Ways To Choose The Best Career Coach
You will spend approximately 90,000 hours of your life at work and more than 200 hours a year commuting.
Thats an enormous portion of your life. Dont you want to spend it as enjoyably as possible?
Nearly every one of us wishes we could improve our career in some way, whether thats by changing careers, advancing in our career, leaving the corporate world, or simply finding more work-life balance. But for so many of us, these ideas remain just that wishes.
For a multitude of reasons, we succumb to inertia. We settle. Or we take small, ineffective steps like combing through job websites, hoping the perfect position will leap off the page, or we ask family and friends for their advice.
Often, to truly move forward and make a significant change, we need someone to guide us and hold us accountable along the way. Thats where a career coach can have a profound impact.
How A Lawyer Is Building Her Career Coaching Business Without Sacrificing Family Time
Toni Patterson, toniapatterson.com, is a career coach, lawyer, and a single mom. So how does she manage it all? Lets find out.
Look: You dont need an AHA moment that makes you realize that career coaching is your biggest dream and purpose. It can happen more organically than that.
Thats what happened to Toni.
As a single mom who is a successful litigator in an Am Law 100 law firm, her co-workers would often approach her for guidance in navigating their own careers and lives because it seemed like she had it all figured out.
That way, she realized that she had a passion for mentoring and guiding women who were trying to figure out how to be successful in their careers without sacrificing their home lives. And with the process she had perfected for herself, she was able to help them get just that.
How Toni builds her business while managing a demanding career and taking care of her family
How does Toni do it all?
Her #1 priority is being available to her daughter, so the first thing she schedules in her calendar are school recitals and events. She then schedules everything else because when she sees what shes supposed to be doing, it makes it much likelier that shell get it done.
And when she really needs to focus? She schedules herself into a hotel overnight with the goal of completing one project from start to finish during those two days. These hotel stays have been some of her most productive time.
How Toni went from idea to business
Make Connections Through Networking
Working as a coach is as much about making connections as it is about helping clients. Using connections can expand your clientele, especially when it comes to networking. Attend conferences and build relationships with industry professionals. These new connections might have a client that needs assistance or they might help one of your clients who is applying for a job at their company.
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Prepare You For Interviews
A major benefit to having a career coach guide you from one job to a new one is that they can help you with mock interviews. Practicing answering interview questions is one of the best ways to prepare for an interview. Career coaches are familiar with the interviewing process and can help you develop responses that highlight your qualifications.
Next Step Decide What You Dont Want To Do
I hated helping people with their resumes or interview prep, it just didnt light me up. I did, however, LOVE helping people find work they really enjoyed.
What do you really *not* want to help people with? This is a judgement free zone, so feel free to be totally honest, we are cheering you on!
Got your answer? Awesome! Lets carry on, shall we?
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For Career Coaches Who Want To Work For Companies:
Training and formal certification matters more for you, because companies will expect certain qualifications before they hire you. So, if you want to do anything with leadership and management you probably should look into, at minimum, getting certified and credentialed as not only a Certified Professional Life Coach , but one with a focus on executive leadership/management.
In addition, youll also want to be someone who has coached enough hours to qualify for a PCC, or Professional Certified Coach it means youve got a certain level of hours/experience as a coach on top of being certified, and its something companies will look for as a part of the hiring/contracting process.
For information on the PCC and other terms, check out the International Coach Federation over here.
You can do this in two ways:
1) Join an accredited Life Coaching program that offers some additional study in leadership/management and will certify you with enough hours to become a PCC, or
2) Do #1 and also look for some continuing education certification programs offered through good universities for professionals looking to deepen their learning in this area. Google will be your friend here, so get ready to hug it out.
Note, most coaching schools have webinars or in-person free events to help you learn more about them, so you can easily try them on before having to commit tons of money or time.
What Are The Requirements To Become A Coach
There are no strict education requirements for starting a coaching career. Depending on where you live, you may not even be required to be certified or licensed to begin coaching.
However, successful coaches realize that a well-rounded education is imperative for a successful and professional career. Aspiring coaches can choose a number of different paths when starting a career as a professional coach. There are numerous coaching certificate programs, for instance. Professional coaches may also have, or choose to earn, degrees in areas such as counseling, pyschology, or organizational development.
