Why You Should Seek A Career Coach

Millennials are given all kinds of grief about the way we choose to conduct ourselves. We get bored quickly, our attention spans are pretty limited, and we tend to move jobs more than any other generation – or so they say. In fact, the average person these days will change jobs 10-15 times in their lifetimes.

It seems we’re just not as down for settling like our parents were. But to be fair, our career is where we will spend the majority of our time over our lives (besides sleeping), so we’d want to make sure it’s the best one for us, right? Finding a career coach or a mentor is one of the best ways forward if you want to develop your career.

Is there a way that we can put ourselves on the right path before we wander down the wrong one? We spoke with Steve Sheppard, career coach at TwoPointZero about why seeking career advice may be one of the best life decisions we will ever make.

Finding a career coach

“During high school and university we’re often given [career] advice that’s not really that great,” says Steve. Most of us fail to take a strategic approach from the start but take advice from family or people close to us without really thinking a lot into it.

“While that advice is generally well-intentioned, it’s not often the right advice,” says Steve.

We’re pushed into making decisions quickly from a young age without thinking about what we might be skilled at, or the best ways our brains work. We all learn and behave in different ways and what might be a good career path for one person, might not be the right path for someone else.

“I think younger people now are more willing to make changes if they’re not happy. Happiness these days is valued more over security, but in the past, we would have looked at our careers in different ways.”

Find the right advice

The best way to begin our career path is to get the right advice first, suggests Steve. So how do we uncover what is the right pathway for us?

“Think about the things that you really like doing or the things you’re really passionate about,” he says. “Are you passionate about social justice or the environment? Are you a creative? Everyone has an individual career personality, and what makes one person a great accountant might not work for someone who would be a great salesperson.”

With the guidance of the right career coach, we can be sure we’re heading in the right direction. And it’s never too late to consider your career direction.

We need to understand ourselves and spend time during the discovery process. With the guidance of the right career coach, we can be sure we’re heading in the right direction. And it’s never too late to consider your career direction. While these steps might seem simple, it’s easy to carry on in your career status quo, settling for what’s in front of you. It’s important to take a step back and look at where you’re going now and whether that’s where you actually want to go. 

“There are more than 3000 pathways you can take in Australia and our job as career coaches is to help you find a job where you feel motivated to get up and go to work in the morning,” says Steve.

Finding out what works for you should be a process that we all incorporate when trying to decide what job we should aim for. It’s all about understanding yourself and what industry your personal skills fall into, to avoid taking a stab in the dark. What generally happens is people in up in the wrong place because they didn’t get the right advice.

Seeking direction

The majority of people who meet career coaches those who come out of university unsure of what to do with their degree. They now have a $30,000 HECS debt, they’ve been working in their careers for a couple of years but just aren’t enjoying what they’re doing. Many people are earning a reasonable income but are looking for a change. And while they might not be sure what they should change into, they know for sure that they’re not doing what they’re meant to be doing. That’s where career coaches come in.  

“You’ll be spending the next 40 years of your life working, so getting the right advice is a good move.”

“You’ll be spending the next 40 years of your life working, so getting the right advice is a good move,” says Steve. “If you were in a bad relationship, you’d do something about it. You’d have a conversation and try to find a solution. Finding the right career is about having a conversation with yourself and if you don’t have the answers, seek some advice.”

Our careers are so closely aligned to our happiness, our health and our income. How our life pans out is directly attached to the career decisions we make, so think of career coaching as a very worthy investment.

If you’re searching for more input and advice on your career, don’t forget to leverage your existing network, or consider a mentor.

Sam is a freelance writer passionate about sub-cultures, oddballs of the world and music. She runs a Melbourne music website and writers banter for VICE, The LAD Bible, and other websites. You can find her on Twitter at @hamsoward.