Career coaching – what to expect

Feel lost or stuck in a job you don’t enjoy? Not sure how you ended up on your career path? Almost one third of UK employees are unhappy with their job and want more from life than being stuck and feeling unhappy. We want to feel valued and recognised, contributing to a greater cause or business success. We want our work to be fulfilling and worthwhile our time.

But how do we close that gap from where we are to where we want to be? Friends are a great first sounding board, but sometimes a professional career coach might be just what is needed.

What does a career coach do?

A career coach will help you understand what you want and how you get there. The process involves to bring to light everything there is to know about you – what drives you, motivators, strengths, values, skills, work achievements and so on. With this blueprint about yourself, the coach will guide you in finding out what is missing in your current job that would make it worth your time and so much more enjoyable for you. This could be anywhere between making small changes to the current role to making a 180 degree career shift. By the end of the coaching work, you will leave knowing where you are heading and the steps involved to get there.

Career coaching is not advice about certain industries and the coach will not tell you what you should be doing. Instead, they will be objectively listening to what you are saying and support you in recognising what makes your heart sing.

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Who is career coaching for?

Career coaching is for anyone who is unsatisfied with their work. Some will already know what they want and need support in making it happen, while others don’t know at all what they want and simply feel the urge that something needs to change. With options like a portfolio career, remote work, freelancing, and running your own business, it is sometimes difficult to know the right direction.

The most common topics include:

  • understanding what you really want to be doing
  • getting ‘unstuck’
  • getting clear on career goals
  • forming an action plan
  • returning to work after a break
  • understanding priorities after redundancy
  • changing career paths
  • knowing the direction after graduating
  • not knowing what to do

How does the coaching process practically work?

The practicalities of the coaching process depend on the coach. For individual coaching, most coaches will offer an initial consultation session to assess whether the coach and coachee are a good fit for each other. This is a good opportunity to ask the coach any questions you may have, such as how the process works, the number of sessions needed, how much homework is involved, fees, and logistics. Once the coaching process has started, there will be hourly sessions, either in person or over the phone/skype. In my coaching practice, the process lasts from only a few sessions up to 12 sessions, depending on the scope of change the coachee wishes to make. There is homework involved and the coachee is asked to come to the sessions prepared, to make the most of our time together.

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