How can you make the “right” decision about using professional assistance to enhance and accelerate your career change or job search? This article defines the main questions you need to ask yourself, and provides clear criteria for assessing your needs. To further support your decision-making, the article offers a simple cost-benefits analysis for using a career coach to increase both the probability and the speed of a successful job search. Since this step may influence your direction and career goals, as well as the “landing time” to reach your next job, it is clearly an important decision, with both short and long-term impact on your life.
If you are in transition to a new career or a new job, for whatever reason, you may have asked yourself the question: “can I do this on my own, or might I benefit from the advice and guidance of a professional career coach and resume writer?” Even knowing that the job search is a difficult task in today’s treacherous economic environment and high unemployment with few new jobs, our sense of independence, self-confidence and the desire to conserve cash all urge us to do this on our own. But for a more reliable answer to this question, set aside your gut reaction and consider the key factors below with tough, business-like objectivity, and decide how they apply to you and your situation.
Are you equipped for this potentially difficult battle with:
If you can answer 8 or more of these questions with a firm “yes”, you probably have the resources and skills to drive your job search without external help. But if you answer “no” to 4 or more questions, then you are lacking some key attributes or resources for an effective job campaign in today’s unforgiving and competitive jobs market, and should consider some professional assistance.
This is not to say you cannot be successful on your own, with a great deal of perseverance and some luck. However, a capable career coach can dramatically improve the odds of success and greatly accelerate transition to new careers or jobs by:
If you decide that external help would be appropriate, then you still need to ask one more basic question: “are the benefits of professional assistance worth the cost?” To answer this, first recognize that using a career coach can often be the key to defining your career goals and strategy, and then in getting the “right job”. The great value of this to a job seeker is incalculable, because it tends to enhance initial salary, ultimate job satisfaction, promotability and long term career success. However, beyond this great but qualitative benefit, consider the following more quantitative analysis:
After considering the key criteria discussed, if it is clear that you do need professional help, then do your own cost-benefits analysis to convince yourself that the investment in your career, to accelerate your job search, is truly cost effective. As the saying goes, the “view is worth the climb”!