If you are considering a career as a professional coach, you may wish to hire a coach and find a training or certificate program that suits your interests. Visit our Sponsors page to explore some of these options.
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Set And Manage Career Goals
- Specific these goals are detailed and definable, not broad ideas or concepts.
- Measurable you can literally count these goals, and determine growth.
- Actionable they are immediate goals you can make movement on!
- Relevant they apply to your current life and will help you make changes.
- Timely you can set deadlines and track your goal progress.
How We Chose The Best Coach Certification Programs
This list of best career coach certification program providers was culled from hundreds of training firms and coaching organizations that offered coach certification programs. We also focused on about 50 programs in which career coaching was the major focus, although many also offer executive coaching, transition coaching, or leadership coaching programs.
To narrow down the list, we prioritized those firms recommended by coaching organizations in adherence to their robust standards. However, some of the proprietary programs were so robust that they were added.
We dismissed any that were over-priced to bring you top-rated but affordable options along with some lower-cost certifications. We also omitted training programs in which details such as pricing or program content and structure were hard to come by.
Before finalizing the list, we looked at online reviews and student feedback, eliminating any that had poor ratings.
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What You Dont Have Time To Spend Time Doing
Let me first get something out ***rant ensuing now***
There are a billion of people that call themselves coaches out there.
At one point I hesitated to even call myself a coach because its so low of a barrier to entry. Pretty much anyone can hang out a shingle and many people have unintentionally made a mockery out of the title because its become so well used.
Heres the sad state of truth right now:
When you see the title Coach after someones name, its a pretty safe bet to assume that:
Im over that now ***END RANT*** and I prefer to dedicate a portion of my time to making sure that the people that I work with are elevating coaching as a profession and a business. Weve actually even gone so far as to create a Career Coaching Certification and training to help elevate the profession.
It still doesnt change the fact there really arent very many coaches out there that really are amazing and are helping their clients get astounding results. There are even less that are great at coaching AND making a healthy living, running a coaching business.
Heres the two reasons why
Heres what Broke Coaches are doing that you dont want to do .
What Skills Do You Need To Be A Career Coach
Management often looks to professional level roles for execution on their visions and goals, as such some specific skills are required. The workload of this role requires knowledge of: Academic Assessment, Academic Counseling, Career Counseling, Event Planning and Management, Financial Aid Programs and Policies, Psychological Counseling, Student Counseling, Employment Counseling, Financial Advising. If you highlight these skills during your interview process, you will be more likely to land the job!
You also need to make sure you have the knowledge and experience necessary to help people progress in their careers.
A successful career of any kind can be an excellent asset, especially if you want to help people find jobs in the same field that you used to work in.
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Determine Your Career Goal
You don’t need to create a plan or have a specific goal because a career coach can help with this, but it’s helpful to both you and a coach to have a general goal for your career. Knowing your career goal may help in your search for a career coach. Some coaches specialize in certain industries, positions or career paths. For example, if you want to become an entrepreneur, there are career change coaches that specialize in this type of goal.
Review The Client Success Of The Coach
After finding a coach, look at the success stories from their clients to learn more about how they can help you with your goals. If you can, try to have options so you can look at multiple coaches and choose the professional who is best suited to your needs. Often you can find reviews online about a service. If the coach has a webpage, they may post testimonials from their clients.
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Develop A Career Plan
Having a career plan helps you to move from one goal to the next. Often, you’re able to achieve more if you make a plan. Career change coaches help clients set career goals and develop a realistic plan for achieving them. This includes both short- and long-term goals. For example, a career change coach may provide actionable steps on how to get an entry-level job and eventually become a team manager.
It’s sometimes difficult to realize your potential and visualize how to achieve your goals. With a career coach, you receive a personalized career path with a long-term goal to reach great success.
Who Do You Actually Want To Work With
Theres this secret to business success. Only its not really a secret.
Its actually more like great advice that nobody really actually does, because they dont see the value in it.
Its like when you borrow your Dads truck and its slick out and he warns you that its really slick and that you will have to go really, really slow and drive differently than you normally do and you shrug it off and say I know, I know but then less than five minutes later youve run the truck into a dumpster and you cant quite figure out how it happened.
