A reader writes:
I have been trying to find a different job/career for about 2 years, and specifically trying to relocate back to my hometown area. My education and background are not really in a thriving industry, and at the small company I work at, I do several different jobs, which means in my job search, I am slightly qualified for a lot of positions, but not really overly qualified for anything.
So at several points in my search, I have considered working with a career/life coach to help me assess my skills and perhaps get some clarity on what might be my best approach to a different career (and not really for the resume/cover letter services). However, they are very expensive, and this has been my main drawback, compounded with reviews I read where other job seekers have not felt like the service was worth the money.
In your experiences, have you come across peers/applicants/whoever who have been through professional coaching and found it to be helpful and worthwhile? And along those lines, do you find candidates who have worked with coaches to be any more appealing than the general public?
I don’t know if you have any experiences with the coaching scene or not, so no worries if you don’t. Coaching is even something I would possibly consider as a career; I can see wanting to help people in a similar situation figure out what career may fit best with their skills and personality, but certainly I would want to work with a coach before I made any type of decision like that.
I only know a few people who have used career coaches, but the ones I know were uniformly disappointed. They all found their coaches cheesy, fond of a sort of unsophisticated “you can do it!” type pep, and lacking the sort of nuanced knowledge about how my friends’ fields worked that they needed in order to have a useful conversation.
But this is a small sample — and I admittedly have a curmudgeonly and highly skeptical stance on the career coaching industry itself — so I’d love to hear from readers on this. Readers, if you’ve ever used a career coach, what was your experience like? And if you had one who you liked, how did you find that person? (If there are some good ones out there, part of the problem seems to be that no one knows how to find them amidst the bad ones, so advice on how to locate a good one would be especially helpful.)