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  • Marina Burton

5 Myths of Career Coaching Debunked



#1 A career coach will tell me what to do

A careers advisor, mentor or consultant will proactively advise, but a career coach’s role typically isn’t advisory or instructive. A good coach (that is not blending with another discipline) will actually facilitate your personal development by listening to you, asking you powerful questions and creating a framework in which your self-awareness and understanding is increased. By helping you to explore both yourself and to explore options that specifically align with who you are, a career coach will guide you to clarity and help you to unlock your full potential.


#2 Coaching is therapy

Qualified coaches are not therapists. Therapy tends to focus on present and past emotions and how to manage them, whereas coaching is future-focused and helps the client explore how to achieve what they want.


Coaching conversations centre around setting goals, actions and empowering individuals. The coaching philosophy is that each individual holds all the answers and it is a coach’s job to help guide them to discover the confidence and motivation they need to achieve their goals – as well as giving them the opportunity to learn if they do not.


Therapists tend to diagnose complex issues and present solutions. Coaches facilitate the individual to explore their own solutions without passing judgement.

#3 Coaching is for people who are bad at their jobs or need serious help

Career coaching is for anyone who believes that they can improve their performance at any level or become more effective or more fulfilled by making changes to their lives. In fact, an individual who is committed to coaching is simply committed to personal growth - and that is far more likely to result in them reaching the top!


You can be unhappy or unfulfilled in your job without being bad at it! Even individuals who love their jobs can still absolutely benefit from career coaching, as it can help them to enhance their performance and overall contribution in their careers. Ultimately, coaching is for individuals who have a growth mindset and are pursuing something greater than their current reality – whether that’s professional development or a total career change.



#4 Being coached means I can sit back now

The coaching process should be enjoyable and provide individuals with clarity, boost their confidence, and reduce anxiety. However, coaching requires a commitment from an individual to take action and this often means challenging themselves to make change happen.


Coaching is a facilitative process, but the coach cannot do the work. As a coach, my favourite part about the coaching process is witnessing individuals grow throughout the coaching programme. As they become clearer on who they are and what they need - and as they start taking action - the impact on their lives can be significant. It’s a huge privilege to be part of someone’s journey, but only the individual can do the work and take the credit for it!


#5 Coaching is time-consuming and costly

Career coaching is simply an investment in yourself. If you are fully committed to making change in your life, this will take up time irrespective of whether or not you work with a coach. A commonly used definition of coaching is that it helps an individual get from A to B, faster and more effectively than if they were to do it on their own. So one thing clients report is that the coaching process actually saves them a lot of time in the long run!


A career coaching programme takes place over a period of time, so the investment required over a typical period of 3-6 months is no greater than a monthly treat to yourself in some form – whether that’s a dinner out or a pair of new shoes. And the beauty with coaching is that it really is an investment in yourself (yes, you’re the asset!) So, as long as you’re fully committed, the long-term personal profit you will make will be worth it!


If you're interested in learning more about how career coaching could help you, please get in touch with me directly by scheduling a free consultation.


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