Recent times have got lots of people thinking about their next professional steps. Finding yourself facing an unexpected career change can feel scary, it can be hard to know who to talk to, who to trust and what to do next.
Ideally, we’d all have a mentor or leader that we could bounce ideas off, but that’s not always the case. It can lead to problems in your relationship if expectations are on a partner to provide all we need to decide on what to do when changing jobs or careers. It can be draining being the support person for someone you care about while they debate their next steps in their career or business.
Maybe you are the first person in your family to progress this fast in business. Are you ahead or behind your peer group or friends and wish you had someone to talk to about what to do next professionally?
Athletes have a coach for support, insights and accountability. Coaches know different things to you. They speak to a lot of other people in different circumstances and it’s unlikely it’s the first time they have heard any problem. Good coaches are naturally curious, and they’ll help you see a different side to things. They’ll help you decide when enough is enough and more importantly – they’ll help you feel braver to make a change!
When the support of a qualified mental health professional is needed, counselling is often underrated. When else do you get someone to listen to your problems for an hour each week? Counselling is so valuable for working through what has gone before, figuring out patterns of behaviour and learning strategies to avoid repeating behaviours that haven’t served us.
Coaching is future-focused
That can seem scary too, what happens if you don’t know what you want from your future? Or if you think you might know but you have no idea how to get there?
While I was following my own unusual career path from EA to Project Manager to Innovation Director, I found a few key mentors along the way. But I also read a lot, did a lot of research and developed strategies for attracting what I want. I knew early on that if a path felt forced or unaligned then it wasn’t meant for me. Tuning in to what you want is an underrated skill, it’s not ‘woo woo’ to align with your intuition; it’s free, it’s fast and it’s some of the best advice you’ll get!
What kind of person do you enjoy working with?
Personal Coaches are people too (it’s true!) so that means they are all different. Different skills sets, experiences, attitudes, styles and costs. How on earth do you decide?
Things to consider before you hire a career coach
What do you already know?
We tend to minimise our own professional experiences. When you go back over your resume, spend some time to imagine yourself back in that job. What did you learn back then? The benefit of time and distance can be a real eye-opener into the diversity of your skills.
Who is already in your support crew?
If you are ready to put yourself on the job market, then ask a successful friend to look over your resume and LinkedIn. Start to follow voices you feel you can trust online. Consider posting and asking for recommendations on who you should follow to build up your knowledge. People are often very happy to help and to share insights and introductions that will help you successfully secure your next role or change industries.
What do you struggle with?
If you are a private person, it can be hard to ask for help. Most of us will avoid looking or feeling silly wherever possible, it’s natural. This is where working with a professional coach can be easier. People share all sorts of personal struggles while working with me.
I‘ve worked with clients who struggle with language, writing, who lack confidence, imposter syndrome or just don’t feel confident about what action to take next to get what they want.
What do you want to learn?
There are so many learning options to explore that it can be hard to know where to begin. Start by listening to a podcast each day or reading a book each month, it can lead you on the right learning path without a financial investment. Podcasts are great as you can listen in the car or while doing other activities at home. An effective coach will provide you with resources and ideas for learning based on your specific goals, like a sports coach providing the right warm-up; they provide a shortcut to the right learning to help get you that job.
What kind of person do you work with best?
Do you prefer a ‘strict’ style, collaboration or guiding with kindness? In the same way, there is a sports coach-style for each team there is a personal coach out there who will be the right fit for you.
Follow them online for a while and see if they resonate, do you feel you could trust them? What are people saying about them on reviews or recommendations via LinkedIn?
Professional coaches may offer a free call, which should be as much about them getting to know you as it is about you working out if this is the right person to guide you and help you reach your goals.
If you need someone to draw out your ideas, give you a different perspective on your skills and experiences, have your back in salary negotiations, cheer you on and keep your mind focused for success, then hiring a personal coach may well be the right move for you.
Jo Morrison is a Career Growth Specialist and Personal Coach who created an unusual professional path from EA to Project Manager to Innovation Director. She understands how hard it can be to know what to do next in your career or business so she created Go Go Mojo Personal Action Plans that help people find the career and business success to hit ‘Go Go!’ on their professional Mojo. Jo supports you using law of attraction and action to get results that create happiness and satisfaction in your professional life.