Whether you are actively engaged in a career search or beginning to think of making a job change, a professional career coach can be extremely helpful.
Alumni Career Services provides a list of pre-screened coaches who can assist with job search strategy and tactics. Many of these coaches are also available for complimentary 1:1 consultations during class reunions — check your reunion event schedule for more information.
What to Expect From a Career Coach
A coach can give you tools to help you define what you want to do, develop company targets, design campaigns, and market yourself. Some coaches are versed in the assessment process, which can be helpful for alumni who are thinking of a transition but are not sure of what the next step should look like. Other coaches may be more tactically oriented, blending assessments with tools to help clients create more structure around their job search.
In order to ensure a good working relationship, you should spend some time getting to know two to three coaches to determine their coaching style and fee structure. After you check their LinkedIn profiles and web pages for background, get in touch by phone or email.
Questions to ask when talking to a career coach:
- What type of individuals do you have experience working with?
- What is your coaching method?
- What key topics are covered in the sessions?
- What type of self-assessment tools do you use? Is there a separate fee for them?
- What kind of time commitment is involved?
- Can I go through the coaching process by phone and/or email?
- Can I call anytime, or do I need an appointment?
- Will you provide references?
It is important to recognize that career coaches are just that — coaches. It would be impossible for them to have deep exposure to each client’s particular industry or functional area, and so they should not be considered a source of specific job leads. They are, however, a tremendous resource in helping you put structure around the career management and job search process.