What is a Job Coach? And Other Career Coaching Questions Answered

A career coach, also known as a job coach, advises their clients on how to make smart career decisions. They help their clients reach their career goals by assessing strengths, weaknesses, and experience against the current hiring landscape, industry standards, and what hiring managers are looking for. This post will answer a long list of questions relating to hiring and working with a coach, including what is a job coach, do you need a career coach, and how do you choose the best coach for you?



What is a Career Coach?

If you’re looking for expert career advice, look no further than a career coach. A career coach helps people realize their professional goals through an informative, supportive, and solution-oriented approach.

Since the success of their coaching is based on helping people find work and advancing in their careers, job coaches are tuned-in to exactly what hiring managers and companies are currently looking for. They are experts at clarifying your unique skills, building top-notch resumes, career planning, interviewing, negotiating, motivational techniques, and keeping their clients accountable.

Career coaches can work within or for organizations, or they can work independently for themselves. They offer a wide range of services depending on their client’s individual needs or the needs of the organization.


What is a Career Coach vs. Career Counselor?

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Although the two roles are similar, they have a slightly different focus.

A career counselor will help you figure out what you want to do with your life. If you’re feeling lost about what career path to choose, a career counselor will administer personality tests like Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram to determine what your interests are and where your strengths lie. They’ll help you figure out what you’re looking for from a career. Generally, a career counselor’s focus is broader than a career coach’s.

A career coach is focused on helping you achieve actionable goals. If you know the job you want or how you want to advance in your current career, a career coach will help you hone your resume, interview, and negotiation skills and teach you how to better market yourself to prospective employers.


What Does a Career Coach Do?

Although the specific job requirements of a career coach will vary depending on whether or not they work for an organization or a specific client, generally, their approach and process are the same.


Responsibilities of a career coach:

  • Determining a client’s interests, goals, difficulties, skills, as well as academic and professional background.
  • Providing their client with advice on how to increase their salary or advance within an organization.
  • Editing and enhancing resumes, interview prep, and advising clients on how best to network, whether through a screen or in person. Read our  tips for interviewing remotely!
  • Providing tools, solutions, and strategies for stress management and self-confidence, communication and conflict-management, enhancing leadership skills, and building healthy habits around work.
  • When working within an organization, career coaches offer advice to management and employers on human resources issues. They can help establish metrics for tracking employee performance to enhance efficiency, and they can also assist with boosting employee morale and job satisfaction.

Do I Need a Career Coach?

Ask yourself: do you feel stuck in your career? Is there something else you have always wanted to do, or are you looking for a way to advance within your organization? Does your resume game need improvement? Do you feel generally burnt out and fed up with your career?

These are all signs that you could benefit from working with a career coach. If you’re tired of letting your ambitions fall by the wayside, it may be time to invest in making real changes. You’re never as trapped as you think you are. If you’ll forgive the old and tired adage: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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A career coach could be that way. They will give you the expert advice and tools you need to realize your professional goals and keep you accountable to them, so you can make genuine and lasting changes to your professional life. Hiring someone will force you to put your ideas into action, and a career coach will help you find the best possible path forward.


How to Choose the Best Career Coach?

If you’re looking for a career coach, it’s best to start within your own network. Ask trusted coworkers, friends, and family members if they’ve ever worked with a career coach. You could also reach out to your social media contacts or ask acquaintances working at other companies over LinkedIn.

If that doesn’t work, you can search Google for career coaches near you, but it’s best if the recommendation comes from a personal contact, as not all career coaches are as qualified as they should be.

Once you have a few names of possible career coaches, reach out to them to determine if they are the right fit for your specific concerns, goals, comfort, and budget. You’re going to be paying this person a fair chunk of change, and you’ll likely work with them frequently, so it’s in your best interest to do your research and be confident before you make a decision.

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Look for someone who has:

  • Years of coaching experience.
  • Success stories to share.
  • Experience working with someone in your field or industry.
  • A rate within your budget.

What to Ask a Career Coach Before You Hire Them?

Expect to have a close relationship with your career coach, as they will need to hear about your strengths, weaknesses, goals, desires, etc. It’s important to be open and honest with them, so ensure you choose someone you feel comfortable with. Ask them questions about their previous work, expected costs, and any concerns you may have.

Choose a few important questions to ask before hiring a coach. Ideally, connect with a couple of coaches to learn more about their experience levels before choosing one. Some questions might include:


  • How long have you been working as a career coach?
  • Have you worked with someone in my industry before?
  • What do you do to push clients out of their comfort zone?
  • What does a job well done look like to you?
  • Why did you decide to become a career coach?
  • What success stories can you share about your previous work?
  • Can I speak to other clients about their experience working with you?
  • What is your rate or total cost? Are there any unexpected costs that could come up?

How Much Does a Job Coach Cost?

The cost of hiring a career coach varies significantly. Usually, a career coach’s price tag is connected to their experience and past successes. You should expect to pay anywhere from $75 - $600 an hour, depending on their qualifications and level of experience.

While that may seem pricey, if you’re really feeling stuck in your job, a career coach is a worthwhile investment to get you where you want to go.


What to Talk About With a Career Coach

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Once you choose a career coach, be open and honest with them about what you want to achieve. Don’t shy away from expressing your weaknesses or past failures. They need to get a clear picture of who you are, where you are now, and where you hope to go.

Be specific about your goals and ask them what you need to do to achieve them. If you’re just looking for a career change but aren’t sure what you want to do next, they will be able to help you figure out how your current experience, skills, and interests can fit within another career. 

💡 Learn more: When and How to Make a Career Transition 


What Are Other Types of Coaches?

There are many different types of coaches that specialize in specific areas, but much of the process overlaps. Most coaches are going to assess your goals and be aware of your current wellbeing, desires, and habits that need improvement.

Choosing what type of coach you need depends on the area of your life you’d like to focus on improving. If you specifically want to advance your career, a job or career coach is the most qualified to help you do so. If you want to advance your career, but in relation to growing the business you founded, a business coach will have greater insight.


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Business Coach: A business coach is generally more for business owners. They focus on helping you make sure your business succeeds and thrives. They assist with making smart business decisions by providing guidance on when and how to expand, how to know when it’s time to cut back, how to emerge into new markets, or how to withstand a crisis. They will help you manage your company and look to the future while helping you develop your own professional goals in relation to your business.

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Leadership Coach: A leadership coach can help you advance your career, with a keen eye on how you can develop into a better leader. They will help you improve your leadership skills, including building confidence, managing others, and communicating effectively. Their coaching will be tailored to your strengths and weaknesses as a leader, which is ideal for managers, CEOs, or business owners who want to hone those skills. Someone who hopes to grow into a leadership position may also seek help from a leadership coach. 

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Life Coach: A life coach is able to strike a balance between your personal and professional life. They assess your lifestyle, happiness, and mindset to help you make decisions that will lead to improvements in your life. They can help you build confidence, get over fears, build strong relationships, and so much more. It all depends on what is holding you back. They may help you advance your career, but a life coach will have a broader focus on improving your overall life.



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Link to Career Transition article


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Jordan's passion for travel led her to design a career as a remote content marketer. Nearing 1000 published articles, she's spent the past decade using her interdisciplinary education to research and write content for a wide variety of industries. Working remotely, Jordan spends half of the year exploring different corners of the world. At home, she's content exploring fictional lands—Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Game of Thrones, Red Rising, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings.

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