The 3 Questions You Need To Answer Before Working With A Career Coach
If any of this is true for you, engaging with a career coach may be the way to go. But before you dive headfirst into a coaching relationship, make sure you understand what (and what not) to expect. The three questions below will help you decide if career coaching is the right option for you.
the 3 questions you need to answer before working with a career coach
Look for a career coach with professional experience in your target industry or your specific role, or with expertise in assessing and hiring talent. Some of the best coaches are accomplished people leaders in a particular industry whose primary focus was on the success and development of their employees and teams. Recruiters, talent managers, and human resources professionals also make great career coaches as they often have deep experience in assessing skills, determining job fit, and providing career guidance.
Look to partner with a career coach who has a specific methodology and process. They should be able to explain how their process works and provide details of previous client successes. Many coaches enter the profession to help and inspire people. A good career coach can balance support with accountability, empowering and enabling you to restart your career with confidence, and leading you toward a more rewarding professional life.
If you've never worked with a professional coach before, you might think their job is to hand you all the answers to your life's problems. In reality, a coach is there to guide you toward your own solutions, and hold you accountable for taking action.
One important way coaches achieve this is by learning how to ask their clients the right questions. These provocative queries may force someone to look at their situation from another perspective, thereby encouraging the breakthrough they need to succeed.
If you can name it, you can claim it. Life and careers are full of roadblocks and naming the hurdles -- personal, professional or relational -- can help you begin to brainstorm what problem you really need to solve or help lessen the size of the barrier. With dialogue and coaching, you may realize it's not a real barrier at all, and you can find a way forward. - Jodie Charlop, Exceleration Partners
Once she realized that she enjoyed helping others with their career paths, Blake enrolled in a course to improve her coaching skills. In a chance encounter with a colleague, she found out that Google was looking for someone with these skills for a new role.
The number one rule of answering this question is: Figure out your salary requirements ahead of time. Do your research on what similar roles pay by using sites like PayScale and reaching out to your network. Be sure to take your experience, education, skills, and personal needs into account, too! From there, Muse career coach Jennifer Fink suggests choosing from one of three strategies:
From a coaching perspective, the client is the expert about who they are. Asking questions that encourage them to reflect on their answers is respectful of the peer-to-peer relationship between the coach and client. This is what good coaching questions accomplish.
At the beginning of your coaching career, asking powerful questions requires some forethought, but after you become more skilled as a coach, the questions flow more naturally. The most powerful questions to ask are not the ones a coach asks a client, at least not in the beginning.
Frequently applied to organizations seeking change, these same ideas work with individuals. Dr. Lynn Jones (n.d.) developed a series of questions coaches can use with clients. For example, when working with someone who has an entrepreneurial spirit, you might ask:
Coaching is still an unregulated field. While some coaches have extensive training, others do not. People seeking this type of arrangement can interview the coach before embarking on a coach/coachee relationship. Certification can indicate a certain level of knowledge. Still, it does not necessarily mean that the coach is the right fit or has the necessary experience the client wants or needs.
Maybe you've been working a corporate job, but feel it's time to start freelancing. Or maybe you feel you're in a professional rut and a change of scenery would do you some good. Whatever the case may be, there are certain questions you should ask yourself before switching careers.
"Write out what isn't working for you in your current career," Allynn Taylor, career and life coach with Ama La Vida, told Business Insider in an email. "Is it lack of flexibility, micromanagement, feeling unfulfilled? Making this list will help you to get a visual representation of what's compelling you to change careers and allows you to see what you do want in your next career chapter."
"Anchor yourself in what you need as a human being, not just in your career," she said. "If being at home with your children or your elderly parents is a priority for you right now, or having time to train for a marathon is a must, you need to consider that."
"Any change you make will present challenges," Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach," said. "For example, some of these include lack of training and the right credentials, competition with other, more experienced candidates, ageism, or not having a network to tap into for your job search."
"Once you have that picture of a life you love 10 years out, consider the career that will support you living into that vision," she said. "Design your next ideal role, independent of specific options. Create the perfect job description that aligns with what you want. Then consider the next two to three roles you need to grow into in order to fulfill that 10-year vision, and the skills and experience you will need to accumulate."
"If you need to be retrained, you face the expense of education," he said. "And if you cannot work while in school, there is the opportunity cost of the income you have given up. And when you do make the career change, you may find that the entry salary is less than what you earned before. Can you afford to pay your bills on this new salary?"
Without any questions, coaching would be somewhat like giving instruction without raising awareness, lecturing without self-reflection, and it would be tough to spark the same accountability that drives results.
Quenza is an online coaching application that allows you to assign customized questionnaires to your client, ensuring a continuous conversation and a simple way to ask questions. The client can answer these questions in the privacy of their home using the encrypted secure platform, which is GDPR and HIPAA compliant.
Career coaching questions are similar in some respects to life coaching questions and different in others. Whereas life coaching questions can be related to a range of domains: emotions, relationships, health, family, or similar, career coaching is focused on job-related ambitions, looking at aspects such as performance, skills, future direction, and professional aspirations, among others.
As you have probably noticed, there is a similar theme running through these and other coaching questions in other domains. Great coaching is about empowering your client to find the answers themselves, whether that means looking at their professional skills or their whole lives in a different light.
Make the most of your visit if you feel lost, unsure, or uncertain about your career. Maybe you just need some career answers before making a decision. Wherever you may find yourself in your career path, be prepared with these career advice questions to help guide the discussion.
If you want to impress your hiring manager during your next interview, you need to know which questions to expect and how to answer them. If you need help practicing those answers, your advisor may offer mock interviews or refer you to workshops available from your career services center.
That said, coaching is not always the answer. There may be times when all team members are productively getting on with their work, and the right approach to managing them is to leave them alone. This approach, which we call laissez-faire, appears in quadrant 2.
Maureen, a career coach with Bravely, the only coaching solution built to provide transformative company-wide coaching for every employee at all levels, shares another insightful approach to this interview question:
Sharing what needs improvement can be a tricky question to answer, as it requires a balance between acknowledging weaknesses while demonstrating self-awareness and a willingness to improve. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about how to answer which areas need improvement.
From sharpening resumes and elevating LinkedIn profiles to providing interview preparation and career advancement strategies, our blog is a wealth of knowledge, drawing from our extensive experience working with hundreds of clients and positively impacting the lives of thousands of job seekers.
So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" take advantage of this opportunity. It's the best way to determine if you'd be happy working for this employer, and whether your goals are aligned with theirs.
If they say, "No, you answered all of my questions very well," then this may tell you you're in good shape. If they respond with, "Actually, could you tell me more about X?" or "Would you be able to clarify what you meant when you said Y?" this is your chance for a redo.
If you're going to be working for several people, you need to know "the lay of the internal land," she says, or if you're going to be over several people, then you probably want to get to know them before accepting the position.
Asking about problems within a company gets the "conversation ball" rolling, and your interviewer will surely have an opinion, Oliver wrote. Further, she says their answers will give you insights into their personality and ambitions and will likely lead to other questions.
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