When Should You Get a Career Coach?

Career coaching can be beneficial at any time in your healthcare career, whether you’re in training, gaining experience, on a leadership track, or already in a leadership position. As you consider hiring a career coach, it’s essential to first determine what you want to get out of the process. Identifying your goals – and your challenges – will aid in your search for the right career coach. Below are some questions to ask yourself to establish a framework for your particular career coaching needs.

  • What are the specific challenges that I’m facing right now?
  • What are some areas that I’d like to be stronger in?
  • Do I want to achieve a leadership position?
  • Do I feel that I would benefit from training?
  • Where do I want to be in my healthcare career in 5 years? 10 years?

How Do You Find a Career Coach?

After you’ve pinpointed what you want to accomplish, you can start researching potential candidates online using Google and LinkedIn. Since many career coaches connect with their clients via phone or video conferencing apps, geography doesn’t have to be a limiting factor. Look for coaches who have experience that aligns with your situation and goals, and proven expertise in helping their clients achieve their desired outcomes. Keep in mind that there is no formal licensing requirement for coaches, so you’ll need to get a feel for their credentials through other avenues. Explore content they’ve produced on their website or LinkedIn page to get a sense of their background, accomplishments, and personality, and ask to speak with clients they’ve helped!

There are organizations that offer certifications for career coaches, including the International Coaches Federation (ICF). You can search ICF’s websites for candidates, although there are plenty of good coaches who choose not to get certified with an organization. Reputable coaches will often offer a free initial consultation; beware of anyone who charges a large upfront fee before you’ve had a chance to determine if you’re right for each other.

How Much Does a Career Coach Cost?

Rates can vary anywhere from $50 to $300 an hour. A recent Forbes article put it this way, “Many small-group career coaching programs, and even some one-on-one coaching plans cost roughly one or two weeks’ salary. When you see it in those terms, hiring a coach looks like a no-brainer for the potential value you’ll receive. But it has to be the right coach.”

Keep in Mind That Personality Fit Matters

Personality fit is essential when it comes to finding the right coach. If you’re considering finding a coach via personal recommendation, understand that a coach who is an excellent fit for a friend or colleague isn’t necessarily going to be right for you. It’s crucial that you feel a genuine sense of comfort and connection with your coach. As they work with you on achieving your professional goals, the process will also involve addressing underlying personal and emotional issues, so a feeling of understanding and trust is vital. One of the most beneficial aspects of engaging an effective career coach is their ability to help you clarify your vision – and your blind spots – in order to navigate the road ahead.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that career coaches aren’t magicians – it’s still up to you to put it in the work. But connecting with the right coach can yield significant benefits, both personally and professionally. Having a dedicated ally – and a reliable source of feedback, support, and guidance – can provide an invaluable boost as you endeavor to achieve your professional goals.