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What is Career Coaching & How to Get Ahead in Your Career with a Coach

What is a career coach?

Why do you need a career coach?

How much will this cost me?

Will having a career coach give me benefits?

Group career coaching

You may have a lot of questions about this topic. You might even be skeptical about anything ‘coach .’My job today is to answer these questions, and I’ll teach you that not only will hiring a career coach catapult your career to the next level, but hiring the right coach will also increase your confidence at work and in your life.

What is a career coach?

A career coach is a career development specialist with knowledge, tools, and experience to understand both the theory and practice of building your career development skills.

It’s that simple!

The problem with career coaching is that everyone thinks it’s a fluffy ‘nouveau’ trend that requires limited education and insights. On the one hand, you might be right. After all, if you type ‘career coach’ into Google, you’ll see more than 892,000,000 results!! However, when you start sifting through the criteria I will share with you, your search will narrow down immensely, and you’ll soon realise that the right Career Coach is extremely hard to find!

Why do you need a career coach?

Before deciding whether you want to hire a career coach, you need to understand the purpose and your expectations about the service. Knowing your intentions for spending the money is the first RIGHT step ahead. Typically, there are four main goals for hiring a career coach.

  1. You need a job and don’t know how to start finding one.

  2. You want a promotion and need help preparing for the process.

  3. You want to upskill, but you don’t know where to begin.

  4. You’re stuck in your career and need help.

career coaching with Canva

The question, however, is, do you need a career coach? The decision to hire a coach or not will depend on your ability to stretch your career development process outside of your current periphery. A coach is not a specialist in your occupation or industry. However, a career coach specialising in career development will have the tools and strategies to help you brainstorm and expand your career insights to help you reach the next milestone. If you didn’t notice, I took a twist and highlighted ‘a specialised career coach’ and not just a ‘career coach .’The realisation with the phrase is that a specialised career coach will be a qualified practitioner in career development, not a generalist coach. The difference is essential to understand and will make your experience remarkably different.

Let me explain; for starters, there are two types of career goals: reactive and proactive. A qualified and specialized career coach understands that the individual will always return to the place of uncertainty if coaching aims to ‘get a better job.’ On the flip side, supporting the client with both reactive, ‘I need a new job now’, and the proactive, ‘define long-term career milestones that align with purpose and vision using theory and experience’ will always be more empowering and more fulfilling.

Determine your career goals before hiring a career coach.

Before you even consider hiring a career coach, your first task is to decide your career goals. You don’t need to know ‘exactly’ what you want, but you need to understand if you’re expecting reactive or proactive experiences. Knowing this goal ahead of hiring a career coach is essential in determining the right kind of career coach or even if you need to hire one.

  1. Reflect on your current career space. Are you happy at work? Do you want career growth? Are you struggling financially and need a career boost? Do you want a complete career change?

  2. Consider your future in the long term. Do you want to work late into your senior years, or are you counting the seconds to retirement?

  3. Have you considered working with a career coach? What was your experience? How did you progress or not work with the career coach?

  4. Are you ready to commit to a consistent program for career development? Are you looking for a quick fix?

Career Coaching with Maria Vitoratos

How much money do I need to invest in career coaching?

Currently, coaching is not a regulated profession, and what that means is that the hiring and financial investment will range from coach to coach. Therefore, knowing your career goals before hiring a coach will help you find the practitioner with the right program to support your career needs. However, a coach who does not provide a structured program and tells you that they will follow your lead will not help you create the structures you need for a solid long-term plan. Remember, career coaching is not a therapy session; your coach is your educator and coach. The skills involved are different but necessary to support your growth. A qualified career coach will have carefully defined strategies and programs that are both bespoke to your needs and systematic to ensure your future growth potential.


Career coaching is a reputable profession and a great way to catapult your career in ways you never imagined possible. There are thousands of career practitioners globally, but there will only be ‘one’ who understands and can help you develop your career. Choose wisely; remember, the aim should always be to work on your reactive and proactive goals. Don’t fix a career problem and settle. Your next milestone should be your continuous professional development.

Career coaching is one strategy of several that a qualified and experienced practitioner will use. Not all coaches are created equally; some are better suited to the reactive strategies but cannot take you the distance. Choose wisely. You’re investing in your career, but more importantly, your career is supporting the quality of the life that you will live.

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