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Advice / Job Search / Finding a Job

3 Game-Changing Career Lessons You'll Learn if You Work With a Coach

Whether you’re trying to land a new job, looking for a total career change, or thinking that you need a second pair of eyes to spruce up your resume—you’re at the point in the process that you know you could benefit from hiring a career coach.

But, the thought of spending money on something you’re pretty sure you should be able to do yourself still makes you a bit wary. After all, it’s a big investment—and your bank account aside, you’re not sure where you’re even going to find the time. Plus, there are so many resources online (including right here, on The Muse!), so you go back and forth weighing the pros and cons.

While I completely understand where you’re coming from (especially because I love solving problems on my own), I also know there’s a lot you can learn from a coach—not even including what you’re hiring him or her to help you do.

For example, here are just three of the lessons you might pick up that would make it worth it.

1. You’ve Got So Many More Skills Than You Realize

You do a lot every day at your job—no matter what that is. But for some reason, translating your daily responsibilities to a jam-packed skills section on your resume feels impossible. This is where a coach can step in—especially for those people changing careers who can’t figure out how to make the connection between their current industry and the one they want to move into.

Your coach will be a third party who can thread together your past experiences with your future opportunities. Don’t think that your recruiting experience will help you get a job in software sales? Think again! This person will be able to listen to your journey thus far and identify all skills (hard and soft) you’ve developed so that you’ll shine on your application and in future interviews.

Remember: You always have a story to tell. Sometimes you just need the right person to help you figure out the best way to say it.

2. You’re Missing Out on Some Great Companies

Finding a job that fits your skill set can be hard. That search pales in comparison to the hunt for your dream company—one where you’ll mesh with the culture, believe in the mission, and just love the leadership. With so many companies out there, how do you even know if you’re pursuing the right one? Or, to step back even more, how do you know who’s even hiring right now? Yes, most organizations post listings publicly—but many don’t do this formally, meaning there could be opportunities right under your nose that you’re missing.

Coaches are talking to lots of folks in many different industries every day. They live and breathe careers, hiring, the latest tools, trends, and companies. It’s literally their job to do all that. While working together, he or she may have some suggestions of places to check out—maybe a few you’ve heard of but never thought to work for, or organizations you never knew existed, or even popular companies using unique job titles to fill a role you’re actually qualified for. No, they’re not recruiters, but they’re definitely more aware than the average person about what’s going on.

Think about it this way: You might not be landing your dream job because you are missing out on your dream company.

3. You’re Your Own Worst Enemy

The job search process can be really overwhelming. In fact, it can kind of be like an emotional rollercoaster. You put so much time and effort into updating your resume, researching companies, and honing your interviewing skills that when you don’t land a new gig, it can be really discouraging. Then the problem becomes one of negative thought patterns, a defeatist attitude, and a bruised ego.

So, the most underrated aspect of hiring a career coach? This person’s going to be your biggest advocate and cheerleader. He or she can see the greatness in you and also bring to light the things that are holding you back.

Often times, people get stuck in a career rut not because they aren’t marketable, but because of the mental barriers that get in their way. Whether it be your lack of confidence or clarity or unrelated stressful factors like relationships and health—your coach will be able to help you see that you can be your own worst enemy. And once that’s out of the way, the sky’s the limit. Corny? Sure. True? Also yes. More often than not, you’re in a much better place than you think when it comes to your job search, and there’s no shame in hiring someone who can help you see that.

So whether you’re looking for an accountability partner, a cheerleader, or a career connoisseur, a coach will help catapult your career in ways you couldn’t even imagine!

Want to weigh in on how your coach helped you? Tweet me now!

Photo of career coach courtesy of Shutterstock.