How can a professional from any background become a career coach

July 26, 2020


Career Coach


“I wish there was someone to guide me to the right career path during my adolescence.” 

Have you ever felt that you could have been in a better position today if you had access to career counseling services back in the day?

Well, if you have felt that way, then you would be able to understand how excruciatingly confusing it can be to pick academic streams and finalize undergraduate study options. You would be able to relate to how you did not know so much about the various opportunities which you could have explored in your career journey.

In fact, in today’s day and age, young learners are spoilt for choice. So much so that they are perhaps oblivious to all the options and opportunities that exist. If you want to help others navigate through the confusing realm of careers and ensure that they discover the best career for themselves, then you must read on!

Would you believe me if I say that you can channelize these emotions and help someone who is going through something similar? Irrespective of your academic and professional backgrounds, you can leverage your skill set to guide millions of students to their ideal careers. Let us understand the different skill sets that you possess and how you can build on them to coach students: 

1) HR professionals: Human resources personnel understand labour markets in various industries. Thus, you would be able to understand the importance of cultural and attitudinal fitment in various job profiles. This ability, coupled with their strong soft skills, enables HR professionals to excel as career coaches.

2) Teachers: Teachers are one of the first people students go to. It is the teachers who spend time with students day in and day out. As a teacher, you won’t just understand the current generation of students, but you also regularly communicate with them in their language. Teachers can be amazing career coaches with both their ability to connect with students and their eagerness to help students. You can expose them to different careers, help them with colleges and subjects, and even help in building holistic profiles.

3) Professors: Professors are souls who come across students with different aspirations: some wish to continue in the field, some wish to learn interdisciplinary subjects, and some wish to study abroad. With their expertise and domain knowledge, professors are the best people to guide students with the various opportunities that students can explore to fulfill their aspirations. 

4) IT Professionals: Information Technology – these are two words that are a part of everything we do in our lives, whether it is education, or conversations or travel, or even food these days. Therefore, IT is also a major aspect in each and every career that exists. Having experience in the industry, who would be better than you to help students understand the various applications of technology in their respective careers? 

5) Mass Communication: If you are in the field of mass communication, you can be the voice that helps students become aware about the plethora of career options available to them and the importance of choosing the right career. If you are a journalist, you can write about it, or else you can work through videos, interviews, and training sessions. Your ability to communicate will be a ready-made skill set to start contributing to the present and future generations in their career decisions. 

6) Psychology: Being a psychologist, you would understand the importance of career in the life of a person, it is linked to everything else – their thoughts, behaviours, and emotions. You are someone well equipped with both theory and skillset to understand human behaviour, to connect with people, and facilitate their personal development. Career coaching may be a great area to add onto your current skill set and to add value to people’s career development as well. 

7) Social Work: Social workers work on the ground, they have a passion to contribute to the society. As a social worker, you would understand the plight of millions of students who do not have access to quality education and quality career guidance. Through gaining expertise in the area of career coaching, you can make a difference both at the macro-level (by striving for better policies) and at the micro-level (by helping individual students develop in their best fit careers, provide admission related guidance, etc.). On both these levels, you would help towards building inclusivity. 

8) Homemakers: If you ask who are the best managers, it is always homemakers. Running a house involves not just finance, accounting, and budgeting but also communication, time management, planning, and problem-solving. As a homemaker, you manage different family members, guests, and the entire household. These skills are perfect to start your own career coaching practice. You can contribute to the lives of a number of students and parents by helping students make the right career choices. 

9) Retired Defense Personnel: Duty, perseverance, and resilience – these are hallmarks of anyone who has served in the defense forces. Right from the training to the everyday work, you develop strength and discipline. Aren’t these some of the major traits required to succeed in any career? You can be a career coach, you can train students in developing these skills in the career that they choose to be in. 

10) Anyone in any Industry: No matter which industry you are in, whether it is fashion, banking, aviation, design, engineering, marketing, or any other field, you have skills, experience, and knowledge, which are required by the current and future generations of school and college students. Ranging from something as basic as imparting employability skills to sharing experiences in your domain – you can be a career coach and work with different stakeholders. 

However, irrespective of the career you are in, it may be beneficial for you to enhance your knowledge of career coaching. You have to develop the skills required to be a career coach.  These skills range from building knowledge about the competencies required in different careers.

One particular programme that is aimed at helping you become a certified career coach is the ICCC – International Certified Career Coach Programme. This is a programme that is brought in India by Mindler in collaboration with CDA (Career Development Alliance) and NCDA (National Career Development Alliance), both stalwarts in global career coaching. 

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