Career coaching is in demand. What does it entail, who might benefit from it and what advantages or outcomes could it produce?
Career coaching is for anyone who feels at a crossroads in their current job or organisation, looking for a fresh start, considering new options, needing help in identifying particular skills or talents to best suit a role or profession or indeed anyone who would value a little fresh perspective or support in making positive career decisions, reigniting a spark or finding new avenues to pursue.
Career coaching should put you at the heart of the discussions. Often it's important to firstly identify your strengths and skills, experiences and successes, achievements and talents, passions and interests - in a sense forming a self identity that's truly reflective of everything you are and could bring to a working environment.
It's worth considering the skills we have that perhaps we don't enjoy using so much as well as those we do. It is better to match our desires with a role which enables them to be utilised. An example here perhaps is being IT literate. We may be well able to tackle spreadsheets and databases, create fabulous charts and documents or master technology, but if our heart guides us more to other areas, we need to take that into account.
There are many online resources to help identify personality and behavioural traits and career aspirations too.
Career coaching often uses brainstorming techniques or indeed mind mapping to identity possible career options. Take the biggest piece of paper you can find and write down every job role, career path and organisation which inspires you. No barriers at this point allowed! Working with a coach often makes this part easier. Ask yourself: if anything were possible, what would I choose? Take your self identity into account here too.
Once you have an idea of all potential areas to explore, we need to fine tune to realistic next steps taking into account time, energy, resources, training requirements and potential financial outlay. What avenues are we honestly able to pursue? Often more than we initially thought!
Having a professional CV, or more than one if you are exploring different avenues, is vital.
Review of social media profiles is expected. Does your LinkedIn profile reflect your expertise and have professional photo? Do your associated profiles discriminate or enhance you? Many companies will seek out your Facebook account or Twitter feed to check.
If you need some help with interview skills, career coaching can match your strengths to the job specification, prepare for key questions, assess confidence, body language, word choice and focus on an impactful presence.
It can assist with positioning yourself correctly with regard to application forms or covering letters.
Create a relatistic job hunting schedule, list job sites to review and perhaps relevant recruitment agencies. You may wish to favourite certain organisations or websites. Don't search by job titles. It is too limiting.
If you're not currently working, coaching looks at establishing a weekly structure and routine which includes time to job hunt and search for new careers, time to volunteer perhaps and the use of additional time to undertake some form of personal or professional development which can only enhance your CV and increase your joy.
Maintaining motivation and focus, being resilient and persevering, overcoming setbacks and rejection are all important aspects of career coaching too. You want to feel enthusiastic, fresh and excited about next steps. If we feel we are in a 'dead end' job, this is required even more so!
Be prepared to spend six months gathering information, undertaking research, collating facts and creating honest and professional profiles in your quest.
So, in summary, career coaching is a positive, forward focused process including many aspects for consideration all tailored to your expectations and needs. You're certainly worth it!
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About Sue MacGillivray
Sue MacGillivray is a well-established, extensively experienced and highly regarded accredited Glasgow-based life and business coach. She is passionate about people and supporting them to be their best self. Along with her private practice, she is a corporate consultant and a regular media contributor. She also loves butterflies!