Perception is reality. Not all the time, but most of it.
Anyone can be a career coach. There’s no certification for it. In fact, most career coaches barely make any money doing it. Here’s why:
Prospecting clients is like identifying new car buyers. You can’t really convince someone they need it, you just have to be visible when people are looking for it. Career coaches can’t talk you into something you don’t want to do. They can just lay out their process and instill the confidence they can deliver your desired result. That’s it.
The irony is the people who need it most are usually broke or unemployed. The service shouldn’t be cheap (if it is I would question the credibility). Clients who benefit from it the most are usually older or further along in their career. If you’re hiring a coach out of desperation, you’re better off hiring a temp agency. Career coaching is a personal and professional investment. It’s about teaching you the skills to find a job on your own, not do it for you. If any coach promises you a job after they work with you, they’re lying (unless they’re going to hire you themselves).
On the business side coaching individuals is not scalable. You’ll never have too many clients on your plate unless you’re connecting with companies who hire you as a transitional coach (aka helping clients as part of a severance package). The money isn’t in individuals, it’s in corporate. That’s why if you’re not charging a decent amount, you’re wasting your time.
Career coaches who are reading this probably hate me.
Prospective clients reading this probably knew this already.
Here’s the caveat: if you call yourself a career coach, stop. People are skeptical.
If you’re thinking about hiring a career coach do it based on two criteria: fit and confidence. If you two “click” consider working with them. Lastly, if you have the confidence after talking to your coach he/she can get you to where you want to be, pay them.
The reality is people are changing jobs almost every year.
Is hiring a career coach a good idea? Depends what your expectations are.
But if you’re thinking about calling yourself a career coach or are one, you better figure out another way to make money.