What does a career coach do? That depends on the career coach. Each coach is different and they'll have their own set of specialities and ways of working. Ultimately, we are all here to do the same job; help you to conquer your career dreams.
Each coach will have their own specific methods of coaching, and their routes to the destination may be slightly different. The role of a coach, in our opinion, is to guide you along your journey by being your ‘safe place’; enabling you to freely and openly discuss your challenges, concerns and apprehensions in order to identify the most appropriate and effective answers and solutions. Alongside this, a great coach is also able to fill the role of mentor; imparting their knowledge and experience, as well as challenging you when necessary, to ensure you maintain progress in the right direction.
One of the biggest parts of a career coach's role, is to be your trusted critical friend; to ensure you keep to a plan that enables you to stay motivated and energised. Remember, the process isn't going to be easy, it’ll take effort and consistency, but it’ll be worth it, we promise!
Should you hire a career coach? If you've ended up here, then we’d like to think that you’re at least considering the options… We'll come back to that as we go along.
Have you been feeling as though you are lacking something? Are you no longer fulfilled, and does Monday morning tower over and dominate your Sunday evening? Are you questioning whether you are on the career path you are made for? Or, maybe you want to change your job role or industry entirely?
If one of these sounds familiar, you may well benefit from using a career coach.
A career coach is there to guide you through the process of transition to whatever your desired goal could be; beating Imposter Syndrome, overcoming workplace stress, or maybe the leap to self-employment. It could even be as simple as finding your career happiness (something we’re VERY passionate about).
Great career coaches combine expertise and practical experience to give you the expert advice you need to nail your transformation into the career champion you can be!
What does a career coach do?
Put simply, a career coach is like having your own dedicated team of professionals to help pinpoint every aspect of your career you want to work on. That could be re-writing your CV and dialling up your interviewing skills, or, it could be helping you to establish your networking abilities to achieve greater recognition in your space!
A career coach is there to support you throughout your transition, nurturing your skills and development, but also challenging you when necessary, to ensure you remain accountable for your most important project yet. Which, of course, is YOU!
When should you use a career coach?
People primarily think that you only need to use a career coach when there is an issue with your career. Well, that isn't the case; a career coach will be of benefit to you regardless of whether or not you are struggling with something. Of course, a career coach will be able to help you work through any issues you present to them, but a career coach can help you also to refine and enhance any skills you already have in a safe and supportive space. This can help you to streamline and fast-track your career progression.
You could be just starting out in your job role, or you could be a seasoned veteran. Everyone can benefit from a career coach!
Finding a career coach
Finding a career coach is the same as finding anything else that you will be investing your time and money into. Start by doing core research, as well as asking friends and family for their thoughts, before narrowing down the coaches you locate. Word of mouth is often the way most people go about finding something like a career coach. You could ask your network for advice on LinkedIn for example.
Once you've found a list of coaches you are interested in you can research more deeply into their abilities and what they specialise in. Something to be aware of: there is no regulation on who can call themselves a coach, anyone can “rock up at the docks” and announce they're a coach. Accreditations are a good way of gauging whether your preferred coach is worth their salt.
Don't forget testimonials, everyone loves a review, and who better to trust than other people who have used the service you're looking at.
How much do they cost?
This is the stage that will often put someone off the hunt for a career coach; the cost. Career coaches, like other professionals, may charge out their time by the hour, but far more goes into the time you spend with them. A great career coach is invested in your journey. They will prep their sessions, do research for you and write up their thoughts post-meeting to make sure they stay tuned into your development. All of this additional time is wrapped up into the “hourly charge” you’ll often look at. The hourly rate can range from around £100-£200 per hour, with some charging in excess of £500 per hour.
Coaches who are more in demand, and have a better reputation, with proven outcomes, will tend to charge more. A note to remember is that the coach who seems like their services are a "bargain", might not be the best choice. As the saying goes "buy cheap buy twice".
What kind of training do career coaches have?
