Sometimes, it’s great to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about, and career coaches are definitely no exception. If you’re thinking about changing careers, or you’re unhappy in your current role, maybe it’s time to chat with a seasoned coach.
10 questions to ask your career coach
The best career coaches are non-judgmental. They are realistic in their approach and understand the industry in which you work. And, great coaches are also great listeners. They take the time to understand who you are and your career goals before making suggestions for improving your career.
Here are 10 great questions to ask when you sit down with your career coach.
Question #1: What are your techniques for pushing people out of their comfort zones?
Any big change, whether it’s finding a new role or maybe even changing careers entirely, will require getting outside of your comfort zone. And naturally, different coaches will use different techniques with their clients. Find out what strategies your coach will use to push you in your career. A quick word of warning: If your coach uses unconventional methods, don’t reject them outright yet. Sometimes, it’s the unconventional methods that work the best.
Question 2: How will you track my progress?
Most coaches will use some sort of tracking mechanism to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. Getting a feel for how your coach will track your progress can help you to prepare as appropriate. For instance, maybe he or she will use hard metrics depending on your job role, while other coaches might use more psychological feedback from you to determine how things are going in your career.
Question 3: Can you recommend career options that I haven’t considered?
The best career coaches out there will go outside of what you’ve already thought about. In fact, they might suggest something that you initially think is crazy. But, thinking outside the box is good. It’s all a part of the process, and that’s why you’ve hired a career coach. Different ideas and unique feedback about your career (including career paths) can provide you with a variety of new ideas to consider. Again, this is one of the advantages of paying for a career coach.
Question 4: What kinds of resources will you have me use during coaching?
Coaches have a variety of different methods to assess their client’s aptitude and personality traits, and these findings often help the coach to build the very best career path for you. For instance, many coaches use the Myers-Briggs test to determine psychological preferences, such as introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs intuition, etc. Your coach may also use other types of assessments to determine your natural strengths and weaknesses.
Question 5: What are some ways to build my strengths?
This question gets down to the nuts and bolts of why you hired a career coach. Expanding on your strengths is very often the best way to improve your career prospects. Ask your coach how to expand your strengths in ways that will directly impact your career. For instance, time-management skills are often important along with your sheer technical abilities.
Question 6: What’s the job market like for those in my line of work?
Along with doing your own research for this question, don’t hesitate to ask your coach what the job market is like in your industry. It’s never a bad thing to get another opinion as your coach may be in tune with your type of work more than you are.
In fact, good career coaches always have a pulse on the industries of their clients. This question may also help encourage you to stick with your career (if job prospects are good) or choose another career if a related field shows more promising signs for employment in the future.
Question 7: Can we brainstorm ideas to help improve my network?
It’s not what you know. It’s who you know. Maintaining a strong professional network will give you a leg up throughout your career. You’ll hear about more opportunities. You’ll be able to ask questions of successful people in your field. And, you will be able to help others as they navigate some of the same career challenges as you. Ask your coach to suggest some ideas for expanding your professional network.
Question 8: Can you provide feedback on my resume?
Asking your coach to read over your resume can be a great way to improve it. In fact, there are lots of common resume mistakes that are preventing many job candidates from getting offers, and a good coach will find those problems and suggest ways to improve them.
Question 9: Got an upcoming interview? Find out how to prep for it.
If you have an interview in the near future, ask your career coach for tips on how to prepare for it. Or, practice with your coach by doing a little role-playing. Your coach will play the role of the hiring manager and you, of course, will be the job candidate. Ask your coach to ask questions they think might be asked in the interview. Your coach should critique your answers and offer ways to improve your answers as necessary.
Question 10: What can I do right now to jump-start my career?
Ask your coach what you can do today to improve your career in some way. Note that this may not be a huge change. Ask for something small, like keeping up with the news in your industry, or connecting more closely with coworkers, or starting a new writing habit to help you flesh out ideas and document how you’re feeling each and every day.
More Articles from Wealth of Geeks
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels.
Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.