How to Find And Choose a Career Coach That Fits You

With millions of employees quitting their jobs during the Great Resignation, there are many opportunities for career professionals to get a raise or a promotion or find a better job.[1] According to Statista, there were over 11.26 million open jobs in January of 2022.[2]

Leaders are no longer limited to working at jobs that don’t fulfill them. You can find work that aligns with your life goals and provides financial security.

It’s vital to find fulfilling work because a majority of your time in life will be spent working in some form or another. When you spend large amounts of time working a job you dislike (or hate), those negative feelings, emotions, and frustrations bleed into other areas of your life.

Being an optimized career leader means you work to create harmony and balance in all parts of your life. When you’re working a job you dislike, you put yourself in a situation where you live two lives—the balance is off. You end up with your work life and the rest of your life, and that isn’t healthy.

Why Do You Need to Find a Carrer Coach?

The world is still resetting. Remote work, contract opportunities, and many available jobs make this an excellent time to find fulfilling work or rise within your current company. One way to speed up the process is by hiring the right career coach.

A career coach is a professional that understands the current career landscape and has built strategies to help their clients secure jobs that align with their clients’ career goals.

A good career coach studies industries for changes and adjusts their strategies to give their clients an edge. A good career coach guides their clients and teaches them the things most people don’t know about career advancement.

However, not all career coaches are built equally. As in any industry where services are provided, there are bad actors—career coaches who have no clue what they’re doing or are outright frauds.

If you’re going to be successful in securing help and guidance through a career coach, you have to understand how to find and choose a career coach that fits you.

You’re going to learn to look past sharp sales copy and fancy design—you need a career coach that cares about their clients and wants to help you get results.

How to Find And Choose a Career Coach That Fits You

I asked Simone Morris, CEO of Simone Morris Enterprises LLC—a certified minority and women-owned business founded in 2015, what career leaders need to know about finding and choosing the career coach that fits them. This is what she had to say:

“Career coaches are partners who can help to elevate your career. There are many ways to find a career coach.

Simone Morris is an award-winning diversity and inclusion leader and career coach, recognized by Diversity Best Practices, Diversity MBA, and Diversity MBE Magazine. She spent twenty-three years in corporate America, which gives her a unique perspective as a career coach that guides her clients to better career advancement using an inclusive approach.

1. Advertise Your Needs via LinkedIn

The free service allows you the opportunity to receive proposals from coaches on how they can meet your needs. The best part is that you get a complimentary 15-minute discovery session.

2. Check Out the International Coaching Federation

Look for coaches who’ve gone the extra mile by getting certified. You can check out the national website or attend a local ICF Chapter meeting to meet coaches.

3. Attend a Professional Development Conference

These conferences can have career coaching as an option. Submit your need and get assigned a coach. This allows you to try out coaching.

4. Seek Out Referrals

You can go the old fashion route by asking others for recommendations on career coaches.

You can also search for the #careercoach tag to gather a list of career coaches you can check out. Check out their website and schedule a complimentary discovery session to determine fit.

5. Check Out the Top Career Podcasts on Macs List

In there, you’ll find podcasts that speak to careers. As you listen to episodes, it is more than likely you’ll find a career coach that you want to go the extra mile with.”

Use these five practical tips to find and choose a career coach that best fits you. Don’t settle when it comes to the career coach you hire because your work affects every other area of your life.

How To Make Career Coaches Your Partners in Success

Don’t Expect a Guarantee

Even a good career coach can’t guarantee that you’ll get a raise, promotion, or secure a new job.

I spoke with Kara Dennison, an Executive Career Coach, Forbes Contributor, and certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) about finding and choosing the right career coach.

She said that everyone’s situation is unique, which is why career coaches can’t (and shouldn’t) make guarantees.

“Sometimes, you’ll want to pivot to a new industry; sometimes, a leader wants a new salary. Every job and situation can be unique.”

Kara spent her career as a Corporate Recruiting Leader, working hand-in-hand with decision-makers to place hundreds of top-talented professionals. She’s personally reviewed over 300,000 resumes throughout her career. When I asked about how to choose a career coach that best fits a career leader, Kara said:

“You can find career coaches on social media networks such as TikTok and LinkedIn. Career coaches on TikTok offer advice to leaders interested in a salary increase or a different job.

However, when looking for a career coach, look at their credentials. Do they have the results to back up their claims? Do they have a background in human resources, hiring, or leadership development?

If not, they may be giving advice that’s second-hand advice. Or that advice might not be backed up with results and experience.

To choose the right career coach, check out their background, credentials, and results. You do need someone that’s been in the game and has verifiable experience.

One thing you can do is get on a discovery call to get a feel for the career coach. You want to get the vibe and energy of who you will be working with one-to-one.

Your career is personal, and you’ll have vulnerable moments with your career coach. You want to make sure you can trust them.

Make sure your career coach is paying attention. They should be professional by showing up to meetings on time and paying attention throughout the call.

Make sure they don’t take you outside of your comfort zone with their suggested strategies.”

In the career coaching industry, some coaches make guarantees. You should proceed with caution when you see a guarantee because many circumstances are outside the career coach’s control.

If the career coach has testimonials and reviews, make sure to follow up with some of them to see if they’re real and that the career coach works hard for their clients. You shouldn’t expect a guarantee of results, but you can expect a guarantee of good service.

Be Willing to Put in the Work Alongside the Coach

Simone and Kara have offered some practical ways to find a career coach and ensure they’re the right fit for you.

However, if you’re going to be successful in securing a raise, promotion, or new job, you have to understand that all the responsibility and work to get your desired result is not 100% on the coach’s shoulders.

A career coach’s job is to guide you to your career advancement goals, but you have to be the one to drive the car there. They are the passenger giving you directions—you have to be the one driving the vehicle.

If you go into a coaching arrangement expecting the career coach to do most of the work, you’ll be disappointed no matter which career coach you choose. It takes an equal effort from both parties.

Great career coaches that are the right fit for you are readily available in this interconnected digital information age, but they’re not miracle workers.

To find the right career coach that fits you, be willing to put in the work. That’s how you’ll become successful and advance in your career.

Get Clarity

Be excited about the fantastic opportunities available to career professionals today. Utilize the avenues and channels to find a career coach that best fits you. But realize that it all starts with clarity of your goals and direction.

Ask yourself what you want for your life? You deserve happiness, financial security, and a career that helps you build the life you want. Get clarity on what career path can help you create freedom.

With clarity, you’ll be in a stronger position to find the career coach that best fits you. Clarity helps you direct that career coach to the designation you’re hoping to achieve. Having a clear road map creates the best opportunity for success in your coaching relationship.

Bottom Line

A career coach can do wonders for leaders. Do your homework and move beyond fancy sales and marketing when hiring a career coach. Verify everything and have a discovery call to get a feel for the right fit.

Featured photo credit: krakenimages via


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