A career coach is someone who helps you develop your career. What is a career? It is a series of steps you take in your professional life; not necessarily climbing up the corporate hierarchy, but instead it may be quitting your job instead and stepping aside for a while. It might mean a year off doing volunteer work in Africa, for example. Most typically it is a series of placements, a list of different jobs. You might like to consider what your life objectives are, what kind of life you want to live in five or ten years, where, with whom, doing what. Would you like 80-hour work weeks and lots of money or perhaps flexible working hours and something interesting to do?
What does it mean to develop a career? It means knowing what you want and working to achieve this. Doing something 24/7/365. To achieve this you must have a master plan and a tactical plan for your career. And then you need to execute it. And correct your plan, if necessary.
If your dream is to work for Google it wont happen by just sitting around at home and waiting for someone to call you. You might not qualify for CEO of Google, but you might find out what kind of people they are looking for and compare their needs with your qualifications and qualities. If you realise that you might have a chance, you might like to find out the ways to get an interview. Most likely you would need a nice resume, a compelling cover letter; perhaps a few references that might be helpful as well. Your career coach can help with all this. If you land an interview, then it would be silly not to practice a little beforehand You do not know exactly what they will ask, but a professional coach can predict the probable fields covered in the job interview and even the probable questions. You only get one chance to make a first impression. If you go to an important meeting, you had better be prepared. What is the chance you’ll get your dream job offer after the first appointment? Well, not ninety-nine percent. A career coach is also helpful in discussing things after an unsuccessful interview, to help you understand what went wrong.
Master plan. For planning you need a vision, a dream or even few. Dreaming is important, but it is not enough. You need to do some work to get the plan ready. A career coach can help you.
Alternatives. You might not be sure what you want. This is quite normal. But if you want and need a career, you have to make some choices. This is your strategy and this will be the basis for your plan. That is, until you want to change or modify it.
You may need a next step and you might like to have an attentive and focused discussion partner for this, who:
- helps you in your self-assessment,
- lists options for next steps,
- helps monitor your progress.
Do you feel you might need an informal discussion with a coach to decide whether career coaching might be something for you?
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