How coaching can help you achieve your career goals

You’ve created a super simple career plan for 2019. You’re taking action by creating SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) goals. What do you need a coach for?

“Coaching helps people to develop and learn in ways that enable them to have or achieve what they really want. This is because a coach focuses on an individual’s situation with the kind of attention and commitment that the individual will rarely experience elsewhere.” (Starr, 2016, p. 8)

Coaching can act as a catalyst by combining this focus on your situation with various tools and techniques, support and encouragement. Here are three of the most fundamental ways coaching can help:

1. Giving you Time and space

One of the most valuable aspects of coaching is the time and space it gives you to take stock and figure out your next step. It’s too easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day-to-day, our multiple commitments to work and family.

Career development is unarguably important; you want to have an active voice in how you spend your working life. However, other things – and other people – get prioritised.

By investing in coaching, you are setting a clear intention to work out what it is you want and then to go and get it. The coaching session is time that is designated for you and you only: your needs, wants and wishes. This is in addition to the time you will spend on “homework” (which can be as much or as little as you like).

 2. Providing Accountability

Have you tried career coaching?

Have you tried career coaching?

Have you ever signed up for an exercise class with a friend? You might be tired, not in the mood - in fact, you’d really rather do anything else than go out and take action - but you’ve made a commitment to your friend and so you go. You support and encourage each other. It’s more motivating than doing it on your own.

Coaching is similar. A coach helps you keep your commitment to yourself by working with you to set goals, stay on track and meet your deadlines. You have someone in your corner cheering you on and challenging you when appropriate.

It’s important to note that there’s no judgement here, it’s all about helping you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. Giving “account” of what hasn’t worked can be as informative and valuable a learning experience as anything that has worked.

“As coaches, we hold clients accountable - not to see them perform or even to measure how well they perform, but to empower them in making the changes they want to make.” (Kimsey-House, Kimsey-House, Sandahl, & Whitmore, 2011, p. 82)

 3. Asking the right questions

Coaches are trained to ask the right questions. Coaching in its purest form is not about giving advice or guidance, it is about helping the client or coachee find the answers for themselves. We do that by asking powerful questions that make you think, consider a different perspective, and help you identify strengths that maybe you didn’t realise you had.

Asking and not telling is at the heart of Co-Active coaching, a model of coaching in which the coach and coachee form a dynamic relationship of equals in order to help the coachee reach their goals (Kimsey-House, Kimsey-House, Sandahl, & Whitworth, 2011).

A coach will combine questioning with effective listening and other skills to help you achieve your career goals.

Make it happen

You can do a huge amount on your own but sometimes you need a helping hand. Coaching gives you a boost when you’ve read all the books and spent hours searching on Google but you feel overwhelmed by all of the information and don’t know where to start (or you do but you keep procrastinating!).

Coaching gives you the time and space to take stock of your career and figure out your next step, it provides accountability, and asks the right questions to help you get where you need to go.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what coaching can do for you and your career, book a complimentary, no-obligation consult with me here. I look forward to speaking with you!



Kimsey-House, H., Kimsey-House, K., Sandahl, P., & Whitmore, L. (2011). Co-active coaching: Changing business, transforming lives. (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.

Starr, J. (2016). The coaching manual: The definitive guide to the process, principles and skills of personal coaching. (4th ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson.