Ultimate Guide to Having a Career Coach
In this post, we put together a roadmap to help successfully navigate all your important career decisions with the help of career coaching. 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 with career coaches from Upskill Coach. In all those situations, virtual career coaching 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 online career coaching 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 the career coaches from Upskill Coach can help inform your career:
- Is career coaching 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
- Setting up a routine for working from home
- Explore career coaching
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 career coaching right for you?
You may have heard the term career coaching but aren’t 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. A career coach will be specialised in helping you find the right career for you. To do that they may use tools such as personality assessments, skill assessment, skill-gap analysis and more. But more importantly, a career coach will listen to what you have to say and help you find out what you want from your career. According to the Institute of Coaching over 70% of individuals who receive coaching benefited from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills.
Career counseling 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!). A career coach is a great person to have on your side when you need help navigating your career.
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 career coaching 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, month or year – career coaching can significantly 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 career coaching 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 terrible, 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 in the workplace. A new career often means a whole new office or worksite, a new network and a new support group.
Career changes 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 career changes include:
- Overcoming mental roadblocks;
- Taking action rather than dwelling on analysis; and,
- Overcoming a lack of experience in a new field.
Sometimes, especially if career changes weren’t planned it’s hard to know where to go next. Some of the best tips for successful career changes involve setting specific goals, committing yourself to those 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. Read our blog about how to prepare for a career change here.
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 start your career if you can’t break into the field in the first place?
If that sounds like you, then career counseling might 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? At this stage, career coaching will help assess the skills that you have, along with your interest, hopes and dreams and help you find a career that suits you. They can also help with job applications, CV writing and preparation for job interviews. No matter where you are in your career path, a career coach is there if you need help. Check out our blog by career coach Susan Moran on how to kickstart your career here.
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 isn’t top-notch, you might find it hard to gain traction in your hunt. Career coaching 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 an 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 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. It can be really difficult getting back onto your career path after time off. 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.
Career coaches 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.
How to find a career coach
Ready to take on your next career-related challenge? Are you looking for a way to upskill and stay ahead of current job trends? Find a career coach today with Upskill Coach.
Just like online technologies bring people closer together in the digital workplace, online career coaching 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 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.