What is Career Coaching

What Is Career Coaching? (and How To Know if You Need It)

In today’s bustling economy, we spend hundreds of dollars monthly on movie and TV streaming, eating healthy, insurance, and pet care. But what about our careers?

It can be challenging to navigate the job market, and it gets even more treacherous as you continue to climb the corporate ladder. In fact, 40% of top-level executives get pushed out, fail, or quit within 18 months.

Many of these cases are directly linked to simply not knowing how to navigate their career landscape properly. If they had a career coach, many of these situations might have been avoided.

However, career coaching isn’t just for C-level executives who wear a suit and tie every day. Those in entry-level positions are likely to benefit even more from coaching. So, what is career coaching?

In this article, we’ll discuss what it is, how it works, and how to know if you need it.

What is Career Coaching

What Is Career Coaching?

Career coaching is when a coach, usually an expert in your industry, works with you to help achieve your career goals. . They can assess your career strengths and weaknesses, help you identify your goals, create an action plan, and much more.

Career coaches are not career counselors, who offer more short-term and usually generalized support. Often, career counselors are human resources professionals who  help you create a resume and cover letter, then give you a pat on the back and say, “Good luck!”

Career coaches are much more hands-on and offer more specific support tailored to your situation. . They’re more like a life coach or a mentor. Career coaches do in-depth career assessments while taking a look at your career 5 to 10 years down the line. Of course, they do help you with your resume and cover letter. They also provide mock interviews and job leads.

How do you find a career coach?

Finding the right career coach depends on your unique needs. If you’re trying to break into tech, you may seek out a career coach familiar with aspiring tech professionals. But they might not be a good fit if you’re interested in launching a career in investment banking. 

Be sure to ask for the coaches’ placement rates. That way you know how successful the coach has been at placing candidates like you. Pathrise has placed 2,000+ fellows, usually in just a few months.

While not necessarily essential,  it can certainly be a green flag if your coach has a career coach certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) or other relevant organization. Consider the experienced professionals at Pathrise for your career coaching needs.

How much does Career Coaching cost?

While the average career coaching session is about $70 per hour, cost varies significantly based on your needs and industry. For example, a career coaching session with a full resume rewrite can increase the average cost to as high as $300. 

While some career coaches charge hourly, many offer specific packages based on the client’s needs such as mock interviews, cover letter writing, resume writing, role targeting, career assessments, and more. 

At Pathrise, we offer an income sharing agreement–that means you only pay if you land a great job. When you land your dream job, you pay 9% of your new income. However, income sharing agreements are usually more common with bootcamps and courses than with career coaches.

What Are the Main Benefits of Career Coaching?

Now that you know a bit about career coaching, you might be wondering precisely what one can do for you. Here are some of the main benefits of career coaching.

Clarification on Your Career Goals and Values

If anyone is asked if they have professional goals and values, few will say no. But how many have specific achievable goals they can actually write down? You might think you already know your career goals and values. But goals are not the same as dreams.  Clarifying your goals so that they’re specific and actionable will make them much easier to achieve.

For example, maybe your goal is to get a six-figure tech job. However, there are hundreds of jobs within tech that pay six figures. Many of them are vastly different — and a six-figure tech job that you hate will have you back in the job search process in no time. Not to mention that you may not even land an interview if you’re targeting roles that don’t fit your skills and experience. Job titles that may sound like a good fit could no longer be in demand or require skills that don’t match yours..

Here are some ways a career coach from a company like Pathrise could help narrow down your search:

  • A career coach can help you zero in on exactly what type of tech job you want. They can assess your current skills and interests to help point you toward a career that is both fulfilling and lucrative. 
  • A coach can also help you determine how to align a job with your values. Having professional goal aligned with your values allows you to create a much more promising career. 
  • Maybe you value working from home, but you also want to have a job that’s creative. Your coach can suggest career paths that cover all the criteria you’re looking for and ensure you get the job you really want — not just one you’re settling for.

They Can Help You Stay Motivated and on Track to Achieve Your Goals

It’s one thing to embark on a job hunt, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually follow through until you get your dream job and achieve your goals. Your coach will keep you stay motivated every step of the way — that’s what you’re paying them for (unless you’re working with Pathrise, where you don’t pay until you land a job in your chosen field).

