Author Topic: Career coaches - worth it?  (Read 3857 times)

ChairmanKaga

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Career coaches - worth it?
« on: August 17, 2016, 12:31:32 PM »
I'm tired of my work. My career. Just plain burned out. I've been here for 8 years and now make about $80k a year with GREAT benefits, so it's sort of the Golden Handcuffs. Even though I love this company and I know the work we do is important and meaningful, I find no enjoyment in MY work. I don't enjoy the vast majority of what I'm responsible for, and I don't feel I'm doing a great job as a result. I know what I do enjoy, and GREAT at, and would like to do, and I have a vague notion of what that title is, but it's essentially in a totally different field, although an area I do have quite a bit of practical experience in. I have 20 years experience as a sort of jack of all trades. 

I brought this up to a friend who suggested a career coach. I signed up with the coaching agency she suggested, which is from I can tell is the most reputable agency in the city, for a free 30-minute consultation. From what I can gather contracting their services ain't cheap, though. How not cheap, I don't know yet. They talk about "to find yourself in a fulfilling career, the cost is well worth the investment" on their website, though. Investment to me means $,$$$. I digress.

However I just feel completely stuck. Unmotivated. Often depressed. Not fulfilled. Tired. I need a career change. The thought of doing this same sort of work for another 10 years, let alone 25, just makes me... sad. I HAVE to do something. I think I'd be happier doing manual labor than what I do now.

For what it's worth, I also don't particularly enjoy living in Austin these days, between the horrendous traffic and insane cost of living, so I'm open to moving to wherever a new career might take us. My wife, however, doesn't want to move. At all. Not from the city, not from our house. She's burned with her job too, but I think she's scared of the vast unknowns that come with relocation. This is a separate situation, however...

Tjat

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 04:57:41 PM »
Have you tried applying to a job in the field you are interested in? Sounds you have some experience, so it's not like it would be ridiculous to do so (barring degree need or something). I'm skeptical that career coaches are anything but a way to part with your money. They presumably have no connections to real industry and sell confidence boosting empty talk that is meant to convince you that you are "special"

ETA - I place a strong value on those who successfully work AND career coach, less so on those who successfully work AS A career coach.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 05:21:15 PM by Tjat »

Goldielocks

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2016, 05:36:21 PM »
A good career coach should give you the interest and personality and skill surveys / tests to help you understand your strengths and interests.  If you have not done these yet, then a short investment now could be worth it.

You can take some of the same on line (if you pay)...   Decide now what this could be worth to you.

I don't recommend Career coaches for extended time, however.  6 weeks should be more than enough.

Pigeon

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 07:44:57 PM »
I would be highly suspicious of career coaches.  I know two people who claim to do that, and they are both people who were losers at work and have no particular qualifications.

I would think about what you like doing and spend some time on job search websites like glassdoor or indeed reading job ads until you figure out what type of position interests you.

PFHC

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 08:15:08 PM »
I, as well, am wary of career coaches. Seems to be a good set up for someone who is just looking to make a buck off of another's hardships.

My advice would be to make a significant change, tomorrow. Nothing shocks the system out of a funk like that. Something big. Here's a few off the cuff ideas:
  • start training for a challenging physical activity: marathon, triathlon, the Appalachian Trail
  • start a side job business
  • take a sabbatical
  • spike your mouse and do something else for a year... you can always go back
  • pick up an instrument
  • write a book
  • start performing at an open mic
  • pick up an intense hobby (woodworking, crossfit, road biking, sailing, knitting, whatever)

That's what does it for me. If you are feeling listless, its because you need something to do. So, find that something, and do the shit out of it. Like my signature says, get busy doing.

Charger

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 10:13:01 PM »
So, find that something, and do the shit out of it.

This belongs on a T-shirt. :)

I agree with the others though. When my wife and I ended up working for the same company (she just started, I had almost a decade in) it just felt... wrong. I enjoyed the people, I love my wife, but something about combining the two in a daily routine outside of the home just didn't click. It felt like I couldn't "do anything" creative or fulfilling without it looking like a competition.

You can't put a price on happiness. Find something.. anything, that puts a smile on your face in the morning.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 03:51:03 AM »
I found the book 'Do what you are' which is based on MBTI personality types incredibly helpful the last time I was going through a career-funk. When I was looking at career coaching (my work paid for one session for 'high performers', haha) the first thing they did was an MBTI assessment.

Grogounet

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2016, 04:17:00 AM »
If you have a library next to you, borrow a career book... or 2 :-)
I suggest also some google research and TED videos on "Find what you love":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVsXO9brK7M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpe-LKn-4gM

One of my preferred one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKlx1DLa9EA

They all say the same thing but differently

Then, maybe spend a bit of a time with career coach... but... It's like investments, you do your own research first, then test what a professional tells you and then make your own decision

chasesfish

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2016, 05:48:54 AM »
You don't need a career coach.  You need to figure out what you like to do on your own.

