Do You Need a Career Coach?

As much as we'd all like to believe that employers instantly see our merit, sometimes it's difficult to stand out in a sea of candidates. Working with a career coach is one way to get ahead in the job market.

[See our list of the Best Careers.]

Ask yourself these questions:

--Do I regularly get looked over for jobs for which I feel I'm qualified?

--Do I find it difficult to sell myself in an interview?

--Do I find it hard to articulate my previous contributions and successes?

--Do I feel like I need outside assistance to get a promotion or make a major career change?

If you answered yes to any of these, a career coach may be able to help. Whether you're looking for a job or want a promotion, the right career coach can help you gain insight, clarify your goals, and overcome career obstacles.

Identify Your Strengths

Sometimes it's hard for us to really view ourselves in the light that potential employers do. We may rattle off a list of skills we've acquired and technologies that we know how to use, but when it comes to digging a bit deeper to demonstrate how selecting you will help the company solve a problem, you feel completely lost. A career coach should be able to help you articulate your unique skills and strengths and help you discover personal issues that could be holding you back.

Improve Your Communication Skills

We're not all born communicators; sometimes we need a little help to navigate through tough job situations. A career coach can help you deal with a difficult boss or coworker, shine in an interview, or help you find ways to make your contributions more visible on the job.

[See 8 Signs You Should Look for a New Job.]

Enhance Your Job-Hunting Skills

For many of us, the idea of networking is petrifying. A career coach can walk you through how to enter a room of strangers and do so confidently. She can assist you in creating a strategy for your networking to increase your chance of finding a job.

Position You for More Promotions

If you're getting overlooked for promotions, a career coach can help you identify the cause and help better position you to move up. It might be as simple as diversifying your skills or communicating better, or even simply knowing how to ask your boss for the promotion.

How to Find a Career Coach

Career and life coaching are relatively new areas that have gained massive traction in the past decade. Anyone can call themselves a life coach or career coach, so finding the right person takes a bit of effort.

Look for a coach who is certified with an organization like the International Coach Federation or the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. These organizations offer formal training and accreditation--you want to work with someone committed to the profession.

[See The Skinny on Employee Referral Programs.]

The most important factor in selecting a coach is the chemistry between you and that person. This is someone you will be sharing intimate details of your life with and working alongside to better yourself. Avoid coaches who over-promise or say they will take care of everything for you; this is your career, after all. The process is a two-way street and hiring a coach won't magically set you on the right path. Coachees must be active, engaged participants who are willing to accept feedback and have realistic expectations about their goals to reap the benefits.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.

Twitter: @PRJobs

More From US News & World Report

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk

Latest News

  • Hyundai Motor Q1 profit unchanged; misses estimates

    South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co on Thursday missed analyst estimates by posting nearly flat net profit, as lacklustre U.S. performance offset increased sales in Korea and China. Hyundai, the world's fifth-biggest ... …

  • Apple resets the clock as investors await next big thing

    Apple Inc just bought itself some much-needed time. On Wednesday, the company surprised Wall Street with news that it sold more iPhones in the March quarter than even the most bullish analysts had expected. To top it all off, Apple unveiled a 7-for-1 stock split that should go down well with individuals who want a piece of a household name but could not afford to fork over $500 a share. The litany of positive numbers sent Apple's long-stagnant shares up 8 percent. …

  • Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent
    Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent

    Telecommunications tower operator Bharti Infratel Ltd reported a 64 percent jump in its quarterly profit, beating estimates on higher revenue from leasing mobile phone masts to phone carriers. Bharti Infratel, ... …

  • Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads
    Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads

    Facebook Inc's (FB.O) mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets. Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first …

  • Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split
    Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split

    Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, …


  • Too good to be true?

    Developers are offering lucrative buyback schemes. But such promises may not be always kept. …

  • Leaderspeak with Vikram Limaye

    Vikram Limaye MD & CEO, IDFC Ltd shares many firsts from his life. …

  • Appy Voting

    Mobile and online apps, seeking to inform or influence voters, have been more active than ever before in this election. …

  • In the crosshairs

    Why the future of FDI in multi-brand retail looks bleak after the polls. …

  • A Samurai from Chandigarh

    Advertising veteran Sandeep Goyal is disarmingly frank as he recounts his years with Dentsu. …

  • People business

    Featuring: Jason Sadler, Sebastien Bazin, Vikram Malhotra, Mark Goodburn, Bruce Poon Tip and C.K. Kumaravel …

  • Going to Extremes

    Mukund Mohan, whom Microsoft recently relocated from Bangalore to Redmond to build Microsoft Ventures in the US, is a dream mentor for entrepreneurs. …


  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.