Some coaches will try and convince you that you need to hire a career coach. They might suggest that your career won’t survive without the guidance of an expert ‘guru’. I don’t buy this, and have found that these are the type of coaches who use fear and pushy sales techniques to sell their services.
The truth is this: if you’re already fairly successful in your career, you’ll probably continue to be successful. You might change company in a few years, you might get a promotion. Your level of career satisfaction may fluctuate, but it’s likely to stay similar to where it is now.
As someone whose career has personally been transformed by coaching, here are 4 common misconceptions about coaching that highlight why you don’t NEED a career coach, but you might want one anyway:
1. Coaching is not to ‘fix’ people.
Coaching does not focus on previous problems and mistakes, or spend huge amounts of time diagnosing exactly where the problem may have stemmed from. Coaching is not about helping people who need fixing, it’s about creating an even better future for people who are already doing OK. Career coaching is about bridging the gap between your current reality and your biggest career dreams – and the bridge is often shorter than you think.
2. Coaching is not the same as careers advice.
Remember all the wonderful careers guidance at school? What’s missing from your current career is NOT someone from a completely unrelated field of work to you telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. No one is better placed to fully understand your big career dreams than you, and a coach’s job is to facilitate the creation and achievement of these dreams, not to tell you what they should be in the first
3. A coach is not there to be your friend.
Sometimes when we think of coaching it’s easy to draw up images of supportive parents gently encouraging their children to get a little better at football. This is not my experience of coaching as either a client or a coach. A coach is there to raise your aspirations, diminish limiting beliefs and create action. We ask challenging questions and can provide honest feedback about what we are observing in our clients. A coach is not there to people-please – a coach is there to enable clients to achieve more than they previously thought was possible.
4. Coaching is not designed to help you feel more comfortable staying where you are.
Coaching can create huge, long-lasting change. It can empower you to become exponentially more fulfilled in your career. But only if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. You will achieve more if you are willing to experiment with ideas and challenge your own view of what is and isn’t possible for you. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do, it means stretching yourself over time to increase confidence in your own ability to take action.
Maybe you have your own views about what kind of people do or don’t work with a career coach. The type of people I work with don’t choose to work with a coach because they want someone to tell them what jobs they should apply to, or if they should quit their job. My clients know they want to create a career they absolutely love, but don’t know what it looks like yet. They may have a vague idea of what they’d like to do, but have reservations or doubts about making it happen.
I don’t believe anyone needs a career coach. And only you know whether or not you want one. I believe the best way to demonstrate the power of coaching isn’t through a blog, it’s to show you directly. If you’d like to experience a complimentary career coaching session, get in touch and let me know in less than 200 words what you would gain from the coaching session. I’ll be giving away up to five 60-minute complimentary sessions throughout July to those I think will get the most from out of it.
Have a great week!
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