As I mentioned earlier, there are no regulations on coaching, so in theory, anyone can make a business card or a website and call themselves ”a coach”. A way to avoid these “fauxs”, is to watch out for bogus claims, such as ”7 figures in 7 steps” (a promise that you’ll suddenly be able to earn 7 figures after following their magic Programme!), as these will often be vague courses with no guaranteed pay off.
As a guide, accreditations and testimonials are your secret weapon to help you understand which coaches are worth your time. Keep an eye out for mentions of their accreditations and you will have some guidance on what training they have. And as we've said, reviews are great, so read up and see what others who have actually used the service, are saying.
Pros and cons of using a career coach
If you’re looking for a career coach, now that you know not all coaches are created equal and they may not all be what they seem, it is crucial to stay aware that some coaching services can be a scam. That’s ticking off one of the main cons; it is often difficult to see through the smoke and mirrors of coaching false promises.
Onto the pros… Despite it seeming like it can be expensive to use a career coach, remember it is an investment. How much would you spend on a phone? With big brands like Apple and Samsung, lots of their phones cost well over £1000. If you invest that into yourself and your career, you can propel yourself along your career journey, fast-tracking your progression.
Coaches (well-regarded coaches at least!) are the experts in their area of coaching and will impart their learnings from their experiences, meaning you will gain that experience and knowledge in a fraction of the time, thus accelerating your progress.
How to prepare for a career coaching session
Once you have narrowed your search down to a few worthy coaches, it's time to speak to them. Most should offer an opportunity to chat with them about where you are and where you want to be. This is often free and it is just a case of booking a slot in their diaries. This should be without obligation as you are only trying to see who you feel most comfortable with.
I'm not sure we need to say it again, but a career coach is always going to be a benefit to your career journey (providing you choose the right one!). Whether you are new to your role, or you are one of the senior members of your team looking to cement your skills, everyone can benefit from career coaching. If you want to see what a career coach can do for your career adventure, we know someone that can help 😉 contact me for a chat to see what you can achieve.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Most adults still don't have an answer for that, so how can we expect students to answer with any certainty? Regardless of whether it's your child or a student in your class, the final years of secondary school can be a stressful and overwhelming time. Students have a vast array of options when it comes to choosing a career path. It can be a struggle to narrow down the options and find the right direction.
Career coaching can help to guide your student through their journey into a fulfilling career. By building on their self-awareness it will serve to highlight their strengths, talents, passions and values to determine which route is appropriate for them. This will help them to find a career they will love, that will provide them with the fulfilment everyone deserves, as well as the financial security that we all need. This could be through university, an apprenticeship or even entering the world of work.
Importance of selecting the right path
Career coaching isn't just about finding the right degree, indeed, a degree isn't necessarily the right career path for everyone. We believe it's about finding the right path for the individual.
The importance of guiding students down a career path that is right for them is now becoming increasingly focused on. Keeping in mind that the average cost of going to university is around £56,910 across the 3 years, with some spanning over 7 years, and costing up to £132,790.
You could help them to avoid potentially wasting time, money and, importantly, avoiding unnecessary stress and pressure, by investing in career coaching now to help guide them onto that right path. For example, depending on the individual, Apprenticeships are a great way to gain a qualification whilst still getting paid, often leading directly into job roles they are ready for and understand fully.
How career coaching can help your child/student
*Discover the career path that will bring them the most satisfaction and fulfilment, whilst also "paying the bills".
*Evaluate and identify the options available to them with respect to their career ideas.
*Develop a strategic plan to guide them through the next steps to achieve their career goals.
*Significantly improve their interviewing skills.
*Craft professional, well-written CVs to gain the attention of desired employers or course providers.
*Significantly reduce their anxiety and confusion about their post-education choices, alleviating the pressure they face.
Be the hero for your student and see how we can help them achieve their career dreams, book a free discovery session.
The Japanese art form of Kintsugi is the concept of highlighting and emphasizing repairs and seams, rather than disguising them.
Art historians say Kintsugi originated in the 15th century when a Japanese Military Commander called Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favourite bowl. He was distraught (I know the feeling, I remember dropping my Take That* mug in 1996 and being beyond upset. Not only had Take That* split up, but now I'd broken my favourite mug!).
