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How Career Coaching works

coaching word cloud

Career Coaching is, as it sounds, the process of getting professional support in developing your career. For people that find themselves failing to get their foot in the door whatever the vacancy, stumbling in interviews or even pursuing the wrong jobs in their career path, a Career Coach can offer invaluable guidance and motivation.

What does a Career Coach do?

On the face of it, their role is to get you moving. However, the actual methods and activities will depend on you, the person getting coached. If you need someone to talk through your options with, they can do that. But they can also take a more active planning role in setting tasks, a mentor offering advice or a motivator to get you going.

Whatever the case, their job starts with listening. Because it’s all about your needs. While there are some obvious goals to pursue, it’s not up to a Career Coach to tell you what you want: you set the agenda. They will offer their advice, help you prioritise your goals and give you encouragement, but you make the decisions.

Not to be confused with…

There can be many misconceptions around Career Coaching. It is not a form of business-world therapy and no coach will expect you to pour out your heart to them. A coach may help you discover what matters most in your career, but they won’t help you discover a ‘new you’.

Career Coaching is not a substitute for common sense, or for ambition. While it can help those people felling stuck in their jobs, this is not a service designed to give the aimless or feckless some direction in life. It should give you the focus you need to forge ahead in your career, but it’s neither a shortcut to success nor an easy option for your career.

Getting started

Often, the coaching process may start with a simple questionnaire, just to get your basic information. From there, the first session is about establishing what’s happened in your career to date, what direction you want to take and the steps you’ve already taken (or not) to get you there. It’s your coach’s opportunity to ascertain and organise your goals.

After those first steps, your coach will help you work towards your goals. For some, that will mean working on your CV to better highlight your transferrable skills. For others, it can mean focusing better on the kind of career move that’s actually constructive. And for others still, it will involve improving your interviewing skills.

Try for yourself

Our partners at TCMO are now offering a free career review for Glassdoor users. All you need to do is click here and enter your details.