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Looking for a career coach can be overwhelming. No matter who you are or your career path, the one thing that is universally true is this; you’re looking for a single relationship resource able to add value to your career in a way that fits specific needs.

Is that so much to ask for? Actually, yes. This is why selecting the right career coach can itself feel like a second job at times.  Some may oversell their skills, others may not be a good fit for you. The number of options, the terminology, are daunting.

Here, we’ll crush some of the jargon and explore fundamental, golden advice on choosing a career coach with the genuine ability and expertise to propel your career to new milestones.

First, it’s useful to get in order what career coaching actually is vs, for example, career counselling and consulting.

How to Choose the Best Career Coach: What’s the difference between career coaching, counselling and consulting?

First, let’s lay out a little market context.

The way people think about and pursue their careers has changed since 2020, thanks to the global event involving a virus that nobody needs reminding about.

Something else that went viral in that time was a shift in life values. You only need  read about the great resignation to understand that more ambitious careerists are willing to trade a healthy paycheck in pursuit of life purpose.

This mindset shift has put new pressures on job searchers with job markets experiencing a deluge of desirable, quality candidates.

A recent poll showed that 64% of Londoners had plans for resigning from their jobs in 2022.  With The Great Resignation wave reaching UK shores, career coaching has become, not only more desirable but a powerful extra of job-search tactics.

Ok, that was the topical market lesson. Now let’s weigh up the differences between career coaching, career counselling and consulting.

What is career coaching?

“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.”

Career coaching extends out from this core definition of ‘coaching’.

Thought-provoking and creative process that inspires’—this descriptor is a fundamental difference of career coaching, vs counselling and consulting.

A qualified career coach has the proven skills and knowledge to administer unbiased advice and practical mentoring that’s both thought-provoking and inspiring. The practical mentorship great career coaches administer should be  based on your unique future career goals.

In contrast, a career counsellor or career consultant will focus on identifying current issues and barriers you are experiencing in your career.

A career coach adds to these things by defining and helping roll out a clear, practical plan for career progression, empowering you with the tools and guidance to set and achieve your own goals. In short, career coaches can help you catapult your career and land you the role you always wanted through goal-based action plans.

Whether you are looking for a promotion, starting your own business or a complete change, our role as career coaches is to provide one-on-one coaching to get you there. With specialised expertise and unbiased coaching, we can get you the results you want at a fraction of the time (and often cost) it’ll take to figure it out alone.

Once you are ready to invest in a career coach, it’s important to choose wisely. After all, your career (where you spend most of your time) depends on it.

Best-Practice for Choosing the Right Career Coach

#1: Make sure your career coach is reputable

Make sure the career coach you choose is qualified or certified by a reputable body. Have a look at their client reviews as well. Personal recommendations and client success stories will help you determine if the coach is the right fit. Have they “walked the talk”?  Look at your coach’s background; having expertise in your industry or field can also help to ensure a successful relationship. If you are unsure whether a coach will be right for you, book a free consultation as a chemistry check and go from there.

#2: Know what to expect from a career coach

Having realistic expectations of what to expect from a coach is vital for success. As they say, we can take the horse to water, but we can’t make it drink. A good career coach will ask about your goals and ensure clarity upfront. If a coach is offering guarantees or promised jobs, run away fast. While our job is to help you achieve your goals, career coaches are not a silver bullet to the C-suite or “get rich quick” scheme. Set clear expectations of what you want to achieve as a team with your coach to make sure you are both aligned.

#3: Know what you are buying

A career coach is a service and, like all services, you should have a clear contract in place with your career coach. Assess your options in the context of your time-investment tolerance and goals that should include life plans and the kind of feasible career progress that can get you there. Your career coach should be able to tailor their approach around an itinerary of purposes and requirements.

That’s one of the first things well set out to do when you partner with Amelia Brooke Career Coaching. We’ll explain and offer different approaches that factor for specific needs we’ll explore together.

For testimonials and to learn more about Amelia Brooke’s tried-and-tested career coaching methodology, go here.

Choosing a career coach is an important decision. Even when speaking with Amelia, take your time to qualify things. The success of the relationship will extend out of the quality of your early engagements.

Amelia Brooke career coaching practices throughout the UK and Europe. Schedule an exploratory call with Amelia to gain a better understanding of how your career can gain value from her experience and expertise.