Thinking about finding a top Career Coach? You want to get ahead in your career but you’ve been unsure as to how to secure that promotion, or the job you’ve been dreaming about. You’ve realised you need help to fast track your progress.

So, how do you choose the right Career or Life Coach or Consultant? This video explains what you need to ask when making your decision (view original article on LinkedIn).

The most important thing is to decide what you want to get out of a coaching relationship. Do you actually need a Career CONSULTANT or do you need a Career COACH?

You need a Career Consultant if you want to be guided through the specific process of how to secure your next role, whether that is a job promotion, an internal or external lateral move, or a completely new role in a new organisation.

A Career Consultant will help you update your resume, prepare you for interviews and the negotiation process as well as advise you with recommendations on where you may need to up-skill and which skills may be in demand for the direction you are targeting for your next job.

A Career Coach does all that too, however, focuses on you as an individual, your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations and what may be holding you back from achieving the success you deserve in each aspect of your life.

A coach will help you to discover what’s really important to you. Especially if you’re feeling a little bit fuzzy as to what you really want in your life and your career, coaching will help you to discover the real you. 

Experiencing the ‘AHA!’ moments that arise from a powerful coaching conversation are enlightening and empowering. 

All of us, deep down, know what we were born to do, but often that knowledge has been blurred by life events, and consequently we may feel a little lost, or confused.

Once you gain clarity about the values that drive your decisions, what you WANT in your life and career, what you CAN do, what you are WILLING to do, then, through a combination of coaching and practical guidance and recommendations, the career coach may then put on the career consultant hat to guide you to set a plan of action to reach those goals.

The way I work with my clients is as a Coach, AND a Consultant, depending on what YOUR needs are. Being able to read between the lines of what is being said, and what is unsaid, and understanding why, is one of my key differentiators when I work with each individual.

If what you want is, for example, interview practice, or you need to strengthen your resumé and you are clear on what you are targeting, then I put my Consultant Hat on.

Here is an example of what I cover with my clients:

  1. Assess your talents, abilities and true potential
  2. Assist you to become more self-aware
  3. Help to define your career goals
  4. Enable you to manage your career according to an effective action plan
  5. Deal with your emotional side in your professional life
  6. Boost your level of confidence
  7. Help you to create a powerful resume, cover letter and marketing materials
  8. Craft a strong positioning statement or pitch
  9. Understand the most effective job search strategies
  10. Prepare for your networking meetings
  11. Prepare for job interviews
  12. Negotiation strategies and more …

I would recommend, whether you’re looking for a Coach or Consultant, make sure that you speak with two or three Career Coaches or Career Consultants who have a strong reputation in the industry, has a compelling website and LinkedIn profile (so you know they understand effective marketing strategies which you can tap into), and then make your decision as to which one you feel most comfortable with, and with whom you have a good rapport.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your Coach, it’s not going to work. Your Coach will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, and you’ll develop a very close professional relationship so TRUST is essential.

I have clients whom I have worked with who have benefited from an intensive series of coaching sessions when they were going through a career or life transition. And now that they’re into their new careers, perhaps every six months or eight months, they’ll come back to me, make a booking in my online calendar, and have a top up session to be coached on how to handle a specific challenge.

This might be nothing to do with job hunting, but more to do with their communication skills at work, leadership skills, asking for a salary raise, or maybe there’s an office bully they aren’t sure how to handle, or a range of concerns.

Because we’ve developed a strong rapport, and we have worked well together in the past, I’m always delighted to work with them again!

But if you find that you’re working with a Coach who just doesn’t feel right; you may need to make a tough call to make a change, because you must respect and TRUST your Coach.

So, the best way to decide is to get a referral from a trusted connection, then find out if the coach is qualified and there is RAPPORT. Ask if you may speak with some of their past coaching clients and ask those clients:

What is this coach like to work with?

Do they follow up?

Do they keep you on track?

Do they keep you accountable?

What results did they support you to achieve?”

Because really, your Coach is there for accountability to make sure you take action to create the life or career you desire. And they’re your Champion when things get tough. 

A good coach will work with you and celebrate your successes! When you’re feeling down, they are there to pick you up, and help to empower you to keep going in the right direction despite the challenges that inevitably occur in life.

I hope this article helps you to make the right decision about whom you will trust to be your trusted advisor, champion, coach or consultant.

Here are a few examples of how I have helped my clients to take control of their careers, and, where required, make a successful career transition (you will find more client testimonials in the Recommendations section in my LinkedIn profile):

Since my first consultation with Jane, I have regularly sought her guidance. Her value can be summed up as follows- “she reinforces your belief in yourself”. Recently I successfully transitioned my career from industry to consulting. At one of the lowest points in the process of the transition, I sought her advice and she was able to lift me out from that point and focus me back to the task and the great possibilities that were within my reach. – Wyndham Cramer

When I went through a redundancy, I was concerned about looking for a new job at my age. Jane was so supportive through the entire process and her coaching was invaluable. Jane helped me to get the first job I applied for. – Gwen Noakes

Jane has been crucial on my journey of identifying my career anchors, my strengths and my values and has been an incredibly insightful soundboard, accountability partner and cheerleader for my future professional growth. In my experience Jane has also taken a real care in the work that she does – she’s professional, considered, articulate, organised and brings a real energy to navigating careers and career aspirations. – Lorenn Ruster

I had the pleasure of working with Jane on many occasions over the past several years as my career coach and mentor. I am so grateful for her passion, positive encouragement and ongoing commitment to helping me to improve and getting the most potential out of myself. Most recently i was going through my own career crossroads and she has been so professional and dealt with my transition with a lot of care. She have helped me through the whole process from developing my positioning statement, resume development, LinkedIn profile, through to interview techniques and negotiations. I thank her so much for helping me in achieving this big milestone and great new job that I’m thrilled about. – Albert Tan

Connect with me on LinkedIn for on-going career advice and tips

If you enjoy support in an online group environment, The Careers Academy membership will be perfect for on-going coaching support and also peer support, find out more HERE.

Listen to YOUR CAREER Podcast on iTunes and Spotify

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