14th May 2021

Is career coaching worth the money?


For those that wish to move their careers to new heights, or who may feel trapped in their current job, career coaching might be the answer. 

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of professional career coaches available and a quick internet search will reveal many career experts. Career coaches are typically ex-industry leaders or corporate management individuals that specialise in a particular field. Using their business knowledge they coach and educate their clients on successful career advancement and progression by laying out a series of steps. 

The client follows the steps and if the coach has done their job and guided the client properly there should be measurable results. For these services, coaches will charge an hourly consultation rate or sometimes provide structured pricing packages that span weeks or months with a specified number of meetings. 

A career coach can help map a new trajectory and focus on your career goals by implementing the following items. 

  • Explore career options
  • Change career direction
  • Help with career progression 
  • Find a new role altogether
  • Position you for future opportunities
  • Ensure your working life is aligned with priorities
  • Create a career plan 

Services do not come cheap and may leave some wondering if the coaching is worth the investment. At the low-end coaches may charge less than £50 per hour for general coaching guidance, at the high end the number can run into hundreds of pounds. 

Prices are dictated by the coached experience and their field of expertise. A coach in business management will cost less than a highly qualified financial expert. The average price across the board is around £150 per hour for coaching. 

When looking for a career coach try and find one that has been operating for several years, has verifiable proof of client success with reviews or testimonials, and has been a leader in the industry that you wish to advance in. 

What do coaches help with?

While many coaches do not hold a coaching qualification, they are usually experts in their industry that have decided to market their skills to others. They will help candidates to navigate the steps towards career improvement by providing advice and building strengths in different areas. 

This may include things like

  • CV writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Performance reviews
  • Promotion 
  • Starting a business

Career coaches operate just like any other performance coach, they will assess your current situations and need then make a plan to move you towards your goal, providing motivation and support along the way. They will look at barriers that are impeding your progression and devise strategies that help you achieve your full potential in the fastest time possible. 

Even though this kind of career education is an investment, the time and cost of hiring a business coach may be high for some. However, it may be wise to consider that studies show that using a coach is one of the most effective ways to advance your career. 

Most coaches do not measure performance using any kind of statistics therefore it sometimes hard to define a coaches ‘success’. Some clients may reach their goals after 3 sessions, some may take 8 or 9. The important thing to remember is that coaches help you to focus and motivate you to achieve your aims. 

Does career coaching work?

The lack of statics makes it hard to say with certainty that career coaching brings about better career progress. However, for those that have invested money in this type of self-development the feedback is largely positive. Many report better advancement, a higher instance of being promoted, and an improved sense of positivity about their chosen career.

Those that have seen improvements have no reservations about recommending career coaching as a strategy for others that are seeking to improve or change their working situation.

A study that was conducted across 64 different countries and polled over 2000 career coaching clients revealed an interesting result. On the whole, the majority of people using coaching services reported positive results in areas like team effectiveness, communication skills and work performance. 

Perhaps the biggest indicator of career coaching success is demonstrated by the number of people in the study that were happy with the outcome of their coaching session. Over 80% of respondents reported positive changes.

People that have no prior experience in their desired field have reported immense improvements after visiting a career coach, citing the sessions as the reason for being able to break into a field that they may be otherwise unqualified for or lacking in the requisite experience.  Others have found that coaches have been valuable as a mentor when it comes to taking learned industry skills and using them to start their an enterprise of their own.

Further reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/jan/12/i-went-from-a-junior-office-job-to-a-six-figure-revenue-as-a-business-coach

https://upskillcoach.com/blog/how-much-does-a-business-coach-cost/

https://www.personalcareermanagement.com/individual-services/career-coaching

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10919-hire-career-coach.html