Career Coaching

MyCoachingToolkit blog - Career Coaching

Career Coaching

Flexible working is fast becoming a priority area as people review their work life balance. And for anybody who just spent the last three months working from home, this will be a very hard habit to break if they are now being asked to return to the office.

So, last week we shared activities you can use during your coaching sessions with Managers wanting to introduce flexible working so they can keep their best people.

But, what about anybody who may be feeling nervous about their career prospects right now and may need help to keep the job they have or find something new. Or even explore new ways to bring in extra cash until they can work again?

Well, this week our blog looks at the role of a career coach and how they support people to see their employment situation clearly and calmly, before deciding what (if anything) they should do. And the help a Career Coach can give when confirming if somebody is ready to look for a new role and make the transition to something new.

The role of the Career Coach 

As with all coaching, a Career Coach will never tell anybody what to do or give them answers. They do however, support people on a journey to better understand how they feel about what they are doing and what they want to do, now and in the future.

A good Career Coach can help somebody develop in their current role or get themselves ready to make a career change, by going through a review of their professional goals and identifying any skill gaps they may have. But looking for a new job can be a lonely task that involves hours searching through job boards, filling out long application forms or doing interview prep. Then dealing with feelings of rejection or getting ghosted by recruiters, so this is why having the support of a professional Career Coach can be just the boost some people will need for their motivation and confidence.

This is especially relevant for anybody being made redundant or if they left their last job under a cloud. They may not be ready to talk about why they are now looking for a new job and as a result, they will normally underperform in an interview. Some special support will be needed to help them learn how to talk about their journey and close that chapter of their career.

And getting genuine insight on how an individual is perceived by others will really increase their chances of success, and is even more relevant for Executives and Senior Managers. You may find our recent blog on Executive Coaching helpful in understanding this specialist area of coaching.

Benefits of Career Coaching

Career coaching can help an individual question their deep motivations and consider any changes they may want to make. These could include:

  • Identifying personal development opportunities
  • Overcoming feeling of being stuck in a career
  • Exploring career options to identify the perfect career or sector to work in
  • Agreeing values, aspirations and motivations
  • Bringing clarity on personal goals
  • Exploring emotional intelligence and softer skills
  • Giving valuable insight on how they are seen by others
  • Making the CV / Resume work harder, so they stand out
  • Preparing for interviews and rehearsing for presentations
  • Improving work life balance


Plus – Help refreshing job search skills

  • Reviewing opportunities with their current employer
  • Creating a list of target companies and potential new employers or sectors
  • Monitoring job boards and recruitment websites and setting up alerts if needed
  • Reviewing and updating resume / CV, social media and personal branding
  • Where appropriate, using blogs and other digital communication tools to stand out
  • Preparing for job interviews and debriefing afterwards
  • Understanding their true value and key strengths for when they negotiate the contract or any specific terms or benefits
  • Managing expectations and staying focused and positive if the search takes time
  • Joining relevant professional organizations or bodies
  • Effectively utilizing social networks and business contacts


Many different people benefit from Career Coaching

  • An employee wanting to develop in their current role
  • An employee wanting to progress with their current employer
  • An employee wanting to make the move to a new organization
  • A job seeker wanting to speed up their job search
  • A graduate wanting to understand how to maximize their qualifications
  • Somebody wanting to start their own business
  • Somebody returning to work after a career break
  • Somebody at the end of their career who wants a rewarding retirement or explore volunteering opportunities


Career Coaching – An example approach

The initial meeting is always a great opportunity to get to know each other and discuss key objectives for the sessions. You may wish to use a self assessment tool to show them a different perspective on who they are. This type of tool will flag their core skills and competencies, helps review their values, uncover any personality traits and enable you to discuss their true potential.

The next meeting would normally be used to assess the current situation and set some long term career goals and agree what should be achieved during your time together. As the sessions progress, we would suggest you work through the job search process, understand their key strengths and areas that need work. This is also the time you could work with the client on any interview prep and practice answering interview questions or giving a presentation.

From the first meeting through to no longer needing the help of the coach can sometimes take up to 6 months if you are meeting weekly or twice a month. However, the sessions may not always end when a new job has been secured and ad hoc discussions can still take place. A follow up ‘check in’ session is a good idea to ensure they feel fully supported through the process.

But whatever the approach and methodology you chose, we feel it’s important you quickly create an environment of trust and collaboration so you can provide the help and support needed to identify and overcome any obstacles that hinder their progress or success.

Especially as we spend so much time at work, we should all try and do something we really enjoy, because that way it will never feel like work. If somebody is unhappy with one area of their life, we know if will have a negative impact on other areas, so helping them review and align their values and beliefs with the work they do is a great way to bring fulfilment and harmony. We explored this in a recent blog that may help you when coaching others or for your own personal development.


Further reading:

To support you in your Career Coaching sessions, we have published a range of different resources that include:

Coaching Skills: Essential toolkit for coaching personal and interpersonal skills, plus self-assessment skills compass and key questions to identify strengths and talents, or areas to focus on.

Coaching Values: A step by step coaching guide to identify key values, then set clear goals or projects.

Coaching Beliefs: A clear introduction to beliefs and simple step by step process to identify or review personal beliefs. Plus a section to help you focus in on any negative beliefs to show you how to change the life scripts that could be holding you or your clients back.

Coaching Emotional Intelligence: A practical guide looking at emotions, emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence in the workplace, plus some examples for how it can be tested.

The Coaching Manual: A comprehensive coaching manual with over 150 questions, plus fables, worksheets and tools for a successful coaching session. This manual also includes an introduction to Neuro Linguistic Programming and Transactional Analysis.

Content is constantly being added to the site, so please check our on-line shop. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.


Image: Thanks to Mimi Thian for sharing their work on Unsplash.


Please note – Our materials can only be copied and distributed, if you include a reference and link to the original source: (cc) – 2020

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