The Value of Career Coaching and Its Effect on Productivity

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Athletes the world over have coaches. Yet, workers whose very livelihood depends on their ability to perform well on the job are often unaware of the merits of a career coach.

Career coaching has been shown to improve productivity and lessen stress. According to a recent study conducted by the International Personnel Management Association a combination of training and coaching increased productivity 88 percent.

Career coaching is geared towards workers and students who want to make a change in their career. When workers are uncertain what job to take or occupational direction to pursue they are prone to make mistakes. Choosing the wrong career path can be detrimental to one's livelihood. The value of career coaching is indisputable especially when it saves workers from loss in time and wages lost due to career mishaps. For instance, some people get stuck in a job that they dislike, which decreases their productivity and lowers their morale. On the other hand, many individuals take a job just for the sake of it without thinking of the long-term commitment and effect it will have on their lifestyle.

A career coach can help set the path straight for people who have inadvertently selected an occupational direction that doesn't match their interests, or aspirations. With a coach workers learn and understand what is their unique skill set, how to use it to clarify one's career path and align it in the right direction.

How does coaching work?

Coaching takes many forms that are beneficial to clients. At the very onset of coaching a relationship is built between client and coach. A foundation of trust is established between both parties. Trust is foremost in this relationship.

There is one-to-one interaction between both parties. The coach needs to utilize skills and strategies that are conducive to the client's needs and success. The outcome of the coaching session is central. As such, the client also needs to set reachable goals and chart a road map for attaining these goals. The duty of the coach is to make sure the client is on the right track. The client's progress is monitored by asking probing questions.

What happens in coaching sessions?

Coaching is an ongoing process. Sometimes clients accomplish goals in small steps at the onset while at other times targets are reached on a long-term basis. An example of a short-term goal would be to improve communication and self-confidence while a long-term goal would be to get a college degree in a major of their choice.

How can a worker prepare for a career change and work with a coach?

A client mindset is important in accomplishing goals. For instance, some individuals struggle with letting go of their past position especially during downsizing. They are unable to grasp the reasons for a lay off and as such they may harbor resentment or still cling to the job when it is time to move on and plan for the future. In order for coaching to be effective individuals have to change their mindset. Part of the client mindset involves keeping a positive outlook while being proactive when working with a coach.

Coaching: Case Study ?Time Management

A recent example is the case of Wilbert. During the intake session, Wilbert indicated that he wanted to improve his career and productivity at his job. He mentioned during the session that he had problems with time management. This was clear, as he was late for the appointment with the coach. He was stressed due to his job duties as director of an outdoor wilderness program for students with behavior issues.

Identity Skill Set and Assist with Time Management Issues

At the onset of the coaching, Wilbert received three assessments from the KNOWDELL? Card Sorts: Career Value, Motivated Skills and Job Style Indicator. He received these assessments on different occasions to help him concentrate on one skill set at a time. He was impressed with the assessments as they revealed his skills and how to develop skills, he previously averted.

The coach also developed a set of time management cards for Wilbert to use on the job. These cards were useful to him as he was able to better allocate his time.

Furthermore, the coach also used visual skills in the coaching session. At the direction of the coach Wilbert used a mind mapping diagram to pinpoint the present place in his career and identify key issues. The coach used this and other strategies to help Wilbert improve his productivity on the job. Each week Wilbert exhibited notable progress. His stress level decreased as he was able to map out his duties and rearrange his time. This decrease in stress provided more time for Wilbert to enjoy his personal life.

As a director Wilbert wanted to manage everything on his job although it was hurting his health. By using a graphic organizer he was able to map out his duties and rearrange responsibilities so that someone else could take over particular tasks so he could have time to concentrate on other tasks.

In evaluating his own progress through coaching, Wilbert shared in a recent session, "I feel better about accomplishing tasks on my job. I am more productive and less stressed. Coaching really helps me."

Wilbert is one of many clients that coaching helps. Each client is unique in their needs and goals. The value of career coaching is seen everyday in people who utilize this service.

Annmarie Edwards is a certified International Job & Career Development Coach. She works with individuals and businesses on career development. She is the author of 50 Ways to Maximize Your Potential and 50 Ways to Maximize Your Job Hunting. She has a BSC degree in education and also a MA degree. Presently she is a doctoral student at the University of Phoenix. For more information check out her website at or call her at (877) 645 -7670

Copyright ? 2005 by Annmarie Edwards. All rights reserved. Author gives permission for the use of this article as long as full credit is given.

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