Published by Angela Jones and Haute Resume & Career Services LLC
One of the most recent developments in the job search industry is the evolution of the career coach as an essential component for any top-level job search campaign. We hear about coaches in the media, read about them in resume books, and even see them on Oprah! Five years ago, coaching was a virtually unknown profession. Today, it is evolving at a phenomenal rate.
Are you taking advantage of this new trend?
Do you know what a career coach is?
Could you benefit from the expertise of one?
By definition, a career coach is a trained professional (usually someone in the counseling and/or professional job search industry) who will guide you through the complexities of skills assessment, job search planning, campaign development, career marketing and long-term career management. To determine the value a career coach would bring to you, go through the following checklist of information.
Career Assessment & Focus
¨ ¨ Do you know “who” you are – professionally?
¨ ¨ Do you have a clear understanding of your most significant skills and qualifications?
¨ ¨ Are you clear about your career objectives?
¨ ¨ Do your skills and qualifications match your objectives?
¨ ¨ Do you know the type of position you are seeking?
¨ ¨ Do you know what types of activities you do NOT want to engage in?
¨ ¨ Do you know the industries in which you are interested and will be focusing your search?
Your career coach will assist you in identifying and assessing your qualifications, job preferences, likes and dislikes, immediate objectives and long-term goals. Your coach will help you evaluate your worth in the employment market and your value within specific industries.
Career Change & Transition
¨ ¨ Are you considering changing career paths, professions or industries?
¨ ¨ Can you find an equivalent position if you make such a change?
¨ ¨ Will you command the same level of compensation:
¨ ¨ What skills do you have that are transferable between jobs and/or industries?
¨ ¨ Do you feel as though you are going to be niched into your current industry for the rest of your career?
¨ ¨ Do you feel as though you are going to be niched into your current profession for the rest of your career?
¨ ¨ Do you know today’s “hot” industries and professions?
¨ ¨ Do you have the “right” skills to transition into these high-growth industries?
Your coach will guide you in identifying and evaluating all of your possibilities and provide you with critical market intelligence to formulate your job search action plan.
Personal & Family Issues
¨ ¨ Do you have personal or family issues that are directly impacting your job search?
¨ ¨ Is relocation out of the question?
¨ ¨ Is your spouse currently employed and not anxious to leave his/her position?
¨ ¨ Is your age impacting your campaign results?
¨ ¨ Are you tied to your current community because of out-of-work activities you’re involved in?
¨ ¨ Do you have a physical disability that might be negatively impacting your search, but has never impacted your work performance?
¨ ¨ Are you depressed because your job search has not progressed at the pace you anticipated?
¨ ¨ Do you need an advisor, a confidante or a job search partner?
Your coach can be your sounding board, helping you determine how to evaluate and prioritize these issues in relation to your search, how to best overcome obstacles standing in your way and how to best position those issues to your advantage.
Career Marketing & Job Search Management
¨ ¨ Do you understand that the job search process is similar to the sales process?
¨ ¨ Do you understand that YOU are the product you are selling and that you must effectively merchandise and promote the product?
¨ ¨ Do you understand all of the different marketing channels available to you in managing your search – targeted direct mail campaigns, email broadcast campaigns, Internet resume posting services, Internet job posting services, specialty job lead reports and more?
¨ ¨ Do you know which marketing channels are the RIGHT marketing channels for your search?
¨ ¨ Do you know how to best optimize your networking contacts and results?
¨ ¨ Do you know which advertisements to respond to and which to ignore?
Your career coach can help you critically evaluate each and every available job search strategy, its value to your search, the risk/reward ratio of each and how to best integrate each program into your campaign.
Interview Skills & Salary Negotiations
¨ ¨ Are you confident of your performance in the interview situation?
¨ ¨ Are you able to “sell” your accomplishments without sounding as though you are bragging?
¨ ¨ Are you articulate and well-presented?
¨ ¨ Are you comfortable in a “stressful” interviewing situation with more than one interviewer?
¨ ¨ Can you quickly and easily accommodate to a new environment?
¨ ¨ Are you an accomplished negotiator, confident of your ability to negotiate the “best” compensation package possible?
¨ ¨ Do you fully understand the potential of various bonus structures and schedules?
¨ ¨ Do you understand the value of equity participation and other non-traditional compensation models?
Your career coach will help you develop and refine powerful interviewing skills, pushing you to perform at your best, communicate your value and earn a compensation package well beyond your original expectations.
¨ ¨ Will your references speak positively about your skills, qualifications, experience and track record?
¨ ¨ Will your references say anything that could be potentially damaging to you?
¨ ¨ Are your references the RIGHT references for you to use?
¨ ¨ Do you know how to improve the performance of your references when they’re talking about you?
¨ ¨ Can you make the reference-checking process easier for your references?
If you know that your references may be divulging information that could be construed as negative, let your career coach teach you how to best overcome these situations.
If you can answered “YES” to most of the questions and are confident in your ability to manage your job search, then you are reasonably well-prepared to move forward on your own. However, if you still feel the need for the expertise, insights and support of a career coach, don’t hesitate for one minute. These trained professionals can make a huge difference in the speed and success of your job search.
If you answered “NO” to more than just 3-4 of the questions above, I would strongly urge you consider the value a career coach could bring to your job search, career performance and compensation. With years of training and experience, career coaches know what works and what doesn’t work, how to optimize your results, and how to help you land your ideal position. With your career coach at your side, you can move forward confidently and successfully.