Why Use a Career Coach?


I have been asked this question so many times in the last three months I decided to write out the answer and share it in this forum.

In my opinion, there are three primary benefits which coaching of any kind provides; perspective, self-reflection, and accountability. While a comparison to athletic coaches is frequently made, i.e. "all professional athletes use a coach, therefore you should have one for your career," I don't think it applies completely.

The first benefit a person receives from coaching is perspective. The coach provides an objective perspective grounded in what works while simultaneously having no agenda other than the success of the person being coached, the "coachee." This applies equally to athletic coaches. While working with an athlete they can keep in mind individual challenges and opportunities along with a higher-level contextual understanding of the field of endeavor.

The next significant benefit a coachee receives is the insightfulness which emerges from self-reflection and introspection. Do you need a coach to obtain this benefit? No. However, left on our own do we invest time in self-reflection? Most people tell me they do not. I believe this may be a difference between athletic coaching and other types of coaching.

The third key benefit derived from coaching is accountability. A coach holds the coachee accountable to do what is discussed and agreed upon during a coaching session. Again, this is something we certainly can do for ourselves; yet, again, most people do not do this for themselves. Many of us make excuses for why we can't do something we set out to do; a coach may not accept your excuses! Movies are filled with scenes of coaches keeping athletes honest about their efforts to improve.

So the reason a person would use a career coach is the same reason an athlete uses a coach; to help them get from where they are now in their performance to where they want to be in the future. In particular, a career coach can provide help in three areas:

  • conducting a job search,
  • launching a new job,
  • preparing for the next level.

A career coach can help you advance your career to the next level.