What to Expect from Career Coaching



If you feel dissatisfied in some area of your career, educational pursuits, or life, it’s a safe bet that an unmet need is trying to get your attention. Allow the frustration to go on too long and discouragement sets in. Hiring a coach can empower you to get out of your own way and move forward. Here are some insights into the process, courtesy of my clients and me.

1. To invest time and money

You’ll work with your coach for a series of sessions. Help with your resume and interviewing skills typically involve two sessions each. Otherwise, the total number depends on your goal for coaching and the level of support you want. Some coaches require an initial commitment of 4 to 6 sessions, in order for you to see maximum results. After that, you can choose whether or not a periodic check-in makes sense to keep you on track toward your goals.

Yes, it’s an investment — but a pledge to your most precious asset, yourself. Career coaching can actually save you time and money. Time spent moving from job to job, looking for the right fit, will likely decrease when you know your strengths and interests and use them to point you in the right direction from the outset. Other benefits can include reductions in:

  • Time spent on unproductive job search strategies.
  • Income lost and debt acquired while you are unemployed.
  • Medical bills incurred to deal with your stressful, ill-fitting job.
  • Tuition wasted before you discovered the appropriate area of study for your child’s vocational goals.

Where education is concerned, choosing the right path can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average college student changes his major at least three times over the course of a college career.

Compare coaching fees to the cost of the latest Samsung 58” Smart TV and it’s easy to see which is the better investment. If you don’t think it’s coaching, your priorities may need resorting.

2. To Work

The magic wand — the one that will make your challenges disappear — hasn’t been invented yet. People who get the most benefit from coaching understand that they’ll be engaged in activity during and between sessions. Your coach will facilitate a process that goes something like this:

  • Recognize what you really want (a particular situational outcome? attainment of a goal? a feeling?)
  • Reveal your challenges. What is holding you back from taking action?
  • Discover your options and resources for moving past the challenges.
  • Create an action plan.
  • Prioritize and choose your action steps, repeating until you achieve your goal.

Self-reflection is a big part of the work and the starting point for you and your coach. After all, we human beings are much more effective when we’re motivated from within.

You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.

—Albert Einstein

3. To be challenged

Most of us would already have made the necessary changes in our lives and careers were it not for our mindsets, habits, and beliefs. Sometimes we simply need an outsider’s view on how we trip ourselves up. As Albert Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

Of course, change always brings some discomfort, but the payoff is worth experiencing a bit of awkwardness. Remember learning to ride a bike? Your coach is there to prop you up until you find your balance.

4. To find support and accountability

A coach is your partner — walking alongside as you learn to see and do things differently and make change possible for yourself. She also holds you accountable. I am more motivated to follow through on my commitments if someone else knows what they are. I’ll bet you are too. It’s a key assumption in the coaching process.

At the end of each coaching session, you’ll choose your action steps and commit to completing them by a certain time. If you don’t, sorry, you’re not off the hook; you and your coach will get to the bottom of whatever is holding you back. That’s why you hired her, right…to help you get unstuck?

5. To surprise yourself

You may feel baffled by your personal or career dilemma, but it’s highly likely that the answers have been inside of you all along. A recent client, Lora, was delighted when she solved her house-buying predicament within months rather than years, after taking action steps created in her first coaching session.

6. To experience positive changes in all areas of your life

We are who we are in both our personal and work lives. The two are inseparable. In other words, there are similarities in the way we show up at work and the way we show up in our personal lives. When we make positive changes in one, the other is affected. For example, learning how to set personal boundaries in her home life allowed another client to establish them at work, resulting in reduced stress and a much happier existence for her, her family, and her coworkers.

Are You Ready for Career Coaching?

If you want to make long-lasting productive changes in your professional life, position yourself for success, make the most of your educational investment, or simply address a niggling need, career coaching can help you accomplish these goals and more, please contact us.