4 Tips for Screening a Career Coach
By Deanna Utroske
Working with a career coach can be a great idea. But if you haven’t found your go-to coaching partner yet, follow NYWICI coach Diane Baranello’s advice for identifying a good match: “Begin by asking a few people whose opinion you respect to recommend a coach they know through firsthand experience. Then establish some criteria for screening coaches.” She offers these:
- Are Is their area of specialization a match for your needs?
Focus on a specific obstacle you want to overcome, an issue that has you ‘stuck’, or a skill that needs work.
- Are they experienced in their field?
You don’t want to hire a coach who talks the talk but hasn’t walked the walk. Certifications are great but if there’s no real experience behind them, time, money and value may be lost. There’s nothing wrong with asking for references before you commit financially.
- Was there shared synergy in your first meet-up?
After all, coaches and coachees share frank conversations. A good coach will often say what a good friend will not. So, you not only need to respect your coach but expect to receive honest feedback from someone who should be helping you to push your boundaries.
- Finally, be willing to invest in yourself … both with your time and financially.
After all, you pay for all sorts of consulting advice all the time … your doctor about your health, your financial adviser about your investments, your accountant about your taxes. A professional coach is also an investment in your future. You are bringing someone on board who will join your team of advisers and become an important accountability partner for you … making all the difference between knowing what you should do and actually doing it.