We asked a couple of trusted career coach to spill the beans
Life-changing revelations regarding one's career don't come by often.
Not like the oh-so-many embarrassing moments of the corporate rigmarole: crying in the bathroom, second doubting your every step and not knowing how or if you should make a change. Not knowing where you belong.
And nothing like the feeling of constantly hitting a wall. Feeling numb, unmotivated, and knowing you're not living up to your potential (does anybody else have problems with the "potential" word?!)
If you find yourself at a career crossroad, a coach could take you one step closer to those a-ha moments you long for
The mission of a career coach: guiding people in assessing their professional situation and aligning their career pedigree to their inner wishes. To press, push, pull or nudge them in the right direction.
The most common misconceptions people have when talking about career and life coaches:
● They are miracle-workers → no, they are not fortune tellers. No, positive affirmations and "fake it 'til you make it" attitudes will not work if the customers are not open to self-assessment and actually putting in the work
● They are frauds → no, they don't just whip up a resume and send people on your way. Experienced performance coaches or counselors have proven skills and different training methods that help people build a tangible plan with real results.
● They are like personal cheerleaders → the desired result after working with a career coach should consist of a feeling of empowerment to go for whatever you want professionally. Yet, they are more like strategic thought-buddies.
If you're at the "I hate my job, but I don't know what else I should do!" point, know that it's ok to be confused
Maybe the global pandemic made you shift your priorities. Perhaps you're in a professional stall for quite some time now.
Or perhaps questions like "How do I do more? Learn more? Contribute more?" are making a lot more sense at the moment, especially for us female entrepreneurs.
Whatever the case, a good coach will help you figure out your next step and identify your superpowers. If your job grants you the opportunity of having an executive coach or you're thinking about paying one from your own pocket, take a look below before starting the process.
We've made a list of the most popular Q&A and asked the finest coaches we know: Jean-Marie Voon& Adriana Frasin - everything from how much a coach should cost to the real expectations it's fair to have before embarking on this journey.
Jean, can you please give us a quick intro about yourself and what you do as a coach?
Hello! My name is Jean-Marie Voon, and I am an international results coach, based in beautiful Sydney, Australia. I love being a results coach because I get to help people make meaningful change in their lives, and this often has positive flow on effects for their loved ones and communities.
As a coach, I listen carefully and ask good questions to help people uncover what success really means for them, identify what's getting in the way and then focus their efforts on meaningful action.
Critical in this process is helping my clients reflect on their progress, to build momentum and finetune their approach over time. I am also their accountability buddy and cheerleader, supporting and encouraging them through all the journey's ups and downs.
Over time, this combination of self-awareness, clarity and action inevitably helps them create the life they long for.
It is such an honour to be able to help people in this way, and I am always amazed at how much progress people can make in such a short time, and how meaningful and life-changing it can be.
A client might have started with a career, relationship, or well-being goal, but I've noticed that they often end up transforming so many other aspects of their life in the process. Honestly, I can't imagine a better way to make an impact on the world.
Adriana, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do as a coach
I'm Adriana Frasin and I am a coach & mentor for life and career. My mission is supporting others, connect with their purpose & lead a more fulfilling life. I empower my clients to tap into the potential they already possess in order to transform their lives. I help them discover their purpose, gain more clarity and create a brighter future for themselves.
I believe people have more than one purpose in life. What served them 5 or 10 years ago, might not serve them now.
Have the courage to look deep into your heart and discover what makes you come alive. People should live their life at their most powerful and deepest level, by connecting to their purpose and become what they always longed to be.
My own purpose in life is to be COURAGEOUS, PLAYFUL, connected to my HEART and guide people towards FULFILMENT.
I have a few identities I relate to:
• Life Coach and Career Mentor @MyCoachingPoint.com
• Brand Strategist @Coachpedia.net
• Ex-Corporate Manager @Philips
• Rookie Investor (TESLA, ARK, Crypto)
• Fundraiser for non-profits
• World Traveller
• Human on a mission for a live well lived
Q: What does a coach do? And equally important what doesn't a coach do?
[Jean] A good coach is there solely for their client and remembers first and foremost that their client is an amazing human being with so much value, wisdom and capability already within them.
Because of this, a good coach listens intently, and reflects what's necessary to help their client discover all of this within themselves. It's all about looking at things from a different perspective, with optimism and with hope – it could be shining a light on positive attributes they take for granted, reframing a problem to really understand it, or gently encouraging them to comb through the tangles in their thoughts to get to clarity and confidence.
What a good coach doesn't do is give answers or prescribe advice. They might offer suggestions and share examples of how others deal with a similar issue, but the only person who should ever decide if something is the way forward for you, is you!
