Career Coaching is defined by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as:
“Partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honour the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self discovery
- Elicit client generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential”
Mentoring on the other hand is an employee training system under which a senior or more experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned to act as an advisor, counselor, or guide to a junior or trainee. The mentor is responsible for providing support to, and feedback on, the individual in his or her charge.
When you consider making any investment, it’s wise to have as much information as possible about ways your investment options might benefit you in the long run. The same is true when investing in your career. Many workers consider education and training courses but overlook other professional investments, including mentors and career coaches.
A mentor is someone who can give you advice and support specific to your industry, role or organization, usually for free. Typically, a mentor has the job you would like to have later in your career and is an essential resource in your efforts to achieve career success. Your mentor can help you grow professionally and navigate tough decisions by sharing tips relevant to your field or area of expertise that they have found helpful in their own career path.
A career coach is someone you pay to help you identify the right career fit, enhance your job search or work performance and make informed decisions about your professional development and long-term career goals. This person can help you discover more about your professional identity to boost your confidence, obtain greater job satisfaction and hone your strategic career plan. In addition, a coach can also help you with various business tools, such as LinkedIn Profile, CV and cover letter, and usually a lot more besides.
Having a career coach should enable you to achieve your career objectives faster, whether they are changing your career or being more successful in your current one. A good coach will help you reach clarity and insight into your situation and what you need to do next. They also can give you encouragement and inspiration whilst helping you manage any anxiety around change and challenge.
A career coach is different from a mentor since you are actually making a financial investment. This means that an experienced career coach should always be prepared for your sessions, attentive to you and your career goals and able to accommodate your schedule.