Anyway, back to Ashikaga….he was unhappy with the repair, and asked his craftsmen to come up with something that looked better. The solution was Kintsugi. His craftsmen repaired the bowl using a precious metal - usually gold - to accentuate and highlight the seams created by the joining of the broken parts. It looked even more beautiful than before, and became even more precious to Ashikaga.
If only I had known about Kintsugi in 1996!
The more I read about Kintsugi, the more I realise what a powerful metaphor for life, and especially work, it is. The idea of not hiding our flaws and mistakes, but highlighting them!
The amount of self-doubt we can feel when something goes wrong at work, or we make a mistake, can be paralysing for some people. That feeling when you know you've tried really really hard, but as the Project Manager, you haven’t been able to go live on time, or as a Manager, you feel you haven't been able to support your team enough, or deliver to your own Manager's expectations.
Human beings are fantastic at over thinking, over analysing and beating themselves up.
But, if we think of it in the Kintsugi way, we realise that our past mistakes have helped us to grow, enhance our knowledge, and enabled us to do better next time.
So, here are some tips to help you to channel a Kintsugi way of thinking at work:
Ownership & Acceptance This is about ownership of the mistakes you make. This can be incredibly uncomfortable, but it'll not only bring you peace, it will also gain you respect from those around you. It's amazing how many people are quick to blame others, so it's refreshing to hear someone own their mistakes.
Ask Questions Reflect on what happened, but don't dwell. The best way to do this, is to ask yourself questions, such as: What went wrong? What can I learn from this? What could I have done to prevent it from happening? What will I do better next time? Some people like to write down the questions and answers as a way of 'locking them in'. You don't have to do anything with it, but in some circumstances, for example, if you're a Project Manager or responsible for a workstream, it really helps to share this with the wider team in a "lessons learnt" capacity, and encourage others to share their thoughts too.
Action Stations! After your period of reflection, it's time to take action, and that does not involve beating yourself up about the mistake you've made (remember, no dwelling!). The action that's needed here is how to improve next time. Be specific with your actions, and ideally, have someone who can hold you to account to make sure it doesn't happen again; a trusted colleague, a friend, or even a coach.
A New Habit Make success a new habit. It's like learning a new skill, it takes time and it takes practice. There are many ways to make a new habit stick, but one that works for me is a regular reminder that pops up in my calendar. For example, if I'm working on a project and I've identified a previous mistake as being something related to timely comms, I will set a weekly reminder to review what comms are needed at that point in time to ensure everyone is fully 'in the loop'. Reward is also a great way of cementing a new habit. Find a reward that works for you. It can be something as simple as a cup of tea - or better still, a cup of tea and a biscuit! 🙂
Don't Repeat! It's easy to slip back into old ways, so be clear why you don't want to repeat the mistake. This is why I find writing down the mistake and the answers to the questions I ask myself, so helpful. I can use them as a reference to go back to. My own 'Lessons Learnt Dossier'! As well as writing down the mistake and the answers to the questions, I also add some notes about how it made me feel at the time. It can be uncomfortable to read, but it helps to compound why I don't want to make the same mistake again. So, to summarise, don't hide behind your mistakes, own them, grow from them, and make a new habit of not repeating them!
(*For anyone who has no idea what or who Take That are, they are a 1990s UK pop band who split up in 1996 (the end of the world for the 14 year old I was back then!) before reforming in 2005 (woohoo!!), much to my delight!)
Ikigai - pronounced ick-ee-guy - is the Japanese principle of finding your purpose, and happiness, within a career you are truly aligned to. When you work in a career you love, one you’re good at, and one that fulfils your financial and emotional needs, you’re said to have found your Ikigai. Sounds good, doesn’t it!
The Akeno Adventure Ikigai Programme uses a proven methodology to guide you towards your Ikigai. There’s no quick-fire quiz that outputs a binary job title, instead, we work through three phases to gently, but purposefully, help you to identify your Ikigai and thus, a future that you are suited to, aligned to, and will prosper from.
