Ultimate Guide to Finding a Career Coach

By Upskill Coach, On Apr 20th 2020

Career, Life, Personal Development, Health Coach

Laura Rickard

I'm a Life and Executive Coach with an Advanced Diploma in Coaching with Neuroscience and a Certificate in Nutrition Coaching. I have a particular interest in helping people to feel more fulfilled and energised in their daily lives.
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In this post, we put together a roadmap to help successfully navigate all your important career decisions. Whether you’re looking for advice on how to kickstart your career, to dealing with changes in the workplace or how to transition between jobs, you’ll find it here. In all those situations, a virtual career coach can help you safely and positively navigate from point A to point B in your employment. It’s not an easy decision to make, but we’ll take a look at some of the benefits and costs of an online career coach to help you make an informed decision.

Here’s a complete list of what we’ll cover in this post – feel free to head on over to the section that most applies to you or read from top-to-bottom for a full service introduction to how Upskill Coach can help inform your career:

  • Is a career coach right for you?
  • Cope with a changing workplace
  • Deal with career changes
  • Start your career off the right way
  • Upgrade your job search
  • Return to work after a break
  • Set up a work from home routine
  • Explore career coaching

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at some impactful career advice to help shape your path toward successful upskilling and finding a fulfilling life and career.

Is a career coach right for you?

You may have heard the term career coach but aren’t really sure what it truly means. That’s okay – millions of workers around the world don’t realise the impact that a coach can have on their careers.

A career coach is someone you partner with for guidance that helps you maximise your personal and professional potential.

Coaching is a nurturing experience to keep you motivated and inspired. Think of it as a consultant that advises you about how to be the best that you can be in the working world.

Every job seeker has different needs and the reasons why you need a coach are far greater than simply helping with your resume or applying for jobs (but coaches can help with that, too!).

Career coaching is a great way to take a step back to evaluate your career, get some unbiased advice or network with an expert in your industry.

Think of a career coach as an investment in yourself. How many hours do you spend at your job? If you’re employed full-time, then it’s likely thousands of hours every year. With a minor investment – a few hours every week – a career coach can greatly improve your career experience. If you think you’re ready to make the leap and invest in yourself, learn how to get the most from career coaching to maximise your returns.

Cope with changes at the workplace

Part of maximising your career potential is learning how to deal with changes in the workplace. Change happens all the time and a career coach can help you improve your productivity and mindset in the face of many changes, such as:

  • Your new promotion (or someone else’s);
  • A new business model;
  • Adopting new technologies; or,
  • Layoffs and cutbacks.

If you don’t agree with the changes in your workplace (or weren’t consulted about them), it’s hard to buy-in and fully invest in your company’s direction. If things get really bad, workplace stress can manifest into issues like headaches, depression, anxiety and anger.

During tough times, the best  option may be to seek the advice of a professional to overcome changes in your workplace. A coach can help you separate the distractions in your professional life. They can also help you keep focused on professional development throughout your career so you can focus on being the best professional you can be.

Deal with a career change

Switching your entire career can be even more daunting than dealing with changes at the workplace. A new career often means a whole new office or worksite, a new network and a new support group.

A career change commonly involves a period of intense self reflection, support from family and friends or advice from respected mentors. On the other hand, it might result from something beyond your control, like company layoffs, a family emergency or a change in your lifestyle.

If you’ve ever been blindsided by the dreaded pink slip or had to make the difficult decision to switch careers on your own, then you know that some of the biggest challenges of a career change include:

  1. Overcoming mental roadblocks;
  2. Taking action rather than dwelling on analysis; and,
  3. Overcoming a lack of experience in a new field.

Some of the best tips for a successful career change involve committing yourself to your goals, making time to achieve your commitments and sharing your ideas and plans with your network. Doing so, especially with the help of a professional coach, can set you up for career change success.

Start your career off right

If you’re still in the early stages of a career, you may lack the industry experience, network or professional development to achieve your dreams. Don’t let that bring you down.

We all started somewhere and we all remember the paradox of applying for our first jobs: how can it be that every job application requires 3-5 years experience? How can you kickstart your career if you can’t break into the field in the first place?

If that sounds like you, then a career coach might be able to help. Even once you’ve landed your first career-relevant job, how do you know whether it’s right for you? How do you measure success and how can you be sure that you’re happy?

Answers to these questions are difficult to obtain but the insight from a coach can give you an early advantage in your career.

Upgrade your job search

When you’re on the hunt for a new job, it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels. You may send dozens of applications without hearing a reply.

If your resume or CV aren’t top-notch, you might find it hard to gain traction in your hunt. A career coach can help you upgrade your job search so that your talents reach the businesses that need your skills.

The best resumes are brief and include relevant summaries of your work history and education. On top of a good resume, an online profile like your own website or an engaging LinkedIn profile can go a long way to land a new job.

A web presence is about so much more than owning a space online. It’s also about using it properly. Regular posts to LinkedIn show you off as a knowledgeable expert in your field while consistent updates to your online portfolio can show your work to the world – and hopefully your future employer.

After landing an interview, you have to upgrade your interview skills to really land that dream job. A good interview involves rigorous preparation, professional body language and unique answers that show off your adaptability and fit for the job.

Return to work after a break

If you find yourself having to return to work after an absence, we know it can be a challenging experience. Job-returners, whether from a vocational break or a parental leave, often face harsh realities once it’s time to head back to the office. Things have changed, new policies are in place, there are new people and you may even need new skills to remain current.

If your return to work worries you, it can’t hurt to talk to your employer. Many workplaces offer support like childcare, flexible work arrangements and even training opportunities to help returners upskill.

A career coach can also be a great resource to help you return to work. An experienced coach has plenty of tips to help you stay calm and organised. Everything from getting back to a traditional sleep schedule, eating healthy and using remote technology like e-mail and video calls can set you in the right direction.

In addition to outside help, it’s important to look inwards, too. Don’t forget that you can be your own best resource. If your return to work has you feeling anxious and depressed, remember to focus on yourself to get in the right mindset to succeed.

Set up a work from home routine

Working from home is a fast-growing opportunity for many employers. It’s all about using new technologies to their fullest potential to connect people and resources – even if they’re not all located in the same office building.

There are many reasons why working from home might be an option for you. It can be anything from a return to work after a break, a complete career change or even taking on a side hustle from your home.

Preparing to work remotely isn’t only about upgrading your skills and techniques. Working from home is a whole different experience compared to the commute to a traditional workplace. The habits you form are crucial to keep you focused, productive and healthy while working remotely.

Explore career coaching

Ready to take on your next career-related challenge? Looking for a way to upskill and stay ahead of current job trends? A career coach is your best option.

Just like online technologies bring people closer together in the digital workplace, an online career coach might be a great fit for your lifestyle and schedule. With an online program, you can access it from home (or anywhere, really) and it’s flexible and customisable to your needs.

Even better, virtual coaching can be easy on the wallet because you don’t need a physical space to meet and you eliminate transit time back and forth from in-person meetings. In the online world, there’s always a career coach near you.

Your career is about you

Whether you’re a doe-eyed new recruit at your company or a seasoned veteran in your industry, staying on top of your career is crucial.

To get the most from it, you need to continually upgrade your skills, freshen up your job hunting skills and adapt to new working environments.

Stay tuned as we explore new concepts and tips about coaching, making employment decisions and upgrading skills on the Upskill Coach blog.

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