If you are facing unemployment or a career change in this market a good coach can be your best friend but do your homework and be ready to work. Today virtually everybody could use a good coach. At this time in your life what could be a better investment in your future. Today no matter what your skills are or what your specialty is a productive and successful job search is a fulltime job. A coach can make you more effective and the process more comfortable but you still have to do the work. If a coach tells you that he will make your search “easier” find another one. Here are some other signs of a coach you do not want to sign with.
Avoid coaches who tell you that they can find you interviews and ultimately a job because they are also recruiters who have access to jobs you will not find on your own. A coach who tells you this should not charge you because if he really is a recruiter the employer pays his fees. Recruiters do not charge candidates.
Run from who “promise” to help you find a job. Again, coaches do not find jobs. They are not recruiters. Even if they work as both coach and recruiter they do not mix the two jobs.
Do not be sold or pushed into a decision. Read about what they do. Get their “promises” in writing and get all your questions answered. If when you say that you want to think it over you are pushed to sign up “now” scratch that one off your list.
Chemistry – The coaching relationship is intimate. You will need to be totally honest about everything related to your career and job search. A good coach will be brutally honest with you. He will be critical of your resume, your interviewing skills and your lack of effort if you are not doing what you committed to do. You must like him and be comfortable. If that little voice in your head says to walk away, do it.
Make sure that you know what you can afford before you start talking to a coach. There are a lot of coaches who charge $2000 to start and there are also good ones who charge less than $500. Do not make your decision on cost alone. Make sure that you are getting what you need in a coach.
Hire the right skill set. You do not want a “Life Coach”. You want a coach who specializes in job search coaching for the individual job hunter and has probably spent his career working in the for profit employment marketplace. You are not looking for a psychologist.