Career Coaching

An insider's guide to working with a career coach

By: Jon Hazelton


A career coach is an experienced professional well-versed in the job search process. Career coaches can help with resume and cover letter writing, create a strong online presence, interview preparation, negotiating salaries, and more. They also have knowledge of current market trends and can work with individuals to ensure they are taking all of the right steps to find their ideal job. With the help of a career coach, individuals can gain confidence in their job search skills and get on the path to success quicker.

If you are considering working with a career coach, you may be wondering what to expect. Career coaching is a process that can help you identify and achieve your goals. However, it's important to understand that career coaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every job seeker will have different needs, and every career coach will have his or her own style. In this article, we will outline the basic steps of working with a career coach, so that you know what to expect.




Uncover your true career path with the right questions



Career coaches can help you uncover your true career path and give you the direction you need to succeed. But, before you can do that, they will need to ask some questions.   This includes questions about your background, skills, goals, and values. These will help them get a better sense of who you are and what kind of job would be best suited for you. 

Some of these questions might include:



They may also run some behavioural profiling tools (such a the Facet 5 tool Bravo uses along with others) to provide an objective insight into how you present yourself to the world. TO understand how you are seen by others day to day, at work, dealing with tight deadlines and under stress is an invaluable insight to self as it is so difficult to “see ourselves as others see us”.



Set goals to stay focused



After your coach has had time to ask the right questions and get an understanding of what kind of career path is right  for you, it's time to start setting some goals. Your career coach can help you set realistic and achievable goals so that you have something to focus on as you move forward.


Once your goals are set, your career coach will help you develop a career plan for reaching them. This plan should include specific steps that you need to take, along with any resources or support systems that may be available to you. Having a plan in place will help keep you on track and motivated.

For example, career coaches can help job seekers get an online presence by providing advice and guidance on how to make the most out of their digital footprint. This includes assisting with creating an effective LinkedIn profile, helping them identify best practices for social media accounts, and identifying additional online tools they can use to market themselves, such as blogs and portfolios. Additionally, career coaches can assist job seekers in leveraging online opportunities, such as connecting with industry professionals and networking through various outlets.



Gain new skills



Your career coach can help you identify the skills and knowledge needed for success in your chosen field. Importantly they can also help you evaluate existing strengths and weaknesses to guide your decision making.

They can then provide the necessary guidance and resources to help you acquire the specific knowledge and expertise you need for a desired position and offer insight into how best to network, and build relationships that will be helpful in the skills building process. For instance by helping you identify mentors in your field, access volunteering opportunities and advise on which are the most respected certifications or degrees in the market that relate to your career interests.



Stay accountable and track your progress



Your career coach will not only provide guidance, but also support and accountability. They can help you stay motivated by celebrating your successes and helping you recognize areas where more work is needed.  .

Career coaches also provide emotional support during the difficult process of searching for jobs, offering strategies and resources to help keep your mindset in the right space for successful job seeking. Additionally, they can help you measure your progress so that you can track your successes and make adjustments as needed




To find the right career coach for you there are some useful questions to consider asking your potential coach:




 Questions to ask your career coach


1. What strategies do you use to help me reach my goals?


2. How do you help me stay motivated and focused?


3. How will we monitor my progress throughout the process?


4. What tools and resources do you have to help me acquire new skills?


5. How can I best prepare for a career change?


6. How do you provide support and accountability?


7. What strategies do you use to help me gain confidence?


8. What experiences do you have in helping job seekers?


9. How can I best utilise networking opportunities to find the right job?


10. What interesting insights and tips do you have that I should know about?




With the right questions and guidance, a career coach can help you uncover your true career path and give you the direction you need to find the job of your dreams.