Why should you hire a career coach?
I want to address a topic I hear a lot about. I’ve talked to a number of people who say that career coaching is a waste of money. In fact, I used to think that myself. Why should I pay somebody to tell me something I already know?
The problem is every person that I’ve ever talked to that’s said it’s a waste of money has never actually hired a coach!
Wait…why should I take advice from somebody who’s ever even used the very service they find overrated?
I’ll be honest. Just like every other business, there are gimmicks out there. And career coaching may not be the right choice for you depending on where you’re at in your career. But for anybody wanting to invest in accelerating their career, get themselves unstuck from a job they hate, or simply put together a good strategy for how to achieve their biggest goals, career coaching may work much better than you think.
Here are 4 things that career coaching can specifically help you address in your career today.
Unlocking your true potential
We live in our heads. We challenge ourselves and develop preconceived notions about what we’re capable of. Sometimes that propels us to success. Other times we build barriers and road blocks in our minds that hold us back and look at opportunities as being too “risky”. Instead, we should be challenging each other to take more risk, ask for more help, and work hard to really understand our true potential.
To be successful means taking risk. It means being vulnerable. It means asking for help. It means searching deep within ourselves to discover what we were born to do.
Asking for help is something I personally struggled with for many years. In fact, I still do! That’s why I need people around me to help pull me out of a slump, and tell me I’m not doing my best. And help me figure out what my best really is.
As a career coach, it’s my job to help people identify their true potential and give them the motivation, tools, and skills to use that potential to advance their careers.
Sometimes all you need is a quick conversation with a friend or mentor you trust to help change your perspective and see something in a completely different way. A simple change in perspective can be the difference between staying in a job you hate and pursuing a lifelong passion.
Don’t let pride, fear or anxiety hold you back from your true potential.
Helping you move past barriers that are holding you back
You are your own worst enemy. I had a friend one time that was afraid to leave his current job (which he hated) because he was convinced his skills weren’t relevant in the market. He was highly qualified with a strong technical skill set and lived in a fantastic job market for his skill.
So what was the problem? Why was he so afraid to go out and find a new job?
The problem was with his own personal barriers.
In my friend’s case, he saw his own skill set and experience as a negative and was too hard on himself. The real problem was not with his skills, but with his own perception of how others viewed his skills and experience. Without any real feedback other than his own perception he made the decision that his skills weren’t worth much in the job market.
Unfortunately, I hear stories like this all the time. People consistently undervalue themselves and hold themselves back from taking risk out of fear of failure or rejection. It’s a sad reality and unfortunately a lot of talent is wasted simply out of fear of failure and more reliance on the comfort of a job that’s right in front of them.
One of the main jobs of a career coach is to push you to understand yourself better and push you to move past barriers that are holding you back. Often what you find is those barriers are self-created and aren’t as real as you think. Having somebody always pushing you to move past those perceived barriers could be just want you need to get unstuck from your current job.
Constantly challenging you to fiercely pursue your goals
Each year millions of people create goals starting on January 1. Without fail, the vast majority of those “resolutions” are given up on by the end of the month. Few individuals are able to achieve their annual goals. What is the difference between a person who achieves those goals and someone who doesn’t?
#1 — your goals have to be realistic and achievable. If they are too lofty or you have too many of them, you won’t be able to succeed. You need to focus on goals that are achievable and realistic.
#2 — you need motivation and accountability to push through achieving your goals even when you don’t feel like it. It’s easy to talk yourself out of pursing your goals when they get hard. A coach can help keep you motivated to achieve your goals by constantly painting the bigger picture and pushing you work through the short-term pain of hard work.
A good coach will also help give you tools, techniques, and processes to help create a plan to execute on your goals.
So when you’re evaluating a coach, make sure they offer to help you create an “action plan” to achieve your goals. It’s still up to you to do the work, but a good coach will be there right alongside you spurring you on.
Holding you accountable
Sometimes the best way to achieve something is to create accountability to make sure you get it done. Anytime I’m surrounded by people who want to see me succeed, I do better. It’s easier to achieve something when I know I’ve got people supporting me and holding me to my commitments.
Sometimes, investing the money into a good coach is a good way of helping hold you accountable. If you’ve already spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to hire a coach, invest in courses, or furthering your education, you’re much more likely to show up and do the work.
If coaching is cheap or free, you can easily write it off as a small loss and move on. So investing the money helps to solidify your commitment to improve. It also makes it real if you decide to walk away. And a good coach will try their best to make sure you get the absolute most value out of their services. Remember, their career and reputation also depends on it. So they are just as invested as you are in seeing you succeed.
Don’t write off coaching as a bad investment. Maybe it’s not for you now. But do spend the time to read more articles about it. Checkout websites of top career coaches. Download their free products to learn more. Invest in the free consulting sessions a lot of them offer initially. That’s the best way to get to know them better and learn if they can really help you or not.
Remember, coaching is an art, not a science. So there is no one-size fits all coaching program. The best advice you can get is tailored to your specific needs, goals and circumstances.
Here’s to you taking your career to the next level and seeing you achieve your biggest career goals!