Do You Need A Career Coach?

A career coach can be an invaluable resource in today's competitive, constantly changing and often difficult market. Consider whether you might need a career coach to help you plan and execute your job search. Career coaches can help you explore and define your professional competencies, address personal issues impacting your career, clarify your career objectives, resolve obstacles, assist in managing successful job searches, and prepare you to competitively interview. There are two types of career coaches: career-management and career-marketing. The career-management coach focuses on broad issues related to your entire career - the past, present and future. Prime candidates for career management coaching are individuals in career transition and/or career limbo, uncertain about their objectives. Other candidates are those who need ongoing support. They want a confidante and strategist at their side. The career-marketing coach offers short-term support to guide you in developing, implementing and managing your job search. This type of coaching focuses on defining your objectives and developing a job-search plan. These coaches help you evaluate job-search activities - resume postings, job lead reports, recruiter campaigns, networking - to identify those appropriate for your search and your specific objectives. This type of coaching is best for those who already know their career goals and are ready for action. Coaches routinely charge $50 to $250 per hour. Shop wisely, ask questions and get to know the coach a bit before hiring him or her, to be certain you're a good match. Be a smart consumer and you'll be a successful job seeker. Wendy S. Enelow is co-author of "Expert Resumes for Military-to-Civilian Transitions." She also teaches workshops at American Legion veteran job fairs.