Since graduating with my certification in Career Coaching, Certified Resume Strategist, and more recently, Purpose Life Coaching, I have had a lot of people asking me questions about Career Coaching. What is it? Who benefits from it? How can it help people? Why would someone want a career coach? So I wanted to take a moment to explain a little bit about career coaching, and in particular, how I use it for my individual clients.
For me personally, the thing that I think is most important to recognize is that every coaching interaction is different, unique, and tailored to that specific person. I prefer to work with young adults, either those exploring what career and academic programs they wish to pursue after high school, or those currently in post-secondary studies trying to figure out what to do next after graduation. This is such a fun age group, but also one that has so many options; trying to determine what to do with the rest of your life at 15 can be overwhelming. To help ease that, career coaching helps individuals hone in on specific skills, experiences, interests and natural talents to set goals, fine tune skills, and help be more marketable. To quote Alan Kearns in a recent interview, "[Career Coaches] help people to rethink and re-imagine what options there might be for their career -- much like you would seek the services and guidance of a lawyer to understand the specifics of buying a house..."
As the world changes, academic programs and jobs become different every day. We are trying to prepare for an employment world where positions will look incredibly different because of our innovation, rapidly changing technology, and needs of our citizens. Furthermore, there are so many opportunities out there that no one ever knows exist until they perhaps stumble into it or talk to someone else in it. That is certainly how I started as an educator in a post-secondary environment, because at the time I was planning to pursue Teacher's College, I didn't even know that you could support and teach students outside of a formal classroom. Career Coaching helps students better understand what other options may be out there that are still aligned with their passions and interest (in my case, being a teacher), and better understand the various paths to get there.
I have also found myself having a lot of conversations lately with students about being a consultant themselves. I find it really fascinating that one of the most common comments I hear from students when I ask them what is most important to them is lifestyle. Many of the clients I work with want to set their own hours, work from home, make decisions themselves and not have an employer. On one hand, that is not really all that realistic, however, on the other, that is the way a lot of institutions and organizations are moving. So while I absolutely understand their interest in this, sometimes the hard part is reinforcing for them that in order to be a consultant as a full-time position, you need the education, expertise and network to get you there. Sometimes I see a lot of 'ah-ha' moments when students realize that there is quite a bit of work that must be done before becoming a full-time consultant is an option. I will admit though that I love that conversation, because then we can dig into the path that helps them understand what they might even want to consult on one day, and we can start to determine a roadmap to help get there. These different, challenge, but incredibly rewarding conversations are what I enjoy most about this field.
If you know of anyone who is trying to figure out where to go in their career, which programs would be a fit for their end goal, or even someone with a career hoping to explore next steps, I would highly recommend finding an experienced coach to help with the journey.
A creative educator striving to enhance the holistic student experience and committed to exploring personal strengths and fulfillment.