What is career coaching?
We spend a huge amount of our lives at work. Where a job often used to be just that, something to pay the bills, nowadays we are more likely to assign more importance to how we spend our working life. If you're stuck in a job you hate, it can have a huge impact on your mental health and stress levels. No one wants to dread waking up in the morning. But it can feel difficult to go after the job you want – we all have responsibilities and doing so can feel risky.
Deciding what you want to do can be a minefield, and even once you've decided – it's a tough job market out there. A career coach (sometimes called a job coach) can help you identify what career path is right for you, and help you make it happen.
A career coach will have expertise in coaching and in psychological theories, as well as insights into the current job climate. Career coaches can also help you identify any personal obstacles to achieving your desired role, whether these are self-limiting beliefs or a lack of confidence, or specific barriers like a fear of public speaking.
Whether you are starting out, or looking to pivot from your existing career, working with a career coach can help you. Here are some of the ways career coaching can benefit you:
- Identify your strengths and weakness
- Explore potential career paths
- Overcome feeling 'stuck' in terms of your career
- Overcome limiting beliefs that are holding you back
- Work on specific skills like interview preparation, writing cover letters, giving presentations
- Improve your networking skills through boosting your confidence
- Help you get back on track after a setback like personal illness or redundancy
- Help you manage career concerns or changes after big life transitions, like pregnancy
- Make sure your career aligns with your personal values
Your coach will help you to make decisions that propel you forward on your desired career path. The support of a coach goes beyond the practical. Sometimes, it isn't our lack of experience or training that is holding us back from the job we want – instead, it might be our own self-doubt. Coaches are there to empower you, to strengthen your confidence, and to help you take action that will positively reinforce your self-belief.
Often the biggest struggle with finding a job or looking for a new career is time. You have to find the time to put the work in, between your existing work and family commitments. It can be draining. By engaging with career coaching, you are setting aside dedicated, structured time to do just that. This time is protected for you to work on yourself, and your coach is there to help keep you accountable to the tasks you have set yourself.
Further reading on coaching
Coaching for specific issues
Different types of coaching
Last updated 18 November 2020