At times, you may require professional support in order to grow and develop your career. Hence there may be the need to hire a career coach for guidance.

Hereunder are 8 factors to consider when choosing a good career coach:

Career Plan

There is no use seeking out a career coach if you do not have a clear career plan around what you require the coach to do. This will be counter-productive for both you and the coach.

Therefore spending some time reflecting on where you are in your career and your projections for the future.

Create a list with your actionable steps. This will help you to ensure that your coach has skills and experiences to match exactly what you are looking for.

I have written an article on this blog on 10 questions to creating a 5 career plan that gets results. Feel free to review this article if you are new to creating a career plan.


You will need to decide whether you prefer face to face coaching or whether you are comfortable with the person using technology such as Skype to communicate with you.

If you are the person who needs face to face interaction then hiring someone who is not in the same city as you is not an option.

Think about whether you will like the personal touch or if you are happy with a long distance coach.

Reputation of the Coach

What is the success rate of the coach? As an example, if you are changing careers and you want to hire a coach, then look for a coach that has success in the past in this area.

Does the coach have a reputation of working with persons and these persons went on to achieve the success that they were looking for? If the person has a presence online, then look at the website and review testimonials.

Richard Nelson Bolles, in his best-selling job hunting book ‘What Color is Your Parachute indicated that he studied career counseling programmes for more than 30 years. Bolles stated that he rarely found that placed more than 86% of their clients in a job in their best years.

Therefore, bare this statistic in mind when speaking to potential coaches.

Professional Background

Get a coach who has had the type of career success that you are looking for. There may be instances where it could be in a different industry.

However, if you can find someone who has a similar path to the one that you are trying to take, then this will be helpful as you will be able to glean from their real life experiences.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that you can use to do some due diligence on the professional background of the coach prior to making any firm decisions.

In addition to their professional background within an industry, review their credentials to ensure that they have professional qualifications in career assessment.


There must be a synergy between individuals where you both could work together. If for some reason you get a bad feeling about the individual, then he/she will not be a good coach.

A career coach may offer a free discovery call. These calls are usually short you so that you and the coach could get to know each other.

Pay attention to how you feel interacting with the person. If the individual makes you feel comfortable, then this is positive and vice versa.


Some career coaching programmes can be very costly. Well at the end of the day it is a business. Therefore you need to ensure that are getting the best value for your dollar. At times there may be programmes that run over a contractual period.

On the other hand, some individuals offer one off services where you may be able to sit with a coach for one hour and discuss a career challenge, pay for the hour and there are no further obligations thereafter.

Therefore, look at your budget and consider which model will work well for you within your budget.


If the coach is for a period of time, let’s say for example three months then ask to see the programme that you will cover for the time period.

You need to ensure that the proposed programme aligns with your overall career vision and career plan.


Your goals, dreams and plans for the future are things that are precious to you. Therefore, a career coach should be someone who is confidential and will maintain this confidence even after your sessions have ended.

This is someone who you may need to open up with about your struggles and your fears. In choosing a coach, ensure that the individual is trust worthy. Any contract that you sign for career coaching must include some type of confidentiality clause.

Final Thoughts

A career coach is a mentor who you consult for guidance on your career decision. Hope these factors above help you make a wise decision in choosing a career coach.

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Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Career Coach

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