Updated: February 2021
Are you spending years feeling stuck in the wrong types of jobs? Don’t overlook the possibility of working with an expert career coach when it comes to finding your life’s purpose and creating the plan for achieving it. Working with a career coach can be just what you need if you are hoping to figure out you, your dream job and how to make it a reality so that you are spending more time living and less time going through the motions. In this blog post we’ll share the top 13 signs it’s time to hire a career coach.
1. You don’t know what you want to be when you grow up
Without a defined career path, plan or self-assessment each job move will be as calculated as buying a lottery ticket (not good)! A career coach can help to uncover your skills, strengths and even career moves best suited to you. If you feel like you’ve been jumping from job to job with little enjoyment, it might be time to get really clear on the opportunities where you’ll thrive.
2. You know what you want to do next, but you don’t know how to get there
If you are fortunate enough to know your next move, consider yourself ahead of the game! The only thing you need now is to take the correct action for getting there. Unless you’ve successfully changed careers before, the “how to” part takes a specific strategy. If you are not exactly positioned to make your move immediately given your current experience, a career coach can help to devise a plan for making the right career moves in the interim. If you are poised to make a move, a career coach or job search coach can also help with this aspect.
3. You are a planner and don’t want to leave anything to chance
With many parts of the job search and career development 2nd chances are rare and timing is everything. Since there are so many resources available for job seekers it’s not uncommon for coaching clients have a ton of questions. Furthermore, many parts of the job search (networking, interviewing, etc.) are dependent on people requiring a deeper analysis when making specific decisions and moves. This is where a career coach can be really handy. Talk about breathing easy knowing you have made the best moves at the right times thanks to expert insight. Your career coach will have the perfect plan in mind for you and help you incorporate it into your career moves.
4. You are sick of taking the wrong opportunities and want to make sure your next move is the right one
If you’re feeling like your jobs have all been in reaction to necessity instead of strategic moves, this may be a sign you are collecting a resume full of random jobs (which won’t help to tell your career story for the job you really want). Before jumping at the next job that comes your way, you may want to hunker down and work with an expert to really get strategic so you can get your career on track.
5. You are thinking of finding a new job in the next 6 months to a year
The job search takes time and waiting until the last minute to start preparing or looking can be a fatal mistake. Companies take time when hiring and will usually wait to make the right hire instead if hiring a potentially wrong candidate to fill a gap. A career coach can help by assessing your current professional state of affairs and creating a plan for reaching your future goals. A coach is also great for helping you stay accountable along the way (no slacking)!
6. You are lacking a robust network & need help building one
Making strategic contacts also takes time as there’s never any guarantee those contacts will be available to connect or even interested (in which case you need backup contacts). A career coach can help you expand your network in the right direction as well as give strategic insights into how to open doors and start conversations geared toward landing your dream job.
7. You have a lot of questions and need a lot of answers
There are a ton of career resources out there, but unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all advice. Everything about your career and job search is going to be unique to your situation. Career coaches are great to have on hand for those moments of uncertainty when you’re wondering who to contact, when, and especially for knowing what to say.
8. You are spending all your time online
Enough said. The online landscape is vast and it has the potential to be a tremendous black hole time-suck. If you are spending all your time online you may be in need of a career coach to switch things up and generate more high-value activities in your job search or career planning.
9. You are wasting a lot of time you don’t have, trying to figure it out
Life gets busy, especially if you’re trying to make a move while working a full-time job. If you know you need to make a move but your calendar is booked solid, it may be time to recruit the help of a career coach. The coaching process, while it does take time and require client assignments, will be 100% focused on only strategic activities designed to help you make some serious traction.
10. The thought of trying to figure out what you want to do is causing paralysis
The worst thing you can do if you’re feeling stressed about your career, is nothing. However, “nothing,” is what will happen if you are one of those people who tends to shut down when there’s too much on the table. Because career planning is not second nature, a career coach can add tremendous value in helping you get clear and make put the wheels in motion.
11. You’re starting to lose hope and wonder if there’s even such a thing as a perfect job
Hope for the future is essential in the job search yet it tends to be in short supply when I encounter job seekers that have been stuck for months and even years. Losing hope is the first step down a slippery slope into all sorts of side-effects that WILL definitely have you in a total slump. Depression, weight gain, and low confidence are just some of the side-effects you may face if you start to lose hope in the job search.
Having a career coach by your side can be more than a career changer. It can be a life-saver when it comes to the serious symptom of career “hopelessness.” If you know someone who has hit this point, really encourage them to recruit the help of a coach who can uplift, encourage and really bring a spirit of loving guidance to the table.
12. You know you can’t go it alone
Going the job search alone is probably the worst thing you can do if you’re someone who likes to have support in areas where you struggle. A career coach is a great partner in crime (enough said).
13. You want to make a mega-huge change in your career path
Career changes require more than just shooting off an updated resume. Making the leap from rocket-scientist to marketing diva requires a very specific strategy and a career coach will help you to define this. One of the biggest challenges in a career change is knowing how to build your career story with attention to the relevant details. Here’s an example of how to become relevant for a career change, using Linkedin. In my experience career changers in every industry have a hard time spotting this. Don’t lose valuable opportunities to send the right application the first time. Find a career coach who can make you shine!