10 Tips on Hiring a Job Coach
Have you ever tried to evaluate yourself? That is, have you tried to look at your strengths and weaknesses objectively? You probably concluded that doing so is nearly impossible. A truly objective individual, such as a job coach, is specially trained to recognize and enhance your strengths and find areas where you can improve as you build your career future.
The first step in your job search is to work with a skilled resume writer to polish your existing resume or craft one from scratch, but being unsure about what types of jobs you even want to apply for is a sign that you may need the services of a job coach.
To help you find the right job coach for you, we’ve compiled a list of ten tips to keep in mind during your search.
1. Know when you need to look for a job coach
A job coach can help pretty much any time you’re seeking a career change. There’s so many elements you need to balance, from how to tailor your resume to the position, to how you deal with interview questions, to how you follow up with a prospective employer. This is a critical time for identifying any factor that could make or break your success in the application process, and a job coach can be a worthwhile investment.
2. Learn why you need a job coach
When a ballplayer is in a slump, the team’s batting coach will pick out the slightest little hitch in that player’s swing. Similarly, a job coach can pick up hitches by reviewing and evaluating your personal application materials and job interview strategies. A job coach can be a sounding board to help you figure out what works in your favor or not. A job coach can also help develop your goals. Maybe you’re not reaching high enough. Your job coach can help you determine that.
3. Be familiar with the basics of a good job coach
You’ll want someone with a solid background in your chosen field. A job coach should be an unbiased third party. You want to find someone who listens well, gets to know you quickly, and can provide solid feedback. A good job coach will stay in regular contact, ask questions, do practice sessions such as mock interviews, and be available whenever you have questions.
4. Do your homework
One of the very first things you want to do is clarify your career goals. For example, is your current job search part of a life-long series of upwardly mobile steps? Why are you searching for a new position at this time in your life? What are your salary and benefit goals? What is your dream job? Are you willing to relocate? A job coach needs to know your answers to these questions before he or she can help you.
5. Prepare for some challenges of working with a job coach
It’s a rare person who can accept feedback and criticism without flinching a little. If you’ve had very little experience receiving criticism, be prepared and gird yourself for some honest, but sincere, evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Your coach’s advice is like medicine: It may not taste good, but the long-term results are worth the swallow.
6. Find a job coach who knows the ropes
Most any job coach can discover what your career goals are, and just going through the motions of a job search is pretty easy. Instead, you want to find someone who has sharp insight into modern technology, networking, portfolio creation, and much more. A job coach should also have a record of success helping jobseekers meet their career goals, so ask for references if possible.
7. Be honest about your background
Transparency is vital when you’re working with a job coach. If you feel something is holding you back in your career, it will be to your benefit to share that with your job coach. You’ll be surprised how another perspective can help break down barriers. Be honest about your employment record. If you’ve ever been fired from a job, your job coach needs to know that and provide guidance in order for you to move forward.
8. “Interview” potential job coaches
You have high expectations of anyone who performs a service for you, whether a doctor, a lawyer, or an auto mechanic. The same holds true for a job coach. Visit with at least two or three coaches to get a feel for their styles and backgrounds. Your instincts will tell you when the fit is just right.
9. Be prepared to network
A good job coach helps you prepare and be the best you can be in the job market, but don’t expect them to hold your hand while you’re out there. There are opportunities you won’t find in the help wanted section. If you’re not comfortable networking, a good job coach can help you develop your social skills. If you’re at ease sharing your career goals and experience, you might find that perfect job when and where you least expect it!
10. Look for a job coach who’s right for you
Someone with experience as a teacher, human resources representative, or employment specialist would be a good place to start. If you’re a recent graduate, most colleges and universities provide job coaching for alumni. You can also contact your state job service agency.
Keep in mind these tips when seeking a job coach who can meet your needs and help you narrow in on your career goals. If you need help crafting a stellar resume or practicing your interview strategies to set yourself apart from other candidates, check out our job success packages.