Where To From Here? How Career Coaching Can Help
Are you are approaching a fork in the road in relation to your career? There may be several possible pathways moving forward – perhaps very blurry at this stage. How do you know which pathway to take? Or even when to take it? Making career decisions is often quite overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start sometimes, let alone which way to go. Career coaching services are designed to lift the burden, shedding light and clarity on the unknown.
So, how does it work?
Well, as a Career Coach, let me share some insights and guide you through the process I take when working with people to assist them through what can sometimes be a daunting and overwhelming experience.
Before I begin any engagement with you, I will conduct a pre-screening telephone call. The idea behind this call is for both of us to get to know each other and make a decision on whether the fit is right to engage in coaching going forward. As a Career Coach, I am interested in finding out a little about your career background and what your expectations are from career coaching. This is an ideal time for you to ‘interview’ your potential coach too – what is their background? Is this coach someone who you would feel comfortable speaking with? Do you think this coach will have the right balance between supporting and challenging you to overcome barriers and ultimately have greater success in your career?
When the fit is right, we move onto our career coaching sessions. The idea of career coaching is to assist you to confidently navigate your way through the current stage of your career cycle. Usually people will engage in 3-5, 1-hour sessions through a period when they are actively seeking career change or progression. This approach ensures that you are well supported and have the best chance of success at the critical stages of the change process.
A typical career coaching session would run as follows:
Discuss in detail your career ‘history’ (exploring factors such as skills, experience, ability, likes and dislikes, successes and failures, passions, motivation, drive, career barriers, etc) with the intention of identifying the most suitable and/or enjoyable career pathways for you. Some coaches may also offer professional psychometric assessments as part of this phase. These assessments help to clarify your interests and most suitable career pathways from an objective and data-driven view. From the initial session, career pathway options are carefully mapped with key focus areas identified so you can get to work straight away on moving towards career success with confidence and clarity.
The following sessions will focus on practical steps required to reach career success, based around your personal key focus areas. Examples of key focus areas may include:
- overcoming barriers to securing your ideal job
- reviewing job application documentation (resume / cover letter / response to key selection criteria)
- job interview preparation (including mock interviews)
- building resilience
- personal branding
- using social media platforms for career success
- identifying hidden job market
- job search strategy
- setting yourself up for promotion in your current role
- setting up a small business
- and so on.
You may space out sessions as desired, however I recommend initial appointments prior to job search activity – this ensures the approach is targeted and you have the best chance of landing a job you’re well suited to and likely to have greatest success in. Scheduling additional appointments around job applications and interviews allows you to continually refine your approach and ensure you put your best foot forward and shine throughout the process. Coaches will be researching on your behalf between appointments and following-up throughout the process supporting you to ensure your goals are being reached.
Coaches who are accredited through professional associations such as the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) have post-graduate qualifications in Career Education and Development (or similar). They are also required to maintain professional development and adhere to professional standards, ensuring delivery of services is highly professional, specialised and current.
On A Personal Note
Feeling fearful or slightly daunted at the prospect of change is very normal, particularly when it comes to considering a new career pathway. Donna, a recent client who engaged in career services when navigating career change, says ‘fear was a big factor as I had not worked full-time for a few years and was overwhelmed at the prospect of getting back into full-time work’, however after implementing some new strategies, she says ‘I gained so much confidence [and] had a job within a few weeks’.
Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward in your career. Look out for accredited Career Coaches – we love what we do. And we want you to as well!
Gabrielle is a founding FlexCoach, with a background in HR, postgraduate studies in Career Education & Development and significant experience working in corporate, education and not-for-profit sectors, Gabrielle is well-equipped to provide relevant career coaching to clients from all walks of life.
Caring in nature, Gabrielle is passionate about empowering her clients and assisting them to reach full potential - maximising effectiveness of workplaces and individual lives.
Gabrielle is a member of the FlexCoach panel of career and executive coaches. You can see her profile here.