Career Coaching Career Coaching We will help you clarify your priorities, identify your goals, and plan and implement your journey to your ‘Best-Fit’ career & lifestyle. Our approach for career coaching relies upon realistic business-savvy, blended with genuine caring and knowledgeable skills, to clarify your needs and design a practical plan with action strategies to attain your goals. With our coaching, you can expect to obtain career and life planning strategies, including many specific actions you can apply immediately. I also employ written checklists and short guides which are included in your consultation fee. Please ask about our Package Savings Plans for savings on meetings and assessments. Whatever your profession or situation, we have services and solutions for you. Job Search Strategies – Have you been in job search for much too long without any results? Executives – Are you an executive who wants to be on track for the C-Suite? Women in the Corporate World – Are you working hard and sacrificing, but still cannot break through the glass ceiling? New Graduates – Are you a recent or soon-to-be graduate? Can you not wait to be financially independent and move out? Career Change – Are you miserable or bored? Do you need to do something new or different, but you do not know what it is? Re-entry – Have you been away from the job market and want / need to get a job? Challenges (such as ADHD, Asperger’s, LD or Executive Functioning) – Are you creative and smart with a lot to contribute, but have trouble organizing, communicating, starting and following through? Clarify your goals and find your fit. Direction and Decision-Making – Are you unsure of what path you should take? Should you go back to school, relocate, or transition to something different? Work-Life Balance – Does work leave you stressed, fatigued or feeling empty? Work Relationships – Are you struggling with a difficult work relationship, or maybe even workplace bullying? Are you the bully? Passion vs. Income – Do you want to follow your passion, but you are worried that you will not make enough money? Entrepreneurship – Are you thinking about starting a company or building a consulting practice? Dreams – Is there something that you have dreamed of doing? Is it even feasible? Could personal vision coaching clarify your goals? What is Next? – Although it is not yet time to retire, is that time getting closer? How do you make the transition? Career Coaching FAQs What questions do career coaches ask? Career coaches ask many types of questions. Some are easier to answer and others are more complex. A good coach will be an expert in helping you dig deeply to figure out answers to complex questions. Here are 10 questions to get you thinking. Which can you easily answer? 1 – What’s most important to you, in your life? 2 – How do you want your life to be? 3 – How do you want to feel when you think about starting work and when you finish work? 4 – What does work-life balance mean to you? 5 – What are you most worried about, in your life? 6 – If you win the big lottery, how will you spend your time? 7 – What do you find meaningful, purposeful, satisfying, energizing, exciting? 8 – What are your most important values? 9 – What’s important to you in a work culture? 10 – How much money do you need to cover your expenses, and how much do you want beyond expenses? Which questions were you able to answer? You probably noticed that some questions didn’t specifically ask about work. However, they’re relevant because their answers provide insight into career choices that will be a better fit with the life you want. This is important because career coaching is not only about work; it’s also about life. If you got stuck on any of these questions and you’re struggling with your career, you may want to consider the benefit of career coaching. What problems do career coaches solve? Career coaches can help you solve an array of problems, not only dealing with careers but also with life. Here are 7 common problems career coaches can help you solve. #1: What I most often hear in my first conversation with clients is they feel ‘lost and rudderless’ with ‘no direction in life.’ It’s not uncommon that when you lack career direction, you also lack life direction. This is because our personal lives and work lives are intertwined. But when you have direction in your career, you’ll likely find that your life direction falls into place. So, the #1 most important problem career coaches solve is helping you find your career and life direction. #2: Often a client will tell me, ‘I just don’t care about the work. It’s meaningless to me.’ Although work provides a paycheck, it doesn’t always contribute meaning to your life. Coaches help you solve the problem of identifying work that gives you a sense of purpose and a meaningful connection. #3: Drawing a line between thinking about work and thinking about your interests, friends, and family, is another problem coaches help you solve. This is what work-life balance is all about. Whether you call it getting centered, aligned, or having the right ratio of leisure and work, it’s essential to draw a healthy boundary between your work and personal time – and stick to it! Career coaches help you reclaim your own personal time and find space for your personal life. #4: Career coaches help you solve the problem of believing in yourself. As you gain self-understanding through coaching, you understand your value and can see where your strengths best fit in the world of work. Career coaches help you gain faith in yourself. #5: Many people either don’t know where/how to find jobs or they have an idea of what they want to do but don’t know how to get started. Career coaches give you a starting process, teach you where and how to look for jobs, how to present yourself, and which tools to use. They offer a step-by-step practical process that’s results-oriented. Career coaches solve the problems of what to do and how to do it. #6: I’m often contacted by couples’ therapists to help one of the partners in counseling, with a career problem. It’s not unusual for a career issue to also cause an issue in a relationship. Additionally, being a negative work situation can erode your self-esteem and confidence – which can also impede your relationships. Career coaches can help you solve problems in your external relationships and your internal relationship – with yourself. #7: What do most young adults want, that their parents also want? Yes – INDEPENDENCE! How do people generally gain independence? Through healthy separation, i.e., moving out and living on their own. What does it take to live on your own? That’s right – it takes a JOB! Ideally, the j.o.b. will be part of a well thought-out career path, or you might prefer to be part of the gig economy. Whatever your choice, it’s important, if possible, to have a (flexible) strategic plan to ensure you head in a solid direction, rather than aimlessly taking any job. Career coaches help solve the problem of guiding young adults through a reality check with understanding the costs of living on your own, net pay, landing a job, and becoming independent. How do you structure a career coaching session? The structure of the first career coaching session is somewhat different than subsequent sessions. This is understandable because the priority of the first session is to clarify your coaching goals. It’s not uncommon to experience significant indecision and competing priorities. If this is the case, it can complicate your goals clarification and more than one session can be needed to focus on this. In this case, the structure of goals clarification session(s) is a guided discussion touching on cost-benefit analyses, weighing of pros and cons, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and facing fears and building confidence, as relevant. Once your goals are clarified, the session will include identifying the best approach and steps required to achieve your goals, with an estimated timeline. If there’s time during this session, it can also include demonstration of career assessments, tools, and exercises to help you move through each step, in order to achieve desired areas of knowledge and progress toward your goals. After this, sessions will have a similar structure. To begin, I will inquire about anything new that may have arisen since our last session. This can include questions, concerns, ideas, or anything personal that can affect our work. We then discuss whatever might have come up and move on to verify the results of your most recent assessment or exercise. Verified results are added to your Career Profile or other relevant work collateral and I will then touch on objectives for our next session. Overall, sessions are highly interactive with questions being asked and answered throughout. I enjoy closing the session by asking for any input you have about our work and also acknowledging your progress and growth. What can you gain from career coaching? The world of careers is complex, overwhelming, and ever-changing. So to start, the most important benefit you’ll gain from career coaching is – an objective lens and organized process, to help you see more possibilities, more accurately. You’ll learn where to start, the steps you need to take, and the goals you want to achieve. Knowing this can reduce your stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Additionally, there are specific skill sets you can gain that include – resume, job search, self-branding, interviewing, managerial, leadership, workplace communication and politics, work-life balance, self-promotion, career advancement, reigniting a career, re-entering the workplace, and entrepreneurial, to name a few. The second most important benefit you’ll gain from career coaching is – you’ll know yourself better than ever before. Specifically, you’ll learn about your abilities, skills, interests, personality style, values, and desired lifestyle. With this self-knowledge, you’ll be able to clarify competing priorities and reconcile disjointed ideas. You’ll also gain strategies to work toward overcoming barriers and facing fears that’ve been holding your back. And besides this valuable self-knowledge – you’ll gain the inside track on workforce information and tools. You’ll learn about career clusters, occupational trends, compensation, and hiring