I just got off a client consultation (yes! apps are now open for my one-on-one coaching!), and she said so much of what I’ve heard in the past:
“I’m stuck. I’m just stuck.”
“My job was fun – until it wasn’t.”
“I just don’t see myself doing this long-term.”
“I feel like I’m a blank page.”
“I know I love X, Y and Z – but not what to do with them in terms of a business.”
I could go on.
While this client ultimately signed on to work with me, I talk to potential clients all the time who say similar things, but don’t hop on the coaching bus.
So….how do you know if you need a career coach? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to discover whether career coaching is maybe kinda sorta right for where you are now:
1. Have you been “stuck” trying to figure this out on your own for more than a few months? And by “on your own”, I don’t necessarily mean keeping all this to yourself. “On your own” can include your trusted circle of friends and family, who want the best for you but aren’t able to do much more than discount/shut down your dreams of owning a business because it isn’t stable and/or offer one or two “solutions” (“You should just do X!” “But you’d be so great at Y!”) that don’t appeal to you at all. If you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can go “on your own” and still feel stuck and fuzzy on what you want for your career, it’s a great time to get a coach.
2. Do you feel relieved thinking of having someone non-judgmental to hear your dreams/goals/ideas, ask deep questions, listen to – and point out – what they hear under the surface, and reflect that back to you? Certified coaches are trained to leave out their advice and experiences and, instead, help you to see what you need and want for yourself, asking powerful questions and using your own words. While we absolutely are rooting for you and believe in your success, we don’t have a stake or opinion in what you chose to do or not do. Therefore, if we know you want to start a business and you’re ready to go for it, we’re here to help make it happen!
3. Do you know you need accountability and personalized support to actually follow through? While my clients come to me seeking clarity most of all, I know a majority of them decide to work with me for a multi-session package because they need someone to help break their goal into bite-size pieces and better ensure that they follow through. It’s one thing to say “Your homework is X, Y, and Z” and another to know that said person will ask about the homework at the next session, or over email. I have a client who’s super crazed right now with moving and work, and she responded to my last session follow-up email by saying, “I will be forever grateful that you check in on me and don’t let me forget my dream when my life gets in the way!” Score one for the career coach (who’s a Jewish mother raised by a Jewish mother and is a great nudger!).
4. Have you read books and/or taken classes that have given you some insight/headway, but you’re just not all the way there? I just had a new client tell me, before signing up, that she subscribed to All The Newsletters to get the “freebies” career coaches give out (“3 Ways to Know What To Do With Your Life!” “Quit Your Job And Make 6-Figures Using This Simple Formula!” “10 Reasons to Tell Your Boss to Suck It!”) and went through them all. Sure, it gave her some insight into what she could be doing, but it didn’t leave her with The Answer, that’s for sure. She went on an unsubscribe spree and realized she needed some one-on-one attention. My response: This is why life coaches have life coaches! It’s so hard to get there on your own when you’re in the thick of it.
5. Are you overwhelmed by All The Things you’re convinced you need to get started, and wanna strip the shoulds? This could be around the What of your dream business (what will you offer, who will you work with, what’s your title, etc.) – and/or the How of your dream business (how you’ll get clients or customers, how you can actually quit your job and make a grown-up living, how to get you family’s support, etc.), but one thing is the same: you’re lost in the weeds. You read online about having to be a webinar rockstar and run complicated Facebook ads and spend major bucks on a professionally developed site, but good news ahead: you don’t! What you do need to do is figure out what’s important (and enticing!) to both you and your target audience and craft a (fun and engaging!) launch and/or marketing plan to carry it out. If you don’t even know where to begin with that, a coach could be a real benefit here.
You know what else this prospective client said on her consult? “I’m ready to do whatever it takes to figure this out and make it happen.” And really, that’s the silver bullet: Are you ready to do the work? The hard, scary work to uncover your dream business, and then make it a reality?
Often, that’s the only thing that matters.