An article from the Boston Globe warns career changers anad job seekers to be careful when choosing a career coach. Read more here.
The fact that the industry is unregulated doesn’t bother me. Even when an industry is regulated (such as the medical field) you have to follow the guideline of “Buyer Beware.”
Too few career books offer solid tips about hiring a coach to work with you. I would suggest the following:
(1) Talk to a few career coaches. See which makes the most sense for you.
While some coaches still offer free get-acquainted calls, busy coaches just don’t have time. I would rather pay for a trial hour than get a free consultation and end up in a big program.
(2) The article referred to someone who paid $200 for a resume makeover. That’s cheap! Executives should expect to pay $500 and up. Your experience is complicated and your coach or counselor needs time to explore your background.
(3) The biggest waste of money isn’t related to the competence of the coach, unless you chose a real dud. Typically, I find people spend money to hire me but then realize they (a) don’t have time to do the work or (b) don’t want to do the work.
Career change is not a matter of connect the dots. It’s messy. You have to do a lot of things you aren’t used to doing. You may have to sacrifice personal time.
If your company demands that you work 60-80 hours a week, figure out how you will find time to change careers. When a client says, “I can talk to you only on evenings and weekends,” I have to wonder how that client will find time for informational interviews.
Carving out time from a tight corporate schedule can be a challenge. You need to talk to a consultant who will appreciate the culture of your company. And be realistic. If there’s no way to make time, you may have to save up your money and just take time off.
Check out the Mid-Life Career Change Guide: 21 Day Extreme Career Makeover.