Years ago, I was a road warrior, constantly traveling from one client to another. On a typical week, I arrived home late Friday night only to turn around Sunday afternoon and fly out to another client. I loved my work, but needed to have a ‘normal life’, one where I was home making plans with friends, building my community, having a life! So, I did what most people do. I began applying for jobs online, scanning job listings and applying for anything that looked remotely like something I wanted to do. The result? You can probably guess. Nothing for what seemed like a long time.
Sound familiar? Have you set up multiple search agents on those online job posting sites filling your inbox with jobs that may or may not match your skills? Do you keep applying online hoping you don’t get that “Thank you for your application but we have decided to pursue other candidates” email? And, if you are fortunate enough to get a phone screening, does it convert to an interview? Does that interview land you the job? If any of these sound familiar, a career coach may help.
So, what is it a career coach does that makes the difference?
The right job. A career coach will listen to you and help you evaluate your skills, talents, and work style to determine the jobs best suited for you. They will help you avoid the shotgun approach to your search and develop a targeted list of jobs and employers truly suited for your skills and personal traits.
A great resume. Yes, a great resume will showcase your skills and help you get invited in for an interview. If you haven’t updated your resume in a few years, it is likely outdated and in need of a reboot. A career coach will guide you, helping you to develop stories that illustrate the value you bring to your work, and make you stand out against the competition.
Networking. Admit it, most of us don’t like networking. It’s time consuming, it’s hard, and we don’t like to ‘sell ourselves’. But that’s exactly what’s needed and a career coach can help you learn effective ways of networking, many of which are not difficult or awkward.
Interviewing. Some people are blessed with great interviewing skills. Most are not. What is it that differentiates the two? How do you respond to those behavioral questions? A career coach can answer those questions and even do mock interviews with you and provide honest, helpful feedback, building your skills and helping you land that dream job.
Keeping your energy up to continue. A less obvious, but important element of a career coach’s services is moral supporter. When you’re having a down day, get the latest rejection letter, or just waiting in limbo for the recruiter to get back to you, your coach is there to help you breath, reflect, and keep you moving ahead when you don’t feel like it. And, when you’ve lost your energy and just want to stop trying, your coach will be there to keep you motivated.
Negotiations. Ah, yes. Negotiations. Won’t I lose the offer if I counter? How much more salary is reasonable to ask? What about non-monetary things? Can I ask for more vacation time? Well, I can tell you after helping hundreds of candidates counter and benefit, that countering an offer respectfully is a win-win for all. A career coach will help you think through the offer, consider your values and what would make the offer more aligned with them.
I was like you. But once I had the help and guidance of an extraordinary coach, not only did I end up where I wanted to be, but I was so inspired that I became a career coach too! Don’t go it alone. There is help out there. You’ll land the job of your dreams and carry those new job hunting skills with you for the rest of your career.