Successful Job Seekers Don’t Fly Solo

I hear it all the time: “It’s so competitive out there, how can I get a job in this market?” They look through the classifieds, search on the Internet, send out resumes and cover letters, and wait for something positive to happen. The sad truth is that most of the people who make this remark are going it alone in their job search while others are getting the jobs. The difference is outside support. The difference is coaching.

You don’t learn to drive a car by yourself. And you surely don’t learn to fly in splendid isolation. Why do people think they can find a job without help, particularly in today’s economy? Yes, it is competitive out there. When faced with competition, what do you do? You could struggle along and hope for the best, or you could give yourself a competitive edge. For those seeking work, a career coach could be exactly what you need to separate yourself from the crowd.

The Benefits of Working with a Career Coach

All evidence indicates that those who work with a career coach are more successful in their job search than those who don’t. Working with a career coach can shorten the search time. Successful job seekers who’ve worked with a career coach report a number of benefits that they received as a result of their coaching experience:

  • Applied job search skills, strategies, and tools; they had access to career advice when they needed it.
  • Conducted an organized job search plan implemented systematically one step at a time and superseded their previous hit-or-miss search.
  • Re-energized their job search when they received personalized suggestions from their coach.
  • Clarity, positivity, confidence, and self-esteem replaced confusion, negativity, self-doubt, and anger.

Additionally, they felt that the positive reinforcement they received from the coaching itself combined with other supporting materials made a major difference in their progress and morale. The result was an improved image and bearing when meeting people and interviewing.

How can you afford to work with a career coach?

4 Different Ways to Work with a Career Coach

The appropriate question may be whether you can afford to search in today’s job market without a coach.

If you’ve thought about working with a career coach but decided that you couldn’t afford it, think again. Career coaches offer a wide range of packages and opportunities that can make coaching affordable to their clients. If you haven’t worked with a career coach at all, you can “test drive” the experience in a couple of affordable ways that allow you to manage the risk and cost with your first experience.

1.   Career Support Groups. Meeting with a group of people who share the same experience as you are, trying to find a job in a tough market can be an immense help. Some community organizations and colleges offer in person groups. You can join an established group convened by a career coach or job search center, or you can work with a career coach to create a group for you and your jobless friends. Thanks to technology, more support groups or clubs meet virtually by teleconference, webcasts, webinars, and teleseminars. As gas and public transportation costs continue to rise, virtual groups are a great way to go.

An example of a virtual career and job search support group is our twice monthly Career Survival Coaching Club. It meets by telephone and is facilitated by a trained teleleader and career coach. Members receive handouts, MP3 recordings of the meetings, and an opportunity to have their questions answered. We hope to add webinars, videos, online self-study programs, a members’ forum, and expert guests. Our members always have the opportunity to request one-on-one time with the career coach at an additional price, if they want some intensive “laser” coaching on a specific problem or strategy.

2.   Buddy Up. If you do not want to meet with a group, but don’t want to go it alone, you can bring along a buddy or two. Coaches are open to facilitating small, individualized career support teams. You meet over the phone all or most of the time. You may occasionally meet in person if you can travel. Later, you could use a webcam to avoid the cost of travel. We can also add online coaching and training via our virtual signature program, The Art of Career Survival Program: Fearless Job Search for Life.

Most importantly, you and a couple of friends can work with a career coach and a job search program at an affordable cost. You share the cost and time with your buddies. Similar to the Career Club, you can schedule and pay for one-on-one coaching time to solve a particular challenge in your search.

3.  Job Search Self-Study. Sometimes a job seeker wants to learn and conduct their job search without too much help. They buy a book on job search and they use it to plan and manage their activities. Others like to listen to information and tips in their car from the CD player or their iPod. Many coaches create self-study programs as audio recordings and as handouts for their more independent clients. As technology continues to improve, career coaches are placing content from their job search coaching and training online, so job search clients can purchase an affordable program accessible 24/7. Sometimes, the program is offered with a couple of hours of personal career coaching online, by phone, or Skype.

4.  Individual Coaching Packages. When an individual feels that none of the first three coaching options will work for them and they would like more privacy and intensive care, they opt for individual coaching. Most career coaches create coaching packages that are differentiated by the number of calls or amount of time they meet with their clients, the different types of job search and career planning materials that they receive, and number of emails that are exchanged during the contracted coaching period. My company offers four coaching packages: Executive, Platinum, Gold and Silver. We require a three month commitment and contract.

Remember, finding a job is not based on luck. Finding a job requires having a strategy, a marketing plan, and supportive partners. These supportive partners may be people in your network, who refer you to job opportunities, and friends and family, who emotionally support you. But do not discount the value of a career coach or career counselor simply because you think that you can’t afford one. In this jobs market, you need to treat your job search like a business or full time job. A successful person builds alliances, seeks out experts to help them get results. Look at our website: and review and choose some of our different coaching services and products to help you find you next job fast.

Our goal is to help job seekers and career changers make 2011 “the year of the job!” Are you ready to take action now? Then go for it!

Please post your thoughts and comments. Also, if you want to publish this article or print to share, please keep this copyright permission statement with the article. These articles are joyfully shared to help others, but are not to be used for profit or sale to others. Copyright 2010 Bette Novak, LifePath Associates LLC.

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