How To Find A Career Coach That’s Best Matched For You

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You’ll have the framework you need to find a career coach and achieve greatness in just four easy steps.
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Have you ever considered hiring a career coach? 

And would you even know how to find a career coach if you did?

A career coach is an invaluable resource if you’re stuck in your career or want to switch gears and start on a new track.

Not only will they cheer you on, but they’ll also guide you along using a proven framework to save you time and headaches.

So the million-dollar question becomes: How do you find a career coach that fits your needs?

This guide provides four simple steps to help you narrow down your search and find the right career coach sooner.

But it pays to know what you’re signing up for first.

Here’s What a Career Coach Does and Does Not Do

Before you start comparing career coaches for you, it pays to understand exactly what they can and cannot do for you.

While it would be easy to pay someone to tell you what to do for a living with 100% certainty, that’s not how career coaching works.

Yes, a career coach can help you decide between options. But they won’t say you should specifically go out and become a doctor or lawyer, for example.

A career coach doesn’t use crystals or a Magic 8-Ball to help you decide what you should do for a living in one session. 
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A career coach guides and helps you uncover what you’re genuinely looking for.

Through a series of questions, surveys, and other types of tests, they’ll figure out your strengths, weak areas, and what you want out of your career.

Your career coach gives you the prompts, but it’s up to you to actually get the work done. So it requires you to roll up your sleeves and really think about what you want to accomplish.

A career coach only works if you put in the necessary effort to follow their lead.

When you do, a career coach will be there to hold you accountable and check in on your progress. They’ll see what obstacles you’re struggling with and craft a plan for how to best get through them.

That’s what’s so great about having a career coach. You always have someone in your corner rooting you on and giving you valuable insight that may have taken years to get otherwise.

But that’s only if you find the right coach to work with.

How to Find a Career Coach Who’s Best Matched for You 

The process of finding a career coach is a lot like dating someone new or applying for a new job.

Both parties should feel like the relationship is a naturally good fit.

So to find the right career coach for you, follow these four steps:

Step #1: Review Their Background and Check for Certifications

As with any product or service, your first order of business is to check out a potential career coach’s website and social media.

Read through their messaging -- especially the story in their About Us page -- to see what they’re really like. Does anything strike a chord with your situation specifically?

While you’re sleuthing around, it’s also a good idea to look for professional certifications. Do they belong to any career coaching associations?

Badges like these show that your career coach is equipped with the tools and skills they need to help you succeed.

Certifications also usually mean your coach has a proven framework of success that can be replicated to fit your situation. And that’s what will save you time in the short and long run.

Step #2: Look for Testimonials (But Don’t Stop There)

In today’s digital world, testimonials are an absolute must-have.

Without hearing other success stories, it can be risky to put all your faith and hard-earned money behind a career coach.

So if the coach you’re checking out doesn’t have strong testimonials to back up their “proven approach,” consider moving on to the next.
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Keep in mind, thousands of glowing recommendations that sound too vague or too-good-to-be-true should also be a red flag.

So ignore the generic messages plastered all over their website and look for specific details in each testimonial.

If you can find interviews with potential success stories, that’s even better. Check out case studies or examples in the coach’s podcast episodes or blog posts. Then you’ll have a much better gauge of what’s really going on.

Insight like this also gives you a sneak peek into their process, which also happens to be the next step.

Step #3: Test Out Their Freebies First

Before forking over your hard-earned dollars, try to get a free sample of each potential coach’s process.

Sign up for one of their free offers, join their email list, or start following them on social media.

You’ll score a preview of what to expect, whether you receive a free consult, an online guide, an email course, or insider tips and tricks. 

And it’s an excellent way to get to know the coach and their style before committing.

If you plan to take advantage of a free consult, make sure you’re prepared with questions before the call. Then you’ll cover topics both broad and in detail.

Step #4: Make a List and Start Interacting with Your Top Picks

Once you have a few coaches picked out, start researching and comparing what each program offers. Then contact your top picks.

One-on-one interactions with potential coaches let you see whether your vibes mesh well together. And your calls, emails, and other online interactions will show whether their glowing testimonials are authentic.

It’s what happens during these calls and communications that will determine the right choice for you.

Choose a Career Coach and Trust the Process

When you find the best career coach for your goals, it’s up to you to put in the necessary work and have patience.

Consistency and being able to open up and trust the process will help you make the most of your time with your career coach.

And if you eventually find out your career coach isn’t the best fit, don’t sweat it.

With all this experience under your belt, you can repeat the process knowing what you do and do not want. Then you’ll be one step closer to finding the best and avoiding what didn’t work for you.

Either way, the best time to look for a career coach is right now.

P.S. Be sure to check out our friends at Prosper. Bringing personalized 1-1 coaching to the masses, this mobile app is perfect for those who are looking for a remote option. Learn more about their offerings in our conversation with Beckie Thain-Blonk, Prosper's Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer.

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