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Career Coach: Why and When You Should Hire One

Before you embark on a journey, you need to count the cost. When you do so, you would not get stranded on the road. This is the same with your career journey. Hiring a career coach is part of the decision you have to make at one point or the other in your career journey. It does not necessarily have to be at the beginning of the journey.

Whenever you discover that you need to make changes in your career life, getting a good coach may be an option. A career coach offers insight, counsel, and guidance on the right step you need to take in your career development.

In this article, we will look into what career coaching entails and why you should hire one now.

How Can A Career Coach Be Relevant In Your Career Journey?

A career coach applies the skills of communication, strategies, and analytics to help you pilot your way from the point you are to the point you want to get to in your career. Your career coach follows you throughout all the stages of your employment process – ranging from choosing the right job, perfecting your application materials, your interview(s) as well as every other step in between and further from that until you get a suitable job. 

They are the best options you should run to even before taking any career decisions because they have a vast knowledge of the current job trends, what jobs are available and the right skills suitable for them. Hiring one will keep you from making trials and errors.

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When And Why You Should Hire a Career Coach

As you have made up your mind to hire a career coach in your journey to getting the best career, here are some of the reasons to convince you that you are taking the step in the right direction:

1. You are ready to advance your career in your current place of work

When you want to move up to the next level of your career, consulting a career coach is a good option. Your career coach will get to know you, your job, and the organization you work for. Before proceeding, your career coach will offer constructive feedback on your present performance based on the information you supplied to them. 

From there, they will work with you to sharpen certain skills that you already possess but need improvement on. Afterward, you will be introduced to new ones that you do not have yet. Improving on and mastering these skills will help to position you for career advancement.

2. You are ready to move to a new organisation

If you have weighed your options and concluded that it is time to move on from your current place of work to a better one, a career coach will be handy to walk with you. Since they stay current with trends in the industry, they may also help you to know the specific companies to apply to and how to position yourself for a competitive advantage. 

3. You need a key career change

When it is time to make a major career shift in your professional life, you will need the services of a career coach to enable you to do that. Discussing with the coach, you can both look into your current career and why you need a new one. They can help in deciding the right strategy for your career shift and what you will need to do to adjust easily.

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4. It is time to establish a career path

If you look at your current career and find out that you have been doing certain things the wrong way, then, a career coach can step in to guide you towards the right strategy to apply to become an authority in your profession. They will help you to define your career purposes while offering advice on the long-term career paths you need to follow. They will also recommend the right course of action to take in accelerating higher, including the professional training and strategies that will be required.

5. If you are reentering the workforce

If you have stayed off the job for some time and want to bounce back to your feet, you need a career coach to guide you. This is especially if you have difficulties identifying what you should do. Working with a coach can help you decide exactly what to do, rebrand yourself and reconstruct your skills, and foregoing experiences. 

READ ALSO: Characteristics of a Good Mentor: What should I look out for

6. If you need to develop job strategies

Although a coach won’t place you in a job, they can help you greatly to land a good job. This, they do by helping you to restructure your resume, rebrand you personally, help you with tips on how to break even during interviews as well as salary negotiation strategies.

7. If you are starting your own business

If all you need is just chart your course and start your own business, then, a career coach should be handy to guide you all the way. In this case, you need an experienced coach in entrepreneurship who has established their own business. The aim is to have someone who has walked the way to help you too. They will keep you focused on the path you need to follow. In the long run, you will save time and money that would have been spent in making mistakes while trying it out your way.

How To Find A Good Career Coach

It is not always easy finding a good career coach, even though they are everywhere. Career coaches are focused on different aspects of their profession that they do not always provide the same services. This is why you need a good one. 

You can find a career coach through a referral or word of mouth. Going online and searching through different platforms like LinkedIn will enable you to get a perfect fit for you. In addition, they offer service hourly and demand their pay in the same manner. However, it is a red flag if the amount your career coach asks you as an upfront fee is overwhelming. So, do not trust everyone online or see them as offering the best services. Be on the look for scammers and ensure to avoid them. Scammers do not wear special clothes or appear in a special way to help identify them easily; they are just like you and me.

