Despite coaching being one of the fastest growing industries in the world, there still seems to be numerous misconceptions about it. The most common ones I hear is that coaching is for people who have important personal issues or going through a rough phase. The second one is about the fact that coaching is for high achievers such as athletes, politicians or CEOs. In reality, as Bill Gates said ‘’everyone needs a coach’’. And he is right, according to The Institute of Coaching, 80% of people who received coaching reported an increase in self-confidence, and over 70% benefited from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. More specifically when it comes to choosing the next step in your career, here are 7 reasons why a coach can be a great help.
1- We rarely give ourselves the time to articulate what we want in our career
The reason? We are too busy to think about it, right?
Our modern society glorifies ‘’the busy’’, the people who are constantly in motion, chasing one thing after another, running from meetings, to the gym then shopping followed by holiday planning and work parties (well, online ‘’Zoom’’ parties these days). This happens to the point that our state of business can be perceived as a determining factor of success.
The reality is that we can do everything, just not right now and thinking about how to feel happier in our career is typically not something that lands at the top of our to-do list. Hiring a coach enables us to put a pause on our busy days and take the time it deserves to think about what we really want and how we want to go about getting it (and this doesn’t mean making you even busier by adding more things to your to-do list).
2- Even if we decided to dedicate time to choose what to do next in our career, where would we even start to find an answer (a good one!)? There are hundreds or thousands of thoughts to consider and organise in order to land on THE career ambition that we will want to turn into reality. Sorting through the options efficiently requires some skills, that’s where the experience and guidance of a career coach becomes useful.
This is especially true since when this ‘’career thinking box’’ is finally open, it is likely going to increase our mental load: there are so many options available...Career Planner alone has a list with over 12,000 possible careers! As helpful as this list can be, where on earth would we find the time to go through it? Besides, this list isn’t even exhaustive, when it comes to careers, the beauty of it (and the scary part too!) is that there are more options than people on this planet!
Many of us often experience what experts have called ‘’choice paralysis’’ or ‘’decision paralysis’’. The psychologist Barry Schwartz has explained this in great detail in his book The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less (2004). Some of you might have heard about the Jam experiment conducted by Iyengar. In an article for the Financial Planning Association, David Zuckerman explains that for this experiment ‘’a jam tasting booth was setup in a specialty grocery store known for its huge selection of packaged goods. The researchers would change the booth periodically so that either 24 different varieties or 6 different varieties of jam would be offered as free samples. The results indicate that more shoppers stop to sample jam when more variety is offered, with 60 percent of shoppers sampling jam when 24 varieties were available and 40 percent of shoppers sampling when 6 varieties are available. Greater variety obviously has some appeal, but would it translate to higher sales of the jams offered as samples? Absolutely not, as the results indicate that only 3 percent of those who sampled the large display wound up purchasing jam while 30 percent of those who sampled the small display made a purchase.’’
We are moving from linear career paths to singular ones which makes ‘’choosing a career’’ so difficult. Nowadays, making a career decision is likely to make us overthink and research has proven that overthinking is likely to make us less happy (Emir Research has published an interesting article about this). This is one of the main reasons why Career Coaches exist. Specifically, a Career Happiness Coach will make your ‘’career thinking time’’ efficient by helping you reach deep inside your conscious and subconscious mind to identify what the next best step is for you in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
3- If we decide on the next step in our career on our own, the decision could be limited by our self-beliefs or other’s beliefs they hold for us.