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How to Get the Most From Your Career Coaching Session

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

While networking and the ability to make connections in the digital age have become more widespread than ever before, narrowing down the search for the right job has gotten even harder. For those in a transition stage, trying to find their career path, or looking to take some steps up the ladder, a career coach is an indispensable tool that can help you cast your net wider and learn the skills you’ll need.

Career coaching can bring out strengths you never knew you had, help you make invaluable connections, and assist you in finding your dream job. Whether you’re looking for a higher salary, better benefits, or more enjoyable work, everyone can benefit from making changes in their careers and meeting with the experts.

The best way to ensure that your salary is competitive and you are getting what you deserve out of work is by switching jobs and moving around when you get a better offer. To do so effectively, you’ll need some of the skills you can only get from a career coach. The time you spend with your coach is important, so let’s jump in and look at seven tips you can use to make the most of it. Here are some tips to follow:

Develop a specific set of goals

One thing that will immediately make the session more productive is keeping in mind or writing down your specific, deliverable, and outlined goals. If it’s a long-term or difficult goal, then break it down into simple steps and prepare to focus on one at a time. Without goals in mind, you won’t benefit as much from the meeting.

When listing your goals, consider the following questions:

  • How long will the goal take?

  • What are you hoping to gain?

  • How will you know when the goal is accomplished?

  • What do you need that you don’t currently have?

Be confident but honest

Career coaching sessions are not the time for shyness or self-deprecation. Your coach will need to know all of your experience, qualifications, and successes to help you as much as possible, so don’t be modest.

On the other hand, you must always be honest if you want proper help, as they must have a full and accurate impression of you. Don’t over-sell yourself, make up qualifications, or pad out any resumes.

Prepare your paperwork

One simple step you can take that will help the process is to take care of updating your resume and cover letter before the appointment. Don’t waste time in the session going over your past jobs, look at it beforehand and make sure it is accurate and up to date. It’s always smart to bring an extra copy or email it to your career coach so they can have it on file.

Ask about assessments

Another important tool you should ask about is career coaching assessments. There are simple tests you can take online, but these are no substitute for working with an experienced professional.

Understand what a career coach is and isn’t

A career coach takes a different role in your life than a therapist, mentor, or friend. Although some of the qualities of each can be found in the career coach role, you should look at it more as a collaborative project between two equals, rather than a teacher-to-student or doctor-to-patient relationship. They aren’t here to “fix” you, but rather to bring out strengths you might not know you had and use their knowledge to help you break barriers.

Step out of your comfort zone

The keyword for career coaches is “growth”. They are looking to grow you and develop you in a specific way, congruent with your goals and desires. In order to do this, you have to adopt a growth mindset and be willing to step outside your comfort zone and do things that push you to new levels.

Make sure you choose the right coach

Career coaching is a personal and important relationship, so take the time to make sure you find someone who clicks with you, shares your values, and understands your goals. Picking the right career coach can make or break the session, and can be the difference between success and failure. Take the time to make sure you find someone with experience, people skills, and the willingness to sit down with you and really listen to your needs and concerns.

For professionals, career coaching sessions are simply a small investment that pays off in a major way. If you’re at any kind of transition stage in your career or just want something new, no one can help you better than a career coach. Find the right one for you and get your journey to success started today!

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