What’s a Career Coach To Do?

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 All of you need to know: Career coaching is my dream job and I know I want to work in the area of careers for years to come. However, as I read more and more books or articles on Linkedin and Twitter I realize that career development is constantly changing! There is so much information out there and my job as a career coach is to decipher it which can be tedious at times!  It’s like being a kid in a toy store with a million choices and feeling overwhelmed by all the choices.There is a lot I want to share with my students that I feel and know that they need.  How do I do that? How do I share all this information that I know they need?

There is never enough time so I have to prioritize by listening to them and their needs. As I work with each student and groups of students I learn what their needs are and then I am able to put together the information to share. They are all college students but at different stages, so what the younger students need is not the same as what the older students need and vice versa. It is also helpful to receive feedback from professors who know their students so well. When I am able to work with them, it is very helpful and fulfilling.

I also try and stay current with career trends and what’s going on in the world- right now I am working on elevator pitches, data collection for a graduate panel, and research on double majors. I love all of it and I never, ever thought that I would love research! These are all topics that my students need to be aware of, how do I brand and sell myself? Is graduate school right for me? Should I double major to be more marketable? Students look to those of in higher ed for the answers and I am now one of those people who is supposed to have the answers. This is exciting because I love helping and connecting people, but can be daunting because my brain can only hold so much information.  I am very knowledgeable and competent in  my job, it is through learning and studying that I have become that way and receiving help from the man upstairs.  

This year has been a learning process and taught me that what my knowledgeable communications professor told us everyday in class is true: ALWAYS KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!  To me this is listening to them and really knowing and understanding their needs and then doing all I can to fulfill those needs.  That is the best part of my job-  making connections, being able to make a difference and help my students with their career choices. Career development will be be ever changing and as long  as we are able to move with those changes, then we will succeed.

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One thought on “What’s a Career Coach To Do?

  1. Hi Hanna – you have hit the nail on the head regarding career coaching. Generally speaking career coaching is a relatively new field and as such has faced a rapid evolution over the past 30 years. More than most careers career coaching must keep ahead of the curve and ahead of the curve in a broader way compared many other careers, which is what keeps it all very exciting.

    In the career field you need to have knowledge of changes in education, industry, the economy, HR, technology, people and psychology, diversity including culture, disability and more, government and employment law, even immigration laws, careers and jobs of course, including careers and jobs across the globe, self-employment and all the technology that fuels all of these components. Much of this learning can be accomplished through informal learning by reading, attending conferences, gathering information via social networks and more. Some of this learning should also be formal, including graduate school and certifications in various assessments, technology and more. Frequently this is difficult to do when you are busy working and focussed on doing a job. Strategically focussing on one area of formal development at a time, while keeping abreast of trends through informal learning, may be the way to develop your own career. Identify what you enjoy and what is considered valuable in the industry and focus on gaining expertise in that first.

    Best of luck with your own career development. Your own focus on your own career development will make you a better career professional for your clients so the time you spend returns value in many ways.

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