9 Ways a Career or Executive Coach Can Help You

by Michelle Velan

Whether you want to make a career change or get a promotion, launch a business, or figure out how to be a more effective leader, a great coach can help you get there.

Despite the fact that coaching has become more widespread, there is still a lack of consensus on what coaching is. According to Donna Sweidan, a certified career coach with over 15 years of experience in the field, “the core virtue of career coaching is to help people assess their professional situations with a greater degree of honesty, curiosity, empathy and compassion.” Essentially, coaching helps you gain a greater degree of self awareness and in turn build on that awareness to develop concrete steps that will help you achieve your goals.

With former CEO and executive chairman of the board of Google and Alphabet, Eric Schmidt’s recent book launch, “Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell” the acknowledgement of the importance of coaching, and not just for job changers or entry level employees, has gained widespread acceptance. In his book, Eric Schmidt mentions that he met with his coach every week for nearly 15 years. His now famous coach also met with Silicon Valley heavy weights Steve Jobs and Sheryl Sandberg. According to Schmidt, “all of our interviews indicated that everyone agrees they would not have been nearly as successful without that coaching.”

So, who Needs Career Coaching?

Hiring a career coach isn’t cheap and requires commitment, but for professionals who want to support their mental health, feel stuck, lacking confidence or unsure about what the next step should be, a coach can be an invaluable resource.

Really anyone with career aspirations can benefit from coaching. For instance, college students nearing graduation can benefit from having the guidance and expertise of a career coach to help land their first jobs in areas of interest. Likewise, seasoned professionals with many prospects could benefit from the counselling and reassurance of a career coach to help them successfully advance. Professionals looking to change careers could also benefit from the support of a career coach to help them make a seamless transition into a more suitable and fulfilling career.

So, whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or nearing the end of your career, here are nine ways hiring a career coach is beneficial for your career success and fulfilment.

9 Ways Hiring a Career or Executive Coach Can Help You:

1. A coach can Accelerate your Job search

For most people, job searches are hard. You have to identify your strengths and weaknesses, research companies and roles of interest where you’d be a match, practice interviewing, tailor your CV to match the roles in question, network, learn how to pitch yourself to stand out from the crowd and eventually negotiate your salary and terms.

Coaches are objective and first off can ensure that you’re correct in your assessment of your skills, and also help position you strategically through your LinkedIn profile, CV and interviews. They can also talk you through opportunities and companies of interest so that you can prioritise and put your efforts in the areas that will provide the most bang for the buck.

2. A Coach can Help you Build Confidence in your Career and Yourself and Realise your Value as a Professional

Regardless of how enlightened or self aware you are, you have blind spots. When looking to make a change or achieve a goal, it’s hard to take a step back and understand how your unique background and experience can lend itself to the job for which you are applying or the change you’re trying to make. A career coach can help you identify your unique value proposition and articulate why you would make a good hire or how best to pitch your startup or how you can best leverage your skills to achieve any goal.

In light of Snap Inc’s poor performance following their IPO, CEO, Evan Spiegel, hired executive coach Stephen Miles to help him improve his performance. Through an employee survey, it had been identified that he needed to work on his communication style, learn to take criticism better and generally be more professional and with Miles’ help he was able to successfully work through these challenges.

3. A coach can Help you Set and Achieve your Goals for a Fulfilling Career

Goal setting is essential to making progress in life and ultimately living a more fulfilling life. A coach can help you clarify and prioritise your goals and create benchmarks to help you get there in achievable but ambitious time frames. With a detailed plan in hand, you’ll know how to move forward at all times, even when you are lacking motivation or come across an unexpected hurdle. Furthermore, achieving ambitious goals takes hard work and for some people it can be difficult to stay motivated. Having a coach that you connect with on a regular basis will ensure you are held accountable and moving forward. Most people are more likely to do something when they are held accountable to someone else.

4. A Coach will Provide Personalised, Objective, Expert Advice

It’s great to have friends, mentors and colleagues that you can talk to about challenges and goals, but sometimes you need an objective outside opinion. Perhaps you’ll be going through something particularly challenging and while your friends may want to help, ultimately they have their own challenges to face and you don’t want to reach a point where you’re burdening them. A coach provides a safe space for you to discuss your situation at length and come up with solutions.

5. A Coach can Highlight the Importance of Investing in Yourself

The act alone of the investment of paying for a coach will be an expression of your commitment to yourself. Spending the money can have the impact of increasing motivation and your standards. Paying for the services, will make you more focused and directed. As a result, your commitment will be apparent to not only yourself, but everyone from colleagues to recruiters and hiring managers.

6. A Coach can Help you Solve Business Problems and Make Difficult Career Decisions

Whether you’re an entry level employee or a CEO of a listed company, you will face challenges and obstacles at work on a daily basis. Having a good coach who you trust and who’s had life and business experience, can be a game changer in talking things through and as a result handling the daily challenges that come up as effectively as possible. As mentioned, in his new book, Trillion Dollar Coach, Eric Schmidt states that he met with his coach weekly for 15 years and the partnership was integral in effectively working through business problems.

7. A Career Coach can Help you Identify the Critical Skills you Need for Today’s Work Environment and to Achieve your Goals

Today’s work environment is fast changing, and to be successful in your career progression or job-search strategy, it’s imperative to have an understanding of the skills that will best position you for success. At the same time courses abound and it is difficult to weed out the high value ones from the low value ones and determine where to prioritise. Coaches can help you break through the noise and identify which skills to upgrade and what courses to take.

8. Having a Coach Enables you to Test New Ideas and Messaging in a Safe Environment

A career coach or executive coach is a great safe space to test and refine your pitch and messaging. Whether you’re a CEO of a startup or someone looking for a new job, you are often selling something if you’re working in a business environment. A coach can be a great objective sounding board to get your story to a compelling place that resonates with recruiters, your boss or venture capitalists to get the buy-in you’re looking for.

9. A Coach will Keep you Accountable and Motivated

Like a good personal trainer, a good career coach wants you to reach your full potential and achieve your desired goals. As a result, a career coach will help to motivate you, track your progress, and check in to ensure that you’re doing what you need to do to get you where you want to be in your career. By having that accountability, you are less likely to stray from your goals and intended career path and more likely to stay focused and work hard to reach your goals.

Interested to learn more? Visit Wondersource’s world-class vetted coaching profiles at https://wondersource.com/find-an-expert/profiles/

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