Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Susan Guarneri, a career coach who’s so devoted to her craft that she took about an hour to talk about this subject on her birthday. Susan is the holder of a host of coaching certifications, including the National Certified Counselor and National Certified Career Counselor certifications; is co-author of Job Search Bloopers: Every Mistake You Can Make on the Road to Career Suicide…and How to Avoid Them with Laura DeCarlo; and is the mind behind the Career Goddess blog.
In a wide-ranging conversation, we touched on the subject of career coaches and what a job seeker ought to know about career coaches. It was a very informative conversation and hope you see something of value here, too. So without further ado, let me present Susan Guarneri, the Career Assessment Goddess!
Q: What should a job seeker expect when working with a career coach?
A: There’s a widespread misconception that coaches fix problems. It’s about collaboration. It’s about two minds coming together. A good coach invites interactivity with the client. And it’s important to talk with a person and find chemistry. It’s about being able to establish trust.
Q: Can you enlarge upon “accountability plan?”
A: An accountability plan moves you closer to your goal in the coaching process. Homework from a counselor is part of an accountability plan. Each person’s needs are different and counseling must be responsive to unfolding developments.
Q: What should a job seeker know about career coaches?
A: Be sure you are dealing with a professional who does have training and certifications. Several programs are accredited by the International Coach Federation, the largest global association for coaches. Caution may be warranted for those billing themselves as coaches who lack the appropriate credentials. Susan Whitcomb, author of eight books about job search and career management, is President of Career Coach Academy, which also offers well regarded programs for career coaches.
Q: What questions should a job seeker not ask of a coach?
A: Prospects often ask, what is your success rate? Coaches are not recruiters; they do not find interviews for you or “place” you in a job. Coaches guide clients through a collaborative process that often includes client insight and deeper awareness, relevant research strategies and tools, and action steps to reach the client’s stated goals.
Q: In your experience as a career counselor, what else should job seekers do that many don’t know to do?
A: Uncover and express their personal brand to capture the prospective employer’s attention in an extremely competitive job market. Microsoft released a survey in December 2009 that found 79% of hiring managers and recruiters in the U.S. conduct online searches of prospective candidates and 70% of those employers and recruiters have ruled out candidates based on what they found online. One immediate way to take charge of your personal brand is to buy your domain name. For less than one dollar a month, you can have your own domain name.