If you have an initial introductory meeting or “chemistry meeting” with a career coach, you should think about what your goals are from a career coach. What do you want to achieve? For example, do you want to be able to smash interviews without feeling nervous? Do you want to change your job or change your career to the one you love?
Once you have found the best career coach for you, they will tell you what they need you to do for the sessions. Every career coach is different. Some will want you to finish an early job, or a psychometric assessment, others will want you to email your resume or job description if you have interview skills training.
Always make notes of the sessions so you can reflect later.
What a career coach can and cannot do
There are many things a career coach can do for you and your career. It is good to understand the limitations, to manage your expectations.
A career coach can not make decisions for you
The best career trainers ask the right questions or provide the right questionnaires, psychometrics or exercises so you can understand yourself to make the right career decisions for you. They can provide career information and advice on how to make a resume, LinkedIn profile or a skill-based interview, for example, but this is your career, so ultimately career decisions are up to you.
A career coach can not do the job for you
Career coaches will not do the work for you. It is up to you to make the appointment before and after work if necessary. That means devoting time to practice.
A career coach can not find you a job. They may be able to advise on good recruitment consultants or meet people to talk to in the relevant field, but finding a job for you is not a given.
A career coach does not have a magic wand
Sometimes I am asked to have an hour-long meeting so I can tell the client what he should do later in his career. Unfortunately, making wise decisions requires time and effort to make the right decision. My career change plans are at least seven hours of one-on-one sessions with exercises and psychometrics.
Your coach may be able to work with you on your resume and interview preparation pretty quickly. However, it takes longer to work through ingrained beliefs resulting in insecurity and self-doubt. Such changes take longer.
A career coach can help increase self-confidence, insight and inspiration
Career coaches work in the field all the time, so be familiar with the latest trends in interviews or how employers recruit, for example. They can help you with insight into your job search or career development.