Finding the right coach for your needs and personality can be a daunting task. However, it is of the greatest importance to find someone that is not only qualified, but qualified to address your needs. To make sure your coach is qualified and can deliver what you need, here are 9 tips to consider.
Does the coach have work experience comparable to yours? It is estimated that about 75% of self-proclaimed career coaches actually have little-to-no experience in the workplace and have only been trained in life coaching. Such individuals may have a number of suggestions that seem wise on the surface, but have few practical suggestions on how to help you achieve your professional goals.
Choose a coach who has the credentials to validate his/her expertise. Credentials such as certifications are good indicators.
Select someone that has a solid and quality reputation in the industry. Your coach should be active and visible in the industry, publishing books and articles in major media, as well as presenting new ideas at professional conferences. It is crucial to validate the person's standing. Select a coach for whom coaching was a first career choice, not someone who may have failed in another role and found coaching as a default role to which he or she may not be 100% committed.
Request that the coach provide you with references from past clients. If he or she declines, or if you're offered just one or two, this could be a point of concern. You should certainly inquire as to why you cannot have a broad(er) sample. Whether there may have been bad experiences or no experiences (due to inexperience) in the past, there could be something that is not quite on the level. Do some research on the Web and see if you find any comments about this individual.
Some coaches insist that you come to their location in person; others will agree to meet with you at a local coffee shop or even work with you by phone or by email. If you would prefer a particular meeting location or method, make sure the coach you're considering will at least discuss your request.
Any decent coach should be able to help you find and establish your professional goals. However, before meeting with anyone, take some time to determine your own goals and potential milestones. When you do meet with your coach, inquire as to when you can expect to see results, and what those results might look like. If your coach is unable to give you answers in this regard, he or she is asking you to drive without directions.
Your first meeting is vital in establishing the extent to which your potential coach and you are compatible (or not). Don't forget: this is an individual with whom you will be revealing personal aspects and details of your life. Make sure you make the most of the first session, but also bear in mind that the first consultation should be free. Beware of anyone who charges for an initial consultation.
Inquire as to what sort of guarantee the coach provides. While there are many factors in beginning a new career and securing the right position, you are paying for a service and should end up satisfied. For example, imagine that in spite of all your work and investigations into improving your professional situation, your energy spent with the coach, the work doesn't lead anywhere. In such a situation, what recourse will you have? Will he or she refund your money, extend the term of service, or does the coach offer an alternative plan?
Coaching rates vary substantially with coaches and can range anywhere from $50 to $700 for sessions that may last an hour or an entire day. Some coaches want to meet with you only a few times, to help you get started in a new direction, while others want to work with you in a far more long-term manner. Some individuals provide you with various materials to supplement your coaching sessions; others rely more on the outcome of your meetings. Make sure you understand from the get-go how much you will be paying and what services you'll receive for that rate.