Do I Need a Career Coach?

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We live in a fast-paced world and ever-changing society where job trends change daily. With what seems like an infinite number of options and possibilities, figuring out your career and where you want it to go takes time, patience, and an open mind.

The good news is – A career coach can provide expert advice and help you pave the way to a fulfilling and satisfying career. 

What is a Career Coach?

Whether you are looking for a career change or you recently graduated and aren’t sure of your next steps, deciding which career path is best for you can be daunting. A career coach provides expert guidance on career planning, professional goal setting, resume building, interview and negotiation techniques, and a variety of other career-related tasks. Additionally, career coaches assist with holding you accountable while navigating the job search or negotiating a raise or promotion, for example.

Career coaches can serve as a huge asset and investment for your future if you are feeling lost or if you’re interested in altering your career direction. Although you might be hesitant to change careers or pursue a career outside of the field or area that you majored in, career changes are quite common. According to 2019 data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans change careers 12.3 times from the ages of 18 to 52. Moreover, nearly half of these jobs were held from ages 18 to 24. Remember- your career is long, and you will not necessarily remain in the same role or field as you might have originally planned.

When to consider hiring a Career Coach

The decision of whether to proceed with hiring a career coach depends on many factors. Though it can be hard to admit you need help with something so personal, there is no shame in getting another opinion and turning to a professional!

If you are experiencing any of the following from the list below, then you might consider hiring a career coach:

  • You are unhappy in your current role and feel stuck
  • You are feeling unfulfilled or working simply to bring in a paycheck
  • You have been job searching for months without landing any/many interviews
  • You need resume review or interview prep
  • You are not advancing in your career or getting promoted
  • You want a raise but aren’t sure how to ask for one
  • Your original career goals have become clouded or lost entirely
  • You have multiple interests and don’t know how to harness them into a career
  • You don’t have enough or any interests to harness into a career
  • You are struggling to hold yourself accountable related to your career or job search

When in doubt, guidance is extremely valuable. Professional help comes at a price, however, and might not seamlessly fit in your budget if you are unemployed. Keep in mind that not all career coaches are going to be the best fit, so it is crucial to do your research before proceeding with your first coaching meeting.

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Actionable Steps


Take time for self-reflection

There is no need to jump into the decision of hiring a career coach. Regardless of where you are in your career journey, take a step back, and do some self-reflection. Ask yourself- What are my professional goals? If you are experiencing any of the feelings listed in the bullet points above, reflect on why that is.


Do your research

If you decide to move forward with pursuing career coaching, it is imperative to do your research before spending your time and money on a service that you haven’t fully vetted.


Seek advice from others

Talk to your mentors, colleagues, family, and friends. You might be able to score a referral to a reliable and trusted career coach in the process.


Read more on this topic

You can learn more about career coaching by reading the following articles, reviewed to be the best by our professionals Should You Hire A Career Coach by Business News Daily, 10 Things You Should Know About Career Coaching by Forbes, and Should You Hire A Career Coach by Top Resume.

About the Author

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Alyssa holds an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. For the last 7 years, she has coached hundreds of college students on how to be successful academically and in prepping for a job.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

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