Friday 22 September 2017

#259 How to choose a career coach

The club at Shoreditch house was essentially a bar, like any other except with table service and nicer sofas. In an armchair, towards the back of the furthest room sat the last of the three coaches, Fiona Buckland.

I hadn't thought of seeing a life coach until a friend recommended it. I'd been convinced that a career coach would be better placed to advise me but I also knew that a great deal of a life coach's time was inevitably spent on people's careers, so throwing one into the mix seemed reasonable.

Fiona was a slim, well-pressed woman in her late thirties. She'd acquired a Ph.D., worked at Amazon and TEDx and had written a book or two. She spoke clearly. Obviously. We spent the first fifteen minutes or so discussing how the coaching process worked, where the boundaries were and the privacy of the setting, which was flexible. Then she got to work.

We discussed my desires and values. How I came across. Why I sometimes made a suggestion and then discredited it immediately afterward. I got a lot more from the introductory session than I had from the two career coaches. This created a dilemma. I wanted someone with Fiona's ability to pick up on my inadvertent cues and see the issues at hand but with the career coaches' knowledge of the job market I was targeting.

The presence of the dilemma in my mind was so great that towards the end of the session, I blurted it out. I then quickly apologised. The choice of coach was my issue, not something I should be dragging her into. Fiona didn't bat an eyelid and offered to provide me with contacts who had both relevant knowledge of the specific job market and behavioural insights. I thanked her for her troubles and agreed to email her the request.

I decided I'd recommend Fiona to anyone curious about giving coaching a try. The meeting had gone well. It now looked like I might be meeting a fourth or even a fifth coach before picking one but that might turn out to be a good thing. I was doing my research learning more about the world in the process.

1 comment

Running on empty said...

It's a difficult journey you're on. Hope you find someone soon and their advice pays off.