Hiring the wrong person as a career coach can be frustrating, especially when you realize the mistake after the fact. To help you avoid this situation, here are five tips to follow.
The coaching profession has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. There are now coaches available for almost everything: career coaches; personal/life coaches; wellness coaches; relationship coaches; wealth coaches — you name it.
“I wanted a career coach to help me strategize what it will take for me to move into a management role at the global tech company where I work,” a prospective client, Anna, told me during a telephone discussion. “Turns out, the person I hired was a ‘life coach’ not a career coach.”
To avoid hiring the wrong person, here are five tips to follow when you’re specifically looking for a career coach.
Clearly define the help you want. Think about where you are in your career and what you’d like the coach to help you achieve. For example, are you in the job-search process and need help writing your résumé and creating your LinkedIn profile? Do you want to jump-start your performance in a new job? Are you dealing with issues at work and want professional guidance on how to overcome these obstacles?
Research with multiple resources. Sure, you can ask your family and friends for their recommendations, but don’t forget to use other resources. If you’re in college, check with the career office about free career advisers. At work, ask your HR rep for a list of career coaches approved or recommended by your employer. You can also contact coaching associations such as the International Coach Federation or the National Career Development Association.
Analyze for a good fit. Look for coaches with websites and clearly explained coaching information and pricing. At the very least, the person should have a profile on LinkedIn that includes testimonials from clients. Key things to look for: extensive experience, education in the areas in which they coach and coaching certifications.
Put the names into a few different search engines. See what comes up. The more experienced and successful the career coach, the easier it should be for you to find information about them via the internet. Is he or she well-known? Does the coach have articles published? Is he or she quoted in numerous articles as an expert?
Speak with the career coach. Ask for a free (brief) telephone consultation. You can ask questions about his or her process, discuss pricing and further determine fit. If the coach refuses, you probably shouldn’t hire the person. Still not sure? Ask for a few references so you can speak directly to one or two past clients.