Nineteen Reasons to Hire a Career Coach

By Dan Malinowski | Dec 4, 2020
Dan Malinowski | ACHNET

The average American works until age 66 and spends 35% of their waking hours between ages 18 and 50 in the labour force. In the United States, what we do for a living is usually the first question asked as we introduce ourselves. Often our career is more than a way to generate income, but a way of life which defines who we are.

Last year, Americans spent over 390 billion dollars pursuing post high school degrees in search of their dream job. After entering the workforce, many become disenchanted with their career choice. They realize working in a particular field is not what they had expected. The average American holds 12 to 15 jobs in a lifetime. Americans change jobs for various reasons but often for a better, more fulfilling career that align with their values and beliefs.

As a career coach for over 20 years, I have worked with clients looking to change or advance their careers. The best way to sort through the emotional and logistical aspects of changing or advancing your career is to hire a qualified career coach.

Before you hire a career coach, you should understand that a career coach is not a recruiter. Career coaches may not have industry contacts nor will not direct you where to find the perfect job. A career coach may be familiar with a specific industry but may not have knowledge of all careers. Additionally, a career coach will assess your interests and identify your skill gaps. The career coach will help you establish your goals and work towards achieving them faster and with greater clarity.

When interviewing coaches, ask their experience helping clients with similar issues. You will know if he or she is the right coach for you or you need to keep looking.

I have compiled the top nineteen reasons people hire a career coach.

1. The career you have chosen and earned your degree in is not what you expected.

Sometimes, the career field you have chosen may not meet your expectations. For example, you may not have expected that being a nurse in an ER would take such an emotional toll. Or an accounting position that demands you work by yourself does not match your personality. A career coach can help you investigate other job options in your field that align with your interests and personality.

2. You are no longer challenged at your current job.

For you to enjoy and flourish in your career, you must feel challenged to reach your full potential. When a job becomes stale and uninteresting, you may feel as if you’re only going through the motions each day. As a result, this could lead to a lack of motivation and increased boredom, which may hinder growing and advancing in your career. Hiring a career coach will allow you to explore other opportunities that will use your talents and interests in a way that stimulates your mind.

3. You need help defining and achieving your career goals.

Your career may not advance until you have specific goals established and a plan to achieve them. Setting, documenting and reviewing concrete goals can increase your chances of success. A career coach is an excellent resource to work with to plan your career goals.

4. You are stuck in your current career with no option for advancement.

After a long period of time you may start to feel stagnant in your career and realize there are no obvious opportunities for advancement. You may feel the need to seek a new job or discover ways to advance in your current position. A career coach will encourage you to take charge of your career by taking concrete steps to address your unique situation.

5. You would like to understand your skill gaps and how to close them.

In an ever changing business world, it is important to keep your skills current. Yet, understanding what your skills deficits are and how to get them resolved may take some work. A simple skill gap assessment will allow your career coach to identify skills you are lacking or need to improve for your specific career. A career coach can also help you fill gaps through various educational activities. With the correct set of skills in your arsenal, advancement and job satisfaction is within reach.

6. You are having difficulties with co-workers.

One frequent reason for job dissatisfaction is collaborating with difficult coworkers. Often, we need to work with employees who do not share our same values or personality traits. This can make for an unpleasant work environment difficult to complete assigned projects. Learning to compromise and understand co-workers is an important part in growing as an employee. There are techniques a career coach will use to address this problem and create a more engaging work environment.

7. You are considering a position in management.

You may consider management as the next logical step for career advancement. It is important to understand that entering a management position requires a specific set of skills. It is necessary to delay entering management until the proper skills exist. have A career coach can help assess your skills before your transition to management.

8. You have no work-life balance.

One of the greatest frustrations facing the American worker today is achieving a balance between work and personal life. Technology advancements and a global economy demand constant availability by employees. The lines between work and family have blurred creating less time for family interaction and spiritual renewal. Your career coach can help you set boundaries and priorities for a healthy separation between work and home life.

9. You are not making enough money at your current job.

The basic premise of a job is to be able to support yourself and your family . Unfortunately, it is becoming difficult for families to make ends meet even with both partners working. The solution may be finding a job that has advancement opportunities thus increasing your income potential. These types of jobs may need more education that you will need to identify with the help of a career coach.

10. You are feeling unproductive at work.

We spend our days going from one activity to another causing us to refocus our thoughts and actions. At the end of the day you may feel exhausted and unsatisfied with your accomplishments. A career coach can provide the tools which will allow you to focus on specific tasks and the conviction to say ‘no’ to un-prioritized activities.

11. You want to start a side business.

An increasing number of employees have opted to explore their passions by opening a side business to generate extra income. There should not be a conflict of interest between your current job and your new enterprise. A career coach can help you explore your passions and identify the steps necessary to launch a side business.

12. You want to exercise your passion in your career.

Although your career is fulfilling, it may not meet your need to exercise your passions. One way to provide a sense of emotional fulfillment is to incorporate your passions in your work. These changes may be as simple as doing more pro bono work as a lawyer or serving on a board of directors at a childern's center. A career coach can help you understand what is important in your life and how to meld your passions and career.

13. You want to improve communication skills

Good communication is essential in all aspects of your career. From establishing relationships to achieving productivity. The ability to communicate with co-workers, management and clients will improve and employee's job satisfaction and performance. A career coach can introduce tools and techniques to do this.

14. You want help with career logistics

There are two aspects of searching for a job. The first is to address the fear component that exists in any career change. The second is the logistical aspect that includes resume and cover letter writing and interviewing skills. A career coach can help you with the logistical aspects or provide a name of a resource who will be able to help. The coach will also be able to address any fears you have associated with looking for a job.

15. You would like to start or grow your business

Owning your own business can be a rewarding experience but it can also one of the most challenging. It is important to understand the market you are entering, have a proven business plan, plenty of time, available money and patience. If you are looking to grow your business you need to do everything you are doing now and more. You may consider expanding globally, targeting new markets or increasing your internet exposure. A career coach will help you focus on your business goals and organize your tasks to reach those goals.

16. You would like to overcome laziness, procrastination and lack of motivation.

A major cause of job dissatisfaction is workplace behavior. Common behaviors include laziness, procrastination or lack motivation. A career coach can help you address these workplace habits. Understanding priorities and deadlines is key to eliminating theses traits. If you are seeking a new career, these poor habits will most likely carry to the new position if not addressed.

17. You are entering the job market for the first time.

If you are entering the job market for the first time, you could enjoy a career coach who has experience and success with new employees. The ‘real world’ is different from what many new employees experience in high school or college. A career coach understands the work place environment and can have a profound impact on the success or failure at a new job.

18. You are feeling lost and confused in your career.

Sometimes you may be in a career where you feel you do not you fit in and question where your career can take you. You may wonder if you are in the right segment of your field or if there is even a future in your chosen profession. For example, as a new doctor you might question whether surgery is the best match for your skills or if family medicine is more appropriate. A career coach will help explore your interests and skills.

19. You need help with issues and distractions when working from home.

More and more companies are experimenting with a work-from-home policy for various reasons. Today’s technology allows employees to video conference, email, and perform most activities from a home office. Yet, with this new found freedom could come new distractions. A career coach will help set boundaries at home and create habits to decrease distractions.

Final Word

There are many reasons to hire a career coach yet, selecting the right coach will take some time. Interview as many coaches as possible and select the one that understands you and has the experience to help you succeed. When you hire a coach, treat coaching as a valuable investment. Protect your investment by showing up to every session on time and making it a priority to engage and take meaningful actions.

This article originally appeared here.