Partnering with a coach 101

Being made redundant or being stood down feels like you’ve been thrown into the deep end when you’ve forgotten how to swim. In such situations, your life-jacket could be a career coach who helps you navigate through the stormy weather. 

One of Career Money Life’s very own career coaches has put together a comprehensive guide on partnering with a coach – what you need to know, why it may work out for you, what qualities you should look for etc.

“Working with a coach is all about possibility. The reality is, you know where you are now and you know where you want to be.  The gap – the work that is needed to get there – is where the coaching partnership comes into play.” 

Sally-Anne Blanshard 

Career coaches are trained to help make your journey clearer – they help find the missing pieces of the puzzle to help you see the bigger picture. They challenge your thinking whilst keeping you committed to the outcome you desire. Previous experiences can set you in your ways – leading you to make assumptions and stick to your own diagnosis as to what outcome is likely. Coaches help create a temporary diversion and reroute the thinking traffic. New thinking. New pathways. New found confidence. 

When should you partner with a coach? 

A career coach can only help you if you want to be helped and if you are at the right time and place to dedicate yourself towards development. Sal says you should definitely partner with a  coach when you are:

  • When you are inspired by their evidence – their client stories/testimonials 
  • When you know you most definitely want to change, need to change and are bursting to break the cycle
  • When you are prepared to try new things, be challenged, inspired and step out of your own way
  • When you can afford to invest the time to make a significant difference and money that will pay for itself in returns
  • When you connect with a coach, their brand, and their ‘way’

On the flipside, there are certain situations when you may not be at the right point to accept help from a coach. Here is when NOT to partner with a coach:

  • When you are not committed to changing
  • When you do not have the time to spend on actions/homework
  • When you do not believe in the process
  • When you cannot afford to invest the time or money
  • When you do not connect with the coach!

Qualities you should look for 

If you’ve decided to partner with a coach – it is very important that you select the right person to support you with your goal. 

Success Stories/Testimonials

Trust is an important factor when hiring a coach. Verify this by reviewing their LinkedIn profile and recommendations in addition to the coaches website testimonials. Better still ask to speak to a recent client to ensure that you will get a feel for the experience and return on your investment.

How does the coach market themselves?

A lot can be said through first impressions. You will be able to see how professional a coach is based on the amount of effort they take to present themselves and help you understand their business. Take a look at the website of the coach, their LinkedIn profile, and the general way that they go about their advertising.  

Experience

What practical (not theoretical) experience does the coach have.  Have they worked in similar industries as you, are they an expert or thought leader in a particular area etc. Another way to identify their experience is with published articles, blog, radio interviews etc.

Investment – Time and Cost

Do some self-introspection and think about how much time are you expected to commit to a program, how often will you need to catch up and is this face to face or on the phone or both?  Do you have the chance to email your coach in between sessions?  How are you expected to pay, can the payment be bundled into affordable payment plans?  These are some great questions you can ask before engaging with your coach.

Qualifications

Some coaches act as mentors and some are a blend of both.  Some can be qualified by their experience in addition to having completed some form of training.  There are many ways for a coach to become qualified these days – from Psychometric to Life Coaching and Business Coaching qualifications.  Whilst qualifications are important; it is of equal importance to identify how your coach works. Understand the program and process they will undertake in order to help you achieve your goals.

Diversity

Whilst coaches may have a certain area of expertise, the process of coaching can be applied to various scenarios and goals. For example Sal shares her experience. 

“I personally trained in a brain-based approach to change and coaching and my first business was specialising in Career Coaching.  I have been able to apply the same coaching methodology and process to career, life, motherhood,  business, leadership, and conflict resolution coaching.  This also keeps me on my toes in terms of new research in each of these areas and mixes up the workload.”

Try to speak with your coach and see whether they will be able to extend their learning to your field/situation. 

Methodology & Tools/Techniques

Understand how the coach will work with you – what your role is and what their role is in supporting you with your goals.  Some coaches insist on working on a 3/ 6/12 month fixed programmes, while some work with fixed costs.  Others are happy to curate a program based on your needs.  Look for flexibility as well as results. Make sure to ask what types of tools and techniques the coach may use to help you achieve your goals.

Personal Development

Coaches should be role models. If you were going to learn Yoga from a professional, you would expect them to practice yoga. Similarly, you would hope that as a coach, the individual is interested in their own personal development as well.  Ask your coach how they keep up to date with new tools and techniques to assist their clients.  What courses do they attend?  Do they have their own coach? 

To summarise, partnering with a coach is a great strategic step to advance with your career path. Your coach should be someone you can connect with and someone you can see yourself working with for any given period.  They should inspire you, challenge you and instil confidence and enthusiasm in you to achieve all your goals. 

Most importantly you should trust them. Once you have identified all the areas above, you can get on with making things happen.

Are you interested in getting help to navigate your career transition? Access the Career Money Life platform to get started working with a coach. Find a list of verified, quality coaches on our platform. You will be able to browse through numerous options, check reviews, compare different coaches and more! Head to careermoneylife.com to learn more.

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