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Should you hire a career coach?

Kerry Thompson
A career coach is there to guide you through the process of transition to whatever your desired goal could be.


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.

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