I recently was sent a New York Times article that began with this letter to a career columnist who goes by “The Workologist”:
My husband lost his high-level, overseas position after the company sold off his division. He has always been an ambitious, successful executive. But in the year since this job ended and we moved back to the United States, he has become depressed. His efforts to find new work, while sincere, have not been consistent. I am trying to be supportive and have never nagged him. I would like to find an executive coach for him to work with on his job search — someone who would help him strategize and hold him accountable. A friend recommended someone, but that person seemed like a waste of time and money: She suggested I start a children’s party service to tide us over, even though I have zero experience in that area.I think my husband would be open to working with a good coach who has experience working with C-level professionals, but he lacks the motivation and energy to find one himself. What is your advice?
The Workologist does a fine job breaking down this person’s scenario, and I recommend you read the article.
But one thing specifically stood out to me was this comment by the Workologist:
Whether you are asking for yourself or on behalf of someone else, be aware that lots of people are calling themselves coaches these days… Some have experience dealing with high-level executives, and backgrounds that include therapeutic training. Others may be brand new to the profession, or specialize in practical tactics like sprucing up a résumé.
As an experienced Career Coach, this is a very important topic to me. I recently wrote about it in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an article titled 3 Keys To Finding a Career Coach, and I blogged about it in a post titled Comparing Resume Writers, Recruiters and Career Coaches.
The point is this: There are ways to differentiate between the pro’s and the amateurs of Career Coaching.
I hope you will encourage your friends and family to do their homework before hiring someone.