So, How about a Career Coach?

2011 ARIA Awards - ArrivalsThe Four Types of Career Coaching

Often people find themselves in the in-transition phase as a surprise without having a fair chance to evaluate sources of assistance getting back into the labor force.  Following are a few scenarios.

No Career Coaching

Some people belong to this group. Their previous employers have not entitled them to career coaching, and they decide not to seek such assistance. Two of the primary reasons are that (1) they say that in past they were able to secure employment and (2) they’re in such emotional torment that they feel themselves to be in a fog and can’t make logical decisions. They still mourn their loss. Their success is thus hindered and grossly limited but not impossible.

Limited Assistance

Some people are entitled to several months of a full package of outplacement services based on their positions in their previous companies and on their tenures there. Paid in full by that past employer, the service may entitle the person in transition to limited, one-on-one coaching; group networking; seminars and workshops; assistance in resume writing; and access to the outplacement firm’s online databases to search for potential employers. This type of service offers value for the first three weeks or so; thereafter the benefit curve turns down drastically. Separately, or in conjunction with outplacement services, some people in transition join one or more of various job search networking groups and/or state-run organizations such as one of New Jersey’s 11 One-Stop Professional Service Groups now renamed as JobClub. Some of the groups are terrific providing meaningful assistance to jobseekers and others are less helpful.

Career Marketing Firms

A career marketing firm is an organization that hires a sales force to recruit candidates who are typically job seekers in desperate stages of the job search. Payment is made up front and varies, but it’s in the range of 5 percent of a candidate’s annual salary. Career marketing firms provide one-on-one career coaching; they produce personal marketing material for the job seeker; they offer access to one or more paid-for databases; and they render assistance with resume writing. The degree of their success varies, and their reputations by and large are questionable. Most of them close shop within a few years because they get sued; others morph into differently named shops. Before you engage a particular firm, talk to people you trust who have knowledge of it; get recommendations for good ones if you can; and then check them out yourself online at

Independent Career Coaching

Independent career coaches vary greatly in terms of the fees they charge and the services they provide. Your best bet is to thoroughly check out a coach’s reputation. Talk to several people who have used that coach’s services, visit the coach’s Web site and LinkedIn profile including recommendations and endorsements.  Interview several such coaches before making a commitment. Learn what your total expense will be, and find out what to expect once the coaching is done. An independent career coach tailors a program specifically to your needs. The coach assists with resume writing, provides marketing material, gives unbiased opinions and advice about the impression that you make and appropriateness of the way you are dressed for the interview.  He will talk with you about the next steps and how to accomplish them, and assists in teaching the skills for negotiation of a better compensation package. A career coach holds your hand till you land and provides you with emotional support to get you through job transition. Above all, a coach typically speeds up the job search process.

In Summary

Simply put there are two major components to people’s decision making process; emotional and logical.  There is no question that a person in-transition is surrounded by all kind of emotionally driven thoughts.  Given a little time the emotional side will subside and be taken over by the logic.  That is the time to make the hard decisions.  The sooner you get there the sooner you will get employed.


One thought on “So, How about a Career Coach?

  1. Skylar Williams

    Thank you for your tip to check out the career coaches reputation before hiring one. I just quit my last job and I’ve been considering getting career coaching. I’ll be sure to thoroughly check out the reputation of each coach before I hire one.

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