Is there a typical career coaching client?
People of all ages and backgrounds seek careers coaching. My clients range in age from 15 to over 60 with the biggest group being recent graduates and those in their late twenties. Some want specific help in e.g. interview coaching, others want more extensive support.
Career coaching clients can’t be grouped together as one particular sort of person, they have varied backgrounds, differing degrees of motivation and require different sorts of help.
As a chartered psychologist I use assessments to help clients really understand who they are. I’ve created various programmes as this can help potential clients to see how different elements can be grouped together. I see these programmes as a guide and they can of course be adapted to suit particular needs.
My clients have different backgrounds and objectives
· Some would be seen by most people as successful, they have a well paid job, often working as a professional – lawyer, doctor, accountant, sales manager but as the years have gone by they have felt more unhappy about their job and this leads to stress.
· Others have yet to find the right job for themselves and feel frustrated and unhappy. They can’t understand why, despite a good degree that they have drifted between jobs never yet finding the right option for them.
· Some clients want to concentrate on career exploration, others need help with job search support – from CVs to job applications, interview coaching and how to create a job search marketing campaign.
The programmes I offer make it clear what is included, but of course some people need more help.
Some clients need to choose regular support for their job search. They know what to do, but they don’t do what they know. For them a weekly 30 minute motivational call keeps them focused, just like attending regular classes can help other people with weight loss. They will also often choose to have me review applications/ letters etc by email in between.
Whilst most clients can move beyond what they have found out about themselves via assessments and coaching through research and then choose the job that they concentrate a job search campaign on, others find it difficult to make a decision, they don’t want to rule anything out or need more than the typical support to plan their route from where they are now to where they want to be, they then choose to book some extra sessions.
Making a change
Making a change isn’t always quick and easy. Some clients have spent 7-12 years seeking satisfaction at work and it’s unlikely that they will all make a change quickly. There is often much to be gained from staying where they are. Of course to friends and family they can talk about getting a great new job, and perhaps even pay to work with a career coach but they don’t have the commitment to make the change. At different points they can fail to move forward.
Some clients spend a long time in the research phase and find it hard to go beyond this. When I’ve spoken to some it turns out that it is a fear of the unknown, being unsure about what the research may lead on to. Having, for example, worked in one company for 10 years or more they may wonder what the results of the research may bring, but doing the research isn’t making a commitment to any particular action, reviewing the research is the next step.
Most of my clients enjoy learning more about themselves via assessments and exercises, but then they need to move into researching the jobs that have been identified. A few can get despondent as most of the jobs they want to follow involve a significant amount of retraining, but there are always other routes which is why my programmes include a follow up to allow us time to discuss this.
So no there isn’t a typical career coaching client, nor a typical way I work. Some people find a programme is perfect for them, others want to choose the most relevant elements for them, to meet their needs and budgets. Some clients are resourceful and need a gentle steer, others need much more guidance and support. All can move into a new job that is a significant improvement on where they have been and for some they are highly delighted.
‘A while ago I was stuck at a crossroads in my career, I could have carried on doing a job I didn’t enjoy or choose to make a change. I decided to work with Denise from Amazing People and after a few sessions, Denise’s methods had helped me work out the path to my perfect job. I am pleased to say that I am now doing something I really enjoy and it wouldn’t have been possible without Denise’s help’. Garry
For other people a satisfaction increase from 2 out of 10 to 6 or 7 out of 10 is still a success. As we get older and with more commitments it can be hard to start again in an ideal career so compromises need to be made.
I’ve written this article to be realistic about how I work. Do please let me know of any questions this leads to so I can revise this article.