lunch today.
Additionally, when you’ve worked for the same company for a long time, re-entering the world of job hunting is difficult considering it has been many years since you’ve even looked at your resume. Because of this, many people stay at jobs where they are unhappy simply because the prospect of looking for a new job seems so daunting. A career coach can help lighten the load and keep you focused.
Invest in Yourself
There is a moment when smart people realize that your own efforts can only take you so far, and if you want to exceed your own abilities, you’re going to need to hire a professional.
A career coach will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses by performing assessments on everything from your personality and how well you work with others, to your leadership abilities. These assessments can sometimes strike fear in individuals who don’t want to know where their blind spots may lie, but remember that your coach wants you to succeed. These tools are designed to help you get the most out of your skills.
Your Own Cheerleader
Your career coach is there to provide encouragement, confidence, and insight through the grueling process of job hunting. Often your coach also acts as your counselor, identifying emotional or personal blocks that might be keeping you from realizing your professional goals. This should help you relax and focus on the things that are really important: honing the tools that you will need to win your next interview.
Make a Plan
It is difficult to see the forest through the trees when you’re focused on the day-to-day. One of the greatest benefits of a career coach is their ability to step back and look at your career objectively, to help you craft a plan, identify your goals and give you active steps that can lead you toward your goal.
Admitting you need a career coach can often feel like you’re conceding defeat rather than what it should be, which is just good business. While not everyone needs a career coach, when you’re ready to make your next move take a look at your situation and evaluate your assets, because hiring a career coach might be just what you need to win gold.
[Image Sources: Gvahim, Keith Allison]