I am a career coach and have worked with individuals for over fourteen years in various capacities of recruiting, staffing, employability education, and encouragement/accountability (aka coaching). I meet a lot of individuals who need support, but a fair amount could take on the career strategy endeavor on their own. This blog entry is written to help you determine the following:
- Can you tackle reaching your career goals on your own?
- Do you possess the knowledge to make informed decisions related to career progression?
- Do you possess the skills or bandwidth to conduct regular self-reflection and self-direction?
Let’s first tackle the goals you are trying to reach. Are you considering a coach to help you understand yourself and the options that are in line with your interests, skills, personality, and values? Keep in mind the self you think you know so well may have subtlety changed over time. So it may take some time to unearth who you are today and career options that satisfy you. The mind and ego do everything in its power to not feel uncomfortable. It is important to be self-critical but gentle as you unearth those ideals that satisfy you.
That being said, there are hundreds of assessments online. Many are fun, others very detailed and many are FREE. They can help you better understand yourself. Most will include a summary that you can critically apply.
A question to ask yourself:
- Do you have access and confidence to career knowledge tools and assessments that you can use to understand your current self and next steps?
If you feel confident in navigating the multitude of career tools and assessments on the market and possess confidence in using them, you probably can reach this goal without a career coach.
This brings me to the next point: creating the action to generate the results. You know your vision now; the goal that you are supposed to pursue. Perhaps it is obtaining a specific training or certification that will open the next career door. Maybe you know the job title you are working toward or the work you are supposed to do in the world.
Once you are clear on the action to reach the goal, you have to put action and strategy into practice. It is important to understand if you have the self-discipline habits and action steps to follow through.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you possess the mental dialogue and stamina to do what is required to pursue the vision?
- What was the last goal you accomplished that had multiple steps and required that you encourage yourself over and over to reach your goal?
- Did you reach it? What did you do or say to yourself to regain your stamina?
If you can recall an instance where you reached a goal without support or gentle reminders or regular encouragement, then you can probably reach this goal without a career coach.
Finally, let's talk about the budget.
Many people decide to fix their own houses, cars, or appliances to save money and have self-satisfaction from accomplishing that goal. Let’s use this same analogy with fixing your career. Is learning the skill of fixing your career something that you think you will use over and over? Do you think that the satisfaction of doing it yourself is worth the effort?
On average, clients spend from $600-3000 to meet their career goals when working with career coaches. This is anywhere from a week’s pay to a month’s pay. Most coaches’ rate equates to $100-200/hr for 4-5 hour sessions. What is your time worth? Can you do something else as a better use of your time? Of course, a coach probably can help you get there faster but the lessons you learn by doing it yourself will last a lifetime.
A question to ask yourself:
- Will spending less than $1000 on your own career goals allow you to earn more than 10% of what you are earning now? Or will it give you more peace and health in a shorter amount of time?
If the answer is no, then career coaching should be done by yourself. If yes, it may be cost effective to hire a career coach to ensure you reach your goals in a timely fashion. Look for a future blog post that will outline all of the resources to finding effective qualified career coaches.