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What is a career coach

What is a Career Coach? Is it a Good Career Option?

A blackboard with a hand writing coach in large letters with chalk on the board. Used in the article What is a Career Coach?
lets get professional.

What is a Career Coach Exactly.

If I were asked that question a few years ago, I probably would not have been able to give a reasonable explanation.

To answer the question, What is a Career Coach? Let’s start with this description.

A career coach is someone who helps people adjust or improve their career paths through one-on-one guidance and advising.

That is the short answer.

More important is the job description. The role they play in helping people transition from school to work, or help people who are looking at career advancement or find a new job, or even find a job.

Let’s take a look.

What do Career Coaches Do?

Essentially they take on the role of identifying skills gaps, bridging them, and discovering opportunities.

In a way it is related to a part of Human Resources management, without the hiring and firing.

A career coach can be a very rewarding career and they are very much the helper.

Some of the core tasks of a career coach include:-

  • Identify upskilling needs
  • Provide consulting services to help people achieve their goals
  • Helping people with targeted job searches
  • Helping people prepare for interviews
  • Preparing Resumé’s.
  • Involvement in the adult education sector.
  • Involvement with skills development in the Corporate sector.

Other areas of expertise could include working with challenging people, stress management, assertiveness and time management.

And…

Giving people the benefit of a listening ear, bouncing ideas around, being a cheerleader – someone who helps people manage any negative emotions so it does not affect their confidence.

Keeping people on the right track to attaining their career goals.

So quite a varied set of skills that make this a potentially very rewarding and satisfying career.

A hand with a pen about to sign a resume, used in the article What is a Career Coach?

Never forget:- A career coach should never promise anyone they will get a job, or that they will achieve a certain salary.

Those things are out of your hands and are totally dependant on how the applicant presents to the employer.

I am sure you would have heard of Murphy’s law.

 It is important for people to understand that they are part of the process.

An active participant working with a coach to achieve their goals.

What Training is Needed to Become A Career Coach.

A degree is not necessary.

Although many people who become involved in career coaching come from usually a Human Resources, Business or Communication background.

People with Bachelor degrees in those fields have a broad range of skills and knowledge that can be readily adapted to career coaching.

But a degree is certainly not a prerequisite to becoming a career coach.


Quick story.

One of my daughters did a Bachelor of Business with a major in Human Resources.

While still at university, she started a small side hustle doing resumé’s to get extra income.

She was charging up to $300 per resume’ and had no shortage of customers.

That was more than 10 years ago !


Regardless of your background you need credibility.

Becoming certified will help you establish credibility, and appear as a more appealing option to potential clients or employers.

Generally certification can be achieved in a relatively short period by taking advantage of online learning.

Done through well known reputable company‘s whose certificates have some currency, most online courses can be done at your own pace working from home, and at a reasonable cost.

That is only one step to building your credibility though.

You still some runs on the board with successful outcomes, either as an employee or in your own business.

If you are thinking of starting your own business.

You will probably already know the importance of the following…

  • Networking. – Get in touch with previous employers, former work colleagues and attending conferences.
  • Keeping abreast of current trends in job listings, skills and education
  • Set up a website and optimize it for your local area.
  • Business cards are still a worthwhile, inexpensive way of getting your name out there.

Depending on how you want to structure your business, working from home, keeping your overheads minimal until you build a portfolio of good clients is a good option, if you are able to set aside an area in your home.

Plenty of people have built businesses starting from the kitchen table.

Is there a Demand for Career Coaches.

A big… Yes There Is!

Career Coaching and related skills are in demand due to all the business and job transformation that occurred during Covid and in many respects is still continuing.

It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are in.

Companies are looking for performance enhancement.

Employees are looking at opportunities for career pivoting.

Companies are also valuing the importance of workplace learning and they are looking at ways to organize that learning.

If you have experience with a particular industry, or want to set up your own business to serve that industry then, coaching in a specialized field of your interest works very well too.

One prime example is unemployment agencies use of career coaches.

The opportunities are almost boundless for anyone willing to become a career coach.

Conclusion. Is it a Good Career Option?

Again Yes…

There is large and varied array of occupations from executives to the unemployed and everything in between in need of career coaches.

To become certified is neither hard, nor expensive (nor should it be).

A couple of good resources on Career Coaches below.

The IAP College

Udemy.

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