The programme takes place over 4 sessions. We start with an introduction to Ikigai and the programme, before entering the 3 key phases of Ikigai. Each phase has a set of carefully crafted questions, which we work through together;
1.You Love It: What do you love doing, what makes you happy?
2.You're Good At It: What have you got the skills for, or what skills can you acquire?
3.Reality Check: Does your idea fulfil a need in this world? Will it provide the necessary income and security?
Our sessions together will identify the golden threads, sense check your ideas, and most importantly, leave you with an action plan to achieve your Ikigai.
Ikigai is something that should be addressed at regular intervals in life.
For secondary-school students, it can lighten the pressure of making decisions on what they'll study at university, and indeed, whether university is right for them. It can open up other post-education options, such as apprenticeships, and gives a structure to ensure their future is fully considered. This guided approach can not only prevent overwhelm, but it can also save precious time and money that comes with following a wrong path. With university now costing in the region of £40,000+, it’s vital the right decisions are made!
For university students, and those in their early career, it can solidify vision, help to define professional identity, and create a pathway for accelerated progression. It can prevent heading in the wrong direction, wasting time in industries or roles that you aren't fully aligned to, and can open up new ideas and develop new mindsets.
For established career professionals, it can bring clarity about next steps, steer important career decisions, and even form ideas for complete career transformation. It’s never too late to adjust your mindset in your existing career, or to pivot completely. Established career professionals can find it harder to make changes. There are often financial, family and social commitments/expectations to consider. Ikigai brings a framework and a solid foundation on which to base important decisions.
The Ikigai Programme can de delivered on a 1:1 basis as a private arrangement, or through an employer, via a corporate professional development programme, or as part of a school or university initiative. A group approach is also in development, which takes teams or classes through the programme together.
To find out more about Ikigai and the Akeno Adventure Ikigai Programme, contact us anytime.
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat, with just one fisherman, docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while". The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”.
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play the guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?” the Mexican replied.
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
In this story, the Mexican man was already achieving a work-life balance. He had achieved his career happiness, which enabled him to live a happy life.
What do you do to achieve your work-life balance?
To see what other career adventurers have done to achieve their career dreams, see our testimonials.
Everyone is a coach.
Well, everyone can call themselves a coach anyway.
What does that mean for the industry, for me as a coach, and also for you as someone who is looking for a coach?
Did you know, there's no regulation on who can call themselves a coach?
What does it mean for the industry?
For the industry, it means that it's saturated. And I mean SATURATED, with bogus coaches making false promises of "7 Steps to 7 Figures in 7 Weeks" (this was an actual example that was sent to me recently!), diluting the recognition that other coaches with accreditations or certifications.
What does it mean for me?
This doesn't just stand for me, but all Coaches with accreditations or certifications, have to work harder to fight through the fog and mirrors of the "hocus pocus Coaches", to be visible.
For people looking for a coach?
This almost goes without saying, but if you have to fight through endless falsities that come from the 'world-and-his wife' being able to call themselves a Coach, there is a significantly greater chance that you will be drawn in by false promises of a well-marketed option, rather than the right option for you.
So, what's my status when it comes to accreditations and certifications?
These accreditations not only bring me the tangible skills that I need to make a difference to you, but they also give me a community of other like-minded Coaches; my own support network that I can turn to when either I need some input in my own world and business, to make sure I'm always functioning at 100% for my client. Importantly, it is also a network of fantastic people that I can refer you onto if you need something different to what I offer.
That's right, I turn clients down.
If I honestly, and wholeheartedly, don’t believe I'm the best person to help you, I won't. I'll offer a referral onto someone in my trusted network (if I know someone suitable), but I won't take you on as a client without believing I can make a true and honest difference.
What are your thoughts? Have you come across, or experienced, a 'Coach' who perhaps wasn't in it for the right reasons?
If you want to hear how others have benefited from an accredited coach check out my testimonials.
Career Coach (Accredited!)
Ikigai? What is Ikigai?
Ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy), is the Japanese principle of happiness in what you do.
It originates from Okinawa, Japan, where people have been found to live the healthiest life, and for the longest amount of time, out of all countries on Earth.
