Achieving Optimum Results with a Career Coach

Fast Tracking Success with the Help of a Professional

The landscape of the working world has changed significantly over the past few decades.

Long gone are the days where jobs are “for life” and where Human Resources Departments were held more responsible for an employee’s career. Instead, there is more emphasis on the individual to take greater responsibility for their careers which is why it is important for employees to regularly undertake an “audit” of their careers using specialist career advice and career coaching sessions.

Incidentally, business models are changing faster than previous times and in some instances, companies are changing their business models every three or four years. This presents a plethora of challenges for employees who will need to manage their own careers in an ever increasingly uncertain world of work.

There area number of benefits to working with a great coach and how coaches can help an individual fast track his/her career goals. Instead of seeing the changing nature of the working world as a major threat, this article embraces these changes and advocates how the changing working world can provides ample opportunities for employees to undertake a proactive approach to their career development process.

Where the Coach Can Make a Big Difference

Many people will experience the “crossroad” sometime during their working lives and the “crossroad” effect is reaching a “junction” and not knowing where they need to go in order to move in the direction they so wish to move into. The most unfortunate outcome for an individual would be not to appreciate this predicament as an opportunity to seek a great coach to assist in fast tracking his/her career.

It may be that an individual is interested in fast tracking his/her career goals and can utilise the skills of a career coach to ensure an effective and workable strategy and action plan can be created. In these instances, a client and coach gain a greater understanding of the client’s goals and aspirations during the consultation session.

During subsequent coaching sessions, a client will begin to appreciate the empowerment and contentment felt as the coaching progresses. Many people benefit tremendously from non directive coaching sessions because the emphasis is on the individual and not on the coach to lead the way.

Incidentally, this was supported by a survey called Coaching Effectiveness Survey [note: this is a large PDF download] commissioned by the International Coaching Federation and was carried out by the Lore International Institute; 61% of the 1400 survey participants recommended non directive coaching as this allows a client to experience greater empowerment in their decision and goal setting journey

There are a number of reasons advocating the use of a good career coach when planning career goals, but before exploring this, it is worth identifying what constitutes a great coach.

What Constitutes a Great Coach?

Below are a few pointers highlighting the factors which constitute a great coach:

  • A proven track record in working with clients helping them fast track their goals and career aspirations
  • A coaching qualification from a reputable institution
  • Engaging in CPD (continuous professional development)
  • Having a supervisor for career coaches in the early stages of their career
  • Ability to display a successful track record of having worked in industry
  • The ability to empathise with his/her client
  • Providing a platform to explore all options available to a client in a secure and comfortable environment
  • Ensuring the coach and client understand and respect one another and there are no ambiguous forms of communication as the coach/client relationship is a very powerful relationship
  • Providing honest feedback
  • Facilitating and challenging the client and holding the client accountable without compromising the client/coach relationship

Benefits of Working With a Coach

Highlighted below are some of the benefits of working with a career coach

  • Greater client empowerment
  • Fast track career goals
  • Evaluating current skills and competencies
  • Evaluating career values and beliefs surrounding client’s career aspirations
  • Identifying the causes of any “sticking points” and working through them as opposed to ignoring them or “brushing them under the carpet”
  • Acknowledging and overcoming limiting beliefs
  • Client achieves greater focus and direction in making careers move
  • Increase in self esteem and confidence
  • Feeling a greater sense of achievement – many people underestimate their abilities consistently
  • Creating action plans that are best suited to the client which can be implemented immediately
  • Aligning client’s goals with their beliefs and values – many people are unaware of their true career goals therefore making common judgmental errors in relation to major career decisions
  • Proactively addressing development needs and addressing how these development needs can be met
  • Closing the perception gap of what is feasible and what is perceived to be feasible. In some instances a gulf may exist and a coach can help manage a client’s expectations appropriately
  • Breaking the bigger goals into specific, realistic and achievable goals with specific time lines
  • Knowing a coach is supporting and championing success milestones leads to greater accountability and motivation on the client’s part

The workplace of the 21st century is now a changed landscape as a result of the many social and economic changes as well as technological innovations. Such challenges present an employee with the opportunity to adopt a proactive approach to career development and the process is furthered enhanced with the use of a great career coach.

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