10 common concerns about working with a career coach
Have you ever considered working with a career coach?
How about if I put it a different way?
Have you ever considered working with someone that will help you to shape your career and who knows the ins and outs of the recruitment industry and your sector? Someone who will help you create an eye-catching CV and teach you how to improve your pitch to recruiters and companies?
Chances are you haven’t and I think you could be missing a trick.
If you’ve got plans and ambitions for yourself and your work you may want to consider getting a coach on board.
If you think that coaching is only for the dazed and confused – you’re mistaken.
A coach can help you in many ways be it getting unstuck, working through transitions or being strategic in getting ahead of the game.
Coaching is for motivated go-getters that appreciate that two-heads are better than one. As the coach I think of myself as the co-pilot – co-creating the future.
It’s not easy to stand out in a competitive job market but you can improve your chances when you work with an expert.
You may be ambitious and determined but there are still factors that are out of your control in the job market. ‘Getting on’ often requires some luck and knowing the right people. There is no magic formula to success – you’ll still need to put the work in.
If you play a sport, a musical instrument, practise yoga or a martial art you’ll know how important that is and how you need a teacher. Anyone that has a personal trainer at the gym will tell you that it’s for the motivation not just for fitness.
But when it comes to investing in your career I can understand why some people have concerns and shy away from coaching.
So let’s take a look at some of the common objections and concerns and clear things up a bit:
I can’t afford it
No surprise to see this at the top of the list. Coaching is an investment rather than a treat.
If you're concerned about long-term commitment go for a package – that way you’ll know the total cost and timeframe.
Think of it this way – for the cost of a daily flat white for the next six months or a (not too distant) weekend away you could set yourself up for the next phase of your career – pushing through treacle and overcoming obstacles that are currently holding you back.
And if you’re between roles this may sound counter-intuitive but that’s the ideal time to work with a coach to fuel and focus your search.
There are coaches for all budgets. Find one you like and work out a solution together.
Why should I pay for something I can get for free?
There’s so much free stuff out there why pay for anything?
You could spend time wading through irrelevant stuff online or get a meeting with a recruiter or headhunter but none of this is going to be personalised to your needs nor will it improve your competitive chances.
Why should I pay? My company should invest in me
If you want to progress in your current company you may expect them to invest in your development.
But having a personal coach can’t be compared and chances are you’ll feel ‘on guard’ if it’s being paid for by the firm.
Take responsibility for your personal and professional development.
I don’t need a coach I need a new job
That sounds like a simple solution but six months in and you may find yourself eating those words.
Before you move on – take stock and make better decisions and choices about your future.
I don’t have the time for it
Can't you give yourself one hour a week?
Find a coach that works on Skype – it’ll save you time traveling and chances are you’ll be able to arrange early morning, evening or even weekend appointments to suit your diary.
Then instead of checking your social media when you’re traveling – use that time to reflect on your sessions.
And don't feel that you need to a long-term tie-in - look into programmes and packages
I’ve not needed it before – why do I need it now?
Having a coach is not a sign of weakness.
When you get to a certain level in your career what you’re not getting from the people around you - you'll need to seek out for yourself.
Better to get your practise in now rather than during your interviews.
It’s competitive out there – coaching will help you to get up-to-speed.
I’m not interested in navel gazing
There are all types of coaches so you can find the right one for you. I’ve found that people enjoy a practical approach where there's a good pace to the sessions (and reflection when needed).
I’m worried it won’t work for me
What do you mean by that?
I challenge anyone not to benefit from investing time and energy into their personal and professional development. But you’ve got to put the work in.
I don’t need coaching I just need someone to write my CV
Some think that all they need is a good CV and LinkedIn profile and that makes me wonder why they can’t do it for themselves. A weak CV is often accompanied by poor interview technique – you need to work on the whole package.
I don’t know who to pick and how to choose
Understandable as there are so many coaches out there.
Recommendations and referrals from friends, colleagues or someone in your network is a good starting point.
Do your homework and always have a conversation and a 'chemistry' check. You need to trust that you’re in good hands before you start working together
So I hope that’s helped with some of your concerns – if I’ve missed something let me know. And if you’re thinking about taking the plunge have a look at my Career Services and the Career Shape-up Programme that I’ve designed for our industry.
PS don’t forget – don’t sign up with a coach without making that call first!
Tracy Short & Co offers executive career coaching, recruitment & talent services, and exclusive networking meet-ups.
Tracy has a unique approach to career success – a fresh alternative to traditional career coaching and executive headhunters.
Get in touch to find out how I can help you or your company.