If you've been following any social platform I post on, you know my Vision with AEJ Consulting LLC is helping you get to a career you love. After a 22-year career in Human Resources, I've learned a thing or two (more like two hundred!) about leaders, careers, and where the pitfalls to career development lie. I left corporate America to pursue my own Career Coaching business because careers and jobs aren't really going anywhere - changing yes - but still here, and I know my purpose is to help you make that career as best possible for yourself.
I'm sure you may have asked at some point "Do I need a Career Coach?"
The answer is yes.
So here's the advice I have for the need for a career coach and the potential pitfalls with career coaching.
I'm of the mindset that everyone needs a career coach at some point.
I had this perspective while serving in various Fortune 500 companies since 1999. Career coaches are not just for executives. Many times I've found coaching is needed for newer managers or people leaders who need to discover and articulate their leadership style. By the time they get to the c-suite, that style may be locked and loaded and more resistant to change. Having a coach in the earlier stages of your career can benefit in a few key ways:
1) You'll gain understanding of your style and the styles of others and how to lead different types of people to success. The hallmark characteristic of a great leader is one who can develop others to success.
2) Learn what specific tasks and actions you can take to perform well, be mindful of your image, and get the exposure you need.
3) Be able to get crystal clear on your goals, the type of work you want to do, and developing a path to get there.
Many times these are the exact things an independent, neutral career coach can help you thrive in.
As for pitfalls with a career coach, YOU have to do the work
The assessments, the reading, the homework, the reflections, or the actions to do something differently - won't just magically happen if you're not invested in the process and doing the work. You can't go into a coaching relationship thinking your coach is going to "fix" you or solve all your career problems. Good coaches ask good questions to help you get to the answer that's best for you. Approaching the relationship expecting all the answers from the coach sets you up for disappointment and a misunderstanding on what your results should be.
Lastly, a key part of doing the work, is to ensure you're doing something different. Don't just "read the book" and put it back on the shelf. Or take the assessment, and never put into use the actions it mentioned. Actually do the work and suggestions being proposed to you by your coach. Afterall, it's an agreement that both of you entered into. Especially the work around team interactions and development. You have to put into practice new ways that complement your leadership style. It will be uncomfortable, but that's where the growth in your career happens for you to thrive.
Career coaches are the sounding board and guidance that you need to hear a voice other than your own. We're our own worst critic, but we also don't inherently seek out feedback to determine if the actions we're taking are working, effective, and moving the needle. Whether you invest your own money into career coaching or you're fortunate enough to have your organization cover the costs, having a career coaching to help your career progress is an opportunity not to be missed.
Want to ramp up the success of your people leaders & teams? Contact AEJ Consulting services directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.