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12 Benefits of Using a Career Coach

Career coaches can give you the advice and inspiration you need to excel at a remote job.

Looking for the perfect remote job but feel you are just spinning your wheels in your job search? Does the prospect of jumping to a new, unfamiliar career fill you with dread, but the thought of staying where you are makes you feel downright despondent? If you are filled with questions but have no one to offer professional advice or guidance, then a career coaching session is just what you need.

Career coaching is an invaluable resource that can provide significant value to your professional life. By partnering with clients, career coaches can help jobseekers brainstorm, clarify their reason for seeking employment, and aid the currently employed with improving their performance in the workforce.

Fortunately, Virtual Vocations offers its members the opportunity to schedule one-on-one sessions with their certified career coaches to teach you effective job search strategies, develop a more compelling online presence, increase your networking skills, and provide an assessment on your professional documents.

If you are still on the fence on whether to use a career coach’s services, here are 12 benefits that may help you decide to take the plunge.

1. A Career Coach Can Hold You Accountable

You want to make a career change or improve your job prospects, but time keeps passing by and nothing seems to materialize. Are you actually putting in the time and effort needed to make those changes? We are the sum of our habits, and let’s face it—change is hard. A career coach is someone you can meet with regularly to make sure you are making the correct moves or are on the right path to meet your goals.

Actionable Step: Purchase a 30-minute session with a career coach. Virtual Vocations has certified career coaches that can hold you accountable and ensure you stay on track to meet your career goals.

 

2. A Career Coach Can Motivate You

Have you sent out hundreds of resumes and haven’t heard back from any employers? If your self-esteem has taken a hit by several employer rejections in a row, your career coach can help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with the process. A coach serves as a sounding board and inspires you to keep going when you feel you want to quit. They can help you reset and identify the things that motivate you.

Actionable Step: Remember what drove you to make a career change in the first place. Staying on course is difficult, but seeking professional guidance and visualizing the outcome of that change can be a powerful motivator.

 

3. A Career Coach Can Provide Honest and Unbiased Feedback

Sometimes you just need to hear the truth from someone you trust. Typically, we turn to friends and family for advice. But they may not want to hurt your feelings with honest feedback. Or, they may give you advice based on their own interests. Conversely, a career coach will serve as a neutral third party who can provide constructive, independent advice. They identify your strengths and pinpoint any weaknesses. As a result, you can put your best foot forward or bring you down to earth when your goals aren’t realistic. Best of all, they can help you develop practical solutions when you encounter challenges on your career path.

Actionable Step: Consider your personality type. Sometimes this may help when choosing a career path. For example, an introvert isn’t going to automatically become a social butterfly just because they want to be.

 

4. A Career Coach Can Help You Grow Professionally

If you want to open yourself up to more significant job opportunities, a career coach can help pinpoint the exact skills you need to work on. Whether you must obtain additional education or certifications or adopt new behaviors, career coaches can create a personalized plan to help you reach your professional goals. A coach can save you time and money by identifying potential skill or education gaps. Then, they recommend actions to fill them and guide you towards building more career appropriate skills that apply to your job.

Actionable Steps: Make a note of your valuable soft skills. You can apply these skills in many jobs. Oftentimes, they are necessary for successful employment in numerous fields and sectors.

 

5. A Career Coach Can Personalize Your Career Plan

You know what you want to do in life, but you don’t know how to get there. Or maybe you have no clue what to do professionally. Worse, what if you want to do a little bit of everything?

This is where career coaches are worth their weight in gold. Whether you have too many interests or are unsure of your chosen field, career coaching helps you identify what you are looking for professionally and figure out your next move. Sometimes this may involve guiding your research. Other times it may push you beyond your comfort zone or encourage you to schedule informational interviews. Regardless, a coach can connect your work and life experiences to help identify patterns while creating a unique career action plan.

Actionable Steps: Consider remote volunteering or test-driving various freelance or part-time job opportunities. These small moves may help clarify what career path to take.

 

6. A Career Coach Can Help Define Your Professional Brand

Personal branding is a requirement for career success. It’s what distinguishes you from your professional competition. The reality is that how you present yourself on social media, what you wear, and how you communicate has an impact on people’s opinions on the quality of your work and productivity. Career coaching can provide actionable strategies on positioning. Plus, it makes you aware of what’s appropriate in context with your organization or desired job role. That doesn’t mean you have to become someone else. It’s merely tweaking your online presence to fit your career aspirations.

Actionable Steps: Since presentation is key and remote jobseekers best present themselves with their online personas, audit your social media. In addition, make sure you are presenting yourself to the best of your ability. If you don’t have social media accounts, now is the time to start.

 

7. A Career Coach Can Help You Discern Your Professional Value

Impostor syndrome is real. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Science, 70% of people experience impostor feelings at some point in their lives. Career coaching helps you recognize and identify your strengths and weaknesses and what value you offer employers. By highlighting the unique combination of abilities and skills that only you can bring to the table, a coach can mitigate any insecurities you may feel. Human beings tend to self-sabotage by letting skewed beliefs define their professional worth. The truth is that no one else has your exact experience and knowledge. A great career coach can show and remind you of how valuable your skills really are.