[Adriana] Let's start with what a coach should not do:
• A coach is not a mentor and is not a trainer
• A coach will not tell you what you need to do and will keep suggestions to a minimum
What a coach will do:
• Ask questions in order to create awareness inside you about the real issue
• Hold a safe space for you, where you can cry, laugh, be vulnerable and honest with yourself
• Listen deeply to what you are actually saying
• Help you overcome tough times, help you turn losses into lessons and celebrate the wins with you
Q: Are there more types or styles of coaching? Which one do you do?
[Jean] Being an unregulated industry, there is an absolute overabundance in types and styles of coaching, and it can be overwhelming. Most coaching styles follow similar frameworks of self-reflection, clarity and action, however they vary greatly in terms of philosophy, intent and approach.
For example, executive coaching is generally about helping a business leader be more effective in their role, and focus will typically be on achieving business related outcomes for both the individual and wider organisation. Thus, the individual's personal values and life goals are considered within the context of the overarching business goals.
As a different sort of example, there are many coaches who prefer to specialise based on their own background and mix in mentoring alongside coaching (e.g. confidence coaching for people with disability, business coaching for first time entrepreneurs), that is, the coaches draw from their own experience and provide advice and recommendations for their client based on what has proven to be a successful path for them.
No one style of coaching is objectively better than the other, as it really comes down to what you think you would prefer and work best with.
My style of coaching is results coaching, which believes in every person's value and capability, and recognises that every person has had their own unique background and life shaping influences. Results coaches believe that the best outcomes come from self-discovery and self-calibration, supported by clarity, positivity and self-belief. And actually, if I can share a little secret with you – the ultimate goal for a results coach is actually to turn you into your own coach, where you innately seek clarity, with positivity and unshakeable confidence and self-belief. This way, beyond the results we work on, you'll truly be set for everything that life brings your way.
[Adriana] There are tens of types of coaching these days. Success coaching, purpose coaching, fulfilment coaching, clarity coaching, motivation coaching etc.
But I like to think of the coaching world in broader, simpler, systemic terms:
By area: Work and Life
• work: business, career, performance, leadership or executive coaching
• Life: Life Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Health & Wellness Coaching.
By setup: Individual, Couple, Team or Group Coaching
I specialize in Life Coaching, both individual and group coaching.
And due to my decade spent in corporate setting, I also provide Business and Career Mentoring.
Q: Who would benefit from a coach?
[Jean] Anyone who has a result they want to achieve will benefit greatly from a coach. Whether you're struggling or are already on your way, you'll discover precious insights about yourself which will help you progress with even more success than you may imagine possible.
This applies to any sort of results – you might want to develop confidence, drive your career forward, build a business, improve your relationships, get healthy for the first time… If you want to make a change in your life, and particularly if you're struggling to get traction, investing in a coach will bring you more value than you could ever put a number to.
[Adriana] My clients are people who've been in the working field for almost a decade before they thought of looking for a coach. Imagine how great it would have been, had they started 10 years ago.
But as a Chinese proverb says:
"The first best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The second best time is now."
I think 2 scenarios push people to get coaches:
• Reactive (most often) – something happened that triggered the need to seek advice, to overcome doubt, confusion, blockages.
• Proactive (less often) – these are people for who growth, learning and development rank at the top of the values list.
Everyone needs role models, mentors, coaches.
• Role models inspire you to study them and learn from their journeys.
• Mentors tell you about how they chose to do things.
• Coaches help you uncover from within you the path to follow.
So, think in which stage you are:
• Have you studied the people that went there before you?
• Have you talked to someone who is where you want to go?
• Are you ready to craft your own (MAP) massive action plan to reach your goal?
Q: If someone decided to use a coach, how should they find the right one? Give us your top 3 criteria?
[Jean] Coaching is something I would suggest you get recommendations on – there are so many coaches out there, and as a result, there is a huge variance in quality. So knowing that someone you trust has found a particular coach useful will be a big help. I would then recommend having an initial chat with the coach to get a feel for their style of coaching, and see if you enjoy their vibe.
Your criteria might differ from mine, but I would be looking for someone who:
- listens well and asks thought provoking questions, without imposing their views on me
- is trustworthy, non-judgemental and helps me feel safe to be myself
- has a sense of fun and lightness about them – I'd hope change is fun!
• Identify your need and find out what coaching solutions are out there for it
• Narrow down to 2-3 coaches that give you a good gut feeling.
• Have the initial discovery call, where you can interact live with them and answer for yourself:
• What does my MIND say?
• What does my HEART say?
