What is a Career Coach and Why Do You Need One?

Posted: February, 19, 2021 | Categories: Workplace Tips & Professionalism


Navigating the job market can be stressful and confusing, especially with the vast online job market and competition, so where do you start? How do you find a role that suits your skills and passions? And how do you progress your career? There are so many questions that come up when trying to clarify and reach your career goals, and that’s where a career coach comes in.

If you are wondering how a career coach could benefit you, or when the right time to enlist one is, we know all about the career coach experience and have the inside scoop. Our hiring managers act as career coaches for all of our temporary employees – helping them navigate the job market and launch their careers. In the following, we’ll break down what a career coach is, what they do, the signs that you might need one, and how to find one to help you.


What is a Career Coach?

Experienced in resume building, career & succession planning, and motivation, career coaches act as your insider to the job market and your guide to a fulfilling career path. Think of them as the navigator of your ship, leading you through and mapping out the vast ocean that is the job market.

A career coach can be a certified individual in career guidance and coaching OR an experienced recruiter with expert knowledge of applications, hiring, training, and career growth. Career coaches are experts at identifying and building on your best personal and professional qualities. They will help you clarify your goals, identify the steps necessary to achieve them, and coach you through the entire process from resume writing to interviewing.



Signs You Need a Career Coach

You are unhappy in your role or career – Dreading Mondays or counting down the hours until you can go home? This might be a sign you need a career coach. Career coaches help you figure out why you aren’t enjoying your work and help you take your next steps to career happiness.


You need help getting a job – Let’s say you apply to about 5 to 10 jobs every day and still have yet to land an opportunity. If you’re sending out over 100 resumes and still have yet to land a position, then it’s time to look into a career coach.


You feel stuck and don’t know what steps to take next – Do you feel like your career is going nowhere or like you’re stuck in your position with no idea what to do next? If you feel like you are doing the right things but aren’t reaching your goals, then this might be sign you need a career coach. Career coaches are experts in guidance and can show you things you didn’t know you should be doing to advance or land that position. Sometimes that guidance might just be to have a little patience.


You’re just plain lost – Say you have a decent job but it’s not your dream job. You might not even know what your dream job is. If you are unsure of where you’re going, this may be an indicator that you need a little help finding the right path to get on.



How Career Coaches Help

1. They help you develop soft skills to leave a memorable impression

A good career coach is able to help you articulate your strengths and passions through your resumes, cover letters, interviews, and on-the-job experience. Career coaches understand what to do and what not to do in an interview or in the workplace in order to land that new job or promotion. They will sit down with you, coach you, and practice with you until you can accurately comprehend and put into play those necessary skills.

“We all get interview jitters that may cause us to misspeak or leave out crucial details that could help hiring managers see our strengths or true selves. To help my candidates work through this, I interview them first. In this “mock” interview, I’m getting to know them, but I’m also providing them with feedback on how they can improve their responses or their tone so they feel confident going in to the interview, can highlight their best qualities, and have a higher chance of landing the role.”Lauren Beardsley, National Director of Recruitment, Full Service Department


2. They provide critical feedback

Like any coach, a career coach is there to provide you with critical and valuable feedback that will help you grow and improve. Whether it be on your work ethic, motivation, follow through, first impressions, and so on. They can also help you discover things about yourself and your attitude that will prepare you for a successful career.

“Often times when you are so close to the day-to-day operations of an organization, it’s hard to take a few steps back and understand how you’re impacting the people within it. For example, temporary sales assistants sometimes feel inclined to continue engaging with a prospective buyer after they’ve turned them over to the on-site sales agent, not knowing that this is against an unspoken “rule” of sales office protocol. To them, it feels socially acceptable to continue conversing with someone they’ve built a relationship with, but that’s not the case in the sales office. I’m here to coach my candidates on protocol like this to help them perform their job in a way that makes the builder team’s lives easier, and sets them up for hire when a full-time opportunity arises.”Mike Bocchicchio, Regional Manager, Bay Area New Home Sales



3. They help you “mine” the job market

Career coaches are well equipped to help you find the best position available for your skills and interests. This includes helping you understand the unique components of the position(s) you are considering, and the ways you may or may not find success and happiness in that role. By getting to know you on a personal level, a career coach can help you break into a new industry or identify what’s next.

“One of my candidates came to me with several years of hospitality experience. She had an amazing passion to serve and strong relational skills, but had been looking for a new role and applying online for months with no luck. After speaking with her, we determined that a career in the apartment industry would be an excellent fit, and she became really excited about this new career path. I got her on board with JWilliams and working a temporary leasing consultant assignment within about a week. We spent some time on her resume to tailor it to this industry (while she was gaining some on-site experience), and she now works full-time with a property management company!”Marlo Brooks, Senior Regional Manager, Northern California Multi-Family


4. They use their network to your advantage

Career coaches leverage their network and personal connections to help you land a role. From other industry professionals to HR managers, hiring managers, and more, a good career coach has a large network of diverse peoples they can utilize to get you into a necessary interview or a meeting.

“In March of 2020, as COVID-19 was becoming a part of our lives, a sales consultant came to me after being laid off from a local home builder. I knew this person was highly capable and experienced, so I reached out to several of my industry connections to help them get their foot in the door for some interviews. Thankfully, it wasn’t long until they landed a new full-time sales position with a really well-established builder.”CiAnn Blue, Vice President of Texas



5. They help you identify your goals

Feeling lost in your current role or career can be nerve wracking and confusing. A career coach can help you discover what you want out of your career, identify reachable goals, and outline a career plan.

“Several porters and janitors have come to JWilliams with a desire to grow in their career; however, they often don’t quite know what that growth could look like. I review common apartment maintenance career paths with them, explain that the next step is typically a maintenance technician role, and then we identify their short-term and long-term goals, including the skills and tools they will need. Typically we’re able to place them on an entry-level maintenance tech assignment where they can receive some on-site training, and I stay by their side, coaching them on anything that comes up, until they land a full-time role.”  – Juan Vasquez, Regional Maintenance Service Director

6. They hold you accountable

We’ve all made ourselves promises we didn’t keep. If you find yourself continually having difficulty holding yourself accountable for taking the steps needed to reach your career goals, then it might be time to work with someone who can keep you on track.

“I like to keep my candidates on track by periodically following up with them and making sure they are taking any opportunity that our team presents to them. Recently I called a candidate who hadn’t taken a job assignment in a while. He was relieved to have someone to talk to, and after discussing some of the personal and professional challenges he was facing, I had him re-focused on the goals we had established. He took a job assignment the next day and has been working consistently since then.”Brandon Holland, Senior Regional Manager, Southern California Multi-Family



How to Find a Career Coach

When finding a career coach, the first thing that might come to your mind is the cost. Hiring a career coach isn’t a light decision and can cost you anywhere between $125 and $500 an hour. While this may seem like a hefty price for some, for others, it can be well worth the investment. Career coaches aren’t just experts in guidance, they’re also experts in results.

There are also other more affordable options for getting the career guidance and coaching you need. For example, some staffing agencies (including JWilliams Staffing) offer free career coaching and ongoing guidance to all employees. Hiring managers are equipped to help you identify your goals or your next career opportunity. Hiring managers often act as career coaches for their candidates in the same ways that a licensed career coach does. From developing skills that will leave a lasting impression to using their connections to land you an interview or an assignment, hiring managers and career coaches know just how to help you on your career path.


Looking for Career Guidance and On the Job Experience?

JWilliams Staffing hiring managers take the time to get to know each candidate and their skills in order to help them discover and reach their career goals. Learn more about the JWilliams Staffing experience today.

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