Well, you can’t have it.
OK, that sounds a bit rude, but let me explain.
With a few pointed exceptions — how to modernize your resume, for example, or the best ways to access unpublished job opportunities — if advice is what you’re looking for, you won’t find it with a career coach. And that’s actually a very good thing.
When you’re in the midst of career transition, you may feel completely lost. You find yourself yearning, “If only someone could just pluck me out of this mess and tell me which way to go.” And quite a few people — well-meaning friends, impatient family members, frustrated managers — will happily try.
So why wouldn’t a trained professional provide you with that direction you crave?
Over to you
In its richest moments, a coaching relationship creates a space where you, the client, either rediscover or — in some cases — find for the first time the self that you have been longing to be and that you are going to hinge the next phase of your life on. This self emerges in an atmosphere that quiets the relentless noise of the outside world so that you can reconnect with your own strength and wisdom.
And it’s not always easy, and it takes longer than most of us would like.
I, like many of you, have gone looking for the wisdom of others rather than trusting my own. For example, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve approached with questions about marketing my practice. After wrestling with the resulting mish-mash of conflicting information in my brain, in the end I emerged from the fog with the crystal-clear awareness that while each person shared generously their opinions and wealth of experience, it really didn’t matter what any of them said; I was going to have to do this my way.
Anything else would mean tying myself in knots to become a completely different person, and how is that a definition of success? Instead, this external grasping was scattering my focus to the four winds and beyond, my own wisdom blown away by the force of other voices.
Trying to shift that pattern for myself has been hard, but through hard work with a mentor I have become very aware of how vastly more empowering it is to sit still and look inside for answers than to acquire piles of outside opinions.
Advice puts distance between you and your instincts and paves a path directly away from your authentic self. Learning instead to trust that you know your character, your strengths, your gifts and needs better than anyone else creates a strong and lasting internal foundation for decision-making you can stand behind, every time.
And THAT is what a coach will help you do.
It won’t always be easy — building a new perspective rarely is — and it will probably take longer than you’d like, but it will be worth it.
So, do you still want my two cents? I’d say seek out support along this path NOT from an advisor but from a cheerleader, facilitator, motivating force and gentle, compassionate listener.
And along the way, you’ll learn to be all of those things for yourself.