projections. By blending your self-knowledge with workforce data, you’ll identify the kind of work you want and actions to take, in order to achieve your desired career. And an extra benefit is – many of the skills you’ll gain are lifelong skills that you can use, whenever you encounter a career dilemma in your future. What are powerful questions? Be prepared – for the tough but powerful questions you’ll be asked when you step into the coaching space. A response I frequently receive to the question, “How do you want your life to be?,” is a blank stare…then the statement, “I’ve never thought about it. I never thought I had a choice.” And this is the key: realizing you have a choice. But have no fear. Career coaching exercises, tools, assessments, and guided discussions get to the core of powerful questions – so when you discover the answer, you realize it was there all along. Powerful questions to consider are: What do you want to do? What are your priorities in life? What do you find meaningful, purposeful, satisfying, energizing, exciting? What are your most important values? What kind of lifestyle do you want? What’s important to you in a work culture? How much money do you need for expenses, and how much do you want beyond expenses? Powerful questions are powerful because they get at the heart of your best fit work and life. They’re also powerful because they define your unique pattern for weaving together your work and personal life. This is vital, because if one area of your life is askew, it will likely throw the other off kilter. And what most people need for well-being is balance…alignment…centering. Now that’s powerful! What is the importance of career coaching? Although many people refer to career coaching as life coaching, it’s technically distinct. Although, our careers DO intersect with and influence our personal life in vital ways, both positive and negative. For example, if you’re miserable in your work, your unhappiness will likely seep into your personal life and vice versa. And, of course, work has long been recognized as essential to our self-esteem, purpose, personal and social identities, independence, and dignity. In fact, the renowned psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, is known for signaling work as one of the two cornerstones of our ‘humanness,’ with love being the other. With work being so essential to who we are as human beings, it’s ironic that finding a good-fit career can elude so many of us. Enter career coaching. It’s a blend of art and science that originated back in the 1890s with job placement. It subsequently grew into career counseling and is supported by a plethora of research that continues today. So what can career coaching do for you? By discovering your strengths, interests, values, personality, and abilities, you’ll craft your personal vision and life goals to identify your best-fit career/work. If you’re struggling in your career or struggling to find a career or meaningful substantive work, consider career coaching. It can not only help your career – it can also help your life. What are the benefits of professional coaching? How to get started If you’ve ever struggled with life or career issues, you may have looked to your friends or family for guidance. While they can be a strong support system, friends and family lack 2 essential qualities: 1 – generally, they are unable to be objective, and 2 – they lack the knowledge and skills to provide the full-spectrum of guidance needed. In contrast, the benefit of consulting with a professional is their objective, non-judgmental perspective, and their current specialized knowledge in your area of interest/need. Professional coaching can also help you make an important distinction when goal setting for a satisfying life. This distinction is between ‘shoulds’ and ‘wants/needs’. Shoulds are generally what others want you to do, whereas wants/needs are about you! Once you’ve decided that you want and need to make a positive change in your life, don’t take a short cut – you deserve the benefit of a professional coach, who can help you get at real answers with objectivity and without agendas, other than guiding you to clarify and achieve your authentic goals. How can I choose the right coach? Give some thought in advance, about what’s important to you, in a coach and the coaching process. These 4 guiding points can help you decide: 1 – Think about what you need from a coach. Is it someone who will hold you accountable, do a reality check, help you break through barriers and fears, and provide an objective perspective? Or someone who’s empathetic and non-judgmental? Ideally, a coach who offers all these qualities is probably the best fit. 2 – You’ll want a coach with professional credentials, expertise in the issues you need to tackle, and who will customize their approach to fit your needs vs a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter program. 