I am trying to find/change my career trajectory. Its a good cozy job, but I want something that I get excited to work on in the morning. Career change is hard, for a lot of reasons. So I cant just try out a lot of different careers, and need to be more methodical in finding out the ideal fit.

have a general idea of the direction I want to go in. However, I think a lot of my decisions have been made under peer pressure or expectations of other people. I am looking for somebody who can provide me an objective assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, and to move towards a career which relies more on my strengths and innate (unconscious) drivers. There are millions of coaches online.. and it seems everybody these days wants to become a coach. So I am wondering how to find a reliable coach who will get you to where you want to get to?

What do you look for when searching for a career coach and how do you determine whether it's beneficial?

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    "I think a lot of my decisions have been made under peer pressure or expectations of other people." So your solution is to pay someone to set expectations for what your career should be?
    – Chris G
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:03
  • Product, service or finding a professional, how is the format of this site any more conducive to suggestion/evaluating one over the other? It seems like hair-splitting.
    – user8365
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 21:37
  • @ChrisG, thats a fair point. Not exactly. I am not sure whether you are aware of career counselling. It usually consists of multiple tests such as strengths finder, MBTI, Strong Interest inventory etc. However, neither of these tests are perfect measures, and they require interpretation based on prior experience. The career counsellor will usually look at multiple of such tests or his own set of tests, and provide clues as to what careers you are best suited for.
    – user56508
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 21:00
  • Then he will give some suggestions and provide some form of accountability so that you can go out in the real world and make the change happen. Secondly, he has a lot of experience on the obstacles (imaginary or real) that people will usually face while changing careers. He will usually provide advice on how to overcome these obstacles. In a way, a career counsellor is very much like a mentor, except you are paying for his service in hard cash. However a mentor has a very specific skill set and can give advice only on a narrow set of career options.
    – user56508
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 21:00
  • A career counsellor usually has much more breadth. Do you have any alternate suggestions?
    – user56508
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 21:00

4 Answers 4


What do you look for when searching for a career coach ?

First of all, build a list of career coaches available in your area. Try to rank them according to critics, comments, availability ... Then, meet some of them, for a first interview, to discuss what you are looking for and how you can be helped.

You should look for people who have a high availability, and for experimented professionals. Ask them for references on similar coaching missions. Take the time to meet several of them - as you would do for any job interview.

How do you determine whether it's beneficial?

Hiring a career coach is similar to buying food : if you want to play the price game, don't expect top-notch quality. If you decide to engage in a coaching relation, you need to be comfortable with spending enough for the advice to be actually valuable.

You have no way of knowing beforehand whether or not it will be beneficial for you. It's similar to seeing a psychologist : for some people, it makes wonders, for some people, it doesn't do much. However, career coaches are professionals, and if you cannot solve an orientation problem yourself, they are the best suited people to help you.

You will only know how beneficial it was when you will have a new job. If you are happier, it was beneficial, otherwise, it probably wasn't.


Think about where you see yourself in 5 years time. Based on that, look through LinkedIn profiles and ask people out for coffee and conduct informational interviews. Learn more about what they do, what challenges they face, and what they enjoy about the work that they do. You need to learn the in's and out's before you make a career switch. Do your homework.

You only live life once so make it the best.

Hope that helps.

  • If he knew where he wanted to be in 5 years, he wouldn't be having the problem he does...
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 17:26

It's definitely difficult to pick a career coach. There is a lot of ambiguity around the role of a career coach, and the cost is usually quite high for the person receiving coaching. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before finding a coach to partner with:

  • Is my career where I want it to be? - If you feel like your career is struggling, career coaching should definitely be on the table as an option.

  • Will fixing the problems with my career yield a quality of life difference than justifies the cost of coaching? - There isn't really a point of getting a career coach if the benefits don't outweigh the costs. Traditional career coaching isn't cheap, and most people cannot afford it or won't see a return that justifies the cost for them.

  • Will I be able to stick with the advice I am being given - This is perhaps one of the most important questions to ask yourself before jumping in. If you feel like you aren't in a place where you can spend enough time working on yourself and your career, no amount of coaching will matter. The flip side of this is that career coach can help you find the time and energy to work on yourself, so this question is a bit of a paradox.

If you feel like a career coach would be beneficial to you, you should explore options. As stated above, traditional career coaches are very expensive and few people can afford them.

At Boost, we are trying to solve this problem by providing AI-assisted career coaching at an incredibly low cost which might be a better option for you depending on where you are at. We also provide ourselves on providing a more effective solution than traditional coaching.


Before changing for a carreer you need to consider : Is my finacial status ok? do you have wife+kids that depends on you? do you have at least 6 month of salary savings?

I want something that I get excited to work on in the morning

-> A lot of people want this but work is work, be carefull to dream of a more exiting work and in the end only find something worse.

Now lets talk about changing a carreer : what do you want to do? Are there job in this field? If there are job, its is were you live or you will need to relocate? The salary would be good? Don't forget you will start as an inexperienced person so the salary could be low.

Talking about it with the coach is a good idea. Having an other opinion will surely help you. Depending on the country some assiociation exist for this topic and you can contact them for free.

  • you're not really answering the question. in fact, you instead simply seem to be denying the practicality of a career change.
    – bharal
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 17:25

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