Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What You Should Know About Career Coaches

Author: Ed Han
             Wordsmith, Recruiter, LinkedIn Advocate, JobSeeker Ally
             Translating business objectives into strategies & tactics
In late 2011, I spoke with career coach Susan Guarneri. Susan holds both National Counselor and Career Counselor certifications; and is coauthor of “Job Search Bloopers: Every Mistake You Can Make on the Road to Career Suicide…and How to Avoid Them” with Laura DeCarlo. She’s also the mind behind the “Career Goddess” blog. In a wide-ranging conversation, she discussed what a job seeker ought to know about career coaches:

Q: What should a job seeker expect when working with a career coach?
A: There’s a widespread misconception that coaches fix problems. It’s about collaboration - about two minds coming together. A good coach invites interactivity with the client. And it’s important to talk with a person and find chemistry. It’s about being able to establish trust.

Q: Can you expand upon “accountability plan?”
A: An accountability plan moves you closer to your goal in the coaching process. Homework from a counselor is part of an accountability plan. Each person’s needs are different and counseling must be responsive to unfolding developments.

Q: What should a job seeker know about career coaches?
A: Be sure you are dealing with a professional who does have training and certifications. Several programs are accredited by the International Coach Federation, the largest global association for coaches. Susan Whitcomb, author of eight books about job search and career management, is President of Career Coach Academy, which also offers well regarded programs for career coaches.

Q: What questions should a job seeker not ask of a coach?
A: Prospects often ask, what is your success rate? Coaches are not recruiters; they do not find interviews for you or “place” you in a job. Coaches guide clients through a collaborative process that includes client insight and deeper awareness, relevant research strategies and tools, and action steps to reach the client’s stated goals.

Q: In your experience as a career counselor, what else should job seekers do?
A: Uncover and express their personal brand to capture the prospective employer’s attention in an extremely competitive job market. For less than one dollar a month, you can purchase and have your own internet domain name.

[A version of this posting appeared in the Dec. 2011 PSG of Mercer County newsletter]


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