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Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Marcia Bench.
Are you wondering whether adding coaching to your practice is right for you? Perhaps it might help to examine some common myths about career coaching so that you can make an informed decision.
Myth #1: A career coach must have a Master’s Degree in counselling.
Currently, there are no educational requirements in most states in the U.S. for coaches. However, even with related background, coaching is a skill set that must be studied. Career coaching requires training and expertise in at least four areas: 1) the field of career coaching (theories of, models for, how it differs from related skill sets), 2) career design and decision making (using a systematic approach), 3) coaching skills (which we define as an interactive process of exploring work-related issues – leading to effective action – in which the coach acts as both a catalyst and facilitator of the individual’s transformation), and 4) the mechanics of the job search including how to develop a job search plan, how to use social media as well as in-person job search methods, resumes, interviewing, negotiating and more.
Myth #2: If I can talk to people about their job-related issues, I am (or can be) a career coach.
Career coaching requires training in coaching knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s). A coaching interaction is much more than a mere conversation; it has a strategic component and a transformational impact that puts it at a much higher level than a mere conversation. And the client’s professional future is at stake; are you willing to risk giving uninformed “advise” versus becoming (through training and experience) a trained professional – or referring the client to one?
Myth #3: I am already a coach, so when people come to me about a job-related issues, I can call myself a career coach.
This myth may be partly true. If the coach has received formal coach training and has an effective coaching model that they are using, their coaching skills may be transferable. However, to coach individuals in career issues also requires knowledge of career development theories and principles as well as the science/art of resume writing, helping a client capitalise on their strengths and minimise weaknesses in an interview, components of an effective job search campaign, and the like. Specific training in these areas is needed to supplement coaching skills for one to truly call herself a career coach.
Myth #4: Other kinds of coaching are more “advanced” and require more specialised training than career coaching. It’s just a point to begin one’s practice; career coaching by itself is not a substantial enough specialty area on which to build a practice
To put it simply, career coaching is not as easy as it looks! But it is a viable practice specialty. The best career coaches make six-figure incomes.
Myth #5: I do not think career coaching would be right for me because I mainly enjoy writing resumes, practicing interviewing, and helping the client with negotiations.
This is one of the best things about career coaching: you can do it in whatever way fits your personality and preferences! Some career coaches prefer to focus on the “career discovery” part of the process, helping clients figure out “what they want to be when they grow up,” as we like to put it. Others prefer the tangible, immediate-results work involved in the “job search mechanics:” a customized job search marketing plan, writing (or critiquing) resumes, role-playing interviews and negotiation sessions, and the like. And still other independent practitioners do all of this! So career coaching is a field that can be tailored to the individual coach’s preferences.
Myth #6: The best career coaching approach is to start with what the client is good at, their skills (KSA’s) in designing their new job/career.
This is a premise of many career development theories. However, for most people in mid-life, they already know what they’re good at – they are looking for more. CCI’s Authentic Vocation™ model helps them find more fulfilling work, not just another job.
Myth #7: You can’t make much money at career coaching, especially during tough economic times.
On the contrary! Career coaching is the one specialty in the coaching field that is recession-proof and actually expands during economic downturns. Why? When the economy turns down, companies lay off workers, requiring outplacement services (and these firms have added coaching as one of their services to such companies) as well as career centres (which can be set up and/or staffed by career coaches).
Myth #8: I can get helpful advice about my career from my family and friends.
Remember the old saying, “you get what you pay for”? There are several reasons family and friends’ advice may not be in your best interest regarding your career. First, they lack the objectivity that a coach can provide. And second, they may feel threatened by the change you’re considering.
Myth #9: I’ve been doing career counselling or career consulting for years; I’ll just start calling myself a career coach now.
See the response to Myths #2 and 3 above. Career coaching requires specific training and knowledge!
Myth #10: Career coaching can only be done in person.
One thing that is fascinating to most people when they first discover coaching (as a prospective coach or a client) is that 90% of coaching is done by telephone. This is appealing to coaches and clients alike due to its flexibility.
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Marcia Bench is a Master Certified Career CoachTM, Certified Inspired Business Success Coach and certified Career Management Practitioner. She is also the Founder and Director of Inspired Business Institute, the world’s leading provider of coach training in career coaching, business coaching and retirement coaching http://www.inspiredbusinessinstitute.com.
She is the author of Career Coaching: an Insider’s Guide, now in its third edition, and 24 other books.
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