You might have heard of, or know, someone who has hired a career coach, but how do you know if hiring one is right for you personally? There could be a lot to gain from hiring a career coach, you need to determine if it’s the right move for you. They do cost money after all. But finding a job is hard, really hard, and you’re going to need every advantage you can think of, especially when the competition is stiff. Plus if you land your dream job, the cost of a career coach would be more than justified. In this article, we’ll shed some light on career coaches so you can decide if hiring one is right for you.
The Top Career Coaching Services
What Is A Career Coach?
Career coaches assist you with finding a job, getting a promotion, changing your career path, or if you find yourself at a crossroad in your career. Career coaches work with you to find your strengths, your weaknesses, and what you enjoy doing to help find a career path that you will be happy with. Oftentimes, career coaches help with the transition from one industry to another or finding an entirely different job than what you started with based on your aptitudes and background.
Why Hire A Career Coach?
Sometimes you just get stuck, and in that case, it is probably best to hire a career coach. They can help identify your strengths, or maybe even introduce you to jobs that you had no idea existed. On average it takes about six weeks to find a new job, and the search can be even longer depending on your experience level and industry. Generally speaking, the more experience you have, the longer it takes to find a job. People are also changing jobs more frequently than they used to, so with that being said, a career coach can definitely help you find, and secure, a job faster than you would have on your own.
If you’ve ever written an essay or have been working on a project, it helps to get a second opinion; someone that can view your project with an unbiased eye and who might not have tunnel vision or be married to whatever it is that you're working on. Career coaches can provide that same type of guidance with your job search because they might be able to see something in your resume that could fit with a position you didn’t even know existed.
They can help you stay disciplined by setting schedules and developing action plans that you need to adhere to. They can give you confidence and inspire you, which will help you to break through barriers and eliminate any self-doubt you might have. And, of course, they can help fine-tune your resume. They also can simply be someone to talk to, which is one of the more under-appreciated benefits of hiring a career coach. By spending money on a career coach and having some skin in the game, you will also be more accountable and regimented as you search for a new job.
When To Hire A Career Coach
There are multiple times and phases of one's career that you may want to hire a career coach:
You’re stuck and unsure of how to move forward
This is the reason why most people hire a career coach, with two categories of people that tend to get stuck. First, people that are looking for a change, but don’t know what they want to change to. And second, is people that have an idea of what they want to change but don’t know where to start. Either way, we’d like to take this opportunity to point out that there are different types of career coaches you can hire, at a variety of prices. If you’re looking at hiring a career coach, it is a good idea to ask them about their background and tell them what phase you’re in. They may be the right fit for you, or they may be able to recommend someone who is more adept at solving your needs. In this example, some are exploratory (first stuck), and some are strategists (second stuck).
Either way, you probably know this feeling of “stuckness,” whether you’ve experienced it in job searching or some other facet of life, in which case it is probably a good idea to start looking for a career coach.
You’ve sent out countless resumes and had no success
There are horror stories of people who have sent out an insane number of resumes in an insane amount of time that have been met with little, or no, response. If this sounds like you, it may be a good idea to find a career coach. The bad news is that you’ve probably been doing something completely wrong the entire time you have been sending out resumes. The good news is that an experienced career coach can usually diagnose the problem and fix it so you start booking interviews.
You’re attempting to enter a different career
Changing jobs (if you already have one) or finding a new job is a daunting task; we’ve all been there. But trying to embark on an entirely new career path can be downright scary. As we discussed above, this is where the motivation and inspiration that a career coach brings to the table comes in handy. They’ve dealt with people just like you before and can make your transition much more seamless and rid some of the anxiety that comes with the transition.
You have trouble with interviewing
This is a challenge that a lot of people face, but the silver lining is that you’re actually getting interviews, which means you're on the right track. As a matter of fact, there are career coaches that cater specifically to folks who have trouble interviewing. We all know that practice makes perfect, and career coaches can simulate actual interviews so you can go in well prepared and confident. From there it should only be a matter of time before you land your next job.
