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What Is Career Coaching? (What You Should Know)


Career Coaching assist clients in planning strategic career moves and developing leadership skills.

Some professional coaches offer help to their clients, either providing motivation to conquer a serious issue or providing career coaching so someone can find the job that’s best for them.

There are also coaches throughout the workplace. Some companies have a mentorship program where the mentor becomes like a coach to their mentee. Other companies may provide coaching through the human resources department to employees who need guidance navigating a workplace issue or would like help in figuring out which position at the company is the right one for them.

So, before we take a closer look at What Is Career Coaching? Let’s start with…

Read more: Mentor Job Description

Why is Career Coaching important?

Why is Career Coaching important?

Fact – 60% of People are DISSATISFIED in their current career.

Fact – 72% of people don’t understand the skills required in their chosen career.

And finally – FACT – 80% of people aren’t in a job role that suits their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Career coaches can help you land the job you’ve always wanted, get a promotion, or even start your own business.

Let’s Focus on YOU. Place yourself in the center of YOUR Universe, grab a pen and paper and jot down the following bullet points…


Career Wellbeing is how you manage your career both today and tomorrow so that your work provides you with the resources, motivation, and opportunities to achieve your goals. It’s more than simply the job you are in today.


When you surround yourself with positive people who support your goals and ambitions, and push you to reach your full potential and career choices, you will be more likely to succeed in your career.

Personal Development

Personal Development

Areas of personal development

  • Mental.
  • Social.
  • Spiritual.
  • Emotional.
  • Physical.
  • Identify areas where you’d like to improve.
  • Work with a coach or mentor to assemble a plan.
  • Structure your personal development goals.

Physical Environment

Set up the space and facilities best needed for your field of work. Make things easy and accessible.


The income from your career will place constraints on your financial plan, which determines how much income you realistically need to achieve your goals.



There are many benefits to having a career purpose. First, it will inspire you to do and be more in your job, which will light you up and make your life come alive. You’ll make more progress in your career as well because you’ll be more engaged and interested in what you’re doing.

All these aspects have a direct impact on your daily choices. Therefore, you need to analyze what’s holding you back from reaching your full potential.

Coaching and Mentoring

Think of it as a To-Do list. Place yourself in each one of these criteria – this will help you analyze who you are and where you belong.



We can’t just rely on motivation to keep us going; at some stage, motivation will run low, and we would need to pick ourselves up. No one is going to do the work for us.


  • Possibilities are endless.
  • Find your passion.
  • Prioritize education and personal development.
  • Let go of limiting beliefs.
  • Focus on experience over prestige.
  • Be adaptable.


It’s important to have your goals laid out; they need to be broken down into achievable steps, making it easier to complete them one at a time.

Career goals are targets – positions and situations related to your professional life that you have set your mind on achieving. They can be short-term, like getting a promotion or certification, or they can be long-term, like running your own successful business or being an executive at your dream company.


Career direction is the basic strategic direction of your career path. It indicates that you have a plan and a goal for your future as opposed to accepting relatively random jobs that aren’t building to anything.

Therefore, it is very important to come up with a career plan as it gives you much-needed direction and also makes it clear where you see yourself in the future. It will also make you aware of your strengths and weaknesses and highlight the skills and knowledge required to achieve your goals.



Careers in training and development focus on planning and presenting programs that help people improve their skills and knowledge. They are available in a variety of fields, and positions vary from the planning and construction of course material to the presentation and teaching of workshops or classes.

Depending on the job, you may work in-person with students or trainees or conduct online virtual units.


Career guidance helps individuals make a shift from the general understanding of life and work to a more specific understanding of the realistic and practical career options that are available to them.

Following good career advice and tips will always be helpful for career growth. These include:

  • Maintaining A Good Work Ethic.
  • Work-Life Balance.
  • Show Up Early.
  • Be Confident.
  • Ask For Help
  • Enjoy
  • Challenge Yourself.

Always focus on your strengths and use that as an advantage to capitalize on the tasks at hand.



Your reputation is the most precious thing you have when developing a career. You need to have a reputation for being a reliable, professional, and helpful individual.

So, here are some tips to achieve success at work…

  • Understand your employer’s expectations.
  • Make sure you know your company culture.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Be a team player.
  • Be willing to take on extra duties
  • Don’t gossip
  • Be considerate
  • Keep your personal life private.
  • Avoid personal business on company technology.

What Is Career Coaching? – Implementing Success in your Career

Take initiative

Be proactive and find opportunities.

