If you are at a career crossroad or have hit a wall, a career coach can help you maximize your potential and make better decisions — This is of course, if you are willing to put in the work.1
As businesses face difficult decisions due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), many people are navigating the fear of layoffs, pay cuts and constant changes in the workforce.
Can you relate? If so, thinking of your career, where you are now and where you would like to be is not unusual.
You may be feeling unsure, afraid or perhaps unenthusiastic – or you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious to apply for a new position in a down market. If you are feeling fortunate to simply have a stable job at the moment, it may feel like moving up or pursuing progress in a new area of any kind should be put on hold.
In times of uncertainty, it makes sense to first pause, reflect where we are and only then plan ahead strategizing on how to best proceed.
According to FELIZ Consulting’s Founder and CEO MônicaZionede Hall, “This is the moment to take a step back to reflect before making decisions and not to act on impulses. Qualified coaches can help you go deeper into your self-awareness and reflect before making impulsive changes and decisions. A good coach can also help you make decisions where fear may be holding you back”.
But how do you know when to seek help from an outside expert? And more specifically, when is it best for you to hire a career coach?2,3 Will it be money well spent and will I have a good return on my investment? We believe so and so does the Institute of Coaching, amongst many other organisations.
So, below are 8 Signs to look out for showing that it is time to hire a career coach.
The 8 Signs
- You are experiencing job angst
If you’re feeling some anxiety about the current situation, or feel bored or frustrated, but don’t know what other career or path you could pursue; engaging with a career coach is a valuable way forward. Depending on the level of anxiety, however, one should first look for a professional counselor or therapist, but in most cases of “job angst”, a coach would be the best choice and hold a variety of skills to help you with your career choices.
- You are struggling with your job search
If you are looking for a new job, tired of repetitive recruitment calls, sending out countless resumes and your job search isn’t bearing fruit, a career coach can help. Some coaches as in FELIZ Consulting are able to help you to first define your goals, tailor the career coaching sessions for interviewing skills, work on focused job applications, getting you to the interview level, performing your best at the interview and then getting the job you want.
- Your professional brand needs work
To market yourself in your job search or in-house for internal career development, you need to consider your personal branding. This starts with a strong first impression, image, confidence and communication skills. In a job application it starts with a nice cover letter and sharp resume. If you need help crafting a resume, cover letters and other materials, or if you are seeking tips on how to present yourself in your best light in job interviews, a career coach with tailored skills is a great option.
- Your career has stalled
Another clear sign that professionals look to hire a career coach is that you are not moving up the career ladder, despite your hard work, ethics, productivity and motivation. Or perhaps you are being groomed for a leadership role and need help with navigating politics in the office and organizational change. Could a coach help? Absolutely.
- You are challenged to stand out and to prove your value
When it comes to differentiating yourself from other job seekers, it’s important to present yourself as more than just a collection of skills and credentials. What is unique about you? How do you come across? How do you prove and add value to others? In the current competitive labor markets, honing in on your unique strengths and passion make all the difference, and a career coach can help you identify and build on those strengths, helping you to stand out as the best fit for that next role.
- You are struggling with self-motivation
Advancing your career is challenging work, and at times, even the most motivated individuals can find themselves slacking off or burning out. So, if you find yourself in need of someone “neutral” to hold you accountable to achieve your career goals, a career coach is a good bet. Setting goals and milestones, finding what inspires you to stay motivated, mapping out a path and concrete steps to achieve those goals can be easier when a neutral and professional third-party helps you with your accountability.
- You are ambitious and want to move up in your career
If you want to be successful and are looking to accelerate your journey to achieving your career goals, a career coach can be a catalyst.1
- You lost your job and want to redefine your career and life goals
You lost your job, which in some ways you saw coming as you were already not as engaged and motivated. What can you do about it? Redefine your goals? Gain more self-awareness, inspiration, plan your next steps and make it happen.
Look at the 8 signs and if you find yourself there, look for a career coach.
It is helpful to hire an expert for an outside perspective in support of your present and future when 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.
When you update your resume, prepare you for interviews and the negotiation process, a career coach can help you up-skill and focus.
A Career Coach does all that, while focusing 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. Coaching will help you discover the real you.
All of us, deep down, know what we were born to do, but often that knowledge has been blurred by life events. Experiencing the ‘AHA!’ moments that arise from a powerful coaching conversation are enlightening and empowering.4
A Career Coach can help you create a personalized plan to achieve the goals of your working life. While not qualified to intervene in significant mental, emotional, or psychological issues, they can provide unbiased perspectives on your unique career situation, identify key challenges, and help create realistic solutions for moving forward.
While there is no right or wrong time to ask for guidance, many coaches say that they are more effective the earlier you engage.5