Many professions have hundreds of years of history behind them. Career
coaching, on the other hand, is an occupation that has developed in recent
Career coaches help people deal with job and career changes. Marcia Bench
is the author of An Insider's Guide to Career Coaching. She writes that career
coaching is an interactive process.
"Career coaches connect people with their passion, purpose, values and
other critical aspects of their ideal work," says Bench, whose headquarters
are in Arizona.
Jobs in career development have been available for many years. But most
experts agree the job title "career coach" has only existed for the last 15.
Many career coaches, like Dale Kurow of New York City, credit the Internet
with the rise in popularity of career coaching.
"There is a definite correlation between the development of and easier
access to the Internet and the success of career coaching," Kurow says. "People
can find us!"
A career coach provides many services to its clients. These depend upon
the reason the client is seeking the coach's assistance.
"I help the client to decide on the best career options to pursue or help
him or her to redirect a job search," Kurow explains.
"We can create a game plan for the client to change careers or [teach them]
how to stay motivated within the confines of a current job. I work with a
client to deal with a difficult boss and to deal effectively with office politics."
Kim Green-Spangler is a coach in Niagara Falls, New York. "A career coach
can hold your hand, give you a kick in the pants, and can make you accountable
to realize your career goals," she says.
Some career coaches will help with resume writing and preparation for job
interviews. Others act as motivators.
"We are similar to a personal trainer, although we work on someone's life
and career instead of their body," explains Dallas career coach Kristin Taliaferro.
First, get some work experience. Also, while it helps to be certified,
it is not yet a requirement.
"I feel previous work experience in a related field is an asset," says
career coach Mary D'Arcy. "I think an effective coach will be someone who
has experienced first-hand the many challenges that their clients will be
D'Arcy has a business degree. She began in the human resources field in
Marcia Dorfman adds that career coaches should be achievement-oriented
and care about others. They should also be knowledgeable about careers and
"Training in core coaching skills such as active listening, assessing without
judgment and communicating effectively is very important," Dorfman says.
Taliaferro has a degree in psychology that she says helps her in coaching.
She also spent two years studying online with Coach University.
There are over 100 coach training organizations. Many of them are online.
Teleclasses and videotape lessons are also available.
The future for career coaches appears to be very bright. Bench says there
are three reasons for this.
First, a bad economy actually helps career coaches. When there are more
layoffs, there's more need for career coaches to help people find new jobs.
Second, many people change jobs and careers often. Coaches can help clients
with each new change.
Finally, many people want to do more meaningful work. That means opportunities
for career coaches to show clients the way.
Ian Christie is a career coach. He says that there is a strong future
for the profession because more and more people are realizing what coaching
is. "They are becoming more aware of the benefits coaching can bring," he
D'Arcy agrees. "There has been a recent trend of individuals seeking a
lifework that matches their interests and values," she says.
"This has lead to them starting their own businesses and changing careers.
So, the value of career coaches in the marketplace increases."
The amount of money a career coach earns depends on the hours worked and
the number of clients handled. Salaries range from $50,000 to over $100,000
Green-Spangler works out of her home office. She does this so that she
is at home with her children. For only part-time coaching, she says she earns
more than $50,000 per year.
Career coach Meg Montford of Kansas City, Missouri, says that because there
are so many avenues open to career coaches, the amount of money earned can
be quite sizable. It depends upon the coach's training and experience.
"Standard rates for coaching an individual currently range from $200 to
$1,000 per month," she says. "If you take career coaching into corporations
or other organizations, fees increase based upon the total project rate."
Dorfman calculates that a coach with about 15 clients can earn $50,000
or more from their practice.
Some career coaches have an office and have face-to-face meetings with
their clients. Other coaches rely mainly on telephone and e-mail for contact.
The price for starting a career coaching practice depends upon the space
and equipment needed. Basics include telephones, computer, fax machine, copier
and Internet service.
"I'd say $5,000 and that's if you don't need to rent office space," Kurow
says. "This amount would cover stationery, website development, advertising
and professional meetings. This also does not cover education."
While building a practice, Kurow suggests that a beginning coach should
have enough savings on which to live for the first year.
If office space is needed, rental rates vary according to location.
Montford adds that many communities offer free services to advise new businesses.
They can help with writing business plans and advertising methods.
Career Coach InstituteRead about career coach training
International Coach FederationCheck out the training section
Association of Career ProfessionalsFind a career professional and ask about their work
Coach URead about the benefits of being a coach