One option that is not discussed as much are career coaches. The fact that they cost money is probably one of the reasons but, if you are able find an affordable one, they can be very helpful. If you have been thinking about hiring a coach, the best place to start is word-of-mouth.
Make use of your networking contacts or other people you know to find out if there are any fairly priced and quality career coaches in your area. As a rule of thumb, you should look for the following five aspects when picking a coach:
- All coaches should undergo a comprehensive assessment of your skills before you start. How else will they know your strengths and weaknesses?
- You should never get the impression that the individual is focused more on their issues than figuring out how to best improve your career skills.
- Psychology plays a big role in getting a job, and many coaches do have backgrounds in this practice. It shouldn't dominate your time together, however, so don't stick with a coach who is only interested in discussing your psychological issues.
- Boundaries are important in any professional relationship. Your discussions together should never spill into anything more personal than your job search.
- Arguably the most important factor in deciding on a career coach is your comfort level with him. If it doesn't feel right, you aren't going to get the most out of your lessons, which is a waste of time for both you and the coach.