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Can a career coach help you?

Career coaches can be invaluable in helping you achieve your career goals but how do you know whether you need a career coach or not? Simply ask yourself these questions…

There are many advantages to hiring a career coach and several reasons why you might need one, but the first thing you need to do is to establish what you need a career coach for. Career coach Denise TaylorDenise Taylor - Career Coach of has come up with her own checklist to help people decide whether they really need to hire a career coach and how they can benefit from the process.

1.    Career exploration and discovery

A major reason that people work with a career coach is because they have become disillusioned with what they are doing – perhaps they have come to a career crossroads and want to change careers, they’ve always had a burning desire to work in a different field, or they’ve simply lost enthusiasm for what they do. A career coach can help to take you back to basics to rediscover what it is you enjoy about work, what your natural strengths are and how to make more of these in your working life.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you happy in your current job?
  • Are you working to your full potential?
  • Do you feel secure in your job?
  • Do you understand your natural abilities and talents?
  • Can you describe your top skills?
  • Do you know how to best use your qualifications and experience?
  • Do you know what your values are?

The more times you say no, the more you could benefit from working with a career coach.

2.    Job search support

Another area that career coaches can help with is the whole process of looking for jobs. Depending on the coach you choose, this can cover everything from CV advice to interview techniques, to researching the unadvertised jobs market. Sometimes just having someone to guide you through these areas can make the job searching process more bearable and infinitely more productive.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you happy that your CV will get you to interview?
  • Are you confident in applying for jobs you see advertised?
  • Do you know how to research potential job markets?
  • Do you understand about the unadvertised job market?
  • Are you confident you can sell yourself at interview?
  • Can you motivate yourself through rejection?
  • Can you negotiate effectively when you are offered a new job?

Again, the more times you say no, the more you could benefit from working with a career coach.

3.    Career management

You may enjoy your job and the company you work for, but want to make more of it. Perhaps you’ve been overlooked for promotion and you’re unsure how to progress your career. Gaining confidence by increasing your profile at work can help you achieve the success you desire and deserve.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you making the progress you want within your career?
  • Are there opportunities for promotion or development within your company?
  • Do you have a plan to get there?
  • Do you have someone to use as a mentor/advisor to deal with difficult work situations?
  • Do you know how to get yourself ready for promotion?
  • Do you know how to increase your profile at work?
  • Do you understand how to get the best out of conferences and other networking opportunities?

To find out more about career coaches, take a look at the International Coach Federation’s website at To learn more about Denise’s work, visit her website at

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