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Thinking of Working With a Career Coach? Be Ready To Bring These 3 Things To The Table

Often people going through a career transition or who are looking to develop their career in a new territory consider enlisting the help of a Career Coach like me.

Now, I would never want to deter someone from seeking help professionally – especially when that’s my job! But I do think you should know that there are three basic elements that a client needs in order to effectively succeed with a career coach:

  1. Time – We all live busy lives. But devoting time to this program is essential. Ask yourself, “Am I committed to making time for this?” Remember, adding a new process and action steps to your schedule means that you’ll probably have to replace something else currently slotted in this time. Do you have six or more hours a week (minimum) that you can set aside to work on activating your career?
  2. Energy – You will most likely have to do some things differently than you have in the past, requiring you to venture outside of your comfort zone. There will be ups and downs throughout the process, and this roller coaster ride will test your physical and emotional energy. You will definitely need a good support system you work through this transitional period in your life, be it a significant other, family member, friend, or organization.
  3. Resources – You’ll probably agree that most people don’t have financial resources budgeted for career coaching assistance. And yet, all the resources you budget come from resources from your career! I realize that this is a bit of a catch-22. I recommend that you consider four different areas that can be looked at as a “resource” if and when you desire to work with a Career Coach or counselor:
    • Take it from the future. You should feel confident that the training you will receive in negotiating alone (which is a small part of the complete process) will pay for the coaching service and then some.
    • Use investments that are currently not yielding a high rate of return. Investments yielding a 1, 5, or even 10% interest rate don’t really compare to the rate of return and investment you receive by avoiding a misdirected career search. Frankly speaking, a poorly-constructed career path robs you of higher incomes and costs years of wasted income figuring it out.
    • Get help from Uncle Sam. Did you know that using a career coach can be a tax deduction? The government returns roughly 28% of the fee at tax time.
    • Shift dollars from one budget to another. Often we find money by asking ourselves, “Is there something I’m willing to give up for a short time in order to reach a goal that will affect my career path?” It can be as small as changing a mobile phone plan to trading your car in for a less expensive model. The point is that temporary sacrifices can come up big in the long term.

If you’re struggling with the idea of finding the time, energy, and/or resources, don’t worry. Remember, I’ve been there, and I completely understand what you’re going through. If this is the case, look at other career resources and tools that will help educate and give clear direction on how to effectively reach your career goals.