What Type of Career Counseling or Coaching Do You Need?
Career counseling and coaching may be described as an ongoing professional relationship in which a career counselor or coach partners with clients in thought-provoking and creative processes that help motivate, empower, and inspire clients to successfully identify and work through career-related concerns and maximize their personal and professional potential.
Career counselors and coaches typically help people with personal career development, career exploration, and career change; but career coaching and counseling can encompass a wide array of professional activities. For example, career counselors may help adolescents explore career options, parents re-enter the workforce after taking time to raise a child, and experienced professionals contemplating a career change. Career counseling can also be offered in a variety of settings, including individually and in groups, and in person or virtually over the phone or the Internet.
Although almost all counselors and coaches use their communication skills, motivational abilities, and capacity to develop a solid, solution-focused rapport and relationship with their clients to help support and guide clients on the path to achieving their goals, many divide their expertise into specific categories. And knowing the types of career counseling and coaching that are available can help you make an informed decision about the type of counseling or coaching you need and can benefit from most…
- Career Management and Performance – Career counselors and coaches who offer career management and performance counseling and coaching typically help individuals increase and enhance their productivity and effectiveness in their current professional role. Career management counseling and performance coaching often includes the identification and resolution of communication and behavioral issues at work, assertiveness training, stress management, and techniques to improve one’s work/life balance.
- Career Assessment – Career assessment uses involves the administration of various assessment tests and instruments (such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong-Interest Inventory) to help individuals identify professional preferences, strengths, weaknesses, and needs, as well as direct questioning of current and past experiences, exploration of different career options, and assessment of your readiness to make a career decision.
- Skills Coaching – Skills coaching offers an adaptive, flexible approach to helping individuals and small groups develop the core skills they need most to succeed in their current or desired professional roles.
- Workforce Re-Entry – Re-entering the workforce after an extended absence can present some unique challenges, whether that absence has been due to the raising of a child, returning to school, medical issues, or a sabbatical of one form or another. Because of this, career counselors and coaches who help people re-enter the workforce often focus on helping individuals locate career and education resources, overcome any emotional or psychological barriers to re-entry, and improve time-management, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
- Job-Loss and Job-Search Strategies – While many people today simply go online to review résumé writing and interview technique best-practices, a career counselor or coach can still be invaluable when it comes to helping people define and prioritize career goals, divide those goals into small, easily-managed steps, locate networking resources, and successfully cope with any emotions that result from the loss of a job or career and unemployment.
It’s important to note that all of these types of career counseling and coaching are not mutually exclusive.
Many career counselors and coaches provide career assessment and skills coaching to individuals and groups. Likewise, some counselors and coaches combine personal and career coaching in the services they provide or offer grief or self-esteem counseling or assertiveness training along with career assessment and workforce re-entry.
The above categories are simply meant to serve as a guide in helping you determine specifically what type of counseling or coaching you need most when interviewing prospective counselors and coaches to help you.
Regardless of the specific type of career counseling or coaching you need most, a career counselor can help support you while transitioning industries, put your qualifications, experience, strengths, weakness, and needs in a broad perspective, hone specific skills, perform better at work, or even start a business. And, perhaps most importantly, seeking professional career guidance can help you gain a better understanding of what really matters most to you.
So, again, use the broad definitions above to help you define your needs before interviewing one or more career counselors or coaches in order to make sure you maximize all the benefits career counseling and coaching has to offer, including claiming the life of passion, power, and purpose that awaits!
Betty Cohen, M.S., NCC, MCC
Serving San Francisco Bay Area, CA, and Phoenix Metro Area, AZ
Phone: (650) 868-5396