What’s next? After plucking up the courage to find out more about coaching, you have found a career coach that you like (very important to get this right) and your consultation call is scheduled. But you have no idea what to expect. Here are some tips to get you off to a great start.
1. Be prepared to tell your story
You have the benefit of a professional listening expert to focus on you, which can be a transformational experience, but your coach does not have mind-reading powers. They will only know as much about you as you tell them. In this context, it is useful to share where you are in your career, how you got there and what direction you think you might want to go next. It’s okay not to have all the answers, after all that’s why you are here in the first place.
2. Have questions ready
Reflecting in advance what you want to get out of your coaching experience helps shape the questions you may want answered. These could be “big picture” questions about your career values or granular details such as how to end your covering letter. The size of the question is not important – but having some idea of what it is you are looking for will help you get more from your first call.
3. Make notes
It is very common for coaches to make some notes during your sessions, especially as it aids as a memory-jogger of something to come back to and therefore avoids interruptions when you are talking. Having the resources to hand to take your own notes is especially valuable as often things will come to mind when you are talking. So, note down anything that resonates, strikes you as interesting or simply pops into your mind – these notes will aid your reflection and success.
4. Have realistic expectations
Goals should be aspirational but how realistic is your dream? Think about the time-frame you are hoping to achieve your goals, the resources you already have and the things you still need to reach your dream. Do you think that one meeting with a career coach will make you a multi-millionaire by the end of the session or shoot you to instant fame? No, but your coach will help you set reasonable steps and strategies to work realistically towards your dream goals. You will almost certainly have tangible takeaways – some obvious ones such as an action plan or tips and strategies – but many others are less obvious. Expect lots of self-reflection and you should be leaving your session with a better sense of what your interests, skills and values are, too.
With the right steps, we have unlimited possibilities.
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