My dear client and friend, Kathy, said to me, “Before I met you, I had no idea what a career coach was!”
Kathy and I are “old school.” We grew up in the corporate world in the late 80s and 90s when the concept of a career coach was unheard of, at least to us. Even if you’re a millennial, you may not be familiar with the concept of a career coach.
In this article, I share stories and examples that underline why the topic of career coaching has become so prominent in my life, making a significant impact in my success, professionally and personally.
If I didn't have salient reasons and real-life examples of the power of career coaching and leadership coaching, I wouldn't be sharing this message with you in the way that I am.
First, let me start by setting the stage which informs my perspective and opinions about this topic.
I am a life-long learner. After graduating from college, and while working full-time at my first job as a programmer, I began attending graduate school at night to earn a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Then, I spent the next two years getting a Master's in Computer Science. And when I finished in 1999, I continued to pursue a Ph.D. in Information Systems, which took 10 years to complete, all while working during the day and going to school in the evenings.
After spending over 25 years working in Financial Services and Technology in the NYC area, I decided to pursue running my own business and I knew that I didn't have all the tools that I needed to do that successfully.
For starters, when I noticed the “gaps” which could sabotage my efforts as a business owner, I hired a coach to help me with sales & marketing, building a new personal brand, and writing and publishing my first #1 bestselling book, Fearless Women at Work. Now, I'm using the same tactics my coach taught me back in 2017 to write my second book, scheduled to be published in the first quarter of 2021.
Being a life-long learner, I saw career coaching, and coaching in general, as a logical and valuable option to grow in my new business and personal life.
Can you imagine how long it would have taken me, alone, to launch my business, scale it within four years, write my book, publish it, make it a #1 bestselling book, and serve all the clients I have served since I began my business?
In this article, I'm going to walk you through the benefits and features of career coaching so that you are better informed about what a career coach is and how a career coach may benefit you.
When to Get a Coach
There are many scenarios under which people hire a career coach. Which of these scenarios sound familiar?
Scenario #1: Getting promoted
Clients often reach out when they are ready to pursue their next promotion. They have tried everything they know already, and they feel they're not getting the results they want. They have the experience, they're qualified, but they feel something is “missing” that they’re not progressing as they feel they should.
Scenario #2: Transitioning to a new role
You may be transitioning from one job to another job, from the role to a new role. You may be switching industries, sometimes willingly and sometimes unwillingly, meaning that you may have been “re-organized” out of your old role. Our you have decided to make a move or transition from a dead-end role, especially now during the pandemic.
Scenario #3: Acquiring new skills
Another scenario under which people look for a career coach is when they are looking for new capabilities. As a new leader or someone who has been in a leadership role for a while, you may be looking to strengthen your leadership skills. Typically, new leaders are not trained—we learn as we go! Now, in this new virtual world and pandemic, re-skilling and retooling is essential to maintain and develop a unique edge. Leadership coaching is one way to do so effectively.
Scenario #3: Maximizing your full potential
Ultimately, everyone who seeks out coaching values their potential and reaching it. And while I understand, trust me, that most of us need to work and produce to sustain ourselves and our families, these are also salient reasons to consider the benefits of working with a coach and tapping into your full potential:
You are in a job and know you’re not even scratching the surface of what you have the potential to do.
You may be confused about what direction to go in and how to position yourself.
You don't know what you're passionate about now or how to get that passion that you once had.
You have a vision for what you want to accomplish, but you don't know how to do it because you have never done something like it before.
When I was pondering becoming an executive & leadership coach, I wanted to go through the process myself and that’s what I accomplished when I become a Certified Professional Coach, CPC, accredited by the International Coach Federation—the gold standard for coaching certifications. During that process, I discovered the power that coaching brings to the individual and organizations which engage in coaching.
If you are working with a qualified, ICF-accredited coach, they've been trained to know how to help their clients, establish an empowering and safe coach-coachee connection, and make sure you are both on the same page as to what it is that you're planning to accomplish. Secondly, that coach will ensure to work on your agenda, what matters to you, and not their own agenda.
A great coach does not believe that she has any answers that you don't already have. We believe that everyone is resourceful. I may contribute to our relationship my area of expertise in the context of your problem and the solutions and outcomes that you desire. However, your conclusions and decisions are what matter most in the relationship.
Gaining a Community and Accountability
When you hire a coach to help you attain a goal, one of the first priorities is ensuring that the goal is meaningful to you. Your coach should help you articulate why achieving that outcome is important and compelling to you, e.g., to bring your more peace, fulfillment, well-being, financially, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
As you pursue compelling goals, it is essential to consider the benefit and value of having accountability and a supportive community.
When I share with you that I am in the process of writing my next #1 bestselling book, by voicing my desire, I am intrinsically creating accountability. You will hold me accountable for the goal that I am expressing I'm going to achieve and the message that I am committing to getting out to the world.
Accountability is one of the benefits of hiring a coach.
As a career coach and leadership coach, in a typical coaching arrangement, I meet with clients approximately every 10 days or three times a month. Meeting with your career or leadership coach consistently will build-in the structure that is going to support you to progress steadily.
It is not unusual for some of us to say that we are going to do something, and then fall back on our word. Sometimes we get tired, maybe even lazy, or procrastinate. We prioritize others and deprioritize ourselves.
The relationship with your coach provides the structure and accountability that supports you as you face challenges or encounter questions or situations that otherwise, without you coach, will stop you in your tracks and prevent you from taking significant strides in the right direction.
For members of my virtual leadership training program, The Fearless Leadership Mastermind, in addition to engaging in leadership coaching and online learning, they also get to be in community with other inspiring leaders.
As a member of our program, you would not only have me as your coach to hold you accountable and to help you strategize, you also have a community of leaders who will encourage and support you. Community members do not have an agenda other than sharing insights, resources, and providing the same type of support they crave.
Being around people who understand your journey and can relate to your challenges and ambitions makes a difference and is another benefit of belonging to a coaching program with other members—as an adult, I met some of my closest friends in these growth-minded communities.
To continue reading the rest of the article, please refer to Part 2 of this blog series.
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About Dr. Ginny A. Baro
Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a sought-after international motivational speaker & leadership coach, a career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work.
Ginny specializes in partnering with organization to develop leadership teams at all levels of management. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or moving into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting international audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.
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