If your experience of careers advice is limited to a 5 minute careers session back in school or college, you may not be aware of the benefits of working with a professional career coach. A career coach provides a platform to explore your aspirations and realise your career goals. Each coaching relationship is unique and the beauty of individual coaching is that it enables you to work purely on your own agenda to fulfil your own needs.
Have you ever wondered whether career coaching is for you? We’ve listed below 5 key reasons you should invest in career coaching as a working mum or mum on maternity leave or a longer career break.
Before we dive in, pause to think about the motherhood penalty – impacting most women’s careers (negatively) after becoming a parent. It is still very real, however you can personally take positive actions to ensure you future-proof yourself against the penalty, protecting your earnings, making the most of your potential and creating a fulfilling career for yourself. For example, finding flexible work, doesn’t have to equate to being in a lower paid job with a lack of prospects for development and progression.
So here’s our 5 reasons why you should invest in career coaching:
1. You’re feeling stuck
If you are feeling stuck in your current situation – whether you are currently working or not – but feel as though you keep coming up against closed doors, hitting a brick wall or stuck in a rut unable to see a way out, a coach can help you to identify the obstacles or barriers in your way and find ways to help you to overcome them and make progress.
Whether its confidence or pesky imposter syndrome holding you back; whether you’ve woken up and realised you’ve been stuck in the same routine and mode of operation for months or years and you’ve realised it’s finally time for you to do something different, coaching can enable you to reconnect with yourself and your dreams, find your mojo and get excited about your future.
2. You’re not sure what you want to do next
Many people work with a career coach as they want to figure out their future career direction. Working with a coach to help you gain clarity about what you want to do next – whether your next role, or what you want in the years ahead, can help you cut through any uncertainty and set a specific direction for you to work towards. Key life stages, such as becoming a parent or your children getting to specific stages of their education, may prompt you to rethink what you want from your work as well as your wider life.
Technological development means there is so much choice about where, how and when we work, whilst the speed of change in the world of work creates different challenges and opportunities for us.
If your employer is not giving you flexible working, find an employer who will; if you’re feeling left behind by digital changes, learn new skills. It’s useful to have someone in your corner, exploring possibilities, opening the door to potential opportunities and cheering you on to find your future direction.
3. Changes are happening around you … you need to adapt (or get left behind)
During the pandemic most of us will have been forced to reflect on our life circumstances – our stability, security and priorities. We may have been impacted (more than ever) by changes enforced around us that are out of our personal control. So whether you’ve found yourself in a redundancy situation, having to work in different ways or in the job market but not through your personal choice, working with a career coach can help you process the complex emotions around the situation you find yourself in, as well as help you to make progress by planning and preparing to take back your power and find a positive way forward.
A coach can help you let go of the negative emotion and help you connect with your inner power to regain control and impetus to move forward in a way that is healthy and sustainable for you.
4. You want (and deserve) more from your career
Do you feel like your career has stagnated, or you’ve sat back whilst seeing colleagues or friends progress in their careers? Did you take a ‘little’ job to keep you going to fit in with, say, school hours, but now you want more from your working life? It’s natural to want different things at different stages of life.
Investing in creating the next stage of your working life – whether it’s a career change, preparing for a step up or even starting your own business can all be eased and supported by working with a coach. Procrastination can often get in the way and prevent you from making progress and realising your aspirations.
5. You’re worth it … you want to pro-actively manage your career
The days have long passed where employers would take responsibility for career development – it’s now important that we each take individual responsibility for our own career journey. Career ladders don’t exist in the way that they have previously done (and didn’t necessarily serve women well in the first place!). So our advice is to ditch the (imaginary) ladder, explore opportunities and create your own career that works for you.
Bust the myths of what is and isn’t possible and work with a career coach to help you reach your ambitions – whatever they are. Discovering our strengths and optimum ways of working, building supportive networks, understanding personal values and confidently seeking out opportunities are all important factors in building a unique working life – all achievable by working with a coach in a proactive way to create your future.
Rather than leaving your future to chance, take control and put yourself in the driving seat of your own career journey.
Career-Mums’ coaches are all experienced and qualified coaches, with years of experience of supporting women in their careers. As a non-profit making social enterprise, our purpose is to support women in their careers and promote the need for more women leaders – in our communities, employers and public services. Most of our coaching programmes involve working with one of our coaches over 3 sessions, usually over Zoom.
To find out if our style of career coaching is for you, book a free discovery call. Find out more about the Career-Mums team and services we offer here. We believe investing in yourself is the best investment you will make. Not only will it improve your life it will impact the lives of those around you.