How a Coach Can Help You Reach Career Success
By Cameron Caswell, Posted Jul 20th 2009 @ 11:21AM
From 'Speaking of Success.'
Career coaches aren't just for America's CEOs. Today everyone, from nurses to educators, marketers to technology engineers can profit from the personalized advice a career coach provides.
From 'Speaking of Success.'
Career coaches aren't just for America's CEOs. Today everyone, from nurses to educators, marketers to technology engineers can profit from the personalized advice a career coach provides. Of course, increasing your bottom line -- money -- is always a good reason to employ a career coach. However, there are other reasons.
Navigating work culture is another area where career coaches can provide direction, especially if you are, say, moving from a job at Fed Ex to a job at Company Y as a mail room attendant, but you want to work your way to another position. We've all seen the movie, heard the stories, "from the mail room to the board room." If that's your desire, a career coach can help you get there.
If career advancement is in your list of aspirations, then you have another reason to consider hiring someone to coach you. Marsha Haygood, president of StepWise Associates, a career and personal development consultancy says, "I encourage clients to articulate their goals and let people know what they want to accomplish. Often people can help you if they understand what you are doing or seek to accomplish."* Getting advice from someone who understands the job market as a whole, who can give you the employers' perspective while helping you to meet your personal objectives gives you a leg up. "I advise my clients to act and work outside the bounds of their job description and be willing to assume responsibility beyond their normal role," says Haygood in 'Speaking of Success.'*
Recent graduates are also good candidates for career coaching. Whether you have just finished your undergraduate degree, an associate's, a certification program or a master's, taking the time to view your options and weigh your goals against current skill level and experience can be invaluable to your success. A career coach can dispel myths you may have concerning your field and give you a "roadmap" that will make your goals attainable.
Haygood, a former human resources executive with over 25 years experience in the field, says that preparation is very important. "I encourage [clients] to develop an action plan. We work to set immediate, short-term, long-term and ultimate goals ...." she adds. A career transition can mean anything from taking certfication classes or working toward a new degree or even saving money in anticipation of a pay cut for your initial entre into a different job industry. This year, for example, the mortgage and automotive industries are expected to go downhill, while retail and trucking are looking at increased demand for workers. Lawyers, accountants and health care workers are also expected to remain in demand. Identifying skills that overlap and knowing where you might need to brush up could save you some stress down the line. See: Industries in the Line of Fire
If you're thinking about relocating or you will have to move because of your spouse etc., and you know that your current job isn't transferable, a career coach can help you. Moving to a different city means different regional employers and different industries that predominate. For example, moving from a city like Los Angeles, where the entertainment industry is predominant, to a smaller city like Charlotte, N.C., where banking and the airline industries are most prevalent, preparing for a career shift might be necessary. A career coach can help you determine your transferable skills. Advanced preparation and coaching could mean a better paying job in your new locale. It could also help spare you months of jobslessness. A coach can give you a strategy that will put you ahead of the curve.
Realizing Your Dream
One of the most important things a coach provides is motivation and encouragement. We all have some dream we have tucked away that we've shared with a few or none. A professional consultant is one who can help you get organized, get started and create a plan for realizing your dream. Haygood has realized her dream, owning a business and helping everyday people with their careers. "I came up with the idea for [Stepwise Associates] 12 years ago, and I started preparing then." She has been working in her new career role for almost two years.
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*From 'Speaking of Success.' For more information about Marsha Haygood and Stepwise Associates, visit the site: www.stepwiseassociates.com.
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