What to look for in a Career Coach

What could you achieve with the challenge and support of a Career Coach?


What to look for in a career coach

What to look for in a Career Coach


When invited to a virtual working lunch recently with a group of professionals keen to know what to look for in a career coach, it made us reflect on when we would we have benefited from such an intervention. What could we have achieved with the challenge and support? Why did we not consider the investment of a coach at times when we have been stuck and it could have really made a difference?

We also thought about our own clients, including: the topics they consistently bring, who benefits and how and what makes career coaching so effective.


In our experience career coaches are often called upon when a client is facing a challenge, when undergoing transition, managing change, struggling to decide between options, feeling stuck or failing to achieve their goals. This often shows up as thoughts or feelings of inadequacy, regret, overwhelm, being overlooked, not heard, constrained or on the wrong path. These situations are sometimes due to circumstances beyond their control.


A good career coach will access a wide range of tools and techniques to challenge and support the individual to develop in the direction they want, at the pace they wish, and result in sustainable change and transformation. They work with individuals at the beginning, the middle or the end of their career journey. Whether a client is looking to climb the corporate ladder, transition to another path or consider a different future, the career coach will instinctively know where to start and what questions to ask.


The magic ingredient is the relationship, often established via a discovery call. To achieve results, clients need to have a safe and confidential space, where they are listened to, understood and respected. It is only when these conditions are met that trust is built and transformational change can begin.


We know from our work the profound benefits of career coaching. We also reflected on when it would have helped us the most in our lives and concluded it was when changing career direction, when feeling unhappy at work and when returning from a break.

The result would have been much faster transitions and the avoidance of a couple of false starts, not to mention the confidence and knowledge of how to navigate effectively. Why did we did we not consider investing in a career coach? Quite simply we did not know this help was so accessible and consequently the positive impact it would have had.


Article Attributed to Career Active