Student Career Coaching: A Smart Choice
By Virginia Graham
Career Coaching, well established in the executive world, is now becoming the smart choice for ambitious young people who want to ensure they are on the fast track to a career that is suited to their abilities, values, and interests.
Career Coaching can save the emotional and financial cost of switching direction later by helping students carefully choose their educational and career paths, and by helping them succeed in the application process.
Many young people find the vast number of choices overwhelming.
Caring parents watch their children struggling with indecision and interpret it as a lack of ambition. They express their concern only to find a breakdown in communication. It is a common pattern that may lead them to a school career counsellor, who, they soon discover, is overwhelmed herself with hundreds of students to care for. Career Coaching can be the life jacket that both a parent and child are seeking.
Much like an athletic coach, a career coach helps students identify their goals and stay on track until they are reached. Unlike school guidance or career centre counsellors, a personal career coach can offer a “white glove” service. Staying by a client until they have a school acceptance letter in their hand.
Most Career Coaching begins with a free consultation to determine if the client and coach want to proceed further.
A common first step is to administer an assessment tool that can help narrow down a client’s career interests. A test to determine natural abilities may be offered as well.
The next step is a vital one. The client is engaged in a brainstorming session, during which carefully placed questions help reveal career possibilities. Lifestyle and values are given consideration at this time. Clients may then be introduced to working professionals to help with the decision making process.
When a career direction has been identified, a search for the best educational placement begins. School programs are carefully researched and matched to the client’s needs.
Once several school programs have been selected, the application process begins. A career coach can help with supplementary application forms, resumes, letters and interview preparation. The client is guided each step of the way, meeting important deadlines.
Help can be sought during High School, a gap year, post-secondary studies or immediately following graduation. At any of these stages, a Career Coach can step in, help with goal setting, offer encouragement and shed light on possibilities. It is a smart choice that can lead to a happy educational experience and a fulfilling career.
It is no wonder that Career Coaching is catching on in the student population and is no longer just for the exclusive use of executives. A good investment? Absolutely.