Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
How’s your job search coming along?
Does the mere mention of it make you break out in hives? Or, perhaps you haven’t even begun yet, but its misery is looming over you like a personal black cloud.
What if we told you it didn’t have to be that way? That you can have your own personal expert to help you understand the mysterious workings of recruiters and managers?
You might think that career coaches are only for high-profile executives with a huge budget, but the reality is that there are career coaching services for everyone at every stage of their career.
Whether you’re staring down a career change or simply needing to prepare for your next promotion, hiring a career coach should be on everyone’s list of routine career development tasks.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Career Coach?
What is a career coach?
Like most people, the thought of a career coach might automatically bring to mind a job search. And honestly, that is when most professionals first consider enlisting the aid of a coaching service.
Before and during a job search, a career coach can provide guidance on strategies, resume writing, and interviewing.
However, have you considered all the ways a career coach can help you outside of a job search?
A Career Coach Can Help Define Long-Term Goals
Deciding on a career path can be a daunting task. Many options are available, and it can be challenging to know which is right for you.
And while a career coach can’t simply answer those questions, they can help you develop a plan once you decide where you want to go.
For example, suppose you’re currently a teacher looking to transition to a more flexible virtual assistant role. Career coaches can be valuable in helping you highlight your transferable skills for recruiters.
At the same time, they can work with you to show the gaps in your skill set that you might need to fill before you’re competitive.
A Career Coach Can Give You Honest Feedback
Have you shown your resume to friends and family, asking for a review? Are these the people who proudly displayed your stick-figure drawings on the refrigerator?
If so, the chances are good that they will believe that everything you do is incredible. However, there might be ways to do it better.
A career coach will give unbiased feedback to help you stand out in a crowded job market.
A Career Coach Can Offer You Valuable Resources
Another excellent benefit to working with a professional career coaching service is the access to valuable tools.
For example, imagine you’re finally ready to launch a freelance writing business you’ve been talking about for years.
A career coach can provide the resources and advice you need to catch the attention of recruiters and managers within your new industry.
A Career Coach Can Help Hold You Accountable
Starting anything new is always a challenge. Once the initial excitement of a new project wears off, it’s easy to fall into old patterns and allow procrastination to take over.
This is especially true when it comes to job searching. Staying focused and on track can be difficult when job hunting drags on.
A career coach can help by holding you accountable and keeping you motivated throughout the process. They can make all the difference in helping you find the right job for you.
A Career Coach Can Help You With Your Branding
It’s a reality that recruiters look at everything relevant now, from comparing your LinkedIn profile to your resume, glancing through your social media, and paying attention to how your cover letter presents your goals.
All of that goes together to create a personal brand that is essential if you want to land your dream job.
Career coaches can offer objective feedback on how you can streamline your message to support your goals.
How Do You Find a Good Career Coach?
It would be best to consider a few of the following tips when looking for a career coach.
You’ll get more value from your coaching sessions when you selectively choose a coach that fits your current needs.
Choose a Career Coach Based on Expertise
There are many different types of coaches, so it is crucial to find one that specializes in the area you need assistance with.
For example, suppose you’re looking to move into an executive role. In that case, you’ll probably choose a different career coach than a military spouse focusing on a work-from-anywhere role might employ.
Instead, a military spouse or veteran will likely choose to work with someone who has extensive experience assisting with the transition to civilian life.
Those looking for remote or flexible work options often work with our FlexJobs career coaches, who have made a career out of helping job seekers find better work-life balance.
Choose a Career Coach Based on Personality Fit
In addition, make sure to choose a coach that is a good fit for your personality and learning style.
The relationship between coach and client is crucial, so finding someone you feel comfortable working with is essential.
Finally, check references and credentials before making your final decision. A career coach can be a valuable asset, but it’s necessary to do your research to find the right one for you.
Enlisting Career Coaching Services
So, is it worth it to work with a career coach?
If you read through the success stories on our site, you’ll find that many of our members who successfully landed a remote or flexible job credit their career coaching sessions as instrumental.
If you’re feeling lost or struggling in your career or job search, consider enlisting a career coach to help you get back on track. It just might be the best decision you’ve made for your career.