Tips on finding and selecting the right career coach


The benefits of coaching apply to anyone, from recent grad to executive professional, and in any area of life, whether it’s career-related, personal coaching or at the corporate level. Change isn’t easy to do alone and it helps to have someone who doesn’t let you give up and who is there for you when you need it.

If you’re thinking about coaching, for life or for work, the following websites are a good place to start.

The International Coach Federation has a detailed searching process that lets you pick everything from the area they specialize in to communication methods to professional background.

Coaches Canada lets you search by region of Canada for what you want.

How I found my coach

ICF is the site I used because of its network and information on its accreditation program. There are many different training programs and credentials for the different styles of coaching. If you take a different approach, do a little research to make sure you know your coach’s certification.

When I found my coach, I did it in my usual way: an extended period of decision-making and then, when I was ready, I jumped in with the person I felt the best connection to.

Connection is the Number 1 thing you need to have with your coach. After all, this person is going to delve into your mind and look at your goals, your values, your dreams. You need someone you trust and feel comfortable revealing secrets to. When you find the right person, you’ll know – your personalities mesh, they understand you and they follow through with you.

What you should consider when choosing your coach

Everyone is different, but you should interview a number of people (more than three).

Coaches specialize in different areas, charge different rates and have very different styles. They should all offer a complimentary session so you can get a feel for how they work and ask them any questions you might have.

Check out their credentials, ask for references and get to know how their fee structure works. Some want payment for X number of sessions upfront or expect a commitment of at least 3 months, so find what works best for you.

I think it’s essential to find someone who specializes in the 20-30 age-bracket, because it’s a different lifestyle.

Remember, they’re there to help you accomplish your own goals, not accomplish them for you

It isn’t always easy. I left crying four sessions in a row, but that’s what coaching is for – helping you move through the obstacles standing between you and what you want.

Click here to read about Courtney’s experience so far with her own career coach, Angie.

About the author

Courtney John-Reader , as a realtor, says she constantly sees the importance of networking and self-promotion, things she was exposed to frequently in a competitive business program. She thinks volunteering is an essential part of life and self-development and hopes to expand her involvement in real estate to related industries in the next year, while also pursuing her creative interests in the arts. She believes we should expect great things from ourselves and be engaged in life, no matter where it travels to or what it demands.