Feeling stuck in your career? At odds with what to do with your resume? Trawled hundreds of career advice columns, yet nothing seems to work? It may be time to recruit yourself a career coach!
But what does a career coach do, how do you know you need one and where on earth can you find a good one?
Open Colleges sits down with Kylie Butler from Inspired Careers to get a first-hand account of how this career transition expert got to do what she does - and how she can help you create your dream career.
What is your background? How did you get into doing what you do?
I started in recruitment and moved around different areas of HR as I traveled the world. In London I moved into generalist HR, then L&D in Italy, came back to Australia, specialised in Talent Attraction strategy and Employment Branding and then went out on my own and trained as a Career Coach.
Basically I'd climbed the corporate ladder, held Talent Director and Head of People and Culture roles but found myself frustrated, working crazy hours and yet not able to make a real difference. I worked for a couple of businesses whose values were not aligned with mine. I was stressed and unhappy. I wanted to use my skills in a more satisfying and impactful way. Inspired Careers was born and I now use my expertise now to help individuals.
What exactly does a career coach do? How do you help people?
I help people get clear on their career direction and then give them the tactical skills to land the role they desire. Understanding an individual’s values, interests, passions, competencies, education and talents.
We then look at the current market and outline suitable opportunities. The job market has changed so much in recent years - there are jobs out there now that people aren't even aware of, Network Design Architects and Creative Strategists to name just a couple. The job market has also changed dramatically with the digital age - 95% of employers use LinkedIn for recruitment. I help my clients have standout profiles with keywords so they are found for the right roles. I also assist them with applications and train competency based interview skills.
What made you open your own business?
A desire to be more effective in using my skills to help others and a desire to be unshackled from corporate politics - and all that fluorescent lighting!
What kind of people seek your services and why?
Recent graduates, or more often people a few years out of Uni that are still unsure of what to do now that they’ve “grow up”; candidates that have lost confidence with their job search; people who have taken career breaks like new mums... Really it can be anyone that simply chooses to be more efficient with their job search by getting some expert advice and landing a job sooner rather than spending their days trawling through Seek.
What are some main career challenges you see people facing?
Lack of confidence is a big one. If someone is uncertain of their career direction, has been knocked back for roles or let go from a business for whatever reason, it can really damage their confidence and make the job search a very arduous task. Also, people don't understand the importance of a personal brand and their online profile. Another challenge is poor interview skills - which often means great candidates miss out on roles they are perfect for.
Can you share some success stories?
Absolutely! Firstly I think there is a lot of clout in the fact that almost all of my clients walk away from our first session energised, positive and inspired about their career prospects. They often come to be despondent and lacking confidence and we manage to turn that around very quickly. I've worked with a number of travellers that needed sponsorship to remain in the country - and we've found them jobs and sponsorship within a month. Another candidate had been made redundant and despite a relatively short career, he was able to slot into a fantastic new role in Finance within 3 weeks. I work a lot with marketing candidates and have helped clients launch their careers in the competitive Social Media space.
How can someone find the best career coach for them?
With a Career coach, you'd firstly want to understand their background and specifically, what experience they have being on "the other side of the fence" as an employer. Life Coaches can be fantastic at helping you get clear on your purpose but not with the practical and technical aspects of securing a role. Further to that, it's about a personal connection. Do you feel your prospective coach can get the best out of you and that you'll enjoy working with them?
What tips do you have for someone wanting to improve their CV?
Be careful firstly when looking at CV tips online as many are written for the US or UK markets and their CVs are different. Ensure that you succinctly express your core responsibilities and quantifiable key achievements for your roles, with more detail for recent roles. Ensure you also explain any career gaps. Having your CV finished by a graphic designer is also a great idea. Visuals matter. And as a minimum, no Times Roman font.
What are your secrets to career success?
Finding a role that is in-line with your purpose, makes use of your talents and approaching every day with passion and energy. And hard work, lots of hard work.
Well there you have it. Would you use a career coach? Let us know in the comments below.
To make it to the interview stage, you’ll need a great resume. Where do you begin? Read Open Colleges Careers’ Resume Template document and get started.