Home » Internships & Work Experience » 5 Hard Lessons I’ve Learned As A Career Coach

5 Hard Lessons I’ve Learned As A Career Coach

J.T. O’Donnell
June 14, 2016

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I’ve been a professional career coach since 2002. Over the last 10+ years, I have learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to be an effective career coach. [Click here to learn more about becoming a career coach.]

Back when I became a coach, the concept wasn’t as widely accepted as it is today. In fact, my clients were afraid to admit they were working with a career coach because they felt like it indicated there was something wrong with them. Today, we now understand career coaching isn’t a sign of weakness, but a path to greatness. It’s why all the top pro athletes and business executives use them. If you want to optimize your performance and achieve new levels of success and satisfaction in your career, it’s more than likely you’ll work with a coach at some point. Why? If you could do it on your own, you would have by now.

I Learned These Lessons The Hard Way

Having worked with literally thousands of people on their careers, I have learned some valuable professional lessons. In the beginning of my coaching career, I thought I could help everyone. I was wrong. You can only help people who are ready to be helped. I wasted hundreds of hours on people who just weren’t ready to succeed. I learned the hard way the following five things:

People only turn to career coaching when they are in pain.

School teaches us everything except how to manage our careers. As a result, nobody enters the professional world with the right set of skills and abilities to successfully manage their careers. Unfortunately, it isn’t until a person makes a major mistake or has a career setback that they seek coaching. Only then do they have the Ah-ha Moment that they need to close the gap in their knowledge and abilities so they can get back on track. Read more…

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