Why Hire A Career Coach?


Sure, there's a lot of material on the web that people find helpful in a job search. You can certainly pick up an idea or two here and there. But too often, a plan based on reading articles (which may not be up to date), hearing a good speaker occasionally, and trying out “tips and tricks” from “experts” leads to little else than a longer search. And that’s painful.


That's often when people say, "I have to do something different!" Just as when you need an attorney or a physician, call someone who’s a specialist, a professional with a program.


Here are 15 things a career coach can do for you that you cannot get elsewhere. 


1. RESULTS: Show me the money: Your career funds your life. Your family’s life. What would you make per week if you were being paid your target salary right now? Meaning, a good job or a better salary than you’re making now? If you’re out of work and you land even a month sooner than you would by trying to go it alone – you could get that coaching fee BACK in salary and benefits in 1-2 additional pay periods, right? How long have you been doing a job you don’t want, or have been out of work? Or maybe you’re an underemployed new grad? So aren’t you already paying for it by not getting anywhere? Talk to a career coach and learn what is possible. The fee is far less costly in the end than a bad salary/no salary, month after month, year after year. Not to mention the misery of a bad fit. More About Results: Usually a career coach's work results in higher income, shorter searches, decisions of a higher quality, and more happiness. You deserve to succeed!


2. Recruiters and Hiring Managers see the difference: We’ve had recruiters tell us that coached clients are focused, know themselves well and can readily relate their success stories to employers’ needs. Thus coached candidates have a much better chance of recruiters presenting them to client companies.


3. Custom help for YOU: A career coach gives you help tailored to YOU. Not off-the-shelf, not cookie-cutter program but instead attention to just you, what's genuine for you, what's real for you, what fits YOU. No AI-powered tool can do this, either, because unless someone spends time with you, like a coach, you just can’t find this level of help otherwise.


4. Seeing what you have to offer even more readily than you can: That's what a career coach can do: You are too close to yourself to see things about you, even positive things that the coach can see – and discuss with you. They will be more objective than you, able to see your gifts and how they can be applied in the real world.


5. Coaches help you generate new ideas and new strategies you can’t readily see: Sure, candidates come up with strategies on their own that can work. But what happens if they don't work -- where do you go from there? A coach will help you develop new strategies and methods as you go along in the job search. They get to know you so they can spot potential and opportunity you can’t see because you’re too close to you, the “product”. Even your friends and family are too close to you. A coach gives you perspective on developments in your search, so that you know what you can do something about, and what you can't. A good coach helps you even if it’s YOU that’s getting in your way!


6. Confidence, perspective and a sense of “I can DO this!”: Career coaches will help you build on and communicate successes, usually reducing the syndrome of “I was perfect for that job but didn’t even get an interview….” More interviews = more offers.


7. Staying focused on you investing time and effort into your career: Qualified career coaches are more about careers than “just finding a job”, although they focus on the real-world side of job search as well. What you learn during a career coaching project, you will use again and again.


8. Helping you give fitting answers to tough or awkward questions: Do you know how to deal with "We think you're overqualified"? Or how to answer that dumb "weakness" question in job interviews? Do you have a gap in your work history, unrelated jobs, or a firing? A good coach works with you to generate honest answers, but answers that advance your search.


9. Setting goals, staying motivated: A good career development coach helps you set realistic goals, and helps you stick to them, AND helps you stay motivated despite ups and downs.


10. Working for you, not the employer: Career coaches work for you, not a hiring company. Just you.


11. Help with vital decisions: Your coach is your personal “sounding board” and part of your unofficial Board of Directors. They’ll help you decide on ways to go – by helping you weigh and measure between and among options.


12. Continuity: Ongoing temperature checks of how it's going: The coach is there after each job interview, for example, to debrief with you: how did it go, what does it mean and what’s next?


13. Often the career coach will take you “under their wing”: They give you the latest info and best tools with more sense of urgency than they’d give it to non-clients. And they may introduce you to their network, when you’re ready, for example.


14. Career coaches know the latest REAL ways to land a good job: A good career coach knows the latest in many, many job search topics and issues. Good coaches stay current in every way, making sure they know how and why employers and recruiters are hiring. A good coach has had many other clients, has seen what’s worked/not worked. They help you avoid time-consuming mistakes and myths of job search.


15. Way more than just resumes – because its way more than a resume that lands you a great job today: Qualified and successful career coaches have the appropriate business, academic, technical and work background to help you in the deep fashion necessary today. Usually, a good coach or their associate will work with you to build a resume (“pretty” and ATS versions), LinkedIn (your profile and how to use it), job search strategies, interview skills, networking, productivity, job offers and acceptance, what to do in the first 21 days on your new job.

Coach Qualifications

There are different ways certified coaches come to this field: Certifications or advanced degrees in Counseling or Coaching are among the premier qualifications, because such training gives the practitioner the psychological background and necessary professional standard of ethics. Others have recruiting or talent acquisition experience. Many learn through a combination of certifications and experience. But great clients teach us the most!

Just about all career and job search coaches have good intentions; it's credentials that propel them to a professional level. Not only the certification mentioned above. But the best credentials: How do the coach’s clients succeed? What do their references or LinkedIn recommendations say about them? To what coaching professional organizations do they belong? How long have they been in business (and is this their prime focus or one of several)? A good career and job search coach has a track record of success. In many states in the US, there is no single, standard certification or licensure necessary to do career coaching, so beware of those who call themselves “job search coach” or "career coach" but who do not have the qualifications.


About coaches’ fees, appointments

Coaches can charge any of several ways: by the hour, by the project, by the task, or some combination of all three. Some see their clients in person, some are all-phone or all-Zoom appointments; many have some mix of phone/Zoom and in-person meetings.

So just like you hire an attorney for legal issues, or a physician for a medical issue, hire a professional career coach to help you with your career. The fee you pay any professional exists because that professional continues to work long and hard to stay on the leading edge so that they DO help. And that gives you a huge return on your investment.


Wishing you only the best,


Joanne Meehl

MS, IJCDC, FAVAR® LinkedIn Certified