When someone is depressed and asks me for career coaching, I send ’em to colleagues who are patient and know how to give guidance with the right touch.
That’s not me.
Here are the attributes of impressive career advisors in my network:
1. They are certified. Anybody can be a career coach. Some of the most unpleasant people I’ve met in my professional life were fired during the recession, couldn’t find jobs, and turned themselves into career coaches. When searching for an advisor, ask about degrees and affiliations. Also, check out The Muse. They ask their affiliated coaches to undergo a vetting process.
2. They are experts in a particular trade. Doesn’t matter which trade, but you want your career advisor to be good at something tangible. Don’t work with a career coach who is a leadership expert, for example, but hasn’t led anybody.
3. They are flexible. Lots of old school coaches out there will meet with you on their terms, not yours. Find someone who understands that you have a full-time job and may lack the freedom to take phone calls from your cubicle.
4. They are assessment-agnostic. Swear to god, I once met a recruiter-turned-career-coach who did people’s astrological charts as part of her package. That’s a random assessment, and it’s just as crappy as MBTI and The Birkman. Assessments are great if they give you some insight into yourself; however, remember that you’re paying for a clever coach and not the results of assessments you can take yourself.
5. They live their values. Very few people experience an optimized life, which is why very few people ought to be coaches. Nothing worse than a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do advisor. Don’t be afraid to ask a coach how she is doing with her personal journey in life. Does she drink her own champagne? If not, look elsewhere for guidance.
I know lots of people, but I only know a handful of great coaches and advisors. Need someone? Let me know. I’ll do my best to make a love connection.
But maybe ask yourself this question: Is a career coach just another vehicle for procrastination and denial? And would the money spent on a career coach be better dedicated to lifestyle enhancements and personal wellness?
A week away from the job and the kids can do wonders for your perspective, and it might be easier on your budget.