• What does my BODY say?
• Decide for the one your three main compasses were most in alignment with
Q: Is it normal to pay a coach from your own money or should one request a coach from their employer?
[Jean] I am not too sure about the stats on this one, but many people do pay for their own coach, while many people also receive coaching through their employer.
One thing to consider is that the coach will naturally have an obligation to whoever is paying them, so if you source a coach through your employer, this might become more akin to executive coaching that considers personal coaching in the context of business outcomes.
[Adriana] Some of my clients have their companies cover the coaching program fee, so definitely try to get your employer to support you in your development.
However, it needs to be made explicit how will this type of coaching help you become a better employee.
If that is not the case, don't be afraid to invest in yourself. You want only the best for you, so the sooner you start, the faster you reach your goal.
Q: Do you see a trend of more people deciding to pay for a coach from their own money?
[Jean] Again, I don't know the stats on this to be able to say if more or less people do this or that, however I do know that many people do seek their own personal coaches as they want to work on their own goals rather than their employer's goals.
Results coaching and many other life coaching variants focus on you as a person and your core values, which I personally believe is more powerful as it gets to the heart of what really matters to you first. From this precious starting point, my clients start to view themselves and life in a different, more positive way. It becomes almost inevitable then that the positive change flows into many other aspects of their lives.
[Adriana] Most of my clients pay for coaching with their own money. Life is short and should not be wasted doubting too much about making this step. Remember that you're paying for results and for a better version of yourself. Choose who you work with wisely and fast track your development.
Q: How much should a coach cost? Can you give us some ranges?
[Jean] Coaching fees range significantly, given the variety in coaching styles and coaches' quality and experience. Beginner coaches may charge as little as 40AUD/hour (aprox. 25 EUR), yet experienced executive coaches can charge upwards of 1000AUD/hour (aprox 650 EUR), often in monthly/quarterly/yearly packages.
This huge range makes it both easy and challenging to find a coach, as it does mean that there will be a coach to suit your budget, but the price is not always an accurate indicator of quality.
My suggestion is to try out a coach who has been recommended to you, and test out whether you have a good vibe with them. Based on this, consider their price and test out how this fits within your budget and priorities. What I will say though is that I firmly believe that investing in a good coach will bring you more benefit than you could possibly put a value to.
[Adriana] From my experience, coaching rates fluctuate between 100-500 EUR per hour, depending on how well known and established the coach is.
I recommend getting programs of at least 8-9 sessions, so you can truly dig deep and make progress.
Q: What is a realistic expectation one should have from a coaching session/program?
[Jean] Go into a coaching session/program with an open mind and hopeful expectations. Realistically, you may not be able to solve everything immediately, and your initial results may change as you discover more about yourself over time. Still, you will make meaningful progress towards becoming the person you want to be and creating the life for yourself that you long for.
It's simpler than people think, and it truly is possible – I have seen my clients time and time again achieve their results and count myself lucky to have been able to help.
[Adriana] Coaching is not a one-way street. The coach will ask questions, will hold a safe space for the client to unpack their thoughts, but the client has to be ready.
The client has to tolerate being uncomfortable, vulnerable, feeling shame or other less enjoyable feelings and open up. These are the growing pains. The seed one plants has to crack open to give birth to a tree. Don't be afraid of those cracking noises. Welcome them, celebrate them, because you are shedding the shell you no longer need. Push through the uncomfortable and trust it is a sign of growth.
Q: From your own experience, what are people's top reasons to look for a coach? Are there any differences between men and women?
[Adriana] Most of my clients want to become a better or the best version of themselves and don't know where to start or are struggling with crippling anxiety, procrastination, lack of motivation. They can imagine how and where they want to be, but something is holding them back.
Are there any differences between men and women?
It's hilarious, but it's the century-old fight between order and chaos.
Women want more control (order), and men want more freedom (chaos).
So, the work to be done here is actually the opposite:
• for women to learn how to let go of control and trust that they have it within them to manage almost all scenarios that might come their way
• for men to find things to which they can fully commit, so they can become the reliable and trustworthy pillars of society (brotherhoods, hobbies, careers, relationships)
Q: If you could give a piece of advice to any young working woman, what would that be?
[Jean] Be yourself. Back yourself. You've got what it takes and so much more.
[Adriana] Get 2 mentors as early in your career as you can. A man and a woman.
Absorb learnings, reflect on what serves you and what not and integrate the parts that will help you grow.
Q: To end on an AMZA note: what is one thing you always have in your workbag?
[Jean] Phone and lip balm, can't go anywhere without them!
[Adriana] Lip balm, mints and business cards