What to Expect from a Career Coach

two people fitting together puzzle pieces

If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current role or like you’ve tried everything in your job search but aren’t making any headway, it could be time to call on an expert. 

While many of us are familiar with the idea of a mentor, that’s probably not the right fit at this juncture. Mentorship is more of an ongoing relationship that will stay constant throughout your career. A career coach, on the other hand, is someone you typically engage with for specific moments like seeking a new job or advocating for a promotion

📖 Read more: Career Coach, Mentor or Both?

What to expect from a career coach

Many people turn to a career coach after feeling like they’ve tried everything in their job search. But you can engage with a career coach at any point in your job search or even when you’re not currently looking. Even if you’re just thinking about making a career change, a career coach can help you evaluate your experience and your goals and recommend the right types of positions or industries for you to look into. 

A career coach can help you:

  • Choose the best parts of your experience to highlight
  • Write a resume that gets noticed
  • Prepare for common interview questions 
  • Identify ways to build your professional network
  • Switch industries for your next job
  • Plan a career path that eventually leads to a goal position or company

Finding a career coach

2 main ways to find a coach

Just like looking for a mentor, it’s important that you set some goals upfront about what you’d like to gain from career coaching. This will help you find the right type of career coach. You should also decide how familiar you would like your career coach to be with your specific industry. If you’re interested in changing careers, look for a coach in the new industry.

Word-of-mouth referrals are helpful when it comes to finding a career coach. If you don’t know someone personally who has worked with a career coach, reach out to your LinkedIn network to see if anyone has a recommendation. 

You can also turn to social media as many career coaches have a presence on LinkedIn and Instagram. Just be aware that these larger coaches will also come with a larger price tag. 

Even if you were personally referred to a coach, ask for a few other references that you can speak with about their experience. Ideally, you will find a coach you can form a long-term relationship with and use at different points throughout your career. 

Unity Hour

Why Do People Get Career Coaches?

Learn more about what career coaching is, the impact it can have and how to find a coach that’s a fit for you in this replay of Unity Hour from The Mom Project.

Watch now

How to evaluate a career coach

If the career coach offers an initial consultation, take advantage of it. This is a great way to see if a career coach feels like the right fit before investing too much into a coaching package. 

Ask questions like:

  • What’s your ideal client like?
  • What does your coaching process look like?
  • What is your success rate in helping clients reach their goals?
  • How do you measure success?
  • What is your target market? 
  • How do you tailor your coaching services to each client?

Location isn’t a critical consideration when choosing a career coach because coaching services can easily be performed remotely, either over the phone or through video meetings. 

How much does a career coach cost?

Career coaching generally costs anywhere from $75-$150 per hour, but coaches who are highly in demand or in competitive industries may charge more. A coach’s rate will depend on their experience and credentials.

A career coach will typically offer their services by the hour or in packages, but beware of anyone who asks for a large upfront investment. Unfortunately, career coaching scams are common so you’ll want to be sure you have fully researched a coach and spoken with their references before making any type of large payment. This is another reason why it’s important to do an initial consultation call before entering into any type of contract.

As with any investment,  you’ll always get out of it what you put into it. Going into the arrangement with clear goals about what you’d like to get out of it is important. This ensures you are spending your time (and sometimes money) wisely. Share these goals as you begin your relationship, and check-in frequently to ensure you feel you are on track to meet them.

Find success in working parenthood

From the job search to professional growth, The Mom Project has resources to help working parents succeed in their career goals. Sign up or log in

Recommended Articles

Subscribe to discover more resources, programs and events

Get on the list

New to The Mom Project? Sign up for our emails and discover more resources, programs and events!