Starting your career or changing career paths can be incredibly intimidating! Our jobs and the companies and organisations we work for become such a significant  part of our lives. It's estimated that we spend one third of our lives at work, or 90,000 hours on average in a lifetime.

This is why so many individuals find it hard to take a step back from their jobs and change positions if they feel unhappy or dissatisfied with their work. So many people lack self-confidence and have a hard time matching their skills and personality with a position that is suitable for them. As such, more and more people are seeking help from a professional coach, who can help orient them towards a suitable career path.

Choosing a professional coach and deciding on your budget, is not always an easy task, personal coach Vancouver. So how do you select the best coach for you? Check our our tips and these personal development courses on Superprof to find out more.

reality and options are reversed in this GROW model
According to the  GROW model of coaching, reality and options are reversed. Source: TheDigitalArtist

Define your professional goals

Before meeting with a professional coach, it's important to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish and your professional goals and ambitions. Professional coaches are there to help their clients develop the confidence and skills to better their professional lives. They may help their clients manage specific situations, such as how to improve their work-life balance, improve their work performance, develop their self-confidence and change career paths.

There are different forms of professional coaching, including individual coaching, group coaching or team coaching within a business unit or business coaching.

As the world of work  has becoming increasingly competitive around the world, people are experiencing greater levels of stress in their professional environment. The importance of well-being and satisfaction at work has becoming increasingly important in recent years with respect to the recent management style development. Here are the most common reasons for seeking help from a Professional coach

  • Managing work-related stress
  • How to maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • How to improve efficiency at work
  • How to conduct market studies
  • How to change career paths
  • How to move up in the company/ career ladder
  • Improve confidence
  • Become a senior executive

Both personal and professional coaching can therefore be considered as a  "catch-all" term which can be beneficial for any number of reasons, including:

  • Develop your public speaking abilities
  • Setting a direction to your life
  • Find your purpose
  • Improve your interpersonal skills
  • Changing professions
  • Improving conflict management skills
  • Dealing with stress
  • Developing your knowledge of human resources management
  • Improve your management skills
  • Develop your self-awareness
  • Challenge yourself
  • Set goals and objectives for yourself.

What should you expect to get out of professional coaching sessions? During the session, your coach will be actively listening to any issues you may be having related to your professional development and be able to answer any questions you may have. Your professional coach will be able to advise you on the best course of action and help you to set achievable goals for you to reach your wider career ambitions. You should expect your coach to listen respectfully, and be punctual and attentive for all of your sessions.

Your career coach will listen attentively to any issues you may be having and identify your needs, while adapting them in order to propose solutions and your progress towards your goals. Career coaches should always listen without judgment and be as empathetic as possible. This is absolutely essential in any coaching profession.

It should be noted that clients who decide to hire a private coach, will want to see concrete results and be ensured that their money is being put to good use. A professional coach should help the client to define and reach consistent and achievable goals.

A coach should also not be afraid to be honest about the feasibility of a professional project proposed, or to re-orient their client towards a more reasonable goal or objective.

But should clients be able to set their own personal goals?

In general, most clients come already knowing what their difficulties and weaknesses are. They may struggle with communication, a lack of self-confidence or have difficulty saying no and taking on too much work which is beyond their capacity. These are all common reasons for seeing a professional career coach.

language choice
Even the most powerful people know how to seek advice. (Source: pixabay)

These difficulties should serve as a base when discussing with your professional coach for the first time.

In order to move on from these issues, the challenge lies in being able to think constructively about these problems and find solutions to overcome them. In this way, a personal life coach's role is also like that of a psychologist or mediator, in that they help you to overcome weaknesses and issues and develop the tools to ensure your success.

For example, you may wish to convert from being an investment banker to a baker after 10 years of experience? This can be incredibly daunting! A professional coach can help you to realise your dreams and professional goals!

What are the prices for professional coaching sessions?

One of the biggest obstacles people face when seeking help from a professional coach is the cost. How much should you really be paying to receive some much needed help and guidance?

Prices will vary according to the type of coaching you are looking for as well as the level of experience of your coach. There is no formal legal framework which regulates how much professional coaches are required to charge.