You know the feelingWait. Youve never done that?
Oh me neither!
Anyhow, its this thing that most people know theyre supposed to do and they give it lip service but never really do it and then wonder why its so hard to figure out what you should be doing to grow your business.
What is this big non-secret that is the business equivalent of exercising and eating right to keep from being fat?
Its called your target market also called your niche, ideal audience, avatar, target customer, and your wheezy .
Whatever you call it, one thing is true. Everyone underestimates the power of this.
Heres a comparison of the difference between the Broke Coach and a Profitable coach making six figures from her business.
OK, the difference between how well they know their market is obvious. Great. Whatever
THE REAL QUESTION IS WHAT DOES KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET ACTUALLY DO FOR YOU?
Im so glad you asked!!!
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You Probably Need More Friendsheres How To Make Them
If youve struggled to understand what you were meant to do, if you self-question a lot, if you have intimate knowledge of feeling unseen or like a bit of a misfit if your résumé is a wild patchwork quilt of randomness? Congratulations, you have part of the arsenal of a career coach. You understand what your clients are going through. When youre clear on what you dont know , its a huge asset in discernment work, which for me is the juicy part of what I do. I love seeing peoples faces light up when they finally figure out their calling in life.
But it is not an easy thing to learn how to do. I have a process that Ive refined over many years to help clients land on their career path. I teach people my process. Good career coaches also share. We augment our knowledge base by collaborating a lot. Im part of a cohort of career coaches with exposure in different areas and sectors. We give each other input on client cases. It helps keep us honest about what we dont yet know, improves confidence and exposes everyone to shifting trends and concerns in various sectors. It takes time to build that knowledge base, but it can and should be done.
Heres what a good career coach does do.
The First Step To Become A Career Coach Think About Who You Want To Serve And How
So, this may seem obvious, but as a career coach youve got two choices:
Choice #1: Focus on individuals who will be paying you out of their own pocket. Tired professionals looking for a new career, job-seekers needing a boost, younger people wondering how to get promotedyou get the idea!
Choice #2: Focus on companies. This still means you will coach individuals who work at said companies, but you might also be coaching teams or small groups as a part of your offerings. You will most likely have a focus on management and leadership, unless you end up helping with transitioning out.
The Difference: One key difference between Choice #1 and Choice #2 is who pays you, and this is important. In the second case, the organization or company is footing the bill for your services, and your client is an employee of that organization. This is a slightly different business model then the first choice, where the client is paying you directly, and itll mean taking a slightly different approach.
Why are we starting here?
This decision will impact how you go about becoming a career coach, and where you choose to invest your time.
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Chances Of Getting A Job
Chances of getting a job as a career consultant are poor because:
- few people are willing to pay for careers advice
- few organisations hire full-time career consultants, and there is low turnover of staff
- organisations tend to only employ career consultants when there are industrial issues such as staff redundancies and retention problems
- careers advisors in schools often combine part-time work in this role with work as a subject teacher.
Twenty five percent of career consultants work part time.
According to the Census, 585 career consultants worked in New Zealand in 2018.
How Much Does Career Coaching Certification Cost
You can earn a career coach certificate for as little as $12 by completing an online workshop. However, for a certification thats recognized broadly, expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000 for training and materials. You will often have to provide proof of practical experience as a career coach, either during your training program or on the job.
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Hone Your Skills In Active Listening And Empathy
You’re probably aware that to be a successful coach, you need to possess certain skills. Even if you don’t possess these specific professional and interpersonal skills, you can work on adding them to your repertoire. These skills include the following:
- Active Listener: It’s vital to pay attention to what your clients are saying to you so you understand their goals. It’s also beneficial when discussing positions with potential employers or networking connections.
- Detail-Oriented: Paying attention to details can help you better serve your clients through their job search. It’s a useful skill to have when proofreading your clients’ applications and checking job listings.
- Communication: Just as important as listening is communicating. The ability to communicate verbally and in writing helps you convey information professionally and effectively.
- Empathy: It’s important to understand how clients feel, and by understanding their emotions better, you can adjust your tone to get the best results from your meeting.