Updated: March 2021
Landing a job can be challenging. While there are proven strategies for making traction in the job search, the fact remains that landing a job is a skill that not everyone possesses. It’s also a skill most people put on the back burner until it’s too late, adding to the stress and frustration of waiting only to receive more application rejection e-mails. In this blog post we will share 9 ways to know if and when you should consider hiring a job search coach to help you through your job search.
Why the job search is so challenging and what you can do about it
The job search is challenging because it’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s dependent upon a variety of variables, many of which are outside the job seeker’s control. Fortunately, there are professionals out there with the expertise and ability to simplify the job search, reduce the amount of time spent in job limbo, and help to make landing a job a reality. So just how do you know it’s time to work with an expert to help bring your job search to an end? Here are 9 signs it’s time to hire a job search coach.
1. You feel “stuck” in a job you don’t love
All too often I encounter professionals who have been thinking of making a move but keep the job search at low priority until an undetermined date. This is dangerous because it is essentially putting the brakes on getting out of a bad situation, which will only leave you continually stuck.
Without a new job deadline, you may end up depressed or even worse yet, fired. Another option is quitting without a new job lined up.
A job search or career coach is beneficial in this scenario as he/she will help to kick the motivational component of the job search in high gear turning “stuck” into “unstuck” and making significant movement in the right direction.
2. You don’t know where or how to start your search
Not knowing where or how to start in the job search is another good reason to hire someone (and quick). This uncertainty will only make it more difficult to get started or have you spinning an energy-draining hamster wheel, eventually leading you to that “stuck” place.
A job search coach knows how to analyze where you’re at, where you want to go and how to get there. This insight alone is valuable beyond belief especially if you’re having trouble seeing the forest for the trees. If getting started is your biggest challenge you’re in need of a serious plan. The great thing about a coach will be his or her ability to come up with a plan and then motivate immediate implementation.
3. Your job search isn’t producing any results
If you feel like you’re applying to tons of jobs without ever hearing back, you’re not alone. The number one reason job seekers eventually reach out to me for coaching support is that of lack of results. The whole point of the application process is to generate callbacks that you can turn into interviews and offers. If you aren’t even generating callbacks, you are unfortunately facing a huge roadblock.
Producing the wrong results can either be a flaw in your application strategy (ATS rejection), branding materials or a miscalculation in approach. Either way you are in need of writing or coaching support to learn how to eliminate this roadblock for good.
4. Your job search is producing the wrong results
Hearing back from your applications is usually very much welcome except in the case of hearing back for the wrong positions. This can be as much of a time waster as if you were not applying at all. You’ve worked way too hard to continue your career path in the wrong direction and entertaining the wrong types of opportunities will only delay your job search or career that much longer.
Therefore, you need support attracting the right types of opportunities. Attracting the wrong opportunities is usually a branding issue, which can be solved through strategic tweaking of your resume, LinkedIn or cover letter. A coach can help you to make these tweaks, understand the reason for your brand confusion and also help you better speak to your desired brand and target once you start to enter the interview phase.
5. You’re not sure what kind of results you should be seeing
The job search is a full-time job and if executed correctly, should be producing a steady flow of results. If you’ve been in the job search for several months and have only sent a few applications, you’re not covering nearly as much ground as necessary to produce solid results. Alternatively, if you’re sending hundreds of applications without seeing results, you’re also doing something very wrong. A job search coach can help you get on track and keep momentum around the high-value activities.
6. You’re having trouble staying motivated in your search
If you’ve ever been in the job search for an extended period of time you know exactly what I’m talking about. The job search is draining in every sense and losing motivation is extremely common. I’ve had plenty of clients come back a year after our initial assessment conversation, still in need of help and on the brink of tears. By this point, they are ready to work with an expert because they feel they have no other option. However, it shouldn’t have to get to the point of total helplessness and 6+ months wasted in the job search.
Knowing how to identify when you are losing motivation and take action to recruit a coach is an extremely beneficial insight to possess when it comes to your job search. A job search coach will bring the tools, approach, and plan you need as well as a healthy dose of loving motivation and investment in your job search success. If that’s not enough to wipe away the tears I don’t know what is!
7. You would describe your job search as “discouraging, frustrating, confusing, painful or hopeless”
This is pretty self-explanatory but very true. This is also an indication that you are in need of some help turning things around. A career coach can help to lighten the burden significantly, give you a refreshed sense of your search, and point you in the right direction every step of the way.
8. You’ve been active in your job search for six months
Six months sounds like a long time to be in a job search but believe it or not, it’s reality for the struggling job seeker lacking in job search know-how. If your job search is feeling like the never-ending story, it’s time to hire a coach to help you address what may be a slew of issues wasting your time and keeping you from upward career mobility.
9. You have a fear of future job searches
Maybe you aren’t in the job search right now but are considering starting your search in the next year. When you think about your future job search, do you feel the slightest bit of anxiety? This is a sign you might be in need of help learning how to master your job search (and soon).
A job search coach can be useful for teaching you how to tackle your future goals. Your coach can even answer the questions you have now about how to prime your network for introductions or new opportunities when you finally do decide to give your search the green light.
There a ton of benefits from working with a job search coach but the greatest benefit would probably be the ability to learn a process that you can repeat for the rest of your career.
If you’re hoping to sample job search coaching and get your job search moving in the right direction check out our most popular coaching intro session, The Strategy Call. In this powerful, focused hour, you’ll partner with Strategy Expert Noelle Gross to receive a crash course in job search strategy. With Noelle’s guidance you’ll address your roadblocks, questions, and challenges. You will then receive a full-on solution for getting past all of the things standing in your way. You’ll leave with greater clarity around your targets, critical job search actions, a plan for getting started, clear direction for your professional brand and so much more! Each session includes a full resume and LinkedIn review.