Actionable Step: Self-doubt can affect your productivity and wear you down. Remember that you are unique and that comparing your career path to others is a futile exercise. If your insecurities lead to self-sabotage, learn to forgive yourself and rebound from that temporary setback by fixing what went wrong.

8. A Career Coach Can Help You Set Career Goals

Do you feel lost? Are you in a career rut? A career coaching session can help you get unstuck. Knowing where you are going and how you will get there enables you to get results faster. Because they are not personally invested, career coaches focus solely on your well-being. They provide direction, support, and paths you hadn’t initially considered. Your coach will review your short- and long-term goals and determine whether they are realistic. They will identify where you are currently headed career-wise and develop a solid plan on how to advance.

Actionable Steps: Take a look at what you’ve done so far to meet your career goals. If they haven’t worked out, pivot. Think about what you really want out of our career. Reflect on your answers and set a plan in motion.

 

9. A Career Coach Can Provide Resources and Tools To Refocus Your Job Search

If you have been searching for what seems like eons and haven’t landed the right job or interview, you may be using the wrong search tools. A solid career coach will audit everything from your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and even your email signature to make sure you are sending the right professional message. Your coach will help you rewrite your workplace documents and ensure they are compatible with current applicant tracking system requirements.

Actionable Steps: A great resume is essential for a successful job search. However, they must be optimized for applicant tracking systems and should be tailored for the type of job you want.

 

10. A Career Coach Can Prepare You For Interviews

One of the most nerve-wracking things a jobseeker endures is the job interview. Since most interviews ultimately make or break a job offer, seeking the help of a career coach is a brilliant plan. A coach can calm your nerves if you have been out of work. Plus, they can give you professional insight on how to respond to certain interview questions in a way that will impress the hiring manager.

Actionable Steps: Practice makes perfect. Alleviate any anxiety by preparing mentally, physically, and emotionally before an interview. Also, research the company beforehand and search out any anonymous employee reviews so you know what you are getting into.

 

11. A Career Coach Can Help Navigate Difficult Career Decisions

If you are unsure about what direction to take with your career, you’re not alone. Career coaching offers an alternative way to think about the complex problem of career goals. If you want to move up the career ladder, a coach can help you build a strong case for a promotion, prepare for performance reviews, or practice salary negotiation strategies. In fact, finding an effective strategy for salary negotiation can mean an increase of up to $5,000 in starting pay. Therefore, failing to use a career coach for this step in the hiring process can be an expensive mistake.

Actionable Step: When it comes to salary negotiation or asking for a raise, don’t get caught unprepared. Take the time to research the pay for your position, highlight your value, and practice your pitch.

 

12. A Career Coach Can Help You Transition Into A New Career or Role

Do you feel unfulfilled in your current job or do you feel stuck in an unwanted career? Nothing’s worse than spending your days wondering if it’s too late to change your life. If you are at a professional crossroads and dream of changing careers, career coaching can help you find something that aligns with who you are now, instead of who you were when you first started. If you have made the leap and taken on a job in a completely new field, your coach can help guide you. They’ll provide the advice you need to get through the transition.

Actionable Step: If you want to change careers, but are still unsure of doing anything drastic, consider taking a smaller step. This could include management roles or doing some moonlighting or freelance work. Taking the plunge into a whole new career is life-changing, and there’s nothing wrong with taking it slow.

 

What A Career Coach Can’t Or Won’t Do

Although a career coach can help with a multitude of things, they aren’t going to do everything for you.

  • A good career coach cannot get you a job. They cannot magically make a phone call and instantly place you in your dream role. They can guide you. But ultimately, you are the person putting in the time and effort to secure that next job.
  • A career coach cannot tell you what to do in your life. You are the only person who knows what is best for your well-being or professional lifestyle. The responsibility to make difficult decisions falls squarely on your shoulders.
  • A career coach will not do the work for you. If a career coach gives you tools, actionable items, or career “homework,” you have to finish it. The benefits that you get out of a career coaching session depend solely on how much energy you spend on incorporating the guidance or advice you receive.
  • A career coach will not be your “yes-man.” If you are seeking someone that will enable every idea that bursts forth from your brain with unbridled enthusiasm, you are wasting your time. A good coach will support you when you have good ideas. A great one will have zero issues telling you when you are screwing up your career path.
  • A career coach cannot instantly change your life. Real change does not happen overnight, especially if you are trying to eradicate bad professional habits or are dealing with overcoming long-held internalized beliefs. Sure, some tactics can deliver immediate results, but career change takes time, and a good career coach can help you make plans for the long-haul.

Let Virtual Vocations Help You Find the Perfect Career Coach

Now that you grasp what a career coach can do for you, the next step is to find the perfect candidate. Let Virtual Vocations help. With our amazing career services, you can find a career coach that takes your professional goals and aspirations to the next level.

 

Have you ever wanted a career coach? If so, what qualities do you look for? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to share your advice. We’d love to hear from you!

iStock Image: fizkes

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