Business coaching is often thought of as belonging to those at the top of the food chain – we imagine CEOs and high-powered executives spending time with professional consultants to polish up their presentation skills or learn how to become a better lead.
In reality, though, there are many different types of professional coaching available, and they can have benefits at any stage of your career.
Deciding what you want and setting goals
One of the primary reasons to turn to business coaching is the feeling that you’re just not sure what you want to do with your life. This is something that many people feel when theyr’e just starting out in their career, but it’s also something that can creep up on you as you get older.
A good coach can help you to think about what your ‘perfect career’ might look like. That will include analysing your strengths and weaknesses, asking open-ended questions about the things you enjoy and are good at, and helping you to evaluate the different opportunities available to you.
Once you’ve worked out what you want, your coach will help you put shorter-term goals in place to make sue you achieve it. If it’s this kind of support you want, look for somebody who specialises in helping people find a direction for their working life.
Working through difficulties in your current job
Other coaches may put more of an emphasis on overcoming difficulties and improving performance. It may be that you have a job you enjoy, but for whatever reason there are some skills that you feel you are lacking. While a coach isn’t going to offer training in specific systems or tasks, they will often help you develop your soft skills. That might include helping you to become more diplomatic in dealing with colleagues or, on the flip side, improving your assertiveness.
A coach will talk through any problems that you’re having with you, help you to understand why you’re facing difficulties in those areas, and nudge you towards a solution.
Support for practical skills such as CV-writing and interviewing
For some people, it’s not the job itself that’s the problem but rather the hunt for the next one. If you’re fresh out of school/university, or it’s been a long time since you’ve applied for a new position, you may be feeling like your CV and interviewing skills are not quite up to scratch.
Professional coaches know exactly what employers are looking for when they put out a job ad, so they will be well-placed to offer tips and advice in these areas. Many recruiting agencies also offer support in writing CVs and cover letters as well as advice sessions ahead of interviews.
Helping you develop into a more senior position
It’s not uncommon for people to start feeling that they’ve become ‘stuck’ in their current role. Perhaps you’ve been doing the same job for several years without a promotion, or you’ve seen a more senior position open up but don’t quite have the confidence to pursue it. By working with a career coach to establish what you want and what your skills are, you can also figure out what you need to do to embrace future opportunities.
Business coaches aren’t there to tell you what to do. Instead, their role is to help you figure it out for yourself by talking you through different considerations. There are literally hundreds of coaches out there, all offering slightly different things. To get started, consider what you’re hoping to get out of a coaching relationship and search for professionals who specialise in the right area.