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What is Career Coaching?

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb

Even though the profession of coaching has been around for over 20 years, there are still a lot of misconceptions about what coaching is. To explain what career coaching is, let me first explain coaching.

For nearly 100 years, research in the world of psychology was obsessed with helping people with psychological disorders live more normal, healthy lives. In more recent times, people started asking a different question. Instead of wondering how to help those with psychological disorders, they were curious about how to help every day average people live extraordinary lives.

It was a radical (and refreshing) approach and it forms the foundation of what we now call life coaching. A life coach is not somebody who is going to fix your life or prescribe interventions. Instead, they are going to ask you powerful questions with the assumption that there is nothing wrong with you. The coach is there to find out what your core values are, what vision you hold for your future, and then help you build a roadmap to get there. Rather than dwelling on the past, life coaches focus on the future. They don’t obsess about your failures but obsess about your ability to keep going even when things get tough.

Career coaching is no different. A career coach will help you define what you want in your career:

  • What kind of people do you want to work with? Spiritual seekers, creative problem solvers, or family oriented cat lovers?
  • What is your optimal working environment? Is it fast-paced or super relaxed?
  • What kind of work do you want to be doing? Highly interactive networking, creative writing, or teaching others?
  • What problems do you like to solve?
  • What are your greatest strengths?

In short, a career coach will help you define your own version of Career Nirvana. And then, they’ll help you get it.

A career coach will help you create a roadmap for achieving your ideal career by exploring some of the following questions:

  • What additional education do you need?
  • Is there any volunteering that you can do to support your career growth?
  • What amount of money do you need to set aside to prepare for a major career transition?
  • Who can you interview to learn more about potential careers?
  • What’s your 90-day career goal?

A career coach can also help you with the mechanics of finding a job:

  • preparing your resume
  • improving your interviewing skills
  • job searching
  • LinkedIn optimizations
  • and more

With career coaching, you don’t have to go about achieving your career dreams on your own.

Still not sure what Career Coaching is?

Ask your questions in the comments below. We’ll reply quickly.

Thinking of hiring a career coach? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Stephan Wiedner

Stephan Wiedner is the Co-Founder and Head Coach of Stephan helps entrepreneurs and free thinkers forge their own unique career path. He can be found on Noomii and

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