Or Do You Just Think You do?
Hiring a coach to help you improve your career can be very useful. But it can also be a big expense. Since I work as a career coach, I know what the cost can be.
Not everyone can afford it. Some can’t afford not to get coaching (since the services can help them increase their salaries). And for others it will be a complete waste of their money.
For this reason, I don’t take on every client.
I actually turn clients away if from our initial consultation it’s evident they’re not going to benefit from coaching.
When hiring a career coach is a waste of money
Signs that coaching will be a waste of money for someone include:
- Their unwillingness to learn something new.
- A negative attitude.
- An expectation that I’m going to do the work for them (i.e. write their resume for them, find a job for them).
- An inability to receive constructive feedback.
- Only doing it because of pressure from someone else instead of doing it for themselves
(If any of the above describes you, don’t waste your money! If it doesn’t describe you, keep reading for the main quiz.)
The Red Flags
Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let me share a little story with you.
Early in my business I had a potential client reach out to me wanting my services. We’ll call him Steve.
I scheduled an initial consultation with Steve to discuss his needs and determine if he was a good fit for my services and vice versa.
When I met with Steve, I asked him,
“What’s brought you to the point that’s made you seek out a career coach?”
“Well, I haven’t been working for the past couple of years. And my girlfriend is tired of me mooching off of her. So she made me call you.”
(Red flag #1: he’s doing it for someone else instead of for himself.)
While trying to uncover additional information about Steve to help me determine fit, he continued to push his resume in front of me trying to get me to give him a free resume critique on the spot.
The more I tried to reiterate the purpose of the meeting, the more it became obvious he just wanted me to “fix” his resume for him (at no cost to him).
(Red flag #2: he has an expectation of getting something for nothing and not having to do any work on his part.)
Once Steve realized I wasn’t going to critique his resume for free, he said (in a rather negative, cynical tone):
“Well, how important is a resume any way?”
(Red flag #3: he has a negative attitude and is showing another sign he’s not willing to take responsibility for his part of the process.)
The response I was thinking in my head: “In a job search? Pretty darn important!”
It was obvious from Steve’s attitude that not only would coaching have been a waste of his money, it would’ve also been a waste of his time and mine.
Luckily, I’ve had very few potential clients quite like Steve.
In fact, the clients I’ve ended up working with have brought me so much joy and vice versa.
I firmly believe that’s because I don’t take on every client. Instead, I have a vetting process in place that allows me the chance to determine if my coaching program is going to be a good experience for everyone involved.
Once I determine the potential client is a good candidate for my coaching programs, then I help him or her decide if coaching will be a good investment.
I do this by asking questions and often walking the candidate through a list of statements to see which ones apply to his or her current situation.
So for the sake of this post, I’m going to give you a sneak peak to part of my vetting process.
Below I’ve turned my list of statements into a little quiz. You may want to print the list out as a hard copy so you can participate in the quiz.
Once you have a hard copy of the list of statements, mark each one that applies to you right now.
- You’re dissatisfied, frustrated or unhappy with your current life or work situation and feel stuck.
- There’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be.
- You’re not exactly sure what you want to do next in your career and need guidance.
- You know what you want but aren’t sure where or how to start and you need direction.
- You want a job you love and enjoy at least 60% of the time.
- You’ve tried several things, but nothing’s worked.
- You know if you don’t do something, things won’t change or you’ll miss out on “what could’ve been.”
- You’ve already mastered one area of expertise and you’re bored and ready for the next challenge.
- You want to move from talking about your passion to actively pursuing it.
- You know what you need to do, but you lack confidence.
- You’re committed to improving your life and/or work.
- You want to avoid the same mistakes other people have made.
- You need unbiased and objective advice your friends or family can’t provide.
- You’re ready to put yourself high on your priority and values list.
- You need someone to show you your blind spots.
- You’re willing to make an investment in your happiness.
- You accept that a 30-day to 90-day commitment is a small investment for long-term change.
- You know no one else can do this for you.
- You’re open to new ideas, new routines and new mindsets.
- You know change starts with you.
- You’re willing to do or try something different for a new result.
- It’s costing you more (either financially, emotionally, or physically) to stay stuck where you are, than it’ll cost you to invest in coaching services.
How do you know coaching is for you?
If you found seven or more statements that describe you or your current situation, then coaching will likely be an investment and a benefit for you instead of a waste of money.
In fact, if you even made it to the end of this post and are still reading this, I’d say your level of readiness is pretty high.
At this point, it’s just a matter of finding a coach that is a good fit for your specific career goals and your personality.
My career coaching services focus on helping infuse passion into your work.
While this often attracts a lot of creative types (especially since I’m currently based in Nashville — a very creative town in more ways than one), I work with people with diverse passions from different industries and geographic locations.
Other career coaches will have other niches that might better fit your needs.
You just need to do a little research to find the best coach for you.
3 Calls to Action (Choose One)
I know I’m breaking all the rules of blogging by listing more than one call-to-action. But first, I’m not a blogger, I’m a career coach.
And second, only one of the following actions will apply to you. So choose the one that best fits your own level of curiosity and take that small step towards action!
You’d like more information before jumping in:
If you’d like to learn more about my career coaching services, go to my web site at yourpassioninlife.com and subscribe to get a free 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. This resource is designed to help you get out of your current rut.
Also, my blog provides a lot of free advice and tips for you to “test-drive” for your own career.
You’d like to dip your toe in the water:
My on-demand career success videos provide an affordable option if you’re still testing the waters. You can work at your own pace and at a fraction of the cost of personalized one-on-one coaching.
You’re ready to dive in:
If you know you’re ready to take the next steps in coaching, complete the paNASH intake form and we can schedule an initial consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for my personalized coaching programs.
Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach