Why use a career specialist?
I was inspired to write this after reading Darius Foroux’s article The Benefits of Working with a Coach I wanted to delve into what working with a specialist career coach specifically can do to help anyone in their career.
There are a multitude of benefits and the basic strategy is:
Discover what you really want to do (what gets you out of bed on a Monday morning in a good mood)
Discover what you really need to do (ask for a promotion, move companies, train, set up your own business, etc.)
Develop a strategy in which to do it (the how, the costs of energy, time, effort, money involved)
Do it (this is kinda down to you to take action – a good coach will keep you on track and keep you accountable)
Sounds simple, but for many people even having the foggiest idea of what they want to do work wise stumps them.
When working with a career specialist and coach you gain an understanding of what fires you in your life not just in your work – this is where I start with clients – what you want your life to look like, feel like, hell taste like?!
Your career is a part of your life – admittedly a large part but not your entire life, yet so many of us allow our career to define our identity. Think back to those heady days when we could socialise in large groups in person and what are the first 3 questions you ask someone new or get asked:
“What’s your name?” “How do you know (host of party/so and so etc.)?” “What do you do?”
For many years in my previous profession I wanted to list my hobbies and interests instead of my job to answer this last question as I really didn’t want to talk about work, especially my work, at a party.
But we use those answers to assess people and make assumptions of them. Their job may help us to understand where we both stand on the social scale, what type of person they are, if we want to continue this conversation or not - slightly ludicrous that just one element of our lives carries so many connotations.
Now I am not advocating going out and getting a career coach just so you can sound interesting at parties, what I am strongly hinting at – is if you hate answering that third question then you may want to really consider if the role you are in works for you.
And this take me back to my original point – your job needs to serve you – it should not just be the bill paying mechanism as it should enable you to learn, grow, develop, make friends, face and overcome challenges, help and support others.
The work you do should speak to your values; whatever they may be and, dare I get too high on the horse on this one, you should feel and see that you are making a positive impact in what you do.
Not only does a career specialist delve deeply into your internal desires and dreams but they will address the practicalities involved in getting that pay rise or a new role by supporting you with:
Enhancing your CV and LinkedIn profile
Improving your interviewing style with techniques and tips
Navigating negotiations for pay rises and new roles
Logistics of starting a business
Working with a specialist coach gets you to your end aim faster; not only due the strategy and structure you put in place and the accountability you as their client are held to, but also because you identify and explore all of the obstacles that may crop up.
By envisaging what may happen you can plan thoroughly; get support in place, seek advice, widen your network etc.
What about those of you who are in your dream role? Or in the best organisation and loving pretty much every minute? Do you need a career coach? Perhaps not – coaching is for everyone but at the right time and most definitely with the right coach.
However, ahhh – there’s a ‘however’, many people, despite loving their job, may not feel as if they are progressing fast or far enough. Whether that is leaping up the corporate ladder, getting a pay rise or receiving specific training – the ‘stuck’ feeling affects so many of us in the workforce.
For the clients I work with I look at how they are holding themselves back. Oh yes, there will be things that are outside of their control “I’ve come as far as I can in this particular business – there is no more room and I hit the ceiling” but I tend to delve into how they are stopping themselves from really achieving what they want to and moving forwards.
There are as many reasons as there are people when it comes to this one, yet, after working with a multitude of clients over the years, the big blocker tends to be self-confidence or to be more accurate – the lack of it.
Low confidence, self-esteem, inner-belief, courage, self-esteem – whatever you want to call it is the standout culprit when it comes to stopping us from making changes. The simple reason being is that change is scary and takes effort, we, as humans tend to opt for the energy saving comfortable path rather than exert a lot of stress, time and effort in finding something new to do.
Fear also plays into this – the fear that we will fail and be left in a new job we hate even more, or, even more frightening - left with nothing – no old job, no new job.
And of course, we also suffer from a fear of success – that if we get that new job then we actually have to turn up, do it and deliver – we have to live up to the expectations set through our CV and interviews.
That sounds like hard work.
Better stay here and be safe and comfortable.
Once again – this is where a great career coach and specialist will step in and challenge your mindset on this. They will discover what is really holding you back and how to overcome it.
I work a lot on supporting clients who live with crippling Imposter Syndrome and each and everyone of them experience it in a different way. It is up to me as their coach to find the best ways in which to acknowledge, embrace and manage it so that they can take larger steps faster in their career and, ultimately, live the life they want to and deserve to.
Your career specialist should not only challenge you but also support you – there is no judgement in coaching, no personal advice given (if you are seeking that then find yourself a mentor)
Instead, a great coach will ask you insightful questions to unveil your own advice and they will support you every step of the way. They will celebrate your wins with you and be ready to navigate the times when you fall.
A strong coaching relationship is open, honest and confidential – it can lead you to making the best decisions in your life and making deep discoveries about yourself.
What are you waiting for?
Get in touch today if you want to explore how career coaching can help you be happier and more fulfilled at work.