How To Find a Career Change Coach in 7 Steps (Plus Benefits)
Updated January 26, 2023
A career change coach is a professional who can offer expert advice and guide other professionals during a career change. If you're considering switching careers, having a coach for this change can be very beneficial. Learning how to choose a career coach may help ensure that you find a professional who can meet your needs and who you can work well with while finding a new career. In this article, we define what a career change coach is, provide a list of benefits of having one and give a step-by-step guide on how to choose a career coach.
What is a career change coach?
A career change coach is a professional who helps clients transition from one career to another. They specialize in crafting application materials, such as resumes and cover letters. A career change coach can assist in job searching by assessing their client's abilities and interests. Since networking is an important aspect of finding employment, a career change coach can provide training on how to network and make meaningful connections with other professionals.
Depending on the career change, a career change coach may help set up social accounts or make social media more professional. They also help build websites and online portfolios so that the client can increase their chances of success. The primary goal of a career change coach is to guide their client from leaving a job and finding new employment at a more satisfying job.
Benefits of using a career change coach
Finding new employment or transitioning into a different industry may be easier if you have a coach to help you navigate your options. Here are the benefits of using a career change coach:
Develop a career plan
Having a career plan helps you to move from one goal to the next. Often, you're able to achieve more if you make a plan. Career change coaches help clients set career goals and develop a realistic plan for achieving them. This includes both short- and long-term goals. For example, a career change coach may provide actionable steps on how to get an entry-level job and eventually become a team manager.
It's sometimes difficult to realize your potential and visualize how to achieve your goals. With a career coach, you receive a personalized career path with a long-term goal to reach great success.
Assess your strengths
When providing counsel, a career change coach may give you an assessment to learn more about you. Through assessment, they can help determine your strengths and make career suggestions based on your talents. It's useful to pursue a career where you can use your strongest abilities. This is one way a career change coach helps you find a new career where you may feel more satisfaction. If you choose a job you're good at, then you may experience more success and have job satisfaction.
You may hire a career coach because they also can assess your weaknesses and provide honest feedback on how you can improve. A career change coach might assess your skills, experience and education and make suggestions on what you can work on to find employment with another employer or in a different industry. Receiving feedback is very useful during a transition because you can use it to make well-informed decisions.
Working with a career change coach also offers the benefit of receiving expert advice, which can give you an advantage in the job search. A coach can also give you lessons and teach skills you can use throughout your career.
Prepare your job application materials
Career change coaches often help you edit and customize your resume, cover letter and other application materials for each job to which you're applying. This ensures that the applications you submit are of high quality. It's a major benefit because a stunning application is more likely to impress employers, and this can help you make a career change quickly. Career coaches also advise and train you on techniques for improving your application materials, which you can apply to all future applications.
Give you resources for job searching
Job searching can be a challenging task, but career change coaches offer resources to help optimize your search. They may also teach you how to improve your searches on job boards and share useful techniques about how to assess jobs from the job description. When creating a resume or writing a cover letter, your career change coach may provide templates.
Motivate you during the transition
Another benefit to finding a career coach when you're transitioning in your career is that they can provide motivation. You may need extra encouragement when applying to multiple jobs where you don't hear from employers. Staying motivated while changing careers is important because there are many steps in the transition. To maintain your efforts, a career coach offers encouragement and helps boost your morale.
Since there are several steps to complete when changing careers, such as job searching, applying, creating a resume and preparing for interviews, it's useful to have another person to provide you with accountability. Meeting with a career change coach can help ensure that you progress through the transition and complete your steps on time. It might be a good idea to create a plan with deadlines, such as applying to a certain number of jobs by a deadline, and your career coach can help you track your goals.
Help make career decisions
While making a career change, you may have several big decisions to make, such as the career you transition to, additional credentials to earn and job offers to accept. A career change coach can give expert advice to help decide. This may provide you with more confidence and increase your satisfaction because you're making good decisions. A coach can also assist in critical thinking and problem solving throughout your transition process.
Create a professional brand
A professional brand helps you to appear unique to employers and may increase your chances of finding employment quickly. Your career coach can help build your professional brand, including what you wear, how you present yourself and your social media accounts. Branding can help show that you're a perfect candidate for a job role. It also may help you focus on long-term career goals because branding requires consistency.
Prepare you for interviews
A major benefit to having a career coach guide you from one job to a new one is that they can help you with mock interviews. Practicing answering interview questions is one of the best ways to prepare for an interview. Career coaches are familiar with the interviewing process and can help you develop responses that highlight your qualifications.
Encourage professional growth
For some career transitions, you may be more successful if you become certified in a subject relating to the career you want. A career coach can help choose a certification and start you on your attempt to earn the certificate. They also help encourage professional growth in ways such as applying to more senior roles. A career coach may recognize your strengths and encourage you to pursue larger goals that use your strengths. Career change coaches also promote professional growth by informing you of which skills you may need to build to make your career change.
Guide you in a transition to a new industry
If your career change involves a transition to a new industry, it's worth considering a career change coach because this can be a lengthier process. Choosing a career coach who has experience making this type of change or helping others make a transition to a new industry may increase your chances of success. A coach can help identify how to make this change, including the skills you require, connections you can make and the adjustments to make on your resume. Someone with experience in career transitions can prepare you for what to expect and give actionable advice.
How to choose a career change coach
If you're interested in hiring a career change coach to help you with your transition between careers, consider these steps to help you choose one:
1. Understand what you need
Before looking for a career coach, try to determine what you might require to make a career transition. Realizing the areas where you may need extra help or advice can help you choose a coach. Understanding your needs can also help clarify what type of leadership style is best for you. For example, if you need firm advice, a career coach with an authoritative leadership style may be most helpful.
2. Consider the type of professional you work well with
If you have plans to switch to a certain industry, you may prefer a career coach with experience in that industry. It's also beneficial to consider the time you may have to meet with a career coach. For example, you may need a coach who can do phone calls or online chats rather than in-person meetings due to your schedule. Consider other factors such as personality and working style to ensure you can build a relationship and get along with your career change coach.
3. Determine your career goal
You don't need to create a plan or have a specific goal because a career coach can help with this, but it's helpful to both you and a coach to have a general goal for your career. Knowing your career goal may help in your search for a career coach. Some coaches specialize in certain industries, positions or career paths. For example, if you want to become an entrepreneur, there are career change coaches that specialize in this type of goal.
Related: Setting Goals To Improve Your Career
4. Search locally
It's helpful to start your search locally. This way, you may be more familiar with the coach and their client results. If you're able to find a coach in your local area, meeting with them to discuss your career path and work on the job search may be easier.
If you decide you'd rather meet online or over the phone with your career coach, you can search online for any available coach. Many career change coaches have social media pages or web pages to advertise their services. A web search may deliver results for you. You can also source your professional network to find a referral to a coach.
5. Review the client success of the coach
After finding a coach, look at the success stories from their clients to learn more about how they can help you with your goals. If you can, try to have options so you can look at multiple coaches and choose the professional who is best suited to your needs. Often you can find reviews online about a service. If the coach has a webpage, they may post testimonials from their clients.
6. Request a meeting
Contact the career coach or coaches that you have an interest in working with, and then find a time to meet. A meeting over coffee or for lunch can help you learn about their personality and get an idea of whether you might work well together. During this meeting, you can ask questions and share what you're hoping to gain through your partnership.
7. Discuss their services
Ask about what they include in their services, such as network, application reviews, interview practice and advice. You might also consider the price of their services when choosing a coach. Also, discuss their approach so you can understand why the coach may expect from you and so you can learn what to expect from them. This can help you ensure they can assist you with meeting your goals.
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