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Even if you know you need help on your job search, it can be hard to take that first step, especially when you’re not sure what to expect. Sometimes it’s helpful to know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign on the dotted line.

Different career coaches have different processes and various packages that include different levels of service, so if you want to know exactly what your engagement involves, make sure you talk to your coach before you get started. That said, here’s a general idea of what to expect when you start working with a career coach.

Getting to Know You

Your career coach should start off with an interview or a form for you to fill out so they can learn more about you and what you’re looking for in your career. They may ask questions like:

  • What are your goals?
  • Where do you feel like you need the most help?
  • What scares you about the job search?
  • What have you already tried? How well has it worked?
  • What are your expectations?

In this stage, they’re trying to find out what’s been holding you back from success in your job search, what kind of positions might be a good fit for you, and what kind of coaching you’re looking for. Do you need a thought partner who can help you identify positions that fit your interests and values? Do you want honest feedback on your interview style and resume? Do you want your coach to nag you a lot to keep you accountable, or do you want it to be a little more laid-back? Once they’ve learned a little more about you, they’ll be able to better tailor their coaching to your needs.

Getting a Feel for the Coaching Process

This is a two-way conversation, so you should use your initial conversations to ask any questions you might have for your coach, too. Our VP of Talent Services (and Certified Professional Career Coach), Peggy Hogan, suggests asking questions like:

  • What’s included in my career coaching package?
  • How much accountability will you provide?
  • What’s the time frame for deliverables like my resume?
  • What kind of resources will be available for me?

Putting in the Work

It’s important to know right off the bat that your career coach can’t do all the work for you. They’ll be there to guide you, encourage you, and share information with you, but you’ll have to pull your weight if you want the process to succeed. For example, they may give you interview tips and help you prep, but how well that interview goes is ultimately going to be up to you. And it’s not your career coach’s job to identify positions you should apply for – but a good career coach should be willing to make introductions if they hear of something that would be a good fit for you.

Working with a career coach can be a great way to identify and work on your weaknesses and to stay accountable in your job search. If you want to learn more about Purple Ink’s career coaching process, reach out to us; we’d be glad to walk you through it!

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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