by Louise Garver
Professional athletes have long known the secret to success is hiring a coach. Take any sport—tennis, football, boxing, even the Olympic athletes—and behind every one of them, especially the high achievers, you will find a coach mentoring and supporting that athlete.
Large organizations like CocaCola and Mayo Clinic brought in coaches for their executive teams. About 10 years ago, Mayo Clinic conducted a pilot program where they compared the effectiveness of consultants versus coaches working with their employees. They found that coaches helped retention and improved executive job satisfaction, as well as employee performance. When they hired coaches (rather than consultants) to make a difference, not only did the individuals benefit, but so did the organization.
So what does this mean to you as an executive job seeker? If you are thinking about a career change, want to improve your current position, or move up the organization ladder, working with a professional career coach can help.You would hire a contractor to build your house or an accountant to prepare your taxes—the same applies to your career. A professional career coach will help you expedite your career transition. Those who have worked with an executive career coach agree; it’s much faster than trying to figure it out all on your own.
Career coaching is designed to help you fulfill your career desires through step-by-step programs customized to your needs beyond just career advice. Working with a coach will help you:
- Gain clarity on what you really want and how to get there from where you are
- Identify career possibilities that will connect with your purpose and passion
- Learn your strengths, skills, values and more through assessments such as interest inventories, personality type instruments, etc.
- Match your skills,interests and passions with ideal career path, jobs and work environments
- Create a plan to explore and pursue a new career direction
- Overcome obstacles in your progress, whether due to employment history, lack of the “right” qualifications, or personal/family issues
- Identify the best communication of your unique value in your executive resume, LinkedIn profile, executive bio, and other career documents
With an executive career coach, you receive the support and direction to find what’s next for you and stay accountable to take the steps that lead to achieving your career goals.
The return on investment when hiring a career coach repays itself almost immediately. The benefits multiply themselves for a lifetime.