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What does a career coach do?

by janeausten

On every career day you will find the so-called “coaching zone” , a separate area at the job fair where coaching is offered. Coaching experts offer around 20-minute short coaching sessions on site on a wide variety of topics related to jobs and careers – completely free of charge for our visitors. Registration in advance is required so that we can select the right coach for you and schedule an appointment for you accordingly. Are you now wondering what happens in such coaching sessions? We asked one of our experts about this. For more career counselling session you can also visit our site Career Creation.

I remember a definition from my trainer Klaus Biedermann: “Coaching is getting people from where they are to where they want to be in a pleasant way.” Coaching is therefore neither a strenuous coming to terms with the past nor an analysis of the precise background and causes that have led someone into a stressful situation. Coaching is always goal- and solution-oriented, because the solution doesn’t care why a problem arose.

Coaching is a voluntary, time-limited and individual accompaniment of people who support them in achieving professional or private goals. In my attitude as a coach, I am neutral and unintentional towards my clients. It’s not about pushing people in a certain direction that I think is good for them. Rather, as a coach, I assume that my counterpart has all the resources and skills to discover a good solution himself, but that he or she is currently unable to recognize or evaluate these possibilities for themselves.

The aim of my coaching is to open up new perspectives through sometimes unusual questions, the use of coaching tools and methods as well as impulses , so that clients can develop suitable solutions and concrete steps for a desired change for themselves and for them.

If I look in the media, then coaching is everything and nothing there today. I see catwalk and etiquette coaches and the members of the jury of a talent show also call themselves coaches. The term is not protected and this is how this multitude of different designations arises. Therefore I can only describe here what coaching means for me personally as a career and business coach and what distinguishes good coaching from my experience.

Consultants have a knowledge advantage or specific industry and specialist knowledge that enables them to give other people advice – without this knowledge – to impart their knowledge to them or to present worked-out solutions to a problem. Think, for example, of the tax consultant with his knowledge of the jungle of tax laws or of the management consultant who develops strategies or uncovers potential cost savings for companies.

As a coach, I am the expert for the process of finding a solution , every client is the expert for himself and his life. Coaching is therefore neither about training certain skills, nor about providing advice by imparting specialist or expert knowledge.

That’s the theory. However, I notice in my coaching sessions that many clients also come to me to get specific feedback from me as a person, former manager and career expert: They want to know whether I consider their idea for career change to be meaningful and promising or they do I would like to share my experiences of which paths other people in comparable situations have successfully taken. I therefore see myself in a role between unintentional coach, neutral sparring partner and feedback provider. Because of course I form my own opinion on their behavior and potential solutions to their concerns in intensive discussions with each client. But even here it is important to me not to put myself above other people and to know something better, but to give feedback on an equal footing based on my experiences and my own point of view .

Due to my positioning as a career and business coach, it is mainly professional issues that clients come to me with. It almost always comes down to the question of which next professional step makes sense in a certain work and life situation.

Many of my clients are employees between the ages of their mid-30s and early 50s who would like to reorient themselves professionally or differently. Most of the employees who come to me are highly frustrated with their current jobs, permanently bored or overwhelmed, and some have already been shown the red card by their bodies. Others have been given notice of termination and would like to deliberately approach the search for their new employer in a more targeted manner than before. Still others would like to take a step back on the career ladder, such as giving up their management responsibilities or spending more time with their families, and they realize that as a so-called downshifter in today’s job market, this step is more difficult than expected.

Midlife employees in particular find it difficult to assess their strengths and potential after many years in the job. They are unsure which career step will continue as a good development, what is still realistically possible in the job market and how to properly present themselves as an applicant.

Another focus of my work is the coaching of executives . It is often about difficulties in communicating with one’s own team or dealing better with individual employees. Some managers are also concerned with greater self-organization in day-to-day business, their own positioning in management or the strategic orientation of their department. There is also a desire to be accompanied in a new leadership role. It’s about questions of how much control is important, how delegation works better and about the preparation of employee appraisals or the design of workshops with your own team.

When it comes to all career change topics, I often hear “I’ve already given it a lot of thought, but I don’t know what to do.” This sentence describes what goes on in the minds of many clients when they pick up the phone or write to me . You speak of a carousel of thoughts, in which they have been dealing with and about themselves for a long time, but have not yet been able to make a decision for themselves. They have all already had conversations with their family, best friends or closest colleagues. You’ve read books and career guides, taken quizzes, and scoured the internet for tips. But the more they go around in circles and the more ideas run through their heads, the more dizzy and disoriented they feel and the more difficult it is for them to prioritize different paths for themselves and make good decisions.

To be specific, this is a selection of questions and topics that many clients contact me with:

  • My current job no longer fulfills me, but I don’t know what’s right for me and how I can make a change.
  • I dream of making a career change, but I can’t do it alone.
  • I want to get out of my industry, but I don’t know what the alternatives are.
  • My job is already taking its toll on my health. What can I do to prevent burnout?
  • I am looking for a job and would like to use this time to consciously decide on the next position.
  • I am under/overwhelmed in my job. What can I do?
  • I would like to step down in my job. What options do I have and how do I sell this step as an applicant?
  • I want to spend more time with my family again. How can I create space for this in my job?
  • I know my target position and need a good application strategy for this.
  • I apply a lot, but only get rejections. Is there something wrong with the documents or am I behaving incorrectly in job interviews?
  • I would like to plan my career for the long term and need support for this.
  • I am about to start a new job and would like to position myself properly there.
  • I am about to start my career and need guidance as to which positions and employers are right for me.
  • Can I just quit my job with no prospect of a new job?
  • Should I accept a transfer offer or wait for the upcoming promotion?
  • Should I leave the new employer during the probationary period if I know that there is no future for me there?
  • Can I start studying again in my early 40s?
  • If I’m over 50, do I still have a chance of changing employers?
  • Am I suitable for a management position – and do I even want that?
  • I can only work part-time, but I can’t find any jobs that match my qualifications.

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