What do Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, and the Williams sisters have in common, other than the fact they’re all professional athletes? They got where they are in part because of good coaches — the kind of smart, motivational people who also come in handy when you’re looking for a job.
Job coaches don’t work free, and in a recent Daily Muse post titled “How to Choose the Right Career Coach for You,” editor-in-chief Adrian Granzella Larssen admits that money was one reason she was reluctant to hire one. Ultimately, though, she took the leap, and it made all the difference. She came away from the experience with more confidence and clarity, not to mention a three-month action plan, and her article is an attempt to spread the word and help others get similar results.
Larssen’s article centers on three questions you should ask yourself when looking for a career coach, the first being, “What kind of person do I work best with?” In the course of our lives, we’ve all dealt with all sorts of teachers, mentors, and bosses, and before you plunk down cash on a job guru, you should think about what type of motivation you respond to. Are you someone who thrives on positivity and craves encouragement, or do you respond to tough love?
The second question is, “Who can help with my specific situation?” As Larssen explains, this boils down to two things: your line of work and the specifics of where you are in your career. If you’re a recent grad looking for an entry level sales position, try to find someone who’s worked with people in your industry and at your level. “A number of good reviews from people across fields and sectors is also a good sign,” Larssen writes.
Lastly, there’s that question of money: “How much do I want to spend?” As Larssen says, there are a couple of different ways to approach this. If you’re set on working with a person skilled in your area of expertise, it might be worth it to spend a lot of money. If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for some preliminary advice — something to get you moving in the right direction — then a generalist who charges less might work out just fine. Prices can vary quite a bit, so again, it pays to read reviews and do your homework.