4 signs it's time to hire a career coach
Updated: Jan 23
Career coaches can help employees and job-seekers with a wide variety of work-related challenges: writing resumes and cover letters, targeting job searches, finding ways to develop careers and more. Some will provide ongoing support during a difficult time at work, while others are more focused on helping clients achieve a specific goal, such as finding a new job, polishing a resume or improving soft skills.
A great coach will help you tackle much of your anxiety, part of which could stem from a disconnect between your personal goals, what you are passionate about, and the day-to-day responsibilities of your current positon.
Career coaches’ rates vary with the services they provide, and they tend to charge by the hour like a consultant, counselor or therapist. Although it’s not cheap, it can be worth it. A great coach can help you to achieve balance in your life, find ways to unravel your patterns, and discover new ways of thinking about who you are in work and in the world.
Some of the signs you could use a career coach include frustration, anxiety, fear, unhappiness and unhealthy behaviors, such as not sleeping or eating well.
Here are some other signs hiring a career coach could help your career.
You feel unfulfilled
If you’re asking yourself “how did I get here?” about your career, it may be time to talk to a coach. Other similar signs: You long to change careers or roles within your own company, but you’re either not sure how to do that — or you sell out for the security of your current position or job, despite the fact that you feel like it’s soul-sucking. Whether you’re trying to find greater happiness in your current career, or trying to find the clarity, courage, and tools you need to make a career change, a career coach can help you pave a new direction.
You don’t know who to trust
The workplace landscape is often very political, which can make it difficult to know who is truly on your side. A career coach can be just that person for you: someone who has your back and is committed to your best interests without serving their own agenda. Someone outside the situation can help you find new perspectives on challenges as well.
You’ve been job-hopping without direction
The most obvious sign that you need a career coach is the inability to maintain employment in the same position. If you are on the bad end of a layoff every 8 to 12 months, your work ethic or performance may be to blame. It may be time to examine your motivations and how you define career success. Understand what you can change and get back in the driver's seat
You’re not advancing
If you have held the same position for two or three years and have been passed over for a promotion several times, it might be time to reevaluate your performance. It’s easy to blame your employer for your personal failures, but it’s only OK do so after you’ve taken a long, hard look at what you might be doing to derail your own success. A coach can help uncover what's really holding you back.
Make a choice. Whether you decide you want to do your current job better or to explore a field of work that’s more you, make a choice that feels like you're taking a stand in your life. If you need help in weighing the pros and cons and brainstorming the alternatives, give a career coach a shot.
When the answer to improving your current situation is elusive, don't sweat it, don't beat yourself up about it. It'll probably be scary or uncomfortable, but you always get to make a new choice if this one doesn't work out. Life happens outside your comfort zone.