Career Coaching Frequently Asked Questions

What is career coaching?

In a nutshell, Career Coaching is an ongoing professional relationship designed to help you clarify your life purpose, identify goals, develop strategies, and take action. This results in a career and personal life that will make you happy, fulfilled, and challenged.

Why use a coach?

It is useful to think about finding your life’s work in the same way you might think about taking a road trip to somewhere you have never been. On this trip you only know the general direction, and you are not exactly sure where you are headed. On your road trip to finding your life’s work, a coach provides the map and directions as well as the support and focus essential to completing the journey.

Does coaching work?

Yes, coaching does work. I have seen it time and time again. When someone arrives at the understanding about their life’s work, they have radiance, a glow, and a joy that shows up in their whole being. They feel confident and strong about the direction they are going. One of my clients recently finished her search and as she was leaving she said, “I feel like this is graduation!”

For me, when I discovered my life’s work, I had this amazing feeling of standing right in the middle of my own life and it felt like it had been waiting for me all along.

What are the benefits of hiring a career coach?

You might have already discovered that finding your life’s work is a difficult thing to accomplish on your own. There are four major benefits to working with a career coach.

1. A step-by-step process

Sometimes the process of discovering your life’s work can feel overwhelming and confusing, but it does not have to. When you work with a career coach, you will be guided through your career transition using a step-by-step process in a time frame that works best for you.

2. It’s faster

As with anything, new career transitions involve a learning curve, some confusion, and uncertainty. Your career coach will keep you focused, help you stay on task, support you when it gets difficult, hold you accountable, and celebrate your successes with you.

3. Seeing the big picture

A career transition is the perfect time to really stretch yourself and think about creating a career that is almost too wonderful to imagine. Your career coach will help you challenge yourself to consider career options you might not have considered before.

4. Recognize and manage personal roadblocks

Because you are a unique individual you will probably have some of your own unique roadblocks. But there are a few we all struggle with. Inherent in personality structure is the well-documented inner critic. Originally designed to keep you safe, the inner critic interprets any change as an unsafe move. Even though a new career will make you happy in the long run, your inner critic will not like the threat of change and will begin sending limiting messages to prevent you from taking action. These messages will have you doubt your decisions and abilities and have you believe your options are way more limited than they really are. Listening to and allowing these messages to run your life will stop the process and leave you feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. A career coach can help you identify these messages, give you tools to manage them, and help you move forward with more ease.

How does coaching differ from therapy or consulting?

Both therapy and coaching deal with human emotions, but how we work with them is different. Becoming more self-aware is a big part of the coaching process. In therapy, the goal is to get in touch with your feelings and to resolve old issues associated with them. In coaching we use our emotions to inform us about what makes us happy and allows us to feel fulfilled. The goal in career coaching is to deepen the understanding of yourself and then identify and move into a career that is right for you.

When you hire a consultant, you hire them because they have more information about something than you do. You pay them for their experience and knowledge. Coaching assumes that you are the expert about you. Your coach will help you deepen your understanding about who you are, what motivates you, makes you happy, and the conditions under which you feel most fulfilled. Then they will help you design a career to match those criteria.

How is career coaching different from career counseling?

For me as a career coach there is very little difference. I am thought of as both a career counselor and a coach. The focus for either one is you, what career best fits your gifts and talents, what kind of environment will allow you to work at your personal best, and what interests you the most.

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

The best way to know for sure is to take advantage of our free coaching session. Also, if you agree with any of these questions coaching can help you:

  • I love the work I do but I am unhappy where I work.
  • I want to find a career that feels more rewarding.
  • I have a desire to be of service, to feel like I can make a difference.
  • I have gifts and talents I am not using.
  • I have taken jobs as they have come along but now want to be more proactive.
  • I feel that there is something else I need to be doing but do not know what it is.
  • I have worked at careers that pleased others but were not what I really wanted.
  • I feel stuck.
  • I am unsure of what I want.
  • I know what I want to do but have not been able to move forward.
  • I need more understanding and clarity before choosing a career.
  • I need unbiased support for a new look at my career.
How long will I need to work with my career coach?

The time it takes to go through the process depends on how much time you can devote to the work that needs to be done. My goal as your coach is to help you find the most efficient way for you to move through your career transition with the maximum amount of satisfaction and learning.

How does career coaching work?

Once you have decided to start coaching you will schedule an hour and a half intake session. I will email you the new client intake forms for you to fill out. You can send the completed forms back to me before your appointment so I have a chance to look them over. In our first session, we will talk about what career coaching is like, discuss the policies and procedures, then go over the answers you provided in the forms. We will discuss the strategy that we will use to create your profile and design the research.

From there, we will talk about how you would like to schedule your next sessions and design homework for you. Each session after the first will last an hour. It is normal to meet once a week for the first 6 sessions so that you have a good foundation to work with. Sessions after that are devoted to research and assessment and will probably occur every two weeks. If that creates a conflict for your work or travel schedule, we can discuss other options. Be prepared to put your career search on the front burner as it will require time and energy. Trust me, the progress you make is well worth the investment.

Do you provide other services?

Yes, I do provide other services. I offer Transitions Life Coaching; both one-on-one coaching as well as group coaching services. To support our career coaching services I also offer resume and interview support.

Tell me more about resume help.

Like a powerful advertisement, a great resume generates the excitement and interest that moves recruiters to offer you interviews.

Writing your resume yourself—with professional guidance from your coach—provides three important benefits over hiring a professional resume writer.

  1. During the resume writing process you will discover additional skills that you may have never realized you possessed. These important discoveries will improve your presentation and increase your chances of winning coveted interviews.
  2. Spending time articulating and refining your skills in writing not only produces a better resume, it provides fantastic preparation for interviews.
  3. Writing your resume yourself infuses it with an air of authenticity a professional writer can never quite achieve. Your resume will be a true reflection of you in your own words. Knowing the words are yours builds confidence that you can speak to anything contained in your resume.

You provide the passion and excitement to make your resume come alive, and my resume coaching provides the framework and guidance you need to produce a professional resume that generates interviews.

Tell me more about interviewing help

Once you have discovered what work will make you happy, it’s time to find a great place to do it! Remember, the interview is a two-way conversation. The employer wants to know all about you to determine if you are the right person for the job, but you also want to know if this company is the right place for you. Learn what is needed to make the best impression possible and to conduct your own interview to make sure the company meets your needs.