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How to Find and Choose a Career Counsellor or Coach

  • 4 min read
Man Choosing Path

If you’re uncertain about your job or career goals then you might consider engaging the services of a career counsellor or coach to help you clarify your situation. A coach will work with you to help with immediate needs like writing a resume or cover letter and finding a job. They may also provide guidance on longer-term plans for your career, including planning for a transition to a new career or phasing into retirement. So read on to understand how best to find and choose a career counsellor or coach…

What Is a Career Counsellor?

A career counsellor is a professional who helps clients to plan their careers and achieve their employment goals. Career counsellors and coaches work with clients to teach them strategies for how to find new or different employment successfully.

Services Provided by Career Counsellors

Career counsellors and coaches provide a variety of services. You can get assistance with any part of the career planning process that you need. Here’s an overview of the services that are offered:

• Help clients to assess career values, interests and skills; investigate career options and envision a career path; identify and apply for jobs; network; interview; develop resumes and cover letters, and establish integration between work and personal life. 
• Use a variety of tools including assessment exercises, interest inventories, personality tests and client interviews (in-person or long-distance via phone or video chat) to help identify appropriate options for consideration. 
• Help clients identify obstacles impeding progress toward the establishment of career plans and coach clients on ways to overcome these challenges.

Career Counsellor Skills

Expect your career counsellor to have the ability to put you at ease and engender trust to facilitate the sharing of personal information. They will also have strong interviewing and active-listening skills. The best career coaches have analytical minds which are required to make connections between an individual’s personality type, abilities, interests, values, and appropriate career options. Career counsellors need strong research skills to find information about careers and educational preparations related to your needs. They must be also able to clearly convey information to individuals and groups about job search strategies, approaches to interviewing, and resume and cover letter development.

How a Career Coach Can Help Your Job Search

Career counsellors and coaches provide assistance with identifying and exploring career options, selecting from career choices, changing careers, resume and cover letter writing, focusing and targeting a job search, and helping job seekers through the job search process.
Working with a career coach is a process that can help you understand yourself and where you fit best in your career, education, and life.
Career counsellors focus on achieving work-life integration with an understanding of how a person acts in their role and how different roles interact. They can even help you to explore new career options and resolve issues at work or even identify problems in your personal life that may be affecting your job performance.

How to Find a Career Counsellor or Coach

There are several different ways you can find the right coach to help you secure your next job:
1. Ask friends and family if they can recommend a counsellor or coach.
2. Contact your university career office if you’re a uni grad, and ask if they provide career counselling or advice to alumni. Many career offices provide services for life to alumni or may charge a lower fee than you would pay for a private counsellor. If not, ask whether they can give you a referral to a private counsellor.
3. Search the internet and social media platforms for career coaches or counsellors that have recommendations or testimonials from clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for references when you find one you’re interested in engaging.

How to Choose a Career Counsellor to Work With

Before you sign an agreement with a counsellor or coach, take the time to check their credentials. Also, be sure to have a conversation about your goals to clarify that you’re both on the same page regarding desired outcomes. Ask for a few references. Ask the references questions like “What were her strengths and weaknesses as a counsellor?”, “What progress did you make after meeting with her?”, “Would you use her services again?” and “Do you have any reservations about recommending her?”.
Give preference to counsellors who charge per visit/service as opposed to those who offer an expensive package of sessions and assessments. Expect fees to range from $75 to $500 per service.

What Career Counsellors Don’t Do

While career counsellors and coaches can help you to understand better who you are and the factors that most influence your lifestyle, they will not tell you what to do, what job to take, or which career to pursue.
Career coaching can benefit people at all points in their careers, from high school students approaching the next stage in their education to adults returning to the workforce after an absence, seeking to change career mid-life, or planning a post-retirement second career.

For a confidential discussion about how The Peak HR can help you find and choose a career counsellor or coach, get in contact.