Can Hiring an Executive Coach Help with a Job Hunt?

Lately, instead of hearing ‘My therapist says…’ we are hearing corporate go-getters making statements more in the line of: ‘My coach said…’. Executive coaches are gaining popularity and not only for employed executives. The global economic downturn has not only culled the confidence levels of a large chunk of the workforce, but has also left many of them jobless and directionless.

From high-flying executive to low-level home maker, in seven words ‘Sorry, we have to let you go’ are the dreaded words preceding time aimlessly spent at home, and followed by weeks, months, or even years of job hunting. Some of the people on the receiving end of this sentence have been loyal to their employers for decades and have to start all over again, figuring out trends and reworking their CVs. No matter how good you are at your job, sometimes the job hunt can be nothing short of terrifying.

Almost Like Plumbing

Ever had a blocked toilet? Of course you have, but chances are that you did not for one moment consider unblocking it yourself. You called a plumber, right? It’s the same when you take your computer to an IT repairs person to fix, or consult a doctor if you have health problems. Why not hire a professional to help you get back to being gainfully employed?

Why Not Indeed

Can Hiring an Executive Coach Help with a Job Hunt?If somebody can help you feel like an ambitious successful executive again, surely they must be worth every penny. Let’s look at what an executive coach can do for somebody not employed. A coach can:
• Help you strategize
• Get you up-to-date with the latest trends in the working world
• Improve confidence levels
• Guide you in terms of practical next steps (e.g. update your CV and skills, join LinkedIn etc.)
• Hold you accountable

And believe it or not, having a coach might actually look good on your CV.

Why It Is Not Always a Good Idea

Unfortunately, there could be a downside to hiring an executive coach to help you pave your way forward with new employment. The first potential stumbling block is cost. Good executive coaching takes time, and time takes money. Secondly, it is a relatively new and thus still unregulated industry. There are no industry standards to adhere to and the qualifications required to practice are debatable. Lastly, there is the matter of industry-specific experience; if you have many years experience in a particular industry, you will have knowledge that a coach coming from a different industry does not have. Although there are generic market trends and things like self esteem, and interview skills that are relatively standard, many aspects of successful job hunting is industry specific.

Other Options

If you have the means and are able to find a reputable executive coach, go for it. If not, consider trying some of the following small, but effective actions to get back on the career track:

• Hire a copywriter to spruce up your CV and help with some covering letters
• Network; join online forums and social networking sites to meet people in the industry
• Update your qualifications and skills

Whether you hire a coach or not, make sure that you are self-assured; confidence the number one ingredient to a successful interview. In between interviews, do something that builds self esteem; go on a motivational course, start rock climbing, volunteer at an animal shelter, or simply use daily affirmations. Good luck!