The Four Types of Career Coaching

Often people find themselves between jobs and in career transition as a surprise without having a fair chance to evaluate sources of assistance as they struggle to get back into the labor force. Following are a few scenarios and tips:

Self-Directed Job Search (No Career Coaching)
Most people belong to this group. Their previous employers have not entitled them to career coaching, and they decide not to seek such assistance. Two of the primary reasons are that (1) they believe they were able to secure employment before without a coach and they believe they can do it again (2) they’re in such emotional torment that they feel themselves to be in a fog and can’t make logical decisions. They still mourn their loss. Their job search success is hindered and grossly limited but not impossible. They also may have financial hardship and cannot justify the cost of paying a career coach, which can be a “Catch 22”. The logic here is if they engage a career coach the chances of landing a new job faster increases and thus the return on investment becomes invaluable.

Limited Outplacement Assistance
Some people are entitled to several months of a full package of outplacement services based on their positions in their previous companies and on their tenures there. Paid in full by that past employer, the service may entitle the person in transition to limited, one-on-one coaching; group networking; seminars and workshops; assistance in resume writing; and access to the outplacement firm’s online databases to search for potential employers. This type of service offers value for the first three weeks or so; thereafter the benefit curve turns down drastically. Separately, or in conjunction with outplacement services, some people in transition join one or more of various job search networking groups and/or state-run job assistance organizations. Some of these groups are truly effective for job seekers; others are less helpful.

Career Marketing Firms
A career marketing firm is an organization that hires a sales force to recruit candidates who are typically job seekers in desperate stages of the job search. Payment is made up front and varies, but it’s in the range of 5-15 percent of a candidate’s annual salary. Career marketing firms provide one-on-one career coaching; they produce personal marketing material for the job seeker; they offer access to one or more paid-for databases; and they render assistance with resume writing. Warning: The degree of their success varies, and their reputations by and large are very questionable. Word to the wise; “If it sounds too good to be true – It usually is!” So buyer beware, most of these charlatan operations close up shop within a few years because they get sued for deceptive practices and undelivered promises; others morph into differently named shops and continue preying on unsuspecting and uninformed job seekers. Before you engage a particular firm, talk to people you trust who have knowledge of it; get recommendations for good ones if you can; and then check them out yourself online at

Independent Career Transition Coaches
Independent career transition coaches vary greatly in terms of the fees they charge and the services they provide. Your best bet is to thoroughly check out a coach’s reputation. Talk to several people who have used that coach’s services, visit the coach’s web site, and interview several such coaches before making a commitment. Learn what your total expense will be, and find out what to expect once the coaching is done. An independent career coach tailors a program specifically to your needs.

Bottom Line
A professional career coach assists, teaches and guides you through the process of conducting a professional job search campaign.

Here is a list of deliverables you should expect from a reputable career coach:
• Management Competency and Skills Assessment
• Resume and Cover Letter Development
• Creation of Job Search Marketing Strategy and HOW to Uncover the Hidden Jobs
• Alternative Career Options: Self-Employment, Consulting, Business and Franchise Ownership
• Secrets of Professional Networking and Professional Connectivity Services
• Utilizing Executive Search Firms
• Interview Preparation Coaching
• Comprehensive Mock Interview Training
• Salary Negotiation Coaching
• New Job Assimilation and “On-Boarding” Career Coaching

Professional career coaches will provide unbiased opinions and advice regarding next steps and how to accomplish them. They assist and guide in teaching the skills for negotiation of a better compensation package. Some coaches will provide professional introductions to help their clients expand their network and connectivity to key executives and professionals. A career coach provides the necessary emotional support to get their clients through the job transition. Above all, a career coach will hold their clients accountable and keep them focused to achieve critical weekly activity goals. Hiring a good career coach will typically speed up the job search process and can save you weeks and months of time wasting mistakes.

In Summary
It’s a wise move to utilize an effective learning and career coaching system to ensure and accelerate your success. Simply put, there are two major components to people’s decision making process; emotional and logical. There is no question that a person in-transition is surrounded by all kind of emotionally driven thoughts. Given a little time the emotional side will subside and be taken over by the logic. That is the time to make the hard decisions. The sooner you get there – the sooner you will get employed.

Keep in mind that most significant career growth and learning in life takes place in the context of supportive trusted advisor relationships. No matter what your circumstances may be, working in partnership with a career coach will have profound impact and value. If you feel able and confident completing all these steps on your own, great. Go for it! On the other hand, if you would like some assistance, we’re available to help you.

Hire Consulting Services provides a no cost phone consultation to assess your personal career situation and determine if career transition coaching is right for you. Contact HCS by phone: 760-230-4301 or email: and please include the best days and times that you’re available to talk by phone and a send brief description of your situation along with your resume. We’ll get back to you with a good time to schedule the appointment.

Good Hunting!
Coach Mark

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