Be your own evaluator

Check your attitude, reflect daily, assess your own performance, be a team player and get feedback from others.

Be ready to learn

One of the biggest things you will notice in the evaluation process is the importance of being constantly willing to learn. Being open to developing your skills further, gaining experience where needed, and building up your network, will all assist you in growing your career and achieving your goals.

Communicate well

comminicative well

Communicating effectively means that your ideas and concepts are being heard and people are acting upon them. It also means you are able to listen, understand, and take action on what other people say.

Set goals to achieve

  • Believe in the process.
  • Write it down.
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
  • Remain accountable.

Gain trust

Trust as a verb means “to believe.” If you believe in something or someone, then you have confidence in them. To gain trust, we must be believable so that others will have confidence in our ability to keep our word, do our part, and follow through on expectations set.

Create solutions

Create solutions

Brainstorm ideas to make a list of possible solutions. Analyze potential solutions, assessing the advantages and disadvantages of them all. Decide which is the best solution with the potential for the best results. Then, consider the positive and negative consequences of the proposed solution again.

Be compassionate

Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. Compassion is not the same as empathy or altruism, though the concepts are related.

Questions you should ask yourself about your Career?

  • Do You Feel Challenged and Excited at Work?
  • What Are You Passionate About?
  • How Does Your Job Fit Into Your Life?
  • What Does Your Dream Job Look Like?
  • How is Your Outlook?

More Quality Resources

Here are some Career Coaching Tools and Exercises that I have personally used in the past:

‘Future’ Self Exercises and Inquiries Part 1

Guided meditation is a great tool to help them envision their future self or career. Write your own or search online for guided meditation scripts to adapt. Also, the excellent book Co-Active Coaching: The proven framework for transformative conversations at work and in life has a few great visualization scripts to use or adapt. You can check out the visualizations in Google Books.

‘Future’ Self Exercises and Inquiries Part 2

This will help people envision the future and access their imagination to get ideas as to what they would love to do. The Rocking Chair, for example, is a writing exercise where they imagine being 90 and looking back over their lives – what did they achieve? What makes them feel fulfilled? Add a career-specific slant by asking them to think specifically about what they did and are proud of in their careers?

Help them understand their Strengths and Weaknesses

Help them understand their Strengths and Weaknesses

Another of the key career coaching tools that I use is the Personal SWOT Analysis, where you identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This comes in useful to see what careers might suit someone’s strengths – and as a platform to look sideways for ‘transferable’ skills that can be used in new or different careers.

Their weaknesses might point to jobs and careers they may like to avoid, but don’t let them use this to get off the hook: Weaknesses can be minimized or removed, e.g., through training or delegation. Finally, we look outside of ourselves and use powerful questions to identify potential opportunities and threats.

Values work

If a client picks a career that is incongruent with their deepest values, it will make them unhappy. They may THINK they want to be rich or famous, but we need to look deeper inside to see what REALLY makes them happy. The process of identifying our values is a powerful way to get to know ourselves better – and what is important to us in life.

‘Work’ Values

While looking at life values is helpful, we often look for different things in ‘work’ as opposed to ‘life in general.’ For example, we might have a strong value of spontaneity in our home life but find spontaneity at work difficult and challenging. Or we may want to be detached at work, while connection and intimacy are priorities at home.

Or check out The Career Coaching HandbookThe Career Coaching Toolkit, or the excellent The Squiggly Career. And for quality motivational advice, I highly recommend Fear in Your Career: Is Fear Standing in the Way of Your Success? or the classic The Edge – The Power to Change Your Life Now [DVD] by Anthony Robbins, both available online in 2023.

What Is Career Coaching? – Final Thoughts

Getting a career coach is an excellent idea if you are planning strategic career moves or are interested in developing improved leadership skills. They are also excellent at providing motivation and aiding clients in finding the perfect career.

If you think you could benefit from one, do a local search online and see what is available. Once you have a shortlist, ask for some references, or better still, meet with some people they have coached to find out how effective their methods are. If this isn’t possible due to confidentiality concerns, book a single session and judge them on that.

All the best with achieving everything you can in your career!

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About Linda Shepard

Linda is employed by one of the biggest employment agencies in San Francisco and has over 15 years of experience in finding her clients their dream job. She prides herself on being able to match the right person to the right position, which inevitably creates a great working relationship for the employee and the company moving forward.

When she isn't writing articles or working, she enjoys gardening, socializing, and going for long walks on the beach and in nature.

She lives with her boyfriend Carl and their cat, Fluffy.

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