Step Your Game Up With a Career Coach

Get the right guidance to make power plays

MichelleGreenEXC

Greene

As Greene became more focused, she realized that her chances of moving up at Sony Ericsson were minimal. She left the company in April 2009 and in an environment of extremely high unemployment landed a position in May as IT director in the Building Efficiency division of Johnson Controls, Inc. “Coach puts you in a position that makes you think and stretches you,” explains Greene. “I’ve learned how to turn my attention to where I want to go as opposed to where I have been.”

According to Sherpa’s 2009 survey, out of 1,500 participants consisting of human resource professionals and coaching clients, 87 percent consider the value of executive coaching to be ‘somewhat high’ or ‘very high.’ If you are interested in seeking out your own career coach, first determine the area in which you need assistance, such as restructuring your résumé, reaching a specific goal, or honing a specific skill like interviewing? Consult your network for referrals and check organizations like the Career Coach Institute and the International Coaching Federation. Sessions through the latter average $161 per hour. Before selecting a coach, you should interview several individuals to determine the right fit.

In the meantime, Shateen offers these tips for those who are feeling professionally stuck:

Set Goals: According to Shatteen, we often set goals that are beyond our ability to achieve, so start small. “If you learn how to be successful in achieving your small goals, you can transfer that confidence, set progressively larger goals and get back on track with moving your life forward on what you’re focused on at the moment.”

Know Your Style: An aspect of being successful means having internal awareness. For instance, do you know your learning style? “There are nine different types of intelligence,” explains Shatteen. “You can be smart about music, with numbers, reading, words, or have interpersonal intelligence. Once you’re clear on that, you’re positioning yourself to take in information in a way that is going to be most useful.” To find out your learning style, check out people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style.

Go outside: If you are not getting leadership opportunities within your company, choose an outside organization, like a non-profit, where you might be able to sit on their board or run a division outfit. You will have broaden your experience and raise your profile.

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