What a Career Coach does is very much like what a good doctor does: take a history, make a diagnosis using facts, intuition and appropriate technology as needed, discuss options, and make recommendations for treatment. If we translate all those factors into the context of Career Coaching, you, the coach, are the doctor and master diagnostician, the patient is your coaching client, and the reason for the visit is a pain in the “ca-rear”.
What a Career Coach Does: The Problem
Just like when a patient notices symptoms of a health problem and comes to a doctor, your client comes to you because he has symptoms of a problem in his job or career. Maybe he knows he is having trouble with his boss, or his colleagues, or his work environment. Maybe she used to find work intensely rewarding and now she hates to go to the office. Maybe he wants to change jobs or careers because he’s bored at work, or maybe he has never even had any job he really likes. More often than not, your “patient” knows what the symptoms of the problems are, but can’t put her experiences and expectations together in a way that becomes a useful guide for making changes in her career path or strategy, or just in making her current job happier, more satisfying or more manageable. That’s why she has come to you.
Over the next four days, we’ll break down what a Career Coach does and look at each segment of the Career Coaching process in detail.
What a Career Coach Does: Step One–the Career History
When a client comes to you for Career Coaching, your first step is to collect relevant information. In other words, you take the client’s career history from his first job to his current job. During this part of the process, what a Career Coach does is to look not just for details of the tasks and responsibilities your client had in each position, but also her likes and dislikes about the people and the environment, skills she learned or perfected, salary progression and promotion opportunities. You want to find out what expectations he has and how they were or weren’t met in each job. You especially want to know which particular aspects of each job she loved, and which ones drove her crazy. Armed with all these details, you can begin to put together a picture of your client’s job and career related needs and desires.
In tomorrow’s blog post, What a Career Coach does: Step Two–Make a Diagnosis, you will find out some other pieces of the diagnostic puzzle which will be useful to you in coaching your clients on their career or job strategy.
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JTS Advisors Strategy, Accountability, & Assessment Coach