Colin Lloyd, Regional Director for Personal Career Management in Leeds, looks at the key considerations for professionals thinking about engaging with a career coach.
Ideally you want to look at a cross section of the market and find the best match for your needs. There is a lot of choice, and as your career is one of the biggest assets you have then you want to make sure you are working with a career coach you can trust and build a good working relationship with. Your choice will be a personal one, and the following points will help you to make an informed decision and find you the best career coach.
Timing – are you ready to commit to career coaching?
Be honest with yourself; are you ready? Is this the right time for you to commit to a career coaching programme? There will be an
investment needed from you emotionally, financially and time wise for you to get the best from working with your chosen career coach. Working through a programme will typically mean being available to meet with your coach on a regular basis for a number of weeks as well as additional time for the work you will do between your coaching sessions.
Research your local career coach options
First port of call would be a Google search for career coaches in your area. Bear in mind that you are entering into what is an unregulated market – in short, anyone can call themselves a career coach or career manager or any variation of these job titles. The good news is that there is a Code of Practice from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which is a voluntary code so look for individuals and organisations that subscribe and support the Code.
Once you have a short list together (say 3 – 5) deepen your research, look at the website and see how much information is on there. How much transparency is there over what type of services they offer, can you easily find details of what they offer, any indication of what it is likely to cost and what you can expect in return. Are there details of testimonials? Can you see the details of the coaches that you will work with?
Word of mouth or a personal recommendation can be really helpful but remember that the chances of your circumstances and the outcomes you are looking for being exactly the same as the person giving the recommendation is unlikely.
Contact the career coaching company
Look for a defined process. You should expect initial contact with the company and some questions about your current situation. It may be that a further call will be scheduled to take some more information prior to a meeting. This process is an important step, as it allows you to judge the professionalism of the organisation and ask any initial questions you have. If you are happy to proceed then there should be an introductory consultation to get into the detail of your current career situation and scope out your needs and how the organisation will achieve your goals. This consultation should ideally be face to face although it may be more convenient for you for it to be done remotely via Skype
Personal Career Management are the UK’s leading career coaching and outplacement company and are the official career management partners of the Telegraph, Guardian, Trinity Mirror group and Monster. They also have the UK’s best selling CV book ‘You’re Hired! How to write a brilliant CV’.
For a free introductory meeting to discuss our services please call Personal Career Management on 01753 888995 or fill in our online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.