5 Tips for Coaching through Career Change

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A great career move is one that aligns somebody’s values, interests, strengths and skills, financial expectations, work-life balance and the other roles that they play (e.g. husband, wife, carer, parent). Helping someone identify how a new career change might impact different areas within their ‘system’ is key.

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One theme that as coaches, many clients come to us for is their career, including making a career change. So here are a few tips to keep in mind when supporting a client who is considering creating a new career for themselves.  

1. Help someone explore their motivation around pursuing a new career path. What is it that is driving them to pursue a different career? Is it because they are currently disengaged at work? Or perhaps is it because they’ve had a dream that they’ve always wanted to pursue? Helping the client tap into their motivation for making a change will help them reflect deeper and make the change successful when it happens.

2. Support them explore where they are in terms of the stages of career change. Some clients might know what their career change looks like and need your support in redefining their new role. Others might be unsure as to what their next step might be and need your support in experimenting with new possible selves and roles they see themselves doing. Clients will need different support depending on where they are on their stage of change. Make sure that you’re clear on where your client is and what type of support they want from you.

3. Don’t forget to engage a client through the Maintenance stage, i.e. the stage when the career change has been made and they’re settling into their new role or new career path. Choosing a new career and starting a new venture isn’t the end result. Even if you’re not coaching a client during that period it’s important to have had conversations around how they are going to sustain the change, take care of their wellbeing and to remain committed when things might not go as planned.

4. Look for alignment. A great career move is one that aligns somebody’s values, interests, strengths and skills, financial expectations, work-life balance and the other roles that they play (e.g. husband, wife, carer, parent). Helping someone identify how a new career change might impact different areas within their ‘system’ is key. Although you might not always achieve full alignment it’s important to help the client consider different areas their decision can have an impact on.
 
5. Note that even when a career change is planned there might be feelings of loss. Loss of identity, of certainty about the future, of control or of structure, amongst others. Help the coachee identify and explore these feelings and note that it’s okay to have them during a period of change.
 
If you’re interested in learning more about supporting clients through their career then our Certificate in Performance and Career Coaching is for you. It is a 2-Day course that covers the theory and practice of performance coaching and the way it can be leveraged to support individuals through career transitions. Find out more here and get in touch if you have any questions.

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