At CABA we talk a lot to people about career coaching. But if we haven't yet spoken to you about the benefits of coaching, here's what you need to know.

Benefits of career coaching

Career coaching can help in many ways, whether you want to find employment, move jobs or simply to be happier in your current job. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some ways a career coach could help you:

Behaviours and obstacles

  • Analyse how your work affects the rest of your life
  • Identify issues, both personal and professional that may be affecting you at work
  • Help you change negative thought and behaviour patterns at work
  • Overcome obstacles that are holding you back at the office

Skills and goals

  • Assess your strengths and skills and find ways to make the most of them
  • Find out what type of job, role or organisation might make you happy
  • Help you become clear about achieving the next step in your career
  • Compile a realistic set of goals and a plan of action
  • Find beneficial new skills or qualifications to work towards

Job hunting and career change

  • Help with job hunting (including creative ways of finding opportunities) and dealing with recruitment agencies, CV/cover letter writing and application form completing
  • Find ways to stand out from the crowd when competing with other job seekers
  • Brush up your interview skills and help you make a good impression
  • Look at how to manage redundancy and move into a new position quickly
  • Help with starting your own business

A career coach can also help boost your confidence and provide insight, inspiration and encouragement at times during your career when you need them. For instance, you may realise you're not being challenged at work, and feel unmotivated and unfulfilled as a result. But you may not have a clue what you should do about it or feel there's no other alternative.

The help you can get from career coaching isn't any more relevant to any particular type of person, industry or career level. Indeed, you can be at any stage of your career to benefit from it. You may be starting out in the world of work and having difficulties finding your way. You may be at a major crossroads in your career - perhaps you're thinking of doing something completely different and don't know where to start. You may even be at the height of your career success.

Whatever your situation, if you're unhappy at work and you're not sure what to do about it, career coaching can help you find out what you really want from your job and explore ways of getting it.

What happens during a session?

Most people have face-to-face sessions with a career coach, but many coaches also offer phone or email coaching, or even sessions via Skype or instant messaging. A typical face-to-face or phone session lasts anything between 45 - 60 minutes, and while most people have 1 session a week, some have 1 every couple of weeks or even just once a month.

The first session is all about your coach finding out who you are and what you want out of your career and life in the future. They will ask you lots of questions and - in some cases - give you questionnaires or surveys to complete that will help them get a better picture of your aims, strengths and values.

At the end of each session your coach may also give you 1 or more tasks to help take you a step closer to meeting your career goals. How many sessions you'll need will depend on your circumstances and your objectives.

If you're looking for a coach and don't have a recommendation from a friend or colleague, it's a good idea to make sure the person you choose is accredited by a professional body such as the International Coach Federation, Association for Coaching or the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.

How can CABA help?

Whether you are in or out of work, we are here to support you with your career. Our face-to-face, online and telephone career coaching is available not only to qualified ICAEW members, but their families and ACA students too. We work with our specialist partners to provide a range of support - from CV and interview advice and help facing redundancy through to returning to work after a break, and self-employment and retirement. 

To find out more about how our career development support could help you, speak to a member of CABA's support team.