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Should you Get a Career Coach – Pros and Cons

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If you’re currently stuck with a dead end job or you’re collecting unemployment looking for a job, you may feel like you’re stuck in a rut.  If you’re applying for jobs and receiving no calls, the problem could be on your end, and if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, this problem with continue to happen.  Clearly you need to restart or rethink your job search (see Time to Move on? Jump Start your Job Search).  On alternative is to consider using a career coach. These are professionals who will be able to give you career advice, help you polish your resume and help you develop a job search plan that will help get results.

Suggested Reading:Should You Consider Using A Career Coach

What is a Career Coach?

Career coaches review your job update your job search plan (see Planning for Your Job Search) and also help you prepare for interviews.  Other services may include providing leads and introductions.  Like any field, every professional is going to have their own ways when it comes down to educating their client.  A career coach is going to be very similar to a counselor.

While a coach won’t necessarily guarantee you a job, they will be able to offer recommendations and help you polish your job search skills.

The Cost of Career Coaches:

Asking how much a career coach costs is like asking how long is a piece of string (How long is a piece of string). Costs depend on the coach (experience, success, etc.), where you are located (major cities will obviously cost more), your needs and the length of time you will use them.  Most experts note that you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $100 to as much as $250 per hour, with the industry average around $161 per hour. Some coaches may ask you to sign a contract with a minimum “spend”.  Take a look at Harvard Business review’s Find the Career Coach Who’s Right for You. Generally speaking, most people who work with a coach will put up to 20 hours of time in.

While some people will work with a coach until they land a job, some coaches may offer “session packages” as mentioned above.   These packages will have a set rate and will include certain services.  For instance, one professional may be able to offer resume tips, a mock interview and one-on-one interview for $300.


Pros and Cons of Using Career Coaches:

The Cons of Hiring a Career Coach:

  1. Scams.  The industry is riddled with professionals who are looking to guarantee you a job and have no experience to back up their claims.
  2. Remorse.  A lot of people who take advantage of these services regret buying after they are done.
  3. Cost.  Being unemployed or underemployed can put a burden on anyone’s budget.  Even if you’re working with a successful coach, it can eat up more than a few thousand dollars of your savings.

The Pros of Hiring a Career Coach

  1. Motivation.  A lot of career coaches have the right tools to help motivate you and find the perfect job.
  2. Improvements.  A qualified career coach will be able to pinpoint your weaknesses so that you can improve them.  With this improvement, it can help you land a great gig.
  3. Results.  Even though it’s a mixed bag, people do see results when working with the right coach.

In the end, you’re going to want to make sure you’re choosing to right coach.  To make sure you pick out the right professional, here are some questions to ask ahead of time —

    • How much do you charge?
    • What kind of experience do you have?
    • What is your educational background?
    • What kind of clients do you work with?
    • Do you have a particular area of expertise?
    • With clients you couldn’t help, why did you fail?

Career Tip of the Day:9 Reasons Why I Won’t Hire You

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,


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