There are also a number of different types of coaching available. Different issues will require different types of coaching or specialisations. Professional coaches may follow specific training programs dependent upon what area of coaching they wish to specialise in.

These specialisations may include:

  • Leadership management
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict management
  • Global executive coaching
  • Position Coaching
  • Sales coaching
  • Performance Coaching
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Systemic Approach

And many more...

Different specialisations of professional coaching mean different rates for sessions.

The professional coaching market will consist of self-employed or free-lance coaches as well as coaches which may work for a private coaching firm or consulting firm. It's important to do your research and get an understanding of what's out there and the average prices that people are paying for sessions.

Depending on your coach, you may be billed per hour, like our professional coaches on Superprof, or you may be able to may for a package, depending on the agreement you reach with your employer, coach, and employee.

It's also important to bear in mind that rates will be considerably higher for higher level executive and corporate coaching, as these will often require a more complex skill set and people with a greater level of experience, for example retired executives or former CEO's and business owners. The rates will also be impacted on the complexity of the issues you wish to achieve. Often higher levels of qualifications are required, for example experience regarding marketing strategy, human resources and management.

How much does coaching really cost?

On average, the price of a session can be up to $300  or $500 per month.

For private or individual coaching, the average market price can be anywhere between  $100 to $150 for sessions in Toronto and Ottawa, and between $80 and $150 in the rest of Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Surrey etc.)

Professional coaching is quite a lot of money to  invest! However, it can be worth the investment if you see a huge improvement in your professional life and can have an important impact on your skills, your position in your company, your salary, and your overall well-being!

Professional coaching does not have to last months or years! On average, training involves relatively few sessions spread out throughout the year.

On Superprof, the average rate per hour for professional coaching is

On Superprof, the average hourly rate is between $25 and $35 per hour depending on whether you are living in a major city such as Ottawa, Toronto and Montréal, or a more remote area.

Personal coaching can also help you to prepare for job interviews, help you to write letters of motivation and refine your resumé. You'll go into interviews and assessments feeling confident and prepared.

Coaching that involves developing or learning specific skills, such as international marketing or how to manage take-overs and acquisitions will often have much higher rates, for example between $3,500 to $5000 or up to $12,000 for team coaches.

Professional coaching sessions are a great way to improve team collaboration and cohesiveness.

Career Coach Profiles

So now that you've set your objectives and done your research about the average rate for career coaching in your area, you are ready to start your search for a career coach. This can be the hardest part of the process...

On Superprof, most coaches will offer their first session for free. This does not have to be a formal lesson, but can be a great way to get to know each other and decide if you will be able to work will together.

In a corporate or group context, an introductory or exploratory session is often organised at the beginning for employees to get a better idea and define their goals with the coach.

Finding a coach has essentially been made ultra-simple thanks to online platforms and search engines. Here is where you should start looking:

  • Coaching Association of Canada
  • Superprof,
  • Directories for certified professional coaches,

You may want to consider these important criteria before hiring a professional coach:

  • What is their educational background
  • How much experience do they have in coaching
  • What training and qualifications do they have: coaching degree, certifications, NLP training?
  • What rates do they charge? Do they charge by the hour or for sessions and packages?
  • Do they specialise in your particular area of interest?
  • Do they have any testimonials or references from former clients?
  • What is their own experience in the professional world?
  • Are they good communicators?
  • What kind of personality do they have?
  • What is their code of ethics?
  • What are their availabilities?

On Superprof, you'll be able to compare the profiles of different coaches in your area or on line. There are hundreds of professional coaches with different specialisations and experience who can offer face-to-face lessons or lessons via webcam around the world. The variation in rates offered by individual coaches will depend upon the level experience and certification for each coach and on your own needs and requirements.

If you have a smaller budget, and for example, are looking for a coach to help you enter the job market after graduating from university, then you may wish to opt for a recently graduated coach. On the other hand, if you are an executive looking into becoming a CEO or starting your own business, you'll want someone with years of experience and specific professional skills.

Take the time to find the coach that is right for you and given your personal budget.

A coach will be able to help you to  set your goals and budget and to get started on your path towards a more fulfilling career.

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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.