Should I Get a Career Coach?
Do you find yourself still looking for a remote job after months of fruitless searching? Even if you’re a strong candidate, competition is fierce and you may be struggling to stand out from the crowd.
If you’ve always been a do-it-yourself type, you may not have considered the help of a career coach.
Career coaches (or advisors) are professionals who specialize in helping individuals during the job search process. They assist in positioning you for the right opportunity by helping you identify and market your unique skills, qualifications, and experience.
While some work within a select industry, others have experience with a diverse range of candidates spanning different fields. Yet others specialize in a particular niche, like starting a business, remote coaching, career transition, executive coaching, women and new parents.
Looking for a job, particularly a remote job, can be a frustrating and lonely process. Even those of us with a strong network and many online resources at our fingertips, can become discouraged, demotivated and fed up after multiple unsuccessful applications and rejections. Common wisdom says that finding a job is just a numbers game. Eventually the chips will fall in your favor.
And yes, these days, unless you are supremely lucky, you’ll probably have to network and search for a while until you land a good remote role. But it’s not just a mathematical algorithm. It requires skill, a whole lot of finesse, and resilience to help you get over the inevitable setbacks and back on your feet.
Do you have what it takes?
Of course you do! But even the toughest of us must sometimes acknowledge that we need help. And even the most self-sufficient can find value in learning from and soliciting the guidance of others.
So, what can you expect when you decide to work with a career coach?
Objective advice and insight
All of us have family and friends who are ready to offer support and advice, at times even unsolicited! They are typically our biggest cheerleaders and they want to help us succeed. Seeking their involvement can provide a much needed emotional boost in times of temporary unemployment or career transition, but it can also be fraught with complications.
People who know us well are emotionally attached and can view our journey through a lens of biased assumptions about who we are and what we want or need. They may also have a personal stake in the outcome of our job search and may not want to tell us things that may be perceived in a negative way.
A career coach is not attached to your outcome in the way your family or friends are. While you do want to find a partner in your coach – one that you can connect with and who can offer empathy, if needed – it’s also important that they are objective in their assessment of your situation and able to offer guidance accordingly.
A good coach will not only be your cheerleader but will also help you assess your priorities, motivations and behaviors and strategize to put your best foot forward and correct for what’s not working.
Goal setting and job search strategy
Do you have an idea of what type of remote job you want or are you vacillating between a few options? If you already have a role in mind and can imagine an ideal job description, a career coach can assist with honing your elevator pitch, identifying top companies to target and creating a strategy to approach your ideal remote-friendly employer.
If you are undecided or unsure about next steps, the coach is a great resource to help you think through your options, narrow them down, and assist with identifying the right match for your skills, background, strengths and interests.
Looking for a job will test your drive, resolve and your ability to keep going. There will be good days and bad days. There will be days when you will be sure you are a shoe-in and there will be days you will not want to get out of bed. There will also be days you will say “I’d rather go to the beach then to another networking event” or “This version of my resume is good enough”.
How will you keep yourself accountable when your motivation is low?
Investing in the services of a career coach can help keep you moving forward. Making a plan to connect with a career professional is an investment in your future and will motivate you to tackle your job search challenges in a constructive way.
Whether you connect only a couple of times, or have a longer term engagement, a coach will be a ready resource helping you stick to your timeline and work through the less inspired, more mundane parts of the job search process.
Polished job search documents
It goes without saying that a successful job search demands a strong presentation of your professional self. You won’t make it very far if you can’t communicate the right message with your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.
These documents are crucial in helping you get to the interview phase but their importance is all too often overlooked. Want to make sure you have the employer’s attention? Then consider hiring a professional to help create a portfolio that is sharp, targets your desired niche, and communicates your value clearly and in the right tone.
Ever find yourself wondering if you are heading in the right direction? Perhaps you have burning questions about your general career trajectory, or more specific concerns about your interview technique.
A trained career coach can offer insight and constructive feedback based on years of experience. They can function as a sounding board for those difficult questions, like “How can I fuse passion into my work?”, “Should I get additional training to better position myself for the right job?”, “How can I explain this gap in my resume?”, or “When should I follow up after the interview?”
Working with a career coach offers many advantages to clarify what you want, set short-term and long-term goals, create a compelling plan of action and position yourself for success as you navigate your job search.
Still unconvinced? Give it a try – there is only one way to find out.
About the Author
Natasha Kosoff is a certified career coach dedicated to helping others build fulfilling careers aligned with their true passions and strengths. She believes that all of us have unique skills and talents and the power to create and live our best professional lives.