Career Coaches provide assistance and information with a solution-oriented approach to any person who is in need of career advice. In other words, they help people define, redefine, and achieve their professional objectives and other work-related goals.
For instance, Career Coaches can help people figure out what kind of job they’re looking for or help them plan a new career path. They can also give people advice on their current work situation (whether they are freelancers, employees, or executives), helping them develop or improve the following: leadership, communication, interpersonal, stress management, and conflict management skills; self-confidence; and creative and intuitive intelligence.
When working within an organization, Career Coaches help with staff training and development, role transitions, and employment-related issues. However, they usually work on their own, implying they’ve started their own business – and can help others do so. They are, therefore, of great help to entrepreneurs who are seeking some mentoring. In addition, Career Coaches sometimes offer career services to employers, such as workshops and other forms of corporate coaching.
Career Coaches are not to be confused with Guidance Counsellors , the latter having to deal specifically with students and usually assisting them with their academic paths rather than their career paths.
Career coaching is a highly diverse field. As explained above, coaches can work outside, within or for an organization. The client’s needs and the Career Coach’s tasks will vary accordingly. However, the core coaching process remains almost the same in all cases and involves, but is not limited to, the following tasks:
- Interviewing clients to obtain employment history, educational background, and career goals:
- Identifying clients’ skills, needs, difficulties, and opportunities;
- administering and interpreting tests designed to determine interests, aptitudes, and abilities; and
- identifying career opportunities by collecting labour market information.
- Providing information and strategies for maintaining a job or moving within an organization, dealing with job dissatisfaction, making mid-career changes, and adjusting to workplace transitions.
- Advising employers on human resources and other employment-related issues:
- Optimizing efficiency and profitability, improving work environment, increasing overall satisfaction; and
- establishing measurable goals, tracking performance, and creating reports.
- Helping clients with job seeking process:
- Reviewing and suggesting improvements to enhance résumés and cover letters;
- providing interview preparation, including performing mock interviews; and
- providing information on networking best practices both online and face-to-face.
- Offering concrete tools and discussing strategies to improve leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, stress management, self-confidence, and conflict management skills.
- Assessing need for assistance such as rehabilitation, financial aid or further training and refer clients to the appropriate services.
- Presenting workshops and/or webinars.
- Offering support in professional development by identifying clients’ goals and helping them work toward achieving them.
- Identifying clients’ skills and helping them improve these skills or develop new ones.
- Assisting clients during the job searching process by providing them with interview preparation and résumés/cover letters advice.
- Facilitating conflict resolution by helping the client develop emotional intelligence.
- Networking and maintaining relationships to actively promote career opportunities.
The average Career Coach salary is $58,888 per year or $30 per hour. This is around 1.8 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $41,000 while most experienced workers make up to $82,000. These results are based on 14 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Strong interpersonal, communication, and assessment skills:
- Communicating clearly and confidently with all professional levels, including executives, both one to one and in front of an audience (e.g. presentations, workshops, seminars);
- communicating in a strategic, honest, and transparent way;
- expressing genuine interest in another person’s thoughts, opinions, and background;
- being an active listener and displaying a strong sense of empathy and compassion; and
- displaying strong rapport building and customer service skills as well as the inherent ability to make others feel cared about.
- Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills:
- Being able to translate ideas into practical goals.
- Intuition and decision-making skills.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Strategically structuring and customizing client approach;
- prioritizing and planning work activities as to use time efficiently while managing a high volume, diverse workload; and
- multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
- Exceptional professionalism and strong work ethic:
- Being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive/confidential information.
- Optimistic, can-do attitude, and a strong ability to motivate others.
Unlike Psychologists, the title “Career Coach” is unregulated and has no standardized qualification. To earn credibility, Career Coaches should enroll in an International Coach Federation (ICF) approved or accredited coach training program, completing at least 60 hours of coach-specific training. To become an ICF member, Career Coaches must also achieve a designated number of coaching experience hours; partner with a mentor coach; and demonstrate appropriate understanding and mastery of the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics, and Core Competencies.
In addition to a coaching certification from an accredited ICF school, Career Coaches usually own a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in Career Development, Community Engagement, Human/Social Services, Business Administration, Education, or other related fields.
Career Coaches should also display a thorough understanding of the following: labour market trends; job loss cycle; community and government resources; mental health providers and addiction support providers; and privacy legislations, such as Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) and Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). They should also have experience networking and establishing relationships.