What is a Career Coach?

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What is a Career Coach?

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How do you climb the corporate ladder or reach the next level in your career? A career coach can help you determine the answer. 

What is a career coach?

A career coach helps you to navigate career questions and directions, by:

  • helping you clarify the outcomes that you want in your career
  • offering you insights that will enable you to better reach your goals
  • supporting you throughout your career journey, and even beyond. 
Table of Contents (Click to Skip to Section)
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In this video above and discussion below, you’ll learn more about:

  • 0:41 What a Career Coach Does
  • 1:20 How Career Coaches Help Their Clients Choose Careers
  • 2:38 How Career Coaches Guide You Through Career Transitions
  • 3:43 Understanding Psychographic Profiling as a Career Coaching Tool
  • 6:54 How Career Coaches Can Work as Life Purpose Coaches

If you want to skip forward to any of these topics, you can click on the (above) time codes to skip to that part of the video.

What Does a Career Coach Do?

0:41 A career coach helps people discover and get the outcomes that they want in their careers.  

If you want to climb the corporate ladder or figure out the best career for you (or maybe the next logical career step) a career coach can support you in working through some of those questions and those goals.

How Career Coaches Help Their Clients Choose Careers

1:20 Earlier, I mentioned that a career coach can help you with actually choosing a career. 

That is not done by teaching you a bunch of information about careers, or telling you what the best careers are. While a coach may have some of that knowledge, what really defines them is that they:

  • utilize and facilitate an inquiry through a series of powerful questions
  • provide support in dialogue with you, in order to help you reach that outcome.
What is a career coach?

2:00 In terms of choosing an actual career, your coach will ask you some really specific and powerful questions to discover:

  • What your passions are
  • What you might naturally be good at
  • Where you’ve been successful in the past
  • What you desire to do in the future.

These questions might sound like they are a little overly simplistic, but they open doorways to dialogues and inquiries that give you an idea of what the best career could be for you.  This goes beyond what kind of money you’re going to make, though this is understandably a factor in any career. 

How Career Coaches Guide You Through Career Transitions

2:38 Another area where a career coach can be really integral is when a client is going through a career transition. 

Statistically, we know that people tend to change careers more frequently, approximately every five to ten years. A lot of people change careers more often than that.

The point? 

Career transitions happen, and they happen a lot…

…multiple times during our lifetime. 

A career coach can specialize in facilitating and supporting a career transition that their client might be in the middle of.

A career coach sometimes can specialize in facilitating and supporting a career transition that their client might be in the middle of.”

3:13 A career coach can be extremely helpful in discovering:

  • What is your next career?
  • What is the next best career move?

To determine your next career move, a career coach will consider what you have done in the past, and what strategically makes sense. They can accomplish this by helping leverage what the client has done in the past… so that client can move up their career ladder. 

How to Build a Profitable Coaching Business in 30 Days VIDEO COURSE

A career coach may even specialize in facilitating and supporting a career transition that their client might be in the middle of. 

Understanding Psychographic Profiling as a Career Coaching Tool

3:43 There’s a very important tool that I’ve used in my career coaching, and I’ve seen other career coaches use it very effectively. 

This is a tool that I call psychographic profiling.

Psychographic is kind of a fancy word, let’s deconstruct it:

  • psycho – the way the mind works, thinks, feels, and operates  
  • graphic – forming a picture or graph

Psychographic therefore refers to the process of making a graph of a person’s psychology.  

What is a career coach?

4:29 If I’m working with a client, especially a career coaching client, I’m going to use psychographic profiling tools. These graphs will then show me:

  • Emotions
  • Behavioral styles
  • Values
  • Biases
  • Skill sets

I can look very quickly at these graphs in almost a blink of an eye to immediately get a sense of what makes somebody tick, what they’re going to naturally be comfortable with doing, and what they’re not going to be so comfortable doing.

5:05 I’m going to get a sense of:

  • what their desires are
  • what they’re most interested in
  • what they value
  • what they’re passionate about
  • what they’re not passionate about

I can also get a sense of how they think, what their skill sets are, and what their capabilities are. 

To some extent, it may be possible to gain an understanding of what parts of their mind they use, and what areas they’re the clearest (in terms of their own thinking).

5:38 All of these areas have a gigantic impact on the success or failure of a particular career move, and the client’s potential enjoyment level depending on the activity.

Psychographic Profiling is a great way to accelerate my understanding of:

What is a career coach?
  • Career choices
  • Transitions
  • Career outcomes for my client

Coaching Businesses to Direct Their Employees Careers

6:13 I work with businesses who use these profiling tools to help a potential new hire choose what type of work they’re going to do within that organization.

Career coaching typically supports a business through guiding their employees and their potential employees.  Furthermore, career coaching can also ensure that the most productive people are working in the right parts of an organization… so that they have the most powerful team possible.

That’s a win for the employee, and a win for the business as well.

How Career Coaches Can Work as Life Purpose Coaches

6:54 Even though career coaching is really about working with the client exclusively on their career…

…we spend most of our lives in our career… working.

The kind of choices that I can support a client in making around their career doesn’t just impact their career, or their income, or their career satisfaction.  It ultimately impacts their entire life, and moreover, the purpose of their life as well. 

If you’re a great career coach already, consider getting into life purpose coaching. 

7:27 If you’re a career coach, consider making your own career transition by becoming more of a life purpose coach.

If you’re really great at helping somebody select a career that they’ll be passionate about (and a career in which they will excel)… 

…those breakthroughs can make a big impact on their life purpose as well. 

A life purpose coach works with a client, not just on their career selection and their career choices, but really their life choices. This is done by examining:

  • Where they want to spend most of their life
  • The big mission or purpose of their life

… a facet of that ‘life purpose’ is their career. 

As career forms a significant part of a client’s life, a career coach could have an impact on the client’s entire life, including the purpose of their life as well.

As career forms a significant part of a client’s life, a career coach could have an impact on the client’s entire life, including the purpose of their life as well.”

8:13 Career coaches and life purpose coaches are not the same thing, but the skill sets of one can lend to creating the other role due to the similarities. 

If you’re a great career coach already, consider getting into life purpose coaching. 

If you’re a great life purpose coach, think about career coaching as a potential aspect of your coaching practice.

8:47 Sometimes, you might get a client that just wants career coaching, and then after some sessions, you may be able to inspire them to work with you further… by discovering the purpose of their entire life. 

What do you think is the biggest issue in modern careers that career coaches should be helping with?

Leave me some feedback, comments, thoughts, or questions, or let me know if you learned something valuable.

If you liked this post, I encourage you to watch another video about a session I just had with a client who was going through a career crisis… and how I helped her through it.

You can see that video HERE:

Also, I just did a video on life purpose coaching right HERE:

Jeffrey T. Sooey, Dean of Master Coach University

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