READ ALSO: 10 High-Paying Graduate Jobs Attainable With Bachelor’s Degree

What Are The Factors To Consider Before Hiring a Career Coach?

You do not just hire a coach, you must consider the pros and cons involved to determine the right one to hire. Below will guide your decision:

1. The feeling of connection

The first factor to consider before hiring a coach is how much you are connected to the person. Some people can never flow with a certain kind of person. It is not out of hatred but their personalities contrasted. As a result, if you get involved with a career coach whom you will find difficult to relate with, it might affect the aim of your mission. Therefore, find a coach with whom you resonate for effective business and communication.

2. Personal experience

A coach who has walked the talk will, most definitely, be able to help you than any other one. It is not about their years of expertise and how much in demand they are, what matters the most is the one who has a similar experience as yours. It could be in the area of career transition, launching your own business, going back to school, and any area specific to your needs. The essence is for the person to integrate their experience into you and help you to fly.

3. Strong coaching experience and training 

Here, it is not all about the years of service, but the number of people they have coached. For instance, a coach might have worked for 100 years with only 5 clients, while another has worked for five years with 100 clients. You should choose the latter. Usually, it takes around 10,000 hours of coaching to attain a level of mastery. So, instead of asking about how many years they have worked, ask them how many one-on-one hours of coaching they have carried out. Besides, inquire about the certifications they have obtained as it will help you to distinguish between those who are deeply trained and those that are just working with their first certificate.

4. How intellectually sound they are

A coach should be able to wow you during the negotiation stage. If you cannot feel their expertise, it is most likely that you may not learn something meaningful from the session. 

5. Psychology background

Career coaches are counselors. So, if you have any underlying psychological issues that may affect your career, you might consider working with a coach who has a background in psychology. It will enable them to address your core challenges like depression, anxiety, and the likes while offering their professional services. In the end, you are left happy and fulfilled.

How Much Does a Career Coach Charge?

Just like the services of many other professionals, there is no static cost for hiring a career coach. A coach charges the clients based on many factors like the coach’s years of expertise, credentials, the field of practice, success rate, and the location of their practice. A career coach who is a strong authority in the field will charge more than an emerging professional in the field. A highly demanding career coach may also charge higher. 

But on a general note, a career coach charges between $75 and $150 per hour. However, it can be as high as $500 per hour, depending on the coach. 

How Do You Prepare For A Career Coaching Session?

After you have found a career coach and have made your payment, you can ask them what you should do to prepare for a session with them. Coaches apply different methods to their professionalism. Hence, some career coaches might require that you come prepared with questions, while others might request you should bring such materials as your resume or a list of your career goals.

When you come together for the business of the day, write down your discussions. While paying attention, figure out the areas you have not been getting right and what you should get better at. Ask questions in areas you lack clarity. Ensure you leave the presence of your coach fulfilled and happy. That is the only way you can measure your success at the session.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting a Career Coach

There are wolves in sheep clothing everywhere these days. Sadly, some career coaches fall under this category. Therefore, beware of the following career coaches:

  • Those who try to pressure you into undergoing a session with them, even when your mind does not accept them. Some go the extra mile of offering free sessions. This could lead to your being sexually, emotionally or financially exploited.
  • Those who seem to know it all. Not every coach is qualified for every career issue. Look for the one who will offer you a good listening ear and proffers solution. They must be specifically tailored to suit your needs. No career coach has a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Those who want to tell you exactly what to do without asking you questions.
  • Those that are vague and unsure of what to do. You have the right to cancel your appointments with any career coach that is not straightforward or giving you what you need. Don’t be scared to cancel the session or ask for a refund.


Choosing a career coach is a personal decision that would help your career. You can always achieve everything you have planned to, either in the short run or long run. See it as an investment geared towards your personal and professional development.


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Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

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