• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Thursday 02 nd December 2021

How To Work With A Work Coach

You might have bought into the premise that hard work alone will let you get ahead in your career. While this may be true initially, success, promotions, and recognition eventually begin to slow and stall. When progress begins to wane, many people come to realise that they can’t achieve their career goals alone.

High-achievers and unfulfilled professionals alike need to explore new resources and strategies. Collaboration with a work coach is an investment that can pay off and restart forward momentum. But, how should you prepare to work with a work coach?

Let’s start by looking at what career coaching is and is not.

What a career coach will and will not do

A career coach is an unbiased partner that takes on the role of guide, strategist, and mentor. However, they will not provide all the answers to solving your workplace problems. Their job is to give you the tools to think through your problems and arrive at your own conclusions and solutions.

A career coach can help you with many intricacies related to your job search. They can prepare you for interviews, give you valuable feedback on your pitch, and help you rehearse salary negotiations. Your assumptions will be challenged, tough questions will be asked, and you will be encouraged to step out of your comfort zone.

Career coaching will help you uncover your weaknesses and strengths, focus on your career goals, develop a strategy for moving forward, and help you weigh up the pros and cons of your decisions.

How to prepare for career coaching

Before stepping into a career coach's physical or virtual office, there are three questions to consider. These questions will help you prepare and get the most from your career coaching sessions.

  1. What do I want to achieve? Your preparation should involve considering what answers you are searching for, what your goals are, and the challenges that stand in your way.
  2. Why do I need to change? It would help if you thought about what makes you feel unsettled or dissatisfied in your career and current circumstances.
  3. What does a successful coaching outcome look like? You might be looking for a higher salary, want to feel comfortable with yourself, or land a particular job. The clearer the determination you make, the more intentional and practical your coaching sessions will be.

It is also prudent to review your professional profile ahead of meeting with a career coach. You will be discussing your career experiences, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and pitch, so bringing together your resume, performance reviews, LinkedIn profile, and achievements will prime you for this conversation.

Your first career coaching session

If you have a pressing issue that needs addressing immediately, then you might get to work straight away. However, it is more likely that your first career coaching session will be an exploration that will set the stage for the introspective work ahead.

A career coach will give you time for introductions and the opportunity to ask any coaching and process-related questions. As a whole, this is one of the few times you will look at who you were, as opposed to forwards and where you want to be. The coach may look to discover what has worked well for you in the past to suggest how it could work even better in the future.

The next part of your coaching session will look to discover your motivations, values, strengths, and learning style. This information will help you and the coach determine how to move forward and overcome your challenges or roadblocks. It would help if you were transparent about your short and long-term goals before you get down to strategising a plan to help you achieve them sooner.

Career advice

A career coach can’t help you instantly get the job you desire. However, their career advice and guidance will help you build a competitive edge and put you on a path to achieving your goals.

Before getting started, check out our advice for the careers below:


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