I've been a professional career coach for over 15 years now. I'm a firm believer that just like we all need doctors, dentists, lawyers, and accountants at different points in our lives, most of us will need a career coach too. For years, people saw the use of a career coach as a sign of failure. An inability to manage their own career success. But, that's a total falsehood - and the very mindset that holds people back from achieving the success they want. Think about it: pro athletes and high-powered executives all have coaches. And, the youngest generation in the workplace, Millennials, have been raised on coaching. Thanks to years of participating in organized activities and being encouraged to be who they want to be. Unlike older generations, Millennials don't see coaching as a sign of weakness, but rather, a path to greatness. All that being said, there are times when people wrongly invest in career coaching. I personally hate it when people spend money on coaching when they shouldn't. I also hate to see people overspend. [In the video above, I explain why some coaches use a high-price model concept.] In my experience, here are four times when you should wait to invest in career coaching:
- You think your resume is the reason you aren't getting any calls for jobs. Job search today is very different today. You need to know how to strategically identify opportunities and network your way into a company. Applying to jobs online is a huge waste of time. There's only a 3% chance you will get contacted. Which means, that resume you submitted online isn't getting looked at. Paying to have it re-designed won't get it looked at any more. Learning how to get it in front of humans who can hire you will.
- You went on one interview with a company you really liked and didn't get the job. Not getting the job doesn't mean you failed the interview. They didn't say, "No, we'd never hire you!" They just chose a different candidate who they felt was a better match. Now, if you go on a dozen interviews and never hear back, then you might need some help.
- You want a new career, but you have no idea where to start. There are some basic requirements everyone needs to map out in order to focus on a new career path. i.e. where you want to live, what skills you want to leverage, what interests you. There are plenty of online tools and resources you can use to get a handle on these things so that you can narrow in your career options without investing in expensive career coaching sessions.
- Nobody's looking at your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can feel daunting. I'm a big, BIG fan of the site, but I'm the first to admit the interface is intimidating. It's easy to get overwhelmed by what to put in your profile. However, all it takes is a little understanding of how the search algorithm on LinkedIn works, and you can easily optimize your profile to make you show up in more user's search results. For example, putting in the right keywords for your skill sets can make recruiters check you out and contact you with job opportunities. It's not rocket science, it just takes a little insider information. Which leads to my next point...