80k/year + benefits aren't big handcuffs

CP842

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 05:52:59 AM »
You can meet with a "career coach" for free at your nearest Workforce Center: http://www.careeronestop.org/localhelp/local-help.aspx

Never, ever, ever pay for any of that stuff, including getting your resume written or taking career/skills inventory assessments. 




gooki

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 05:59:38 AM »
And reach out to family/friends/a professional in regards to the depression.

rothwem

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 06:51:12 AM »
I would be highly suspicious of career coaches.  I know two people who claim to do that, and they are both people who were losers at work and have no particular qualifications.

Better yet--You should BE a career coach!!

snogirl

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 07:18:10 AM »
I, as well, am wary of career coaches. Seems to be a good set up for someone who is just looking to make a buck off of another's hardships.

My advice would be to make a significant change, tomorrow. Nothing shocks the system out of a funk like that. Something big. Here's a few off the cuff ideas:
  • start training for a challenging physical activity: marathon, triathlon, the Appalachian Trail
  • start a side job business
  • take a sabbatical
  • spike your mouse and do something else for a year... you can always go back
  • pick up an instrument
  • write a book
  • start performing at an open mic
  • pick up an intense hobby (woodworking, crossfit, road biking, sailing, knitting, whatever)

That's what does it for me. If you are feeling listless, its because you need something to do. So, find that something, and do the shit out of it. Like my signature says, get busy doing.

That is bad@$$ awesome. 
My very limited experience (I tried it prior to paying $).
One was a friend who breaking into career coaching.
The other was through my college who offers free services to Alumni.
The bottom line was it all falls back onto the seeker ie. me or in your case, you.
There is no person or magic that can make us to do anything.
Unless I guess, there is a factious gun to our heads or we are in enough pain.
It all comes from within via self discovery.
It takes work yet is super fun and adventurous on the journey.  I found I didn't need to pay someone for that.

ender

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 07:18:40 AM »
The best career coach is a mentor figure who actually has "made it" in industry.

Finding someone who is doing the types of things or has a lifestyle you want -- not someone who couldn't make it.

I learned more from meeting with the experienced folks in my first job (all of whom pretty much retired now, but when I left the company basically gave me a blanket "stay in touch, let me know if you want to chat more" encouragement) than I ever could from some BS career coach.




ChairmanKaga

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 09:23:11 AM »
Thanks for the insight. I'll still take the free assessment they offer, but I don't think I'm going to hire them.
The issue with the job/career I seem to want is that it's sort of a nascent thing. Folks are just realizing they need creative problem solvers to help determine solutions. I also know many employers still LOVE to throw money at consultants who just implement off the shelf tech without ever assessing internal processes that COULD solve the problem without new tools.
Anyway, I'm using some connections in a local digital professionals group on Facebook and am trying to meet people who actually do this, and find out how they got their jobs. I just thought the career coaches, who come recommended by the way, would have some additional insight into this murk.

Eric

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2016, 08:09:15 AM »
I would be highly suspicious of career coaches.  I know two people who claim to do that, and they are both people who were losers at work and have no particular qualifications.

Better yet--You should BE a career coach!!

So I'm not the only one who thinks Pigeon is a loser.  ;)

Smokystache

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2016, 01:41:48 PM »
Don't know if you're a college graduate or not, but many colleges and universities will provide free career counseling/advising/assessments for alums. Or at least at a very reduced rate compared to what you would find from a private career coach. Of course, this also assumes you're within a reasonable distance from your alma mater.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2016, 08:47:19 AM »
I agree with the wariness of most of the responders here - "Career Coach" is not a protected term - so basically anyone can call themselves a career coach and charge you for their "services."  Many (but not all) folks who have doctoral degrees in counseling psychology (but not necessarily clinical psychology) are actually trained on how to appropriately use personality and interest questionnaires, as well as talking with you, to point you in the direction of some career fields that might work for you.  The best bang for your buck would be to go to a local university and see if they have doctoral level counseling psychology students being trained in career counseling - you could get this career counseling for free (especially if you're a student) or very low cost if you meet with a doctoral student.  Although you might worry about meeting with someone in training, you're likely getting more attention and care than you would otherwise because the student is going to be putting a lot of effort in since they're learning, and they'll be supervised by someone with experience - so you get double attention.  Just a thought, although might not be feasible depending on where you live.

RonMcCord

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Re: Career coaches - worth it?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2016, 04:40:30 PM »
From what I've seen, career coaches online either 1) Are successful because they charge so much that only people seriously who were serious about a job change would put that much money down.  2) Breed more career coaches or similar "success stories" and/or 3) Telling people to do the obvious.