So, how do you find your Ikigai?
Your Ikigai isn't a physical object, it's the career that will make you happy as well as being financially viable.
How does it work?
How will we help guide you towards your Ikigai?
Firstly, You'll receive a deck of cards, split into three sections: "You love it", "You're good at it", "Reality Check". These are yours to keep.
Before each of the sessions, you'll fill out the relevant cards with our guidance. You'll then work through them with me to help work out what direction you should be going to find your dream career, or Ikigai.
You Love It
Firstly, we look at what you love doing, what interests you, and answering the "if-you-could-do-anything, what-would-you-do" question. What's your dream job?
You're Good At It
What are you good at? What do you have the skills for? Can you train or learn to acquire these skills?
Now we know what you love to do, and what career skills you have or can acquire, we will look at what is realistic…
Can you earn enough money to support yourself and your family? Is there a need and a gap in the market you can fill?
Most importantly, what are your next steps, and what is the first step in order to start the adventure to reaching your Ikigai?
This isn't a career quiz that spits out a random job, based on vague questions on a sliding scale with no meaning.
This is to guide you towards a career you'll love, that can provide you with the security you need.
If you want to discuss your search, for your Ikigai, contact me and we can start your adventure to career happiness.
Are you searching for career advice or career coaching?
Was it you that searched “Best career ever”?
I was doing some keyword research based around career coaching for my digital marketing apprenticeship, when I saw the search result “Best career ever”.
It gave me the idea to write this blog and to question; what is the ‘best career ever’?
Well, for you it might be one of those, but everyone’s dream career is specific to them. Regardless of what you think you should be doing, it’s down to you to make that choice.
What is it that makes you happy? What's your 'offer', your skills, your approach? What's the key to waking up every morning and being happy with the working day ahead? Career happiness is key. If you love your work, you’ll never work a day.
For some, it’s career mentoring, guiding people towards their ultimate career happiness. For others, it’s serving coffees or driving a train that gives them satisfaction.
If you can find the 'thing' that you love to do, the 'thing' you have the skills for, and the 'thing' that will earn you the money you need to live (after all, we all have bills to pay!), you will have found your Ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy).
Ikigai is the Japanese concept of happiness in life. There’s more info to follow on Ikigai soon….
Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we can help you find your Ikigai….
Wait, what am I saying, tell everyone you know! We believe that everyone deserves to love their career; that’s why we created Akeno Adventure.
Whatever your current situation, have a great day, and please feel free to get in touch to find out more, especially if you'd like to wake up every day excited about your working day ahead.
You never know, you might end up with the best career ever!
We all spend a significant amount of time at work, wherever that may be. For some lucky enough to be doing something they love it can be something they look forward to every day. However, for many people, their work is one of the biggest causes of stress.
Workplace stress can affect our entire lives if we let it take hold.
How many times have you been trying to enjoy your Sunday when all you can do is think about, and dread, the fact that Monday marches ever closer and brings with it another week of work.
How many times after that cliché ‘bad day at work’ have you snapped at your wife/husband?
For these reasons as well as that we believe everyone deserves to be happy at work; it is important to know the signs of workplace stress, and how to combat them, working to become resilient to them.
You can’t become immune to stress at work, but you can learn how to deal with it and how to bounce back quicker.
What are the symptoms of workplace stress?
Before you can tackle workplace stress, it is useful to identify what it looks like to be suffering from it.
The signs are generally broken down into three categories of how it will manifest itself: How you might be feeling, how you might behave and physical signs of stress.
How you might feel:
How you might behave:
Causes of work stress
There are lots of factors that can contribute to your stress, however, it doesn’t have to be one big thing causing it. It could also be a build-up of lots of little factors, this can make it difficult to identify what it is that is causing it or, to explain it to other people.
Here are some possible causes of stress:
How can workplace stress be reduced?
Dealing with workplace stress
There are various steps you can take to cope with being under pressure. They're just ideas and may not work for everyone. Only try what you feel comfortable with.
Book a free Discovery Session to start your adventure to stress free work.