- By Check-a-Salary
- Posted Friday 03
rd December 2021
Whether you are a postgraduate or at the senior executive career stage, you have choices ahead that will accelerate or hinder your professional progression, direction, or transformation. You might be brimming with ambition but haven’t realised the strengths and skills that will facilitate a journey that will allow you to reach your full potential. Alternatively, you might be many years into your career but feel unfulfilled or find yourself unemployed as a victim of corporate restructuring.
These scenarios suggest that you might benefit from career coaching. However, there are thousands of coaches in the UK, making your selection a harrowing task.
To help you find the perfect coach, we reveal six steps to picking a career consultant.
1. Do your research
If you have ever started a new business venture, embarked on a partnership, or hunted for a job, you already know the value of doing your due diligence. The same is true for finding a career consultant, so you must do your research.
Researching a career consultant could start on LinkedIn, checking the coach’s profile to see if professionals in their network have made recommendations or referrals. Another valuable resource is the Career Development Institute, which holds a register of career professionals and local coaches.
We also recommend asking for career consultant referrals through your industry’s professional association. If you are studying or a postgraduate, your university or academic institute might offer career coaching as a service.
2. Search by coaching style or industry expertise
Career consultants often have areas of expertise, so you should look for a coach with the type of experience relevant to you and your position. Consultants might have a background in your industry or only work with individuals making a career change or those at an executive level.
3. Check affiliations and accreditation
Validating that a career consultant is up-to-date with the latest best practices is vital in an ever-changing and fast-paced world. Affiliations require regular renewal, so ensure your career consultant is fully accredited and in-tune with the current work state.
4. Manage your expectations
A career consultant won’t personally get you a new job or provide an off-the-peg solution. You should be prepared to embark on a journey of introspection with the coach helping you explore your options, set goals, strategise an approach, help you prepare for interviews and pitches, handle rejection, and hold you accountable for taking action.
If you aren’t sure if career coaching is for you, enrol on a low-cost career workshop first. You can learn valuable lessons related to job searching and identifying your skills and discover if you find this process style helpful. Remember, self-reflection and self-assessment aren’t supposed to be easy or comfortable, but the rewards are there for those prepared to commit to the process.
5. Request a no-obligation intake session
You shouldn’t be afraid of asking for a no-obligation intake session. After all, there are advantages for both parties. You and the consultant will find out if you are a good match. You might prefer a straight-talking career coach who doesn’t hold back or like your feedback delivered gently.
You must be transparent and communicate what you are looking to achieve, so the consultant can determine if they can help you with this. Furthermore, you might be unsure if a particular coaching format works for you, with sessions available face-to-face, over the phone, or via video conferencing.
6. Determine the cost of career coaching
The cost of career coaching varies widely from one coach to the next. The investment you need to make will depend on the experience and expertise of the career consultant, what you want from coaching, and the length of time it will take to achieve your goals.
You should consider if you are looking for general career guidance and direction or need specialised advice from a master coach who has literally walked the walk. It helps to ask how long it typically takes for individuals to find success in your position and with your goals.
Career advice by profession
Step one of your career development starts with career advice and guidance for your profession. Before you invest in a career consultant, check out our advice below:
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