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As evident from news reports citing high unemployment, employer challenges with long-term vacancies and the skills gap, and BLS stats reflecting a large portion of people unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, many workers are facing major challenges in terms of job obtainment. Seeking alternatives such as professional help may be a solution to finding employment success.
According to recent International Coaching Federation (ICF) research, satisfaction levels are very high (83%) among those who have been involved in a coaching relationship and 36% were “very satisfied.” Other research shows 15% of coaching clients said career opportunities are the most important reason to enlist a coach, compared with business management (14%) and self-esteem or self-confidence (13%).
“So many times people think that job-seeking or career development is something they can do on their own, but the reality is it’s no diff than other areas of life where you seek professional advice or services,” says Aisha Taylor, co-founder and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting. “If your car is not working, you take it to a mechanic. If your hair needs to be styled, you got to a professional. So, if you want help with how to navigate a successful career, it’s best to seek out the help of a professional. In doing that you’ll most likely be set up with a strategy on how you can best meet your career goals.”
But, how do you get started when you’re already bogged down with concerns about landing a gig and paying the bills while doing so? Check out these four steps to get you on the right track:
Recognize that it’s an investment in your future success and know your desired end result. “I’ve been blown away, over my more than 10 years in this industry, at how people find money to consult with a career coach,” Taylor says. “I get clients all the time who are not working or may not have been working for years, but when they get to a point of no return, the money comes from somewhere, whether it’s family, friends, savings, [or other means.]” Research also shows that 68% of individuals surveyed by the ICF said that they had “at least made back their initial investment in coaching in increased earnings from personal salaries or investments, or through increased savings through debt reduction.”
Experts advise professionals to be aware of a coach’s credentials, consider affordable cost based on your budget, and anticipate return on investment based on coach obligations and results desired.
Create a document that outlines any experience you have. This can be a résumé, generally written list, or even a memo in your smartphone that includes internships, volunteer work, relevant coursework and job experience. “If you come with that already prepped, you’re already one step ahead,” Taylor says.
Have at least a broad idea of what you want to do. Taylor advises making a top three list of your ideal jobs or dream careers.
Know what you’re good at and your weak points. “This is so you and the professional can take an honest look at what strengths you bring to the table and what you may want to improve on,” Taylor says.