3 Ways Career Coaching Can Benefit Young Executives
Being an entrepreneur is always demanding, but becoming a CEO at a young age is all the more taxing, whether you’re leading a startup or taking over at a more established company. Without the experience of your veteran peers, you may find the role overwhelming, but the possibilities are abundant for any young CEO who steps up to the plate and tackles the challenges head on.
There are indeed numerous challenges for young CEOs, who must face and overcome obstacles that older executives have more experience handling. Although more seasoned CEOs in their 40s and 50s make up the majority of private-sector corporate leaders, we see younger CEOs taking charge, largely due to the proliferation of tech startups.
The job market as a whole has changed over the past couple of decades as a result of rapid technological progress. We’ve seen new roles and opportunities opening up, as well as new ways of advancing one’s career. Jobs that were once commonplace are being handed over to machines and software tools, but this new digital environment is also creating myriad jobs that were previously unimaginable. The corporate ladder as we know it has been deconstructed in many ways, and talented young people don’t necessarily have to slowly work their way up before having the chance to be considered for an executive position. Many bright and ambitious young minds are turning to entrepreneurship, particularly in the tech sector, but with these changes and opportunities also come greater challenges and fiercer competition.
Becoming the leader of a company entails great responsibility and can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to this kind of management position. Many young CEOs are unsure how best to carry out their duties and guide their organizations to success. That’s where a professional career coach comes in. Whether you’re already leading a team or are only thinking about making a big move, speaking to a professional career coach can help you focus your actions and energy so that you embark on the most practical and beneficial path to success.
So, what are some of the ways a career coach can help a young exec?
1. A career coach can serve as a mentor
Mentors and advisors are extremely valuable in business because they can help young employees climb faster through the ranks or grow their own projects with a strong foundation. Many successful older businesspeople are happy to offer their advice and insights to younger, up-and-coming execs, taking part in building the next generation of corporate leaders. However, it’s rarely easy to find a suitable mentor.
If you’re just starting out as an executive, having a mentor can be instrumental to the stable growth of your company, but if you’re running your own startup, you might not have access to a mentor who understands the business, the industry, and the challenges of being an executive. This is particularly true if you work with cutting-edge technologies or ideas that break new ground—there simply aren’t that many people with the necessary knowledge and experience to serve as mentors. That’s where a career coach can prove immensely valuable.
A career coach with experience in your field can become a mentor or advisor of sorts, guiding you through any obstacles in your path and helping you stay focused on the steps you must take to keep growing professionally. If you’re in a niche industry, contacting a career coaching company can be an easy way to connect with career coaches who have the right expertise as finding an appropriately qualified mentor organically will likely be difficult.
2. A career coach can help build your confidence and self-awareness
Even executives who are already successful can feel a lack of confidence at times, which can affect their performance at work and eventually their company. Others may see a successful and competent business leader, but they can’t detect the imposter syndrome affecting this person until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-doubt is normal in anyone in a position of power, and keeping such feelings in check is essential for a consistently strong performance.
Being new in an industry or in a leadership role brings even more stress and expectations, so it’s natural for young execs to be insecure or to feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility they’ve taken on. They may look at their older, more experienced peers and feel out of place in the world of CEOs, but the more they think in this vein, the more they’ll be inclined to believe they don’t deserve their position.
If your insecurity is starting to affect your job, a career coach will help you identify your weaknesses and devise a game plan to move forward and advise you on improving your leadership and time management skills. Everyone, including the older CEOs you look up to, has weaknesses, but if you identify yours and work on overcoming them while playing to your strengths, you can boost your competency as a CEO and do great things for your company. This is precisely what a career coach helps you do.
However, there’s such a thing as too much confidence, so be careful. There are two sides to every coin, and in trying to show confidence, some young executives go too far, crossing the line into arrogance and closing themselves off to guidance and teachable moments, which are essential for personal and professional growth. Connections are critical to business success, so a healthy dose of self-awareness is key to maintaining strong relationships with your peers.
Self-awareness is a crucial quality for leaders to have as it opens them up for self-improvement. Career coaches are trained to help you identify your blind spots, acknowledge your vulnerability, and embrace learning from your mistakes and constructive criticism. This will lead to greater inner confidence because it will make your progress more manageable and the results more tangible. After all, a CEO’s success is, in many ways, more rooted in their soft skills than their hard knowledge and skills.
3. A career coach can help improve your communication skills
Strong communication skills are key in both life and work, and executives need to have impressive communication skills to delegate tasks and lead their teams to success. Executives must be able to communicate effectively with employees, business partners, investors, and clients in any circumstances. Sharing good news is one thing, but being able to communicate calmly and clearly when mistakes have been made is a skill every CEO needs to thrive in their position. Whatever the context, it’s important for a CEO to maintain professional and amicable relationships with their staff—otherwise, they may end up with disgruntled employees who hurt the company or missed business opportunities with partners and investors.
Execs must ensure their teams feel empowered to correct any mistakes rather than lost and unsure of how to proceed. It’s also important to celebrate their wins and achievements, which makes employees feel valued and appreciated and drives them to work harder. So, if you’re having trouble communicating effectively with your team, it might be time to bring in a career coach, who can analyze the situation objectively, help you identify the issues, and suggest ways to resolve them. Career coaches can also assist you in drawing up a plan that considers the unique circumstances of your company and helps you move your team forward.
It’s not just age and experience that build strong executives but also the qualities they possess, their leadership skills, and their ability to work well with their team. An attitude of lifelong learning and a commitment to self-improvement are crucial for reaching your potential as a CEO. If you believe you could use some guidance as you embark on your journey as a business leader, check out our services for job success and set up a consultation with a career coach today.