The job of being a  professional coach can be challenging. A professional coach is required to help their clients to set achievable goals towards the realisation of their professional objectives, whilst helping them to overcome any difficulties they may face in regard to their professional situation.

According to a study by the ICF Global Coaching Study in 2016, there are as many as 53,300 professional coaches worldwide in over conducted in 137 countries around the world.

A professional coach can provide support in a wide variety of different situations, whether it be to help you to change professions, prepare to enter the job market, develop new skills, and manage your work-life balance. It's for this reason that more and more individuals are seeking help from professional coaches worldwide.

Before beginning a professional coaching program, the first step is to define your objectives and set the expectations that you'll have through collaborating with a career coach.

Check our our tips to find a certified professional coach to help you fulfil your career goals.

Establishing goals in advance saves time.
Establish your coaching goals before contacting any coach. Source:  geralt

Client Expectations from working with a Professional Coach

Individuals face a variety of different challenges over the course of their professional development. Whether they are starting their own company, seeking a position as an senior executive, or looking to change careers completely, there are many reasons why people may seek advice and support from a professional career coach.

One of the most important expectations that clients will have towards a professional coach, is to listen attentively to their problems, and advise them provide them with the tools to overcome any issues with regard to their professional situation.

By practicing the 'chameleon policy', this allows professional coaches to adapt to each client's situation and provide personalised support.

A career coach will successfully be able to employ the coaching tools and practices they will have learned during their training, to help each individual client realise their goals and objectives.

A great professional coach will go beyond just listening to the client's problems, but will be perceptive and understanding, and get to know the client's sensibilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Before even seeking help from a professional coach, you'll have to have some idea of what you expect from your coaching sessions. This is particularly important when considering how much you are willing to pay and a professional coach's fees.

Here is a list of what to expect from a certified personal coach Toronto:

  • Attentive listening
  • Ability to ask pertinent questions
  • Ability to question oneself and others
  • Ability to analyse and make sense of a situation
  • Problem solving ability
  • Employment of coaching tools and skills
  • Honesty about the feasibility of a client's project
  • Open-minded
  • Excellent knowledge of the professional sphere
  • Ability to encourage and motivate clients

Another significant characteristic required from life coaching, be it from one-on-one coaching or in-company professional coaching is: objectivity. Professional coaches should never show judgment and always demonstrate the utmost respect for their clients. Coaches should be able to motivate their clients, and help them to develop self-confidence in the realisation of their goals.

Coaching sessions will often consist of practical exercises which will provide them with applicable skills to be applied in professional situations. For example, sessions can include practice speaking out, decision-making exercises and dealing with situations of conflict management.

This practice helps clients to apply a methodological approach to real life situations.

Find a personal development coach in your local area.

All parties must agree to the terms of the contract they agree to, even if that contract is verbal!
In-company coaching is an agreement between the coach, coachee and the employer. (by Rawpixel)

Define your situation before hiring a coach

In order to get the most out of professional coaching sessions, it's important to have a good idea of your own situation, your strengths and weaknesses, your goals and long-term objectives, and your skills and qualities that set you apart.

The coach cannot simply guess these things in order to be able to help you. The client - that is, you - must be able to clearly define what it is you wish to achieve.

A great exercise is to come up with a list of objectives or things that you wish to accomplish through your coaching sessions. That way you'll be prepared for your first session with your coach and you'll be able to know right off the bat whether they will be able to help you.

You'll also want to think about recurring problems or issues that you may be having. This involves a great deal of self-reflection. Do you have problems with self-assertion, a lack of confidence, difficulties with time management, or communication issues? An objective third party will be able to help give you the tools to overcome these problems.

Setting your objectives is the first step to take towards a successful professional coaching program. A coach can help you to define your objectives and set realistic goals, but ultimately this comes down to you.

Many coaches approach coaching sessions with the idea that the clients themselves have the capacity to overcome their issues on their own. Their job is simply to accompany them and provide advice and counsel on how to best overcome difficulties they may be facing in their professional life.

Different forms of support, be it change management, human resources, or marketing help the client to manage different aspects of their professional development.

Before signing a coaching contract, you'll want to make sure that you are willing to make the commitment to follow a coaching program over a set period of time, and whether investment in your time and money will be worth your while. Do you have a sufficient budget to pay an individual coach, a private coaching firm or a consultancy firm for professional coaching? Many companies also provide financial support for employees seeking to develop their skills in the workplace.

Career Coach: How to Set Achievable Goals

No matter what field we are working in or position we have, it's important to set achievable and reasonable goals in both the short and long-term.

We can define our objectives through three main categories:

  • Personality- related objectives 
  • Team dynamic related objectives
  • Interpersonal objectives 

Coaching can help individuals to work on personality related changes that can help the client to improve their professional situation. For example, to manage stress and improve their public speaking capacities.

Coaching can also help individuals to develop understanding of interpersonal relationships within a company, to improve their leadership capacities and communication abilities.

In-company coaching may help teams within teams, groups, and agencies to develop their team-working skills and help to build a greater cohesiveness within a team. Coaching can help to identify and communication issues and interpersonal frictions within a group setting through a series of practical exercises and methodologies.

Here are some important questions that may be addressed with in-company coaching:

  • What is the team response to an increase in salary granted to a senior executive instead of everyone else on the team?
  • How does the team handle individuals with a lack of professional skills?
  • What kind of conflict resolution measures can be implemented to ensure good team management?

Real-life problems encountered are dealt with in a clear and methodological way to provide solutions.

To find success as a life coach, you have to find clients to coach!
In order to succeed with a professional coach, you'll need to set your own objectives! (by Geralt)

How to Achieve Professional Success with a Career Coach

A professional coach should help you to set realistic expectations for yourself which take into account your personality and professional situation.

Bear in mind that it's coach's job to help you set realistic goals. If you aim to high for something that is not feasible or creates a challenge, then you risk facing failure which can sometimes be counterproductive.

By working with a professional coach, you'll be able to develop skills that will not only help you in the short-term but also with respect to your long-term career development and even across all aspects of your life.

A coach can help you to develop your knowledge in specific business fields, improve your communication skills and even develop your overall sense of confidence and self-worth. A coach may help you to realise your pipe dream of starting your own restaurant business or moving abroad to another country for a business opportunity! Just think of the possibilities that are available to you!

It's important to think about the possibilities and opportunities that are available to you, rather than fixating on the problems and blockages you face, and a coach can help you to do just that!

Are you convinced  that you need a professional coach? Visit our Superprof platform!


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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.