Why career coaching may not be what you need
- Fed up with your job and wanting to move?
- Soon to be made redundant (or fearing that’s the case)?
- Ready to return to work after a career break?
- Retiring from your job, and wondering what’s next?
If you answered YES to any of these, are you clear on what you want to do next and how to get there?
If you are, congratulations! You are one of a very small and select group of people who have such complete clarity over their future direction. I applaud that clarity and wish you all the very best in your next venture. Goodbye, you don’t need to read on.
Not clear on your next steps? Welcome. You are in good company. Let’s take a look together at what those next steps might be:
Is career coaching right for me?
Despite the title, I’m not knocking career coaching. There are lots of great career coaches out there (including a good friend of mine who is doing fabulous work). For some of you it might be the perfect solution to go ahead and hire one.
However, I’d like to share my experience with you, and how I discovered that a career coach wasn’t the answer for me.
I had worked in the same industry (and the same company) for 20 years. In my early days I loved my job. It inspired me and motivated me. It satisfied many of my needs and I was proud to be a trailblazer, achieving a number of firsts in my organisation.
But sometime after my 40th birthday the gloss started wearing off. So slowly at first that I didn’t notice, one day I reached the point where I could no longer ignore that I wasn’t happy and no longer inspired, motivated or satisfied.
I’m a natural “fixer” so I looked around for something or someone to help me “fix” my job dissatisfaction. I hired a (very expensive) career coach who gave me a number of sessions and lots of tasks in between. I articulated my strengths, listed my achievements, clarified which aspects of the role held most interest for me, honed my CV, and generally produced a very clear picture of my working past. Had I been seeking a new job in a similar or related field I suspect it would have been hugely helpful.
But I wasn’t. I wanted and needed to think outside the box; to explore all sorts of other possibilities. I needed someone to expand my horizons and help me dream big. And I needed to be challenged to get really clear on what I wanted from this next phase of my life.
Do you want to clarify what YOU want from the next phase of life?
If so, then I suggest you may require more help than career coaching. You need something that will encompass the whole of your life, not just who you are in a job. There are lots of ways to tackle this on your own:
- talking to your family, and your friends
- reading self-help books
- spending time pondering what you enjoy, and would like more of in your life
- getting clear on what you DON’T want, or want less of in your life
- looking at your finances and making sure you know how much money you need to make (if any)
- thinking about what’s important to you and how this affects what you do
- considering whether you can turn a hobby into something more, maybe something that people will pay you to do.
If this works for you, and you can identify your next step, then GREAT! Well done, and good luck with making the move.
However, if you’ve already tried some or all of this and still can’t decide on your next step - or if you feel so stuck that nothing works - then it may be time to hire a life coach. You might need someone who will help you focus on the issue you want to address and help you to get clear on what you want from life.
Just as you don’t necessarily sign up with the first estate agent you find to sell your house, or the first gym to help you get fit, or the first tutor to teach your child, it makes sense to shop around. You need to be really comfortable with your coach so that you can be completely honest with them – the chemistry needs to be right.
If you know someone who has had a coach, try asking them for a recommendation. Even if they don’t think their coach is right for you it’s possible the coach can suggest someone who is. The specialised Life Coach Directory has a number of coaches you can explore. Some life coaches specialise in particular areas, such as relationships, or health, or sport. They may even specialise in career coaching! Look for someone whose description of what they do resonates with you.
Don’t get hung up on needing to hire a local coach. Many coaches work by phone or Skype and this can be just as effective as face to face. Indeed some people prefer it, as it frees them up to be more open and honest than they would be sitting in the same room as their coach.
How will YOU get started on the next stage in life’s adventure?
Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
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