You have a job but are looking for a change
This can also be scary because there is no way of knowing if you’re making the right decision or not until after you change jobs. Again, career coaches can help alleviate some of the stress and instill the confidence you need to go out and seek that new job.
For more tips, check out our guide to career change.
Determining Factors When Hiring A Career Coach
Here are some factors to consider when hiring a career coach.
How do you know what to look for in a career coach so you can be sure to get your money’s worth? There are a number of determining factors, but let’s first start with the question of price. Career coaches aren’t cheap and can cost anywhere between $75-$500 an hour. So the first thing to determine is how much you are willing to spend. A good way to go about doing this is to look at the salary range of the jobs that you’re after and ask yourself if the salary you think you can get justifies the price of the coach. People will look at this differently since everyone has a different budget to work with. Some people might think that saying, “$120 an hour is far and away more than I’d be making at the jobs I am applying to, so there’s no way I could justify the price.” And others might think that spending $1,000 or so would be well worth it considering you’d make it back rather quickly if you did, indeed, get the position that you desired.
Career coaching is a rather large industry in itself and you can find coaches just about anywhere. You will have the option of working with either a local coach, whom you can meet in person or a coach who works at a national consulting firm with whom you can chat over the phone or join in Zoom meetings. This is a good juncture to note that you can, and should interview multiple coaches. As referenced above, it is important to be aware of what stage you’re at in the job search process so you can match up with a coach whose experience and price are commensurate with what you’re looking for. As far as the location goes, some people would prefer a local coach who may even know someone who could have an in for you at a certain company. Others might prefer someone with experience dealing with large, multinational companies. It all depends on what kind of job you’re looking for and whether or not you’re comfortable with digital meetings.
Here are some questions you should be asking as you consider hiring your career coach:
- Does the coach’s experience and price match up with what you’re looking for? What is their track record helping people with similar backgrounds?
- Do you get a good feeling from talking to the coach? If everything is equal, what does your gut say? Who do you trust more?
- If they have a LinkedIn profile, how does it look? Are there any previous clients that you can connect with? What does their social media presence look like?
The Top Career Coaching Services
Professional Resume Services
Professional Resume Services offers a variety of coaching services depending on your needs. Whether you’re making a move to the next phase of your career or working toward a career change, there is a package option for you.
- Accountability and Support Coaching: $325/90 minutes
- Interview Preparation: $325/90 minutes
- Job Search Strategies: $325/90 minutes
- Transition Coaching: $695 for three sessions
- Career Assessment: $945 for five sessions
- Ultimate Career Management Package: $1749 for ten sessions
TopInterview is a coaching service to help you polish your interviewing skills. To begin, you can select either a phone call or video call session with your coach and work together to improve your interview skills. Your coach will create a personalized blueprint for interview success, targeting specific questions and interview styles.
- Essential Coaching Package: $149
- Standard Coaching Package: $298
- Professional Coaching Package: $349
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a career coach worth it?
In our opinion, a career coach is worth it. A career coach can help you land your dream job, get a promotion, change career paths or start your own business.
What are the benefits of career coaching?
There are so many benefits of hiring a career coach. A few benefits of career coaching include: building new connections, fine-tuning your resume, gaining career skills, building confidence, and more.
What does a job coach do?
A job coach or career coach assists you with finding a job, getting a promotion, changing career fields, learning interview skills, etc.
How much does it cost to hire a career coach?
Career coaches can cost anywhere between $75-$500 an hour.
What kind of training do career coaches have?
Most career coaches don't have specific career coaching certifications. While you may find some career coaches with certifications, it is not a red flag if you find a coach that does not hold certifications. Many career coaches have become experts in their field over time and now want to share their knowledge with others.
Now that you have read this article, we hope that you feel more comfortable about hiring a career coach. Doing so could give your job search, or transition to a new career, a big boost, and add confidence to the way you tackle it.
Of course, only you can decide if this is right for you. But if you keep in mind the three basic criteria for choosing a career coach - price, experience, and the area(s) or field they have experience in - you should do just fine and be much more successful at landing the exact job you want.