Job hunting is tough today, and different than you may remember if you’ve been out of the market for awhile. No longer do you find an opening in the newspaper, apply, and wait for a phone call. A job search today requires strategy, focus, and commitment to the process — a sales and marketing process. Yes, I said it, a sales and marketing process and…
In short, looking for a job, your next career move or something to fill in the gap between your last job and your next career move — is a full-time job.
When you need help at home, with your car or for your health, you turn to a professional, right? So shouldn’t you put your career path in the hands of a professional too?
The right coach will provide the guidance you need to get to the next level. Working with you one-on-one, a good coach will help you to identify and clarify your career goals and develop a personalized plan for you to implement.
He or she should be with you every step of the way to keep you on track, which often includes day-to-day if not hour-to-hour contact when things heat up.
The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study, sponsored by the International Coach Federation, found that there were 47,500 professional coaches worldwide, compared to 2,100 professional coaches in 1999. In addition to career coaching, ICF represents executive coaches, life coaches, leadership coaches, relationship coaches, and other skilled coaching fields. According to the study, “most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities… Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment. The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent.”
For our career coaching clients, Sysazzle reviews and revises your resume to make sure it tells your story to a prospective employer; develops a winning cover letter you can adapt for multiple positions; assesses your online presence on social media to ensure consistency and professionalism; develops a portfolio that showcases your skills, talents and accomplishments; reviews your wardrobe so that you present yourself in the best light; and teaches you research, outreach, follow up and interview techniques and tactics so you’ll be successful in the job search process.
A Real Life Example: April 2014 – September 2014
One of Sysazzle’s coaching clients, Robert, is a mid-career IT professional who spent a year looking for the right position without any success. He was employed but wanted a new opportunity and a step up the career ladder, and thought a coach would help him to focus his efforts. Sysazzle began working with him and together they developed a personalized plan to market Robert in his search.
“At first, my coach spent time explaining the sales and marketing process and level of quantity and quality required to get hired; find that next career move. We created a baseline of activity and a high level plan. I then created a more granular plan and then I checked in with my coach for a few minutes every day to ask questions or get some guidance,” Robert said. “But once I had a better feel for the approach we spoke every few days or once a week. I have a 25-year career behind me but looking for a job is different now than it used to be, and there’s a whole new process I had to learn which included being vulnerable and getting out of my chair.
“The first thing we did was to fine tune my resume to highlight key aspects, skills and accomplishments that meshed with what my targeted companies were looking for. Then we drafted a cover letter that complemented my resume. We also developed a portfolio package that showcased my work that I could take to interviews and leave behind.
“At the same time as were putting the paperwork together, I was coached on the interview process itself — how to answer questions, how to ask the right questions, and how to be conversational instead of technical. We also covered how to follow up to stay on the screen instead of being forgotten: Things like what to say in handwritten notes, how long to wait to call back, and even how to drop in on someone I interviewed with while not seeming pushy. I learned that there’s a specific way to handle these situations, and knowing how to thread the needle is key.
“I found the position I was looking for — the right level of responsibility, in the location I wanted, with people I like and respect. Coaching taught me how to market and sell myself, and helped me get this job.”
Robert’s success is due to many factors, but especially the focus he placed on the search. The time he spent — about 40 hours over the course of four months – sharpening his interview skills and materials so that he could reach the next step in his career was an investment in his future.
The bottom line is that today you need to use every tool and resource at your disposal to make your job search a success. Other candidates are — and they’re getting hired! If you’re looking for a job, looking for a better job, or looking for a career instead of just a job, then you need a coach!
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