Career coaching can benefit people at all stages of their working lives – especially young people, as it provides valuable direction that will serve them for the rest of their working lives. However, most people don’t actually know what’s involved in the coaching process. TwoPointZero’s Manager of Coaching Lee Sunlay gives her insight into what you should look for, and what you should expect, when you work with a career coach.
Deciding whether or not career coaching is right for you can be a difficult decision to make. Based on my 10 plus years of experience in the industry, I would say that in the majority of cases this hesitation often comes down a lack of understanding over what it is we actually do and how we can help.
To give you some insight, let me start with who our clients are.
People who seek career coaching services come from all sorts of situations and backgrounds; however, the clients we work with at TwoPointZero are typically trying to get into the employment market for the first time or are in the earlier stages of their career.
Every person is different but they are all looking for the same thing: help and guidance in finding a fulfilling job they want to get out of bed for.
Finding a good fit
When you first get in touch with a career coach, you will typically be asked to attend an initial meeting to discuss your needs and expectations. It’s worth spending some time beforehand considering what you hope to achieve but if you’re not sure, that’s fine – the career coach can help you figure this out.
This first session is the perfect time for you to find out a bit more about the career coaching business and how they work, and for both of you to decide whether you’re a good fit for each other. Career coaches tend to specialise in a certain area and type of client, so be sure you discuss their background and check out their credentials in helping people with the same needs as you.
It’s very important at this stage that you ask yourself: do I feel comfortable talking openly with this person? Having a good rapport, and finding someone who is empathetic to your needs and situation, will not only make it more enjoyable, but will also encourage you to open up, making the process more worthwhile.
The main thing to understand about career coaching is that it isn’t a case of the coach simply telling you what you should be doing. Instead, it’s a collaborative process that involves working together with the coach to draw out more about you and your aspirations so you can then discuss the available options, work on your skills and make more informed career decisions.
Because everyone’s path and progress is different, what is covered in each session will vary. At TwoPointZero we offer our clients a choice of programs so they can choose the level of help they require. We then adapt the focus of the sessions depending on what stage of the journey they are at.
For example, if a client is unsure of what they want to do, the focus would be on self-discovery. We would work to find out what type of person they are, what their skills are and what sort of work they are attracted to by asking questions and getting them to undertake relevant psychometric tests.
From here, we would narrow down a list of occupations, get them to think about the road they might like to go down and then help them decide whether their choices align with who they are. We also try to look at the future job prospects of an industry or occupation, so they can start to understand what this work may look like in the future and what opportunities may pan out.
By contrast, if a client already knows what they want to do, but just doesn’t have all the skills they need to find employment, we would work with them in more practical ways. This might involve identifying potential employers and building a jobseeking plan, helping them improve their resume or LinkedIn profile, working with them to refine their interview technique and supporting them through their jobseeking journey.
To really get the most out of career coaching, you will need more than one session. At TwoPointZero, we recommend you have at least four so that we can really discuss and explore all of your options and equip you with the knowledge to help you continue on your journey.
What you get out of the experience will ultimately depend on both what you went into it hoping to achieve and the amount of effort you put in. The sessions can be challenging, and you must be prepared to answer questions about yourself and participate in a range of tasks and activities, but the effort is definitely worth it.
Whether you come away simply knowing more about the direction you want to take or you leave with prospective jobs in the pipeline, seeing a career coach can have a really positive impact on the satisfaction you gain from work, now and in the future.
Looking to get your career on the right path? Contact TwoPointZero today.
About the Author
Lee Sunlay is the Head of Coaching for TwoPointZero. She has more than 10 years’ experience in helping young people identify career pathways, achieve goals and fulfil their potential.