Are you passionate about how you're making a living? Tallying up the number of hours in your lifetime spent working, may force you to reconsider the job you're in. Are you fulfilled, and fairly compensated? Or do you find you're stuck and afraid to make a big career move? Is your boss a jerk? Were you recently laid off? If you're feeling restless or suddenly find yourself on the hunt for a new job, career coaching can help you sharpen your focus, hone your objectives and navigate a tricky job market. We recruited Jim Hajny, Vice President of Client Services at Partners International to explain the benefits of using a career coach.
Who commonly reaches out for career coaching?
At Partners, we work with corporations that are laying off staff. For private clients, it is anyone who realizes that they need help. When you are sick, you go to the doctor, when it is tax time, you go to your accountant; when you are in job search mode, you go to a coach. I always say you don't want to be an expert at this, just good enough to get that next job.
How do you go about finding the right coach for you?
In my private practice, I have a free 30-minute meeting or phone conversation with each client. I find out what they are looking to achieve and then discuss my process. My process is always based on their needs. If they feel we have connected and that I can help, we move forward. If not, they have learned something new. In all the years I have been doing this, I have found that when people are reaching out for a coach, they are open to the experience. They may not connect with me; they may not want to spend the money. Those that have worked with me refer other people. But it is all about the connection you have with the coach.
How does it work? And is there a minimum number of coaching sessions needed before seeing results?
So once again, it depends on a client. Someone might want a resume updated. Then it depends on how much time and energy they put into the process. There is no magic number. It could take 3 hours or more. Most clients need an updated resume and LinkedIn profile. Then they need to create their talking points for an interview. They need to be able to answer behavioral type questions, "tell me of a time_______." This could be achieved in 3 to 6 hours, depending on their level of involvement, understanding and doing the homework I assign.
What makes career coaching so beneficial when searching for a job?
Input! As a candidate, you only see things from your point of view. You might not have any insight to the process, understanding of how the interviewer can take your answers, what the reader is going to get from a bullet point on your resume. Having a cheerleader to help you through a difficult process can help build up your confidence.
If you’re feeling burnt out in your job, do you have to quit? Or can career coaching help find your mojo?
Do you have to quit? Yes, no or maybe. Have you burned bridges? I would wait to get laid off and hope I get severance. Talk with your boss. Ask yourself – "Why am I burnt out"? Start your job over in your mind, as tomorrow is day 1. Reframe your thoughts and turn animosity into positive thoughts. Challenge yourself. If you can’t, if you find a new job, are these things going to happen again? Have they happened in your last job, is there a pattern here??????
When it comes to interviewing, do you have any style or grooming tips that can help our guys make a great first impression?
First impressions ARE EVERYTHING! How do you look? Hair, clothes, SHOES? Combed, clean, neat hair. Wear clothes that are appropriate to the industry and the position. If you are interviewing with a start-up, I would not wear a suit and tie with wing-tip shoes (would wear that outfit for a financial firm). A blazer, dress shirt, slacks and nice shoes (you don’t even need socks-stylish!) How strong (but not too strong) is your handshake? Have a smile and ALWAYS look someone in the eye when greeting them. Be nice to the receptionist. They might have more power than you realize!