Hiring a career coach is a fairly big decision. It’s not that you’re signing your life away, but more the fact that you’re potentially taking a large step in your life, so need somebody qualified to help you reach your goal.

With a variety of different career coaches around, knowing what to look for isn’t always easy. Here are a few things that you ought to consider before agreeing on a partnership.

Qualifications

We all know that qualifications aren’t everything but many coaching qualifications can be achieved over a weekend or even online only courses.  Qualified coaches will have a broad range of tools to use and will have studied best practice and career development methodologies.  Engaging a semi-qualified (or dubiously-qualified) coach is more like asking a friend for advice!  We may be a bit biased here though as our coaches have Masters in Career Development and/or Coaching from the UKs top Universities…..

Happy Clients

It takes a lot to write a review or a testimonial. Something about your experience with a service motivated you enough to want to let others know about it.

A good career coach is likely to have many testimonials, good reviews and happy customers. If you can’t find any online or on a particular company’s website, why not email them to ask if they have any?

Expertise

In order to achieve the best possible results, you’ll need to work with a career coach familiar with your location, your role, and your industry. While you can’t expect your coach to be an expert on them necessarily, you’ll want your coach to have worked with a person like you before.

Make sure your coach is excited about what you can both achieve, rather than just agreeing to the partnership for the sake of securing a client.

Soft Skills

Sure, there are more important things to consider when hiring a career coach, but soft skills are important too and shouldn’t be neglected. You’ll want a coach that is polite, and makes you feel good about yourself. You’ll also want a career coach that is easy to reach, returns your calls and communicates effectively.  If it takes a while to get a response initially, be cautious.

Try one session first

If possible, try to avoid signing for a minimum of sessions. London, for example, has many coaches working there, so you’ll likely find that most coaches are happy to offer a single session. Other big cities are likely to be similar.

Conclusion

Your chemistry and your faith in your coach will go a long way to forming a successful relationship. The factors listed above are just several that are worth thinking about. You may, of course, want to add more, or even create your own criteria.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions before working with somebody. If your career coach is worth their reputation, they’ll be more than happy to answer them in order to ensure you get the right professional for your needs.