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In a previous article, I talked about the Top 5 People You Need in Your Network and one of those individuals was the the Advisor, otherwise known as a coach. Whether you use the term advisor, coach, or consultant, the result is the same. You are making a choice to inquire with someone who has a specialty or method of achieving results. In this case, you are choosing a career coach.

What’s your motivation for working with a career coach?

You may choose a career coach for various reasons, and many times they are reactive reasons (i.e., you lost your job, you want to change majors, or you're struggling in your current career). Choosing a career coach should be for a proactive reason. If you search for someone who can help you plan for success, you will less likely end up in a reactive situation. Let's define what a career coach means for the purposes of this article.

A career coach helps you:

  • Interpret your interests, skills confidence, and values.
  • Find and narrow a list of occupations that would be suitable for you.
  • Identify education and training to learn relevant skills.
  • Help with job searches, resumes, and interview skills.
  • Create an action plan and hold you accountable to the results.

Where can you find a career coach?

There are various places to find a career coach who is qualified to help you. The websites of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) have search tools. You can even do a general search on the Internet. Either way, do your homework and make sure the coach has the right knowledge and experience to help you. Make sure there is a way to contact the career coach and call or email them to find out how they can help. You can also use professional searches like LinkedIn to further qualify your search.

The NCDA’s website includes a “Need Career Help?” feature as shown below.

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After you enter your city, state, or ZIP code, you can view results as shown below.

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A reputable company will have qualified professionals and readily available information to help you make a decision. 

When you've found a reputable company and qualified person to coach you, make sure that they have a deliverable, like an action plan that you can use after you have finished your coaching sessions. Choose a career coach who will be honest and help you identify barriers and resources as well as identify goals and planning techniques to catapult your success. A career coach will offer you an objective point of view and resources to accomplish your goals.

It takes partnerships to be successful.

I leave you with a final thought: even the best athletes with the highest level of talent have a coach. They value the objectivity and accountability that a coach provides.

It takes partnerships to be successful; finding and choosing a career coach can help you make occupational choices, explore education, and apply job search strategies … all of which can help put you on the fast track to success.

This article first appeared in the Kuder Blog September 1, 2015

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