A career coach can help you keep the focus on personal learning, but why do you need a career coach and how much does a career coach cost?
Careers as we know them are changing. People are changing jobs more often than before, 35% of employees have changed jobs within the last three years. That makes it much more likely you’ll have more than one career in your working lifetime. With that comes a requirement for adaptability of us as individuals. We need to develop new skills and continue learning throughout our career. A career coach can be one way to help you keep the focus on personal learning, but why do you need a career coach and how much does a career coach cost?
The changing working trend is a wake-up call for anyone and everyone who is pursuing a lifelong career. In fact, this study from Australia found that the average employee will have five different careers, with 17 job changes. There’s little reason to think that this will be any different in Europe or America. Further, the study found that careers will take place over a longer time span than ever before. Living longer means that the average working professional will now work for close to 60 years – three times what it was in 1900. Given the time we spent at work averaging at 38 hours per week across the EU we spent a large part of our life at work. Therefore, it becomes even more important than ever that your job is challenging, a space for learning and developing self-esteem and most importantly, enjoyable.
How can a career coach help?
The benefits of professional career coaching are innumerable. Coaching can help you to find a new job, explore future career options, change career, improve leadership skills, create a healthier work-life balance and enhance your experience in your position.
The International Coaching Federation surveyed people who’d worked with coaches, and a staggering 99% of them were satisfied with the overall coaching experience. As many as 96% of those respondents said they’d repeat the process. More than two-thirds of the people who responded said coaching helped them improve their work performance, and 80% said it helped them improve their self-confidence.
So, exactly how much will you pay a career coach?
Typically fees can vary from €75 to €400 per hour, but average in the €1xx range. This is totally dependent on the coach and their practices. There isn’t any standardized pricing across the industry, so prices vary a lot. Several factors affect the cost of a career coach, including the type of session, the career coach’s experience, and geographic location, and whether you are working one-on-one or in a group setting. Some coaches also offer package deals which can help reduce the cost per session if you are willing to commit to a number of sessions.
Some prospective clients are struck with “sticker shock” and are unable to look past the costs to the potential return they can gain from an investment in a career coach. Without a doubt, the out-of-pocket cost for career coaching is a major consideration. This is true for any big investment.
In terms of the cost of a career coach, it is as an investment in yourself. Career coaching can quite literally change your career and consequently your life. Many will pay the same amount of money for a holiday abroad for a weekend. Whilst I am sure it will be a lot of fun, it’s a short term solution for happiness. Career coaching can increase your happiness and life fulfillment for the rest of your life. In order to get the most of this investment, it’s important that you find the right coach for you.
So, when it comes to career coaching, how do we find the coach who is worth the cost?
A career coach’s work history is important
When you want to make a career move, it’s good to find others who have done what you want to do. But, they don’t have to be in the exact same field in order for you to learn from them.
What Tony Robbins writes about finding an effective life coach can be applied to finding a cost effective career coach. They don’t have to specialize in exactly what you’re hoping to achieve. “What’s more important are the experiences your coach has had and their expertise to get you in the right mindset for success. In fact, you want a coach who has a different perspective than you and who can help you see your life from a different point of view, one that could completely transform your life,” he explains
Interview your coach
Like anything in life — people you choose to make your friends or colleagues — you have to vet them, and the same goes for a career coach.
It is useful to ask them about their methodology and approach to coaching. Following a proven methodology with data-driven assessments ensures the coaching is effective and achieves what was intended.
Don’t be afraid to ask them for testimonials to demonstrate they have had success with others in a similar situation to you. While every engagement is unique, this at least demonstrates they have relevant experience and likely the resources and approaches which will be helpful to you and your situation.
We contacted Dublin-based career coach Pauline Harley, whose work is regularly featured in The Independent and The Irish Times. She offered us some insight into the topic. Pauline tells Upskill Coach how important it is to do your research and check a coach’s testimonials. She advises “even go as far as asking can you contact people who have worked with the coach directly on LinkedIn and ask if it was worth it. Why not, it is your time, money and investment. A good coach will have nothing to hide.”
Key characteristics to look for in a career coach
Think about the teachers, bosses, mentors, therapists, and other “coach” like figures you’ve worked with in the past. Who encouraged you, inspired you, and helped you get to the next level? What were the qualities they all had in common? In the end the goal is to find a coach that understands you, and that speaks a language that you understand. What worked for others might not work for you. So identifying what has worked for you in the past is a good place to start.
There is no exact blueprint for a good coach, as each coach will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Pauline believes “Integrity and relatability” to be important key characteristics that you should look for in a coach. She continued “You have to share the ups and downs you have faced to connect with your potential clients. It is not all motivational quotes and fluffy stuff. If you use them for your audience then at least back it up with substance and relevance to your story and their challenges to add value, connect and build rapport. “
Before you commit, ask for a free consultation
Set free introductory calls with at least three coaches. You can compare how they work and the questions they ask and generally whether you think they’d be a good fit. This is also the time you can get the exact pricing and see if it works with your budget.
With many things in life, you can get a free trial before you commit. The same goes when trying to choose a career coach. Most coaches will offer a free consultation, which is a great way to get a better understanding of what it would be like to work with them and confirm that your personalities are a match.
Dublin-based coach Pauline tells Upskill Coach her approach with prospective clients. “All my clients interview me and I interview them also via a perspective session. The cost of which is then deducted from any consulting package if they choose to work with me going forward. It has to be done. You owe it to yourself as a coach and coachee. Would you hit a buy now button for coaching? Absolutely not! Research and fact-based evidence are key.”