5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Career Coach

career Sep 20, 2022
Latina professional woman thinking at computer

In the past, hiring a career coach meant that your performance was deficient and needed some improvement. Over time, hiring an executive coach became a "velvet rope" experience, meaning only high-level executives and key leaders would be allowed access to this level of support. Today, intelligent, savvy careerists know that if they want to get ahead, they need to get an executive or career coach, but how do you know how to find the right one for you?

On my monthly career segment on AM Northwest, I shared five (5) things to consider before hiring a career coach.

Here's a quick summary of what I discussed on the show, but you can watch the entire segment below.

  1. Get Clear on What You Need - Not all career coaches are alike, so you need to know what you need. Are you looking to change jobs? Did you recently get promoted and are looking for support navigating your new role? Are you thinking of changing careers? Do you need interview prep support? Based on what you're looking for, you may need an Executive Coach, Career Strategist, or Interview Coach. Resume writers or those who have skills in updating your LinkedIn profile aren't necessary career coaches, so first, get clear on what you need.
  2. Do They Have a Related Background or Experience - While a good coach doesn't necessarily have to have done your exact role, it helps to work with someone who is familiar with your industry or has worked at your experience level? Again, having navigated the terrain you're currently in may prove valuable.
  3. Do They Have a Method for Success (and Receipts) - If interviewing potential career coaches, ask about the methodology or framework they use to help their clients achieve success? While there should be room for customization, a seasoned career coach knows what works to get their clients the desired results. Ask for examples or case studies (receipts), so you can know whether or not they can help you.
  4. Do They Have a Clear and Compelling Presence & Brand - You want a good sense of their abilities. What's the "word on the street" about them? Do they have a clear digital presence and brand? Look for those credibility markers like posting content, blogs, appearances, teaching, etc., that will let you know you're dealing with someone who knows what they're doing. And if what they're offering for free is helpful and practical, then you know what you're paying for will be unique.
  5. Are They Teaching You How to Fish or Fishing For You? - A good career coach will equip you with the tools and strategies to help you find the answers you need and achieve success over and over again, not just do things for you or give you the answers. You'll get help with your mindset, limiting beliefs, and the tactics you need to know to get what you want.

It's also important to know that prices range. For example, an excellent executive coach will require you to invest anywhere from $15,000-50,000 a year in coaching. A job search coach will be much cheaper ($3,000-5,000) depending on what they're helping you with (resume, interview prep, networking, etc.).


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