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Should you seek out a Career Coach?

Unemployment in Australia is currently sitting at an all-time low of 5.7%. However, many of those who have a job don’t have the job they have always wanted.

Rachel Manson - General Manager of the University of Canberra Village found herself in this position not so long ago. ‘I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted to do, and consider myself to be a confident person,’ she says.

But even with confidence in your abilities, how do you work out what the best career is for you? And what do you do if you are looking to make a big career change?

Enter the Career Coach!

Part counsellor, part trainer; a career coach can help guide you in the right direction.

A career coach is professionally trained to lead you into your chosen field and can give you practical information on how to successfully find your perfect job. They’re also there to hold you accountable to your career aspirations, research potential new roles, and to walk you through profiling activities to identify your strengths and styles of working.

Rachel explains, ‘I thought by going to a Career Coach that I was going to be told what my next career move should be.’ But what Rachel actually found, was that her Career Coach helped her to discover more of her own personal strengths, skills, and accomplishments.

’I guess when you’re just going day to day you forget to be proud of the little wins you have, and how they may actually stand out to a future employer. Or from those wins, which roles would actually be suited to you across multiple industries.’

Recruiters started to head hunt me due to the quality and detail in my LinkedIn profile

For those struggling with fear, frustration, and stress, using a career coach can help manage the rough patches and help you to focus your energies on building your own personal brand.

Most importantly they’ll encourage you to become more motivated and confident through a solid plan. Setting actions you need to complete each week to ultimately guide you towards goals that are individual, reachable and realistic.

For Rachel, this included updating her LinkedIn profile to better stand out to recruiters looking for candidates.

‘My Career Coach taught me the words and language to use on my profile in order to stand out from the crowd while building on my personal brand strengths.

‘From there, recruiters started to head hunt me due to the quality and detail in my LinkedIn profile.’

Careers service

It’s, ‘a bit like dating’

Once you’ve decided a Career Coach might be for you, what’s the first step you should take?

‘Before you start, do your research and find an expert with proven credentials and a good track record,’ recommends Rachel.

‘Check their profiles, qualifications and any client testimonials. Finding the right career coach is a bit like dating - choose the best fit for you. Someone that you connect with and have great chemistry.’

Feeling comfortable is important as you will be sharing intimate details about your life in order to maximise your potential. To see if you both connect, take advantage of the initial free session many career coaches offer.

They’re honest – sometimes brutally so

It is also important to acknowledge that getting an outsider's perspective is a huge advantage.

A career coach can give honest opinions, tips, and real-time feedback. Their aim is to assist you in rehearsing for interviews and prepare answers to potential real questions, pointing out the areas that you need to strengthen. They can also assist in rehearsing conversations for negotiating salary; a subject that is often seen as awkward and confronting.

It’s all about moving up and pushing yourself and others to achieve more and more.

‘It’s honestly been one of the best things I have done in my life and I know that my Career Coach and I will continue to work together throughout my professional career. A career does not end when you’re happy where you are, because you actually then become a mentor and learn to better position yourself and your colleagues for future promotions.

‘It’s all about moving up and pushing yourself and others to achieve more and more.’

Rachel’s parting words?

‘Like an athlete, your career coach has trained you for this main event. It's up to you to get yourself across the finish line!’

Did you know?

That Careers UC can provide career coaching to both current students and those who have graduated within the previous two years? And best of all, it's totally free!


Rachel Manson is currently the General Manager of the University of Canberra Village as well as the Sales Manager of the CLV Australia Short Stay business. Rachel has worked for Scentre Group (owner and operators of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand) as well as a number of well-known hotel groups. Rachel is a result driven, data decision maker, who is not averse to taking risks and implementing innovative solutions.