Of the possible strategies you can pursue in advancing your career, most will not outshine the effectiveness and pure efficiency of working with a coach.
I was fortunate early in my career to recognize the need to retain a career coach. In a nutshell, a career coach can help:
- Diagnose and sort out your situation and opportunities.
- Offer new strategies for coping with office politics and competition from other firms.
- Show you vital stress management skills.
- Discover or capitalize on new opportunities.
A good coach provides new tools to improve communication, and helps chart your goals and career path. Your career coach can also be your positive personal, behind-the-scenes confidant, consultant, and resource.
Can You Benefit From a Career Coach?If you lack self-confidence, feel as if your career progression is not on the right track, or are faced with any of the following, then it’s likely you need a career coach:
1. organizational changes within your organization, especially if they have a direct impact on you
2. acquisitions or mergers
3. expansion into new markets
4. diversification into new products or services
5. increased competition to your firm from other firms trying to take over your market share
6. increased management or supervisory responsibility
7. increased leadership opportunities
8. a recent or soon-to-be-available promotion
9. a new boss, or a leadership shake-up above you
10. changes in your role or assignments within your company
11. in-company competition and power plays, corporate intrigue, jockeying for position, or turf protection
12. blockades of your progress by internal feuds or informal political processes
13. increased media exposure or public speaking requirements
14. increased production or sales quotas
15. a new project you must lead or participate in developing.
For several years I worked with a career coach—we met only once quarterly for two hours, but I would depart supercharged.