The easy answer to that is ‘how long is a piece of string’, but I appreciate that isn’t very helpful if you’re serious about getting yourself a coach to help you develop professionally and take your career to the next level. So let me give you a general overview (because there will always be exceptions) of what you can expect.
Working in this sector there are four types of offer.
The first is one-to-one coaching spanning weeks or even months. Goals are set and the coach will help the client to establish a clear action plan aimed at achieving their professional objectives. Homework (in the form of actions such as researching jobs etc.,) is frequently set to help keep the client on track in between sessions.
This type of arrangement is probably best for someone who is looking at a change in career direction but not yet completely sure where it is they want to go. You can expect to be charged from around US$ 70 to US$ 500 per hour. It is usual for you to have to commit to a minimum of four or six sessions.
The second is group coaching whereby the coach will hold one or two online sessions each month, teaching something new and/or answering questions. Some coaches also have ‘hot seats’ whereby the group members take it in turns to receive one-to-one laser coaching for a few minutes.
Costs vary here as well, and I have seen some groups asking for a monthly membership of US$ 150, and others up to almost US$ 1000 (usually dependent upon the type of job you’re looking for). Many coaches offer reduced rates if you commit to a certain number of months and this can be a very flexible approach to developing your career.
The third way of doing things – which is what we have found to be most useful and effective for our clients – is to sign up to a time-limited package combining online learning materials and exercises with email back-up and one or two, 60-minute coaching sessions.
This type of offer is particularly useful if you already have a job in your sights but want some support with your job application and/or in getting your interview answers together and polishing your presentation.
Working like this means also that you’re not paying the coach for the time when you’re doing the thinking bit, but that you still have the professional support that you need to learn how to feel confident talking about yourself. Prices usually start at around US$ 300, depending on how much one-to-one coaching you want to include in your package
The fourth way of doing things is simply to buy an online course. Some people may argue that this isn’t coaching, but it is possible to include coaching questions in the course content that can be very effective. You can find some very basic courses starting from around US$ 50.
What else do you need to know?
Coaching is one of those things where price doesn’t always equal quality, and as yet it’s an unlicensed profession, so in theory, anyone can give themselves the title ‘coach’.
Here are my recommendations to help you make a decision on what your next steps should be:
Always have a chat with the coach before committing to working with them and/or speak to others who have worked with them (do an internet search, look for testimonials etc). Most good coaches will offer a short complimentary session to find out whether you’re going to be a good fit for each other and to answer any questions you have. The coaching relationship demands honesty, trust and open-ness, and if you don’t like each other, it’s not going to work.
Figure out what it is you want to achieve with career coaching. Is it because you’ve come to a crossroads in your life and you don’t know what to do, or is it simply a case of polishing your application form or your presentation skills because you’ve got an interview coming up? Taking the time to find the answer to those questions could save you a lot of time and money.
If you’re going for the group option, my advice would be to not commit for anything more than three months. If you don’t like the group you’ll be stuck!
If you’re reading this you’re probably already looking for support. Remember that your next job application or interview has the ability to change your life forever, and if you want to be fabulous, the best day to take action is today.
Until next time, stay safe, and stay fabulous !
PS: At Feelgood Coaching and Consulting our aim isn’t to get you the job (because there are too many people involved). What we want you to do is to come out of your next interview telling yourself that it was the best interview ever. If you can put your hand on your heart and say that you did everything you could to prepare, you’ll feel fabulous about yourself for ever more!
If you would like to arrange a 30-minute call with Gwyneth to find out more about how we can help you, you can access her calendar here to make an appointment at your convenience.