Your coach will help you develop a career plan and make sure you follow through on They know exactly what it takes for you to achieve your professional potential, and they’ll ensure you execute the plan flawlessly. It’s like having a fire that’s lit right behind you at all times. It’s almost impossible to not be motivated by someone who cares just as much about your success as you do, working for your goals every day. Coaches hold you accountable, often with weekly check-ins and tasks, putting you on the track to achieve your small goals so you achieve the big ones, too.

Your coach has been where you are now in your job search journey, and they worked hard to get to where they are today. They’ve also likely helped hundreds of other job-seekers succeed.

Build Confidence in Your Abilities and Skills

Today, many job seekers with a wide variety of skills still have trouble finding a job. Often, these job-seekers don’t know they are d of how in-demand (or not) their current skills are, or how to market these skills as useful to employers. That’s another place where career coaching is invaluable. You coach can give you:

  • A third-party perspective — Your coach can look at your skills from an outside perspective and assess them objectively. They will be able to point out to you exactly where you excel as well as where you may be falling short.
  • An accurate assessment of your skills Even when they suggest skills you may need to brush up on, you’ll be 10× more confident when you develop them because you’ll have an accurate assessment of your ability. Your coach is like a mirror. Every career coaching session will reflect hidden talents back to you that you didn’t even know were there.
  • Relatability — As you start to get to know your coach better, chances are, you and your coach will find you have many personality traits and interests in common. Seeing how someone with a similar personal life has achieved so much in your chosen field can boost your confidence levels to new heights.

What Are Some Signs You Might Benefit From Career Coaching?

All this sounds great, but how can you tell if career coaching is for you? Almost everyone can benefit from career coaching on some level. However, some may see a more immediate need for it than others. Let’s take a look at some ways to tell if you might benefit from career coaching:

Your Career Goals Are Unclear or Need Refinement

At Pathrise, we often get applications from job-seekers with very vague career goals. Sometimes, their goals are “six-figure job” or “work from home.” 

These are great goals to have, but they need a little refinement. Having unclear goals may get you what you thought you wanted initially, but it will also get you a lot of what you don’t want. There are many factors to consider when determining your ideal job.

A coach can help you discover what you truly want out of your career and set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals.

You’re Uncertain About Your Career Direction

There’s nothing wrong with being uncertain about your career decisions, but there is something wrong with not doing something about it. It’s common for people to get a little lost at some point in their careers, but it doesn’t mean you need to stay there.

A coach can evaluate your current skill set, goals, and values and figure out some careers that may be worth pursuing. This can give you the motivation to take that next career step.

The career advice from our coaches at Pathrise has taken hundreds of people with little to no direction in their professional life and helped them develop impressive careers at Fortune 500 companies. You could be one of them!

Job Dissatisfaction or Lack of Fulfillment

Hate your job? Join the club. Over half of Americans want to change their jobs. Millions of people worldwide hate their jobs, but many never do anything about it but complain. That’s why career coaching is on the rise and why so many people can benefit from it.

It’s not that dissatisfied employees are complacent or lazy. They just don’t know what to do. If you find yourself in a tedious role where you’re not developing as a professional, it may be time to look into career coaching. 

Lack of job fulfillment plagues many people as well. You may be making lots of money, but you may never have a work-life balance that allows you to enjoy it. Or your workplace may be so toxic that it’s not even worth the benefits. 

A coach can help you make a career transition to a place where you are valued and fulfilled.

You Want to Learn Something New

If you’ve been working the same job for a long time, it’s probably gotten old by now. You’re used to the routine, and it’s the same old song and dance every day.

It might be time to learn something new. A career coach can introduce you to new jobs you may never even have known existed. They will help you develop the necessary skills and prepare you to be a killer in a new industry.

Elevate Your Career With Pathrise’s Career Mentors

If you’re tired ready for a career change, or if you’re tired of applying and hearing nothing back, call on a mentor who can get you in shape for today’s fierce job climate. Pathrise’s career mentors will work with you one-on-one at every step of your job search. Apply today to take your career to new heights–and don’t pay a dime until you land your dream job.

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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