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What’s Career Coaching Anyway?

3 Mar, 2018

What’s Career Coaching Anyway?

There are SO  many people who still don’t know about or understand what career coaching is or how to pick a career coach who will best serve them.

I continue to get emails, social media messages, and phone calls from people asking me to explain what career coaching is, who I think would be a good coach for them, or how to determine which coach is the right coach for them.

If you have the same kind of questions, keep reading because below are the answers!

Career coaching is getting the support, help, and guidance you need to figure things out to reach your ultimate career goals. A career coach is there to ask questions, give you guidance, and help you overcome whatever challenges you’re facing in your job search.

In a coach/client relationship, you hold the agenda. Your coach is trained and skilled in providing you with insight, support, and the direction you need to achieve the goals you have in mind. In other words, position you to reach your goals sooner than later when trying to do it on your own.

Many things come into play and depending on what your objectives are will determine the focus of your coaching sessions.

An ongoing coach/client relationship strengthens awareness of what’s holding you back or showing up as road blocks that’s getting in the way of moving forward and being able to focus your efforts on reaching the goal(s) you’re targeting.

A career coach helps you establish realistic goals, discover solutions to challenges you’re up against, develop action plans, build self-confidence, and instills motivation to take action unlike many job seekers who do the minimum and hope for the best.

It’s up to you to take charge of your career—not someone else’s.

Working with a career coach is working with someone who genuinely shares the same ultimate goal you have, creating and adding excitement during the process! The one-on-one career coaching experience is an excellent way to:

  • receive personalized advice, support, and guidance when making career decisions.
  • determine what steps to take and strategies to use.
  • come up with a customized plan that will keep you on track to accomplish what you set yourself out to do.


What a career coach is NOT…

A career coach is not a counselor or therapist. A career coach helps you develop proficiencies, whereas a career counselor helps their clients overcome deficiencies.

Therapy often deals with a person’s history and the “why’s” of that history; coaching deals with the future and the “hows” of making the future become what the client wants it to become.

Those suffering from depression, anxiety, or problems that interfere with life situations should seek professional counseling. Career coaches do not tell their clients what to do with their lives.

To benefit from career coaching, you have to be willing to be coached. Meaning, you’re open to new ideas, willing to make changes, welcome constructive criticism, and ready to take action. Results come from taking action, making all of your hard work and efforts worthwhile!

What will a career coach do for you? A career coach will…

  • challenge and inspire you to do your best.
  • be there to support you each step of the way.
  • give you feedback, back you when times get difficult, and will be honest and up front.
  • hold you accountable.
  • tell it like it is—not letting you get off easy when it comes to stepping up to the plate (unlike friends, co-workers, and spouses).

A career coach is your personal advocate and is there for you during a time that’s often filled with stress, doubt, and fear.

Career coaching will serve you best IF you’re…

  • acting of your own free will and not at the bidding of others.
  • ready to make the commitment to achieve.
  • willing to put forth effort and do the work.
  • willing to let the coach do the coaching.
  • willing to “try on” new concepts or different ways of doing things.
  • willing to change self-defeating behaviors that limit your success.
  • serious about moving forward and making changes to reach your goals.

Bottom Line: No action, no results.


How to Pick a Career Coach

Only you can determine and make the decision who to choose as your coach. You know your needs best and who you feel would be a “good fit” based on your research. There are thousands of career coaching services out there so do your homework.

Not all career coaches are created equal. Job seekers, non job seekers, or anyone considering to hire and invest their time and money working with a career coach should have a clear understanding of what value career coach bring to the table.

Again, do your homework and don’t settle for just any coach. Make an informed decision.

4 Tips When Selecting a Career Coach

  • Search for coaches who specialize in the area you’re seeking career help in (i.e., job search strategies, interviewing, networking, etc.).
  • Check out their website, read their testimonials, and review their service offerings and coaching process. What impression are you left with? Is there a connection, is what they offer in line of what you’re looking for? How does their coaching process differ from the other coaches you checked out?
  • Many career coaches offer a free 15 or 30 minute consultation—take advantage of this opportunity. It gives you a chance to speak with them personally and learn more about how they can help you. More importantly, you can find out if the chemistry is there, making that coach a “good fit.” If your personalities clash, it’s better to find out now before committing to work together.
  • If the coach says they’re certified, verify it. Unfortunately, some coaches out there claim to be certified and display certification logos on their website when that’s not the case. If working with a certified career coach is important to you, take the extra step and verify.

The career coaches (and resume writers) in our network are verified certified. TCE is different from other online career service databases. Coaches and writers must be certified, qualifying them to be part of this exclusive network of industry experts.

Now that you know what career coaching is all about and what to look for when it comes time to picking one, it’s time to take action!

Ready to find your career coaching expert? Start Here

Connect, attract, and nurture … the cornerstone for creating a thriving business of ideal clients! My many years of experience primed me to build a community of only the highest-level career professionals. LEARN MORE

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Maria HebdaZachary TomlinsonDavid JohnsonSilas Knighttyler johnson Recent comment authors
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Zachary Tomlinson
Zachary Tomlinson

My brother is having trouble with which career step should he do next after graduating college. He’s been failing interviews and he’s wondering why. The idea of someone who will challenge and inspire you to do your best along with providing feedback when times get difficult is very interesting. I should discuss this with him and decide if he needs something like this or not.

David Johnson
David Johnson

Thank you for mentioning that a career coach will hold you accountable and will tell it like it is and not let you off easy. In my opinion, because they won’t know you personally, they will have a perception of you that will resemble your future employer’s perception of you more than a loved one’s. I will definitely have to look more into career coach options.

Silas Knight
Silas Knight

It’s great to know more about career coaching. I love how you said that you have to be willing to be coached in order for this to help. My life feels pretty stagnant right now, so I’d say I’m willing to get some help to change.

tyler johnson
tyler johnson

That’s a good idea to make sure you get a coach that specializes in your same career field. That way you could have help from someone who is experienced in a similar career. I think that could be much more useful than someone who had no experience with your kind of work.


It’s nice that a coach can ultimately help you establish goals and find solutions to challenges in your way, like you said. They will help you stay on track and know how to successfully achieve what you want to. I think this could be a great option for people who may need some extra motivation or insight from someone.