A career coach is someone who is educated, trained, and experienced in helping people tackle their toughest career problems and achieve their highest career aspirations. Career coaches are experienced in dealing with assessment, performance improvement, career change, career pathing, workplace environment/culture, and work/life balance situations that plague everyone at one time or another. Career coaches are experts in tailoring strategies and techniques to the specific needs of an individual or to groups seeking help over their life span. They help these individuals (1) identify jobs and career tracks that work with their natural personality and behavioral style, (2) develop career roadmaps to help them transition from one position to the next, (3) prepare themselves to conduct successful interviews in the workplace, (4) select college/university degree majors, and (5) phase out of a career during retirement.
Career coaches are needed to help people from all walks of life, including adolescents in high school, young adults entering university, seasoned professionals reentering the world of work, and retirees looking to phase out of their careers. They provide services to individual contributors, managers, and executives in the professional business environment, blue-collar trade industries, academia, government, and much more. Lawyers, teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, graphic designers, sales pros, marketers, and more use Career coaches every day. The variety of people served, combined with changing trends, requires Career coaches to constantly seek new learning and to engage in a variety of strategies for positive change. A seasoned professional might experience career challenges that could seriously impact his or her success at the company where he or she works, as well as his or her lifetime happiness. If these difficulties go unresolved, they are likely to impact a person’s ability to cope effectively on the job. Below is a sample list of people served by a Career coach.
1. Groups: Groups can often benefit from working with a Career coach. The coach does not direct the team, but rather aids the group in self-directed exploration. The dynamics of coaching groups can be very beneficial because people can typically tackle the tough challenges that are present in the real world, and feedback can help change negative behavior and inspire positive change.
2. Executives: It is not uncommon to hear about executives having Career coaches help them to navigate their careers. Executives are interested in assessing their talents to figure out how they can move up, down, and across the organization. They also require assistance building development plans and working out behavioral problems that could be limiting their growth. Coaches are solid resources for executives who are experiencing various transitions, such as mergers, acquisitions, and workforce reductions, by helping them manage their stress and anxiety.
3. Managers: Managers are usually stellar performers but have difficulty making the transition from individual contributor to leader of a team. Managers need assistance developing a plan to gain the people skills necessary to perform. They also often need help developing a roadmap that will help them gain the competencies they need in order to advance from manager to vice president in the most direct manner.