For many people who look further into career coaching, their current job isn’t fulfilling their professional needs. They may feel bored, unmotivated and unfulfilled and might not know what new career path would satisfy them. They might also feel they’re unable to risk leaving their current role due to the unstable market. If you can relate to these problems, you might want to consider employing a career coach.
Career coaching can help you with your current job, establish your professional goals, and aid you in making a career change. A career coach will never tell you what to do, but they can give you advice to make that all-important career transition, or can give the extra help you need to work towards a new skill that will help you advance in your current role. The overall goal of a career coach is to set you on your way to a more fulfilling work life.
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What sort of advice can I expect from career coaching?
You might feel like you want to leave your comfort zone, but for one reason or another it doesn’t happen. There could be concern that a career change might prove to be a wrong decision - or that you might not fit your next role. It can seem like there’s no other alternative to your current job. However, if your occupation is making you miserable, it’s probably best to take a positive step forward for your own health and happiness. In this case, career coaching could be an option.
Career coaches are experts in listening to and breaking down your current situation and feelings about your job. You may not realise it, but this can be extremely hard to do by yourself. Even with advice from friends and family, you may struggle to identify the right choices without some professional help.
The career advice you receive from a career coaching session will depend on your situation, feelings, wants and needs. Your coach will help you breakdown your feelings about not just your work, but your life as well, as this may well be influencing your current mood without you realising it. It may turn out that a career change is not what would truly make you happy. Instead, changing your living arrangements, location, position or any number of other things could get your happiness back on track.
If you are unsure of what occupation would really excite you, it may be worth spending some time researching any potential avenues that suit your passions and strengths.
When you discover a job that does encompass these, work will then become enjoyable rather than something you dread doing. Everyone has the opportunity to choose their occupation and to change it if their current one is not fulfilling them. Only you can decide to stay in a job that makes you miserable. Only you have the power to seek out one that will make your days far more meaningful and pleasurable.
How could a career coach help me?
- Identifying your perfect career.
- Working out what would make you truly happy.
- Looking into issues that could be having an impact on your work life.
- Helping you to identify negative thought and behaviour patterns so that you can change them.
- Identifying and overcoming obstacles that hold you back.
- Learning to make the most of your skills, attributes and experiences.
- Interview coaching to help you stand out from the crowd.
- CV writing to help get you noticed.
- Assistance with using creative ways to find an occupation that suits you.
- Realising the importance and impact of your work within your life.
- Formulating a set of attainable goals and a plan of action.
- Taking steps to change your life and become healthier and happier.
Secondary school students and school/college leavers
Thinking about embarking on a career can be very daunting for secondary school students and school/college leavers. They may have chosen subjects for their GCSEs or A levels, only to find out that they don’t enjoy them - so where do they go next? A career coach can help the student or recent school/college leaver map out a path through further education and discuss what training opportunities are available. Whether it’s to continue education or go straight into work, a career coach will support them every step of the way.
Unfortunately, graduating with a degree does not always guarantee a job - it’s very difficult for universities to ensure every student leaves with a working position to move on to. So if you are about to leave university, or have already left, and are struggling to find a job, a career coach could be a worthwhile investment.
You will receive tailored help for someone who is just starting out in their career. It will focus on finding out what potential employers are looking for and learning how to present yourself throughout each stage of the process (through telephone interviews, assessment centres and face-to-face interviews). All of which will be of great value for the future stages of your career.
Leaving university early or not achieving a degree you are happy with
Leaving university early or not achieving a degree that you are happy with can be very disheartening. You may feel you have lost your way, not knowing where to go next. These feelings typically occur when you cease to receive the ongoing support from your university that you have become accustomed to. A career coach, however, can step in and offer you the advice and guidance to help you get back on your feet and move forward.
Is a career change the right decision?
You might be thinking of a career change, but aren’t fully committed to the idea. If so, try answering the following questions that may help you to decide whether it’s time to take the plunge:
- What do you want from your job apart from money?
- What percentage of the time do you feel positive at work?
- What do you enjoy most in your current job?
- What do you wish you could do in your current job that you don’t already?
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
- What career did you want when you were young? Is this what you have now?
- If you imagine you're old and are looking back on your life, what job would you like to see yourself doing? Is it the one you currently have?
If you have mostly positive answers to the above questions, it may be that you don't need a career change, but perhaps a new job or change of company instead. It may even be that your work is not the primary cause of your unhappiness. When you are at the centre of a situation it can sometimes be difficult to take a step back, remove yourself, and understand what's really going on. Career coaching sessions however, can help you to do this from an unbiased and neutral perspective.
