Looking for a job can be discouraging. Being rejected can be downright depressing. Getting a promotion or a new position is exciting. Any career transition (whether good or bad) tends to be confusing and sometimes scary.
Your whole career path will be full of emotions that run the gamut from celebratory to an almost grievous sense of loss. While you may have a support group in the form of family and friends, these well-meaning loved ones may not necessarily understand what it is like to be in your shoes, nor do they have the acumen to point you in the right direction.
A Career Machine
The Internet is full of information about careers, and this information is beneficial to a certain degree, but much of it is not in touch with the human side of working and career development. Instead, this self-serve content is essentially pre-packaged, and it caters to a generic audience. It is not personalized in any way that actually reflects your individual needs, skill set, and career aspirations.
This one-size-fits-all career advice may be useful in certain situations, but when you are in the midst of the roller coaster of emotions that comes with career transitions and job searches, you really could use something more. You need to be supported by a professional.
The Hard and Soft Approach
A career expert, like a career advisor, can offer that human-touch experience you need in these times. A career advisor can help you weather the storms of your career, condition you to go the distance, and is there to toast your success when it all works out.
A career advisor can deliver the “hard and soft” approach, based on what each individual needs and what will best serve their career goals. They act almost like sports coaches, delivering guidance through the right doses of listening and sympathy, encouragement and tough love, and objective advice and actionable tasks.
A career advisor knows that each person has a different set of strengths and weaknesses that require a unique strategy — plus, they have often worked with a range of personalities and seen a variety of career experiences, so they know how to make each person feel like they are understood and accepted.
The Benefits of a Human Connection
This personalized approach is especially reassuring if you are second-guessing yourself or if you lack the confidence you need after facing some career hardship, like being unemployed for a period of time.
Personal assistance from a career advisor may also help you feel as though you are accomplishing more. In a search that previously felt one-sided, you now have a guide; you now have a listening ear, a supportive shoulder, and whole body and mind to help you get to the most appropriate destination you’re seeking. A career coach will certainly offer understanding and emotional support when a client is nervous about a job interview or apprehensive about changing career paths, but this coach is also there to help you “buck-up,” and will be firm and offer constructive criticism when it is necessary.
In order to best serve your needs and provide the human connection that helps smooth the bumps in your career road, a career coach should take the time to get to know you as a person. It’s about building a relationship, really, and taking the journey with you — that’s what often sets a career coach apart from any other source of career assistance.
In fact, a career coach can often do much more than just sit next to you on that rollercoaster and figuratively hold your hand: a career coach gets you off the emotional ride and helps you gain strategic focus, showing you where you need to go and what you need to do in order to achieve your career goals.
What You Want in a Career Coach
If you’re looking for a career coach, you want someone who understands you personally and who is passionate about helping you succeed. You want to have someone on board who understands not only the emotions involved in your career journey, but also the practical objective steps you need to take to reach your goals. Your perfect career coach should get you — even more than you get yourself.
While the Internet offers detached, often pre-packaged advice, and your friends and family feel for you, it is a career coach that can feel for you, offer truly personal advice, and give you a kick in the pants when you need it most.