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How to find the right career coach

by Nik Lemmens on November 6, 2011

It’s about looking for great customer service, and some more.

Think about the people who provide a regular service in your life – your veterinary surgeon, your GP, your car mechanic. Do you feel that you have a good client/provider relationship with them? We would all probably argue that it’s more important to feel comfortable with our GP than our car mechanic. Generally though we like to feel a good rapport with all specialist service-providers in our life.

A career coach will provide you with the expertise to help you to make a positive impact on your work-life balance, your employability, your confidence, and your bank balance. With these big factors in mind it is of the utmost importance that you find the right one.

Qualifications

Check the qualifications of the career coach you intend meeting with. Some have worked in HR or high-level management for a long time and are steeped in the culture of employment. Others may have come from a psychology or life-coaching background, with additional qualifications in project management, business management and consultancy. Ideally your career coach will have expertise in both the corporate and small business sectors.

Experience

Your career coach should have practical experience of working in the large and small business sector. Corporate employment strategies are very different to small business staffing requirements, and your career coach will verse you in whichever direction you find suitable for you.

Testimonials/references

Testimonials on a career coach’s website are an instant way of telling you about their great reputation and expertise. They are intended as a guide to help you decide if you have found the right coach to consult. When you decide on a career coach that you want to work with, ask to see their references.

Free Career Coaching Consultation and Chemistry

Take advantage of a free consultation. Expect them to give you the basics in that session on understanding your career path in relation to your life. Reflect on how you feel during the session. Energised? Hopeful? Motivated? Positive? Connecting with the right career coach will only happen if the chemistry is right and you feel positive during and after the session. You should leave feeling that this will be an asset to your life and to your career path. A free consultation gives you the chance to check how you feel with a coach before you decide to start working with them or not.

Cost

You have to weigh up what you can afford with the quality of finding the right career coach. Check what a number of career coaches in your area charge per hour to find out the average fee where you live. Be very wary of working with someone who charges too little – this can often reflect that the coach is not properly qualified or has a poor track record. Some career coaches may charge on a sliding scale basis for people who have been made redundant or are returning to work after a long period of illness.

How to find a career coach

Keep all of these criteria in mind when you actually start searching for your career coach. Use an internet search engine to match career coaches with the area you live in. You can also type ‘reviews’ into the search engine to check what previous customers say about them. Look in the Yellow Pages and see if you can arrange initial appointments with career coaches who offer free consultations. Word of mouth can often be the best way to find a specialist in any area – if you can, network with people who work in corporations or companies that you are interested in. You’ll be surprised how many have taken control of their careers with the help of a career coach, and found their ideal positions.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie November 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Great post, and one which I will definitely be sharing with my readers. Coaching is not for everyone I think, you have to be open to receive new ideas, even if they come from yourself.

The best coaches will have you thinking about things you never thought of before. It’s magic when it happens.

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Justin | Personal Growth November 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Hi Nik,
I like to have a good rapport with everyone that I have business dealing with. If not, I take my business else where.

I like the idea of coaches offering a free initial consultation that way I can see if I have rapport with the coach.

Reply

Nik Lemmens November 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hi Justin,

I would not be to fussy about who I order my stationary from as long as they have a good service but as soon as it gets personal it has to click. The nice thing of the free consultation is that it actually sometimes solves people problems and I receive an email a few weeks later with a Thank You. I love it when that happens because it generates referrals.

Thanks for commenting.

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