089: Career Coaching vs. Life Coaching

Career Coaching vs. Life Coaching

I’ve gotten questions lately about what I do as career coach…and they ask if I am a life coach.

It occurred to me that there are some similarities and distinct differences between career coaching and life coaching, and I thought I would educate you, dear listeners.

If you want help with your career, it’s very important you know what kind of help you actually need…and who can best support you.

In either instance, understand that coaching is an unregulated industry, meaning that you can call yourself a coach without any type of certification or training. This doesn’t mean that someone without a certification is inferior to someone with a certification; it simply means that anyone can call themselves a coach.

Coaching on a Continuum

Let’s think of this thing called coaching on a continuum, with life coaching on one end and career coaching on the other.

At the life coaching end, your coach will be working with you on how you think about your job, perhaps what your career goals and dreams are. Unless they have specialized training or experience in the job market, the hiring process, and how to conduct an effective job search, they likely won’t be able to help you with the DOING piece of a job search. They won’t be able to help improve your interview skills or navigate corporate politics.

At the career coaching end, you will (hopefully) have an expert in the job search, career management, interviewing, etc. They will mix some consulting in with their coaching because they will be teaching you how to do these things. You will be hiring them because they are experts and you want to learn from their expertise. They probably won’t be focused on your thoughts; instead, they will be focused on the DOING piece.

What if you want/need some of both? This is what I do. I am a Certified Executive and Leadership Development Coach and Certified Job Search Strategist who utilizes life coaching tools in her practice. I’m not a life coach, but I’ve been coached by the best life coach on the planet and have incorporated several of her tools into the work I do with my clients. I recognize that, no matter how great my job search tools are, if my clients aren’t thinking the right things they won’t get the results they desire.

Hiring a Coach

So what to do if you want to hire a coach?

The first step is to get crystal clear on what you want to hire a coach for. What is the problem you want a coach’s help to solve?

The next step is to ASK QUESTIONS. Find out what a potential coach’s credentials and experience are; what kinds of clients they typically work with and what kind of results those clients are getting. Ask about the process they go through – is it a structured process or is the coach unable or unwilling to tell you what you’ll actually be doing?

Also be sure to check in with your gut…how do you feel when talking with this person? Are you connecting? Are there any language or cultural barriers that may get in the way of you getting what you need? Do you truly believe this person can help you?

Prices for coaching will vary widely depending on the coach’s education, experience, specialization, and even where he or she lives. I’ve seen coaches charge as little at $50 an hour when they are first starting out, and I’ve worked with coaches who charge $1000 an hour.

Keep in mind that what you are paying for isn’t an hour of coaching…or 10 hours of coaching. You are paying for results, so make sure you understand what the expected results are.

I’m not saying that merely purchasing a coaching package will get your desired results, because you have to do the work. A coach should be willing to tell you what IS a reasonable expectation, IF you do the work.

Follow My YouTube channel (Lesa Edwards); it’s chocked full of valuable career management content in easily digestible bites.

Want to speak with an expert about your career/job search goals? Need help figuring out what’s holding you back from achieving your dream career? Let’s talk. Here’s the link to schedule a 30-minute consult call with me: https://my.timetrade.com/book/D6KLN. Hope to see you soon!

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