Career Coaching: How to prepare for your session
In this article:
- Define Your Needs
- Take The Time To Reflect
- Review Your Resume
- Prepare Your Questions
- Shift Your Focus to Growth
- Open Yourself Up to Feedback
Life is full of difficult choices, none more important than the careers we choose to pursue. With the average person spending 40 hours a week working, choosing the right career can mean the difference between experiencing occupational burnout and growing a sustainable career that continues to keep you growing. This is where career coaching is an important experience in guiding you to choosing the right career for you.
In 2022, studies have shown that occupation burnout is at an all time high with two-thirds of full-time employees having experienced it at some point in their careers. One of the best ways to combat burnout is to ensure the work you do feels meaningful to you, ensuring that you are able to learn, grow and stay relevant in your field.
The good news is that career coaching has been shown to reduce burnout by 52% by providing clear guidance by a career expert with actionable feedback helping you to define your career path.
Whether you are preparing for an upcoming coaching session or deciding whether career coaching is right for you, we have an easy to follow preparation guide to help you prepare for or decide whether coaching is right for you.
SPOILER ALERT: It definitely is!
How to prepare for a career coaching session
Depending on where you are in your career, you’ll undoubtedly have different needs for your coaching session. With so many different facets to focus on we understand that preparing for your career coaching session can seem like a daunting task. That’s why we’ve broken it down into six easy steps for you to follow and best prepare to make the most of your session.
1. Define your needs
Ahead of your coaching session you’ll need to define your expectations. What are you hoping to achieve from this session? Whether that be an update to your resume, developing an elevator pitch or receiving expert career advice on your next career steps, this helps you get the most from your session and provide more clarity for your coach.
2. Take the time to reflect
Take the time to reflect on your growth and experience up to this point. Taking stock of where you’ve come from can be a great help in deciding where you want to be, be honest with yourself here. Working through the following questions will help guide you through this first step:
- What do you most enjoy doing?
- What are you naturally good at?
- What do other people say are your strengths?
- Which of your jobs have you enjoyed the most?
- Which of your jobs have you least enjoyed and why?
- What’s important to you in a job?
3. Review your resume
Regardless of what you’ve identified as your session focus, updating your resume ahead of your career coaching session is a necessary step.
Don’t spend too much time trying to make it perfect, all your resume will be used for in this context is to provide an overview of your career so that your coach has a clear picture of who you are and how your career has progressed thus far. If you’ve identified that a resume review would be most beneficial for you, it’s still a good idea to follow this step so that your coach can use your session to guide you in editing and polishing over creating your resume from scratch.
Top tip: Be sure to share your resume with your coach ahead of time, this helps them gain a better understanding of where you are in your career journey.
4. Prepare your questions
Your coaching session is yours to direct, to help you get the most out of your coach’s time be sure to come prepared with questions you’d like answered.
After completing steps one and two, you should have a clear understanding of what you’d like your session to help you achieve - if you’re stuck, take a look at the questions below that will help get you on your way:
- How can I build on my strengths?
- How can I use my weaknesses to sell myself?
- How can I make myself stand out from my competitors?
- How can I best use networking to grow?
- What would you advise I work on after our session?
5. Shift your focus to growth
If you’ve scheduled your career coaching session you’ve already taken your first steps towards career growth, now it’s time to shift your focus towards the growth you want to achieve.
If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ve already defined your needs and conducted your self-assessment, putting you in the perfect mind set to define what growth looks like for your career. Having a clear idea as to where you want to grow will help you get the most out of your coaching session.
If this question seems too big to answer on your own, don’t worry this is something your career coach can help you work through and define.
6. Open yourself up to feedback
You’re meeting with a career coach as they are an expert in their field and have experience in guiding others towards making needed changes in their careers, keep this in mind when receiving feedback.
While it can be jarring to be advised towards a career path you haven’t previously considered, it’s important to remember that growth does not come from your comfort zone. In fact, your comfort zone is what is stunting your growth!
Keep your mind open to any and all feedback your coach gives you, but know that this is simply their expert opinion and while they do have years of experience this is your career you’re discussing so don’t be afraid to question their suggestions while you remain open to hearing their thoughts.
Following the steps we’ve laid out above will help to guide you through the work you need to do ahead of your career coaching session and while we advise that you follow them we know that time can often be a constraint. Should you not have the time to complete all the above steps, try to focus on reflecting and defining your needs, reviewing your resume and developing a list of questions to ask your coach during your session. Walking into your session with a structure you’ve developed will help to keep your session focused on what you’ve defined as your key areas and help your coach guide you through any changes or updates you need to make to achieve your goals.
Should you not have a career coaching session booked and are interested in learning more about how Wizco can connect you with the career coach you need to guide you through building the career of your dreams, take a look here - Wizco Career Coaching
You’ve just taken your next steps towards succeeding in your career, be sure to take a look at the Wizco Blog for more insider tips and tricks and walk into every growth opportunity prepared.
It pays to be prepared!
The Wizco Team