In job searches, exhaust free options before paying for a pro

Tuesday, September 29, 2009, AM | 2 Comments

With job searches now averaging 25 weeks, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who doesn’t want help marketing themselves? You can do that yourself. You would know it, one way or another, in a few weeks whether the free path to get a job is working or not.

I personally don’t like the big resume-posting boards like monsters and the like, even though I have submitted my resume to them and I update my resume every year. Sometimes I feel like I have sent it to a black-hole never to see the light of the day.

But there are niche boards that cater to a specific field of your career. I think you might be able to get a job through the niche-carved boards. You should Google for those kinds.

If you do have to hire a professional, they don’t come cheap, mind you. Any time there is an economic downturn, career coaching spikes. But like anything else, quality varies from one entity to another. You just have to do your research to find a good coach.

This is what career-coaching can do for you

  • It helps you clarify your job goals and develop strategies to reach them. Many folks are quite weak in this area to begin with.
  • It may include assessments, and discussions.
  • You can go through a whole process with someone, or just get targeted advice on one particular area.

When do you need career-coaching?

  • A good coach can be helpful if your job search is lagging or you are getting discouraged.
  • Part of the coach job, after all, is to keep you on task.
  • A coach may also make sense if you are transitioning to a new career, returning to the workforce, or
  • Trying to advance within a company.

In such cases, an outsider may help you focus your efforts and identify necessary skills.

How do you find a good career-coach?
If you want to pursue individual coaching, and not waste your money, some due diligence can help ensure that your money is well spent. Start by asking for referrals, both from people you know and a professional group in your industry.

Interview them to find out about their experience, success rates, and typical clients. Be wary of coaching certifications. Instead, look for a master’s in counseling psychology, human resources, or organizational leadership. More than anything else, speak with past clients about their experiences and, finally, request a free initial session.

In a Nutshell
Career-coaching sessions average over $160 an hour, according to the International Coach Federation trade group, and clients typically use three to six visits.

So explore free options first. Most colleges offer their alumni gratis meetings, by phone or in-person, with the trained staffers in their career offices. Professional organizations also sometimes offer seminars to members.

What do you think?

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  1. 2 Responses to “In job searches, exhaust free options before paying for a pro”

  2. By Polprav on Oct 17, 2009, 10:37 am | Reply

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  3. By Shafi on Oct 18, 2009, 3:17 pm | Reply

    Sure you can.

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