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I recently came across this national story from ABC News, in which columnist Michelle Goodman breaks down what to look for in a Career Coach.

As a professional Career Coach, I want you to know that I agree with what she says in this article! No one saves you but you.

Excellent Career Counselors/Coaches are clear about what they offer. No one has a magic recipe for success (it takes a lot of focused work to develop a process) or the secret website with all the leads. A good Career Counselor should have a developed, clear methodology they use with their clients in order to position the job seeker as the solution to the organization’s problems. Having a clear job target along with a compelling message about what the job seeker can do for an organization is only one part of a successful job marketing campaign. Career Counseling/Coaching services should be able to assist with helping their clients figure out “what they want to be when they grow up” – a common question that’s asked by everyone from fresh-out-of-college grads to experienced baby boomers.

Career Counseling/Coaching services should clearly explain the role of the coach and the role of the client. The job seeker should map out what their criteria is for working with a career Counselor/Coach. You might look at the geographic location of the Counselor/Coach, whether or not you think you can make a personal connection with them, considering if the Counselor/Coach has a developed process, or if they have a background in Human Resources or a field that relates to career management, just to name a few.

One more thing you should avoid is a counseling service that promises you a job. Why? Because you are the only one that can make this happen. No one can go into an interview for you and close the deal. In other words, if what they promise is too good to be true, then most likely it is! My advice in this situation is to RUN.

So what are your thoughts? Have any of you who have worked with a Career Coach or Career Counselor identified other key things to consider when seeking out a career guide?

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