Do you plan on staying in your current job position until you retire? If you answered "yes," then congratulations! But, if like most people, you want more from your work life, then career coaching might be for you.

Contrary to what many believe, career coaching isn't just for those seeking a job — it can also help those trying to change careers, advance in their position or begin an entrepreneurial role.

Let's take a closer look at how these services work and how you can use them to secure your dream job.

What is a career coach and what do they do?

Before we begin, it's important to understand just what the role of a career coach entails. These mentors work one-on-one with people to help them hone their skills, find their purpose, work toward their career goals and unlock their full potential in their ideal career.

Career coaches are accredited to make sure they can respond to people's personalized, individual needs, providing everyone with a unique approach. Not only do they offer a wealth of knowledge to make yourself marketable, but they also provide perspective and motivation to help you keep looking for a better opportunity.

The appearance of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

The benefits of working with a career coach

Whether you're just starting a career, you're dissatisfied with your current role or you want to accelerate your move to the next position, a career coach can offer invaluable services to improve your work life.

But the benefits don't stop at achieving a satisfying and fulfilling career; along the way, they'll also help you:

  1. Recognize your value: Career coaches can help you identify the skills that bring personal fulfillment and make you valuable to employers.
  2. Plan your career steps: They'll also work with you to map out the overall trajectory of your career, planning for wherever you want to be five, 10 or even 20 years from now.
  3. Set and measure goals: To maintain momentum toward your desired career, your coach will help you establish specific milestones and check up on your progress.
  4. Network with professionals: Career coaches often offer access to a vast network of skilled professionals, helping you connect with the right people in the right industry.
  5. Prepare for job interviews: As you pick the perfect job postings to apply for, your coach will guide you through the process to help position you as the top candidate in any talent pool.

How does career coaching work?

When someone first meets with a career coach, the relationship often starts with a discovery period in which they get to know the client's current career situation and any potential future goals. Then, they set a schedule to meet on a regular basis in coaching sessions. During these appointments, they'll continue to discuss these topics, develop career-related skills and act on the plan they set in motion.

How to get the most out of a career coach

While the job of a career coach is to help guide you along a path toward your goals, that doesn't mean you won't have to put in the work. Getting ready for a coaching session involves preparing any documents (such as a resume or cover letter), but it also includes things like:

  • Keeping an open mind about new perspectives or opportunities.
  • Being honest and vulnerable about your career goals with your coach.
  • Completing and following up on any tasks outlined in the previous session.
  • Preparing any questions you have or thoughts on your career trajectory.

Over time, these sessions will help you identify areas to improve and keep you motivated to continuously move toward your desired career.

If you're looking for a career coach, go to the AFBA Career Center.