job coach

Every fall, career coach and author Nancy Collamer gets an influx of phone calls. The change of seasons evidently inspires people to make big career moves, and many seek professional help. And for good reason. As Collamer writes in a recent Forbes post, “a good coach can help you reach your goals faster and more successfully then by going it alone.” But how do you find a good coach? Based on her years of experience, Collamer offers four great tips for picking the right person. Read on to see how she advises selecting an adviser!

1. Establish Your Goals — What are you trying to accomplish by working with a career coach? Do you want to change career? If so, you’ll want to find someone who specializes in reinvention. If you’re going to stay in your present industry but need a change of scenery, you need a job-hunting wiz who can help you rewrite your resume and search for opportunities via job posting, social media, and other avenues.

2. Get a Specialist — In the NFL, there are specific coaches for offense, defense, and special teams. A similar type of specialization exists in the world of career coaches. Some are adept at working with recent grads, while others are better suited to people eying retirement or heading back into the workforce after an absence. Collamer suggests reading “How to Connect to a Career Coach,” a helpful post that her colleague Kerry Hannon wrote for Forbes.

3. Interview Before You Hire — Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential job coaches, ask them some questions. Some may offer introductory phone calls, Collamer writes, though this isn’t always the case. What should you ask these folks? For starters, find out how they’d describe theircoaching style and what you might expect to receive as a result of their services. Next, find out how much they charge. (This info may be available online.) Lastly, see if they can share success stories and point you toward references. If they have a history of working with people in situations similar to yours, it’s a sign they’re a good fit.

4. Know What You’re Getting — As Collamer writes, some career coaches offer package deals — for a set fee, they’ll help you rewrite your resume and built a great LinkedIn page. Others charge monthly or weekly fees. It’s best to go in knowing what you’re getting, so that there’ll be no surprises.