Reinventing your career is an undertaking that can be equally exciting and daunting. Getting the help that you need will assure that your career transformation is a positive experience. Finding the right career coach will assure that you have the resources you need on hand! But how do you determine whether the career coach you’re chatting with is the right fit?
Questions to ask a Career Coach before your Career Reinvention
1. What coaching qualifications and training do you have?
The answers to this questions will vary greatly. Some career coaches have extensive educational backgrounds, and may hold degrees in business, psychology, education, communications or others. Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds, and finding one that fits your niche is important. But beyond specific training in their field, you also want to find a coach with training and coaching qualifications and experience. This will assure that their valuable industry experience will translate to helpful coaching tips. Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics, and to check references!
2. What kind of insurance do you have?
This is a question that many prospective coaching clients neglect to ask—at their own peril. In most jurisdictions, there isn’t a requirement for career or executive coaches to hold professional insurance policies. For your own sake, you should be focusing on those who do.
There are generally two types of insurance that a career coach may have:
- General Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
General Liability Insurance covers a career coach in the event that the advice they provide leads to injury, damage to property or, harm to a client’s reputation through slander or libel.
Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions insurance, protects the career coach from lawsuits stemming from professional discrepancies and disagreements. Professional Liability Insurance will cover lawsuits concerning scope of work, satisfaction with results, and the outcomes of the coach’s advice. It’s safest for the client and the coach, for the coach to hold professional liability insurance or both.
3. Do you keep your training current and up to date? How?
It’s important to find a coach who is dedicated to the craft, and is always learning the current best practices. Experience and a proven track-record are great, but any coach will tell you that relying on what you’ve already done is not going to get you to the next level of expertise. It’s a matter of practicing what you preach, believing in your field, and dedicating yourself to being a top-notch coach. For example, I have some background in psychology, but have been very interested in Positive Psychology lately, which I haven’t had much formal learning around. In order to continue bettering my practice, I’m attending a seminar on Positive Psychology that should help with a number of aspects of my coaching. I’m always looking for new opportunities to learn and hone my craft. Whether a coach or a client, if you stop getting better, you stop being great.
4. Do you, or did you ever, have a coach?
This is an interesting question to ask a career coach. The results may vary, but the important thing is that their answer speaks to the respect they have for the industry and for their clients. Some coaches may refer more to “mentors” or informal coaches that they have worked with, who helped them better understand the role of a coach. Many other coaches are actively engaged with a coach of their own, and would be happy to explain the benefits they gain from that. Whatever the case may be, if your career coach has never worked with a coach before, and isn’t currently working with one, it might be an indicator that they don’t truly believe in what they do. You’ll want to dig deeper and find out what motivates this coach, to see if they will be a good fit for you.
5. Do you have personal experience in the field?
You want to know whether your potential coach has experienced any of the things that they are providing advice on. For someone looking to climb the corporate ladder in their own organisation or industry, you may have more luck working with a coach that has experience in that particular industry. With regards to reinventing your career, you’ll want to find a career coach who has been there before, and has learned the intricacies of that stage of life first-hand. Anyone can dispense advice and sound sage, but to truly understand the nuances of starting a new career path, and to be able to provide practical, empathetic strategies, you’ll want to find someone who has been in your shoes!
Are you ready to transform your career and your life? Get in touch today to schedule your free career audit.