What is a career coach

People who have earned a living for decades sometimes offer hindsight advice. One of the more practical pearls of wisdom states that people can have 1 of 2 choices:  do what they love or work tirelessly to earn financial freedom to enjoy personal time and endeavors.

But career-minded professionals are not necessarily bound by this type of dichotomous thinking. It’s possible to enter an industry and carve out a career path that is both lucrative and personally rewarding. The caveat that hindsight doesn’t always offer, involves leveraging newly emerging assets that weren’t available to Baby Boomers and retirees. One of the advantages previous generations did not necessarily possess was access to career coaches.

If you rank among the many who feel unfulfilled, unappreciated, or underpaid, a career coach could change that trajectory. If you are wondering, “exactly what is a career coach,” the following information could prompt you to connect with a network of thought leaders.

What Does a Career Coach Do?

Perhaps the simplest way to understand what a career coach does is to compare them to a corporate lawyer. Attorneys are paid to further their client’s best interest through legal maneuvering, advice, and strategies. 

A career coach offers direction regarding the most advantageous ways to improve your market value through networking, career planning, and leveraging your experience and skill set. 

Before rejecting the notion of accepting help or rushing to hire someone, the following questions may shed light on whether you need one.

  • Have you conducted a job search in the last few years?
  • Are you interested in making a career change?
  • Do you lack a robust professional network?
  • When was the last time you updated your resume?
  • Have you identified a short- or long-term career goal?
  • Has a recent job search proved relatively fruitless?
  • Have you been out of the workforce for too long?

A career coach helps professionals generate a plan of action after measuring aptitudes, skills, and experience. They also take into account someone’s quality of life goals. It’s not uncommon for a career coach to administer surveys that include personality tests, goal evaluators, and lifestyle expectations. These help clarify someone’s career aptitude and measure live-work balance expectations.

Part of the equation goes back to whether you are stuck in the either-or approach of “doing what you love or begrudgingly trying to accumulate wealth to pursue other endeavors.” A career coach helps professionals rethink life-work realities to support the whole person.

How to Find a Career Coach

As a Forbes article called “Should I Hire A Career Coach?” points out, they are not headhunters, corporate recruiters, or therapists. In many ways, a career coach is more akin to a life coach. That’s primarily because they provide objective advice that motivates everyday people to hone skills and build actionable confidence.

One of the tried-and-true ways to find a suitable career coach is by taking referrals from people in your industry. If others in your professional orbit benefited from the experience, perhaps that person could help further your interests. But given that resources such as Zippia indicate career coaches occupy a niche industry of under 12,000, life coach directories may prove fruitful. indiGOlife Network connects people with coaching professionals who specialize in spiritual health, wellness, finance, and career paths, among others.

How to Vet Your Career Coach

Although career counselors may hold a certificate associated with the field, coaches bring unique skills and perspectives to the industry. Many possess rare experiences or expertise, and they want to pass their knowledge along to future generations. That indicates they love what they do and bring a contagious passion for career growth to the equation.

But selecting the right career coach generally requires a meeting of the minds. Vetting a career coach typically involves the following.

  • Background: A career coach may not necessarily have direct experience in your profession, but most importantly, understanding upward mobility or career transitioning often proves invaluable. Also, part of the process involves rebranding who you are and what you bring to the table. If a career coach can help you move forward, they may be a good fit.
  • Approach: For parties to make progress effectively, they must enjoy common ground. Professional and personal styles matter in terms of successful growth. A laid-back career coach may be a seamless fit for some professionals, but others who value structure over flexibility may find working together unclear. We all have unique life-work styles. It’s important that the coach-professional relationship shares core values.
  • Guarantees: Career coaches offer experience, expertise, as well as a passion for professional growth and self-actualization. Because the process involves direction and advice against a shifting marketplace, there are no guarantees. If a resource makes such assertions, that could be a red flag not to sign an agreement.

Career coaching remains a niche industry many professionals are often leveraging for the first time. Organizations that offer professional direction generally understand potential clients are learning about the process while they decide. That’s why credible coaches may typically offer a no-cost consultation. If you are faced with a hard sell, don’t purchase services under pressure. Consider speaking with a few coaches and working with the person who makes you feel comfortable.

How Much Does A Career Coach Cost?

An effective career coach who meshes with your business approach usually pays for themselves. Promotions, salary increases, or the ability to transition to another sector generate off-setting financial benefits. Services are widely based on past success rates, experience, expertise, and specializations, among others.

Career coach fees can range from under $100 per hour to $500 or higher. Well-known career coaches tend to charge higher rates. To some degree, just working with them raises someone’s industry stock. However, the fees tend to mirror other services that professionals can access to further their financial and quality-of-life goals.

What is a Career Coach, and Should You Hire One?

Sometimes professionals hit a mental wall where they feel unmotivated or unable to springboard into a more rewarding position. You may be standing at a crossroads in which you’re living to work and not enjoying the rewards you deserve. A CIO article argues that if you experience the following telltale signs, hire a career coach.

  • You’re experiencing job angst.
  • You’re struggling with your job search.
  • Your professional brand needs work.
  • Your career has stalled.
  • You’re challenged to stand out from the crowd.
  • You struggle with self-motivation.
  • You’re ambitious.

A career coach helps professionals adapt and overcome adversity in the office and industry. If you love what you do, a career coach provides advice about earning more money while embracing your sense of happiness. If a career no longer feels rewarding, or you’ve hit a dead-end, rethinking your brand or life-work approach could prove invaluable. At the end of the workweek, we all want to be well compensated and enjoy the best quality of life. That’s what a career coach helps everyday people achieve.

Eclipse Digital
Author: Eclipse Digital


When I was in high school and getting acquainted with my perfectionist tendencies in full force, I had a choice to make – stay in my advanced studies class or

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