3 – A quality coach will offer a free introductory call. This will give you a sense of their style and process/approach. Some offer packaged services, while others offer a flexible, ala carte approach. Decide which best fits your style, needs, and comfort level. And watch for these 2 clues: a) Because professional ethics generally consider it unethical for coaches to promise a specific outcome, your radar should be triggered if you’re guaranteed a specific result, and b) if the coach doesn’t ask what you want to accomplish or anything about you or your situation, this could be a red flag. They should demonstrate interest and curiosity at this first meeting. 4 – Consider the cost of your investment. And it’s vital to see coaching as an investment – to support your ability to achieve a positive life change. If you invest in things like, travel, home décor, streaming platforms, theater subscriptions, and the like, shouldn’t coaching also be considered an investment? Especially because it’s for YOU? How can I ensure I don’t waste my time and money on coaching? The bad news is – there are no guarantees in life or in coaching. But the really good news is – a quality career coach will use a process of ‘due diligence’. This is good news, because it’s the 1st of 2 essential factors that influence the probability you won’t be wasting your time and money. A due diligence career coaching process uses a variety of data to identify your good-fit career options, and several data sources for current and projected career/occupational demand and income. The 2nd essential factor is you. As you might imagine, a career coach’s measure of success is partly from their own skills, knowledge, and training, and partly from you – whether it’s timely completion of assignments, such as career assessments and research, or reaching out for career information interviews, or getting out of your comfort zone with a mock interview. Collaborating with a quality coach and coming through for yourself in the coaching process are the best ways to ensure you don’t waste your time or money. I’m smart and competent — Why Would I Need a Career Coach? Of course, you’re smart and competent – which is why you’re thinking about working with a career coach. It takes a smart person to understand the benefit of engaging a certified, degreed specialist, with specific skills, tools, experience, training, and knowledge in the world of work. Certified career coaches are experts in career testing, occupational research and trends, job search and networking, resume writing, candidate branding, interview prep, and workplace dynamics. We provide an objective perspective and know how to facilitate collaborative coaching relationships focused on clarifying your priorities and goals and guiding a process to help you achieve them. If you wouldn’t tune up your own car engine, fill your own cavity, or set your own broken arm, why would you take on the complex, ever-changing world of careers, and expect seamless results? Do you work in person or coach by phone or video conference? I work virtually and prefer meeting via video conference because it gives you 3 advantages. 1 – it’s convenient, saves you commuting time, and facilitates flexibility in your schedule; 2 – you can receive coaching without the barrier of location; we can work together no matter where you’re located. I work with people across the U.S. and internationally; and 3 – it provides face-to-face contact and the important benefit of non-verbal communication, which enhances the quality of our interactions. “Studies show that most people spend more time and money planning a vacation than planning their career.” My Approach Our 6-Step Career Journey Process helps you manage your career development and move forward smoothly. Step 1: DISCOVER – Identify your success factors through exercises and / or assessments with guided discussion and interpretation to complete your Best-Fit Profile. Step 2: EXPLORE – Learn proven techniques to find your Best-Fit in today’s employment market. Step 3: PLAN – Design your career plan. Your plan is the GPS to achieve your goals. (How else can you avoid hitting a dead end?) Our Career Planning Worksheet helps keeps you on track. Step 4: MARKET – Position yourself with personal branding, astute job search strategies, and targeted marketing and networking. Our Seven-Point Marketing Strategy helps you claim your spot as a top candidate. With our Results-Networking approach you will learn painless ways to connect that fit your personal style, and how to get what you need from networking. Nail the Interview – Learn to position yourself to your advantage. A mock interview identifies your blind spots and shows how you ‘really’ come across. (What is your body language exposing about you?) Step 5: STRATEGIZE – Evaluate and negotiate your Best-Fit opportunities. Make a rational decision about the Offer – Assess the opportunity to see how well it matches your Best-Fit Profile. Negotiate your Compensation Package – Know your market value and use your leverage. Step 6: ACHIEVE – with Executive, Job, and Skills Coaching Fit in with your new organizational culture and identify the ‘power’ players. Excel in your new position with skill-building professional development. Start Now Contact Marilyn for your initial consultation, complimentary introductory meeting, or for more information. Is distance a problem? Distance is no problem with virtual coaching.