Ever Wondered What Career Coaches Do (and If You Need or Should Be One)?

Career coach

Is ‘career coach’ one of those job title you’ve heard of, but have no idea what the role actually entails? It’s one that’s gained popularity in recent years during ‘The Great Resignation’ and you might be left questioning whether you need one. Or maybe on the flip side, considering whether you could act as a coach for others and bring in a second income stream.

“A career coach helps people identify careers and occupations that are aligned to their strengths, interests and values,” says Leah Lambart, a career coach herself at career guidance company, Relaunch Me.

“They also take into consideration other factors that influence what makes up a ‘best fit career’, such as financial obligations, family commitments, location and what is happening in the labour market.”

Their role, according to Lambart, is to guide and coach someone to make informed decisions. Often, they’ll also support clients with the job search process, including helping with their CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, and preparing for job interviews.

Career coaches come from a range of backgrounds, many have trained or worked in teaching, recruitment, human resources or psychology. Though, Lambart says, more and more career coaches are transitioning from backgrounds, including marketing, communications and finance.

Career path
Image: Getty Images

“The role of a career coach will suit those who have a genuine interest in helping people and are naturally curious about researching and learning about different careers,” says Lambart. “It also helps to have skills in communication, especially listening, self-esteem building and rapport-building as you are often working with different people every day from diverse backgrounds.”

Attributes like compassion and a caring nature are also useful as career coaches often work with people who have been unemployed for some time, been made redundant or are generally feeling stuck and are quite despondent about their career, says Lambart.

The type of study a career coach needs depends on the environment they want to work in, and whether they want to work as an independent business owner or an employee or contractor for someone else. If it’s the latter, they’ll have completed a post-graduate course in career development.

Office worker
Image: Getty Images

As there’s no specific practical component to becoming a career coach, often coaches just start working under the supervision of someone more experienced who they can support. Once they gain experience and go out on their own, if they’ve chosen to become a sole trader, they can then get clients through traditional forms of marketing and PR, like websites, social media, media articles, events and SEO.

“Word of mouth is also a great way for career coaches to get new clients, and there can be times when a coach may work with all members of a family at some point — a mum, dad or teenage children.”

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