If you answered negatively to the questions then some career change advice could be very helpful to you. With career coaching, a coach can discuss your goals and aspirations with you and assist you in finding an occupation that fits with your values and beliefs.
How can career coaching help?
Career coaching will allow you to explore who you are and what you really want from your work. It will help you to find out what you'll need from a new job to fulfil you. You will then have the opportunity to investigate possible employment options and formulate an action plan of how to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Anyone unhappy in their profession can benefit from career coaching. Whether you're in the first phase of your working life or experiencing the height of success, consulting a career coach may be useful if you are unhappy or unsure where to go next.
With the support of career coaching, you might be able to discover how to feel more fulfilled in your current job, get a new job or decide to change careers completely. Exploring your values and beliefs and what makes you happy in your work will often lead to the right decision for you.
What will a session be like?
Depending on the coach, you may be able to have career coaching sessions over the phone, face-to-face or online. Whichever format you choose, in your first session your career coach will discuss the various topics you may want to cover in your upcoming sessions.
Of course, the content and direction of your sessions will greatly depend on your situation and what you hope to gain from the experience. Below are some of the things you may cover during your career change advice session.
Exploring your skills and achievements
Often there are many skills or attributes you possess which you may not realise would be interesting to potential employers. Career coaches have an ability to pick up on these skills and attributes, even if you are unaware of having them.
Dreaming about new career choices
When we start to think about our 'ideal world' many of us come up with elaborate dreams where we don't have to work in order to pay the bills. In reality this would probably get boring after a while. There are many people who love their jobs and look forward to going to work each day. They find themselves more enthusiastic about life because they are truly happy in their profession.
This can be the norm for you as well if you start to think about what you really want to be doing. Being stuck in a rut at work can make it extremely difficult to think about what you would love to do and explore new possibilities. Make sure you take some time out to dream and explore opportunities that are open to you. With the support of career coaching, you may gain the direction needed in order to explore your perfect career path.
Finding out whether a career change is the right choice
There can be lots of things that depress your mood and start you thinking about a career change. However, it may not always be a change of career that is needed. In a career coaching session, with the help of a coach, you can establish what else might be affecting your current mood. If you can make a more simple change such as moving to a new job within the same company that increases your job satisfaction, it might be the better step to take. However if the small change still doesn’t leave you feeling great then it could be the right time to start thinking more seriously about changing your career path.
Looking into what’s holding you back
Choosing to change your job is a massive decision to make, and when you have bills and family to take care of it makes it even harder. Before taking the plunge it’s sensible to look at all your options and make some more subtle changes to your lifestyle. This can put you in a better frame of mind and give you the energy boost you need to make bigger career decisions.
There are many excuses people have for staying in a job that makes them miserable, but ultimately you are in sole charge of your personal and work life, so only you can make the change. Career coaching sessions can help you identify the issues that might be stopping you from pushing yourself to achieve your goals.
Assistance with CV and cover letter writing
Once you have made the decision to change career, you will need to take a serious look at your CV. Many people won’t have done this for a very long time - your information might well be out of date. You acquire skills and experience every day. While you may not consider the things you can do with your hands tied behind your back as skills, an employer will often take a very different view, especially if you think about how your skill relates to their business. Even seemingly unrelated skills can sometimes prove your abilities in areas that your employer is looking for. Try to see your life experiences and attributes from an employer's point of view and pick something positive from each one that puts you in a good light. A career coaching session will help guide you through ways of accentuating your skills and expertise to suit the type of jobs you are applying for.
Interview coaching and making a good impression
You probably know how little time you have to make your first impression and how important that first impression is. This is especially true in an interview situation where you don't have much time to change the interviewer's mind about you. Interviews can vary massively depending on the industry that you are going into. It is important to get a good idea of the sort of things to expect at any interview. Time is of the essence in an interview situation and so is making sure that you stand out among the crowd, this is where career coaching comes in and can be a really big advantage even for seasoned interviewees. Your coach can use different interview coaching techniques with you and discuss ways in which you can improve your interview skills to help you make the best impression on your future employer.
These are just a few of the things you might cover in your session, but it might be that your career coach chooses completely different things to work on which are more tailored to your situation. Whatever you work on, make sure you tell your life coach about what you expect to gain from your sessions and be open about your current situation to get the most from your time together.
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