Is it time to get a career coach?

Many forward-thinking companies today are offering coaching as part of their professional development benefits and are receiving great return on their investment.

According to an article published by American University out of Washington, D.C., businesses hiring coaches for their executive team have experienced a:

• 70% increase in individual performance (goal attainment, clearer communication, higher satisfaction);

• 50% increase in team performance (better conversations, improved collaboration, enhanced work performance); and

• 48% increase in organizational performance (increase in revenue, increase in employee retention and customers as advocates).

One of our main desires as humans is to learn, grow and develop at all levels in our career.

If your company does not offer coaching as part of their professional development benefits, or only offers it to leaders/executives, do not let that stop you. There is a real return on investing in yourself.

Like the company, you will also benefit from having better goal attainment, clearer communication, greater satisfaction at work, improved team collaboration and a way to show how what you do has a direct impact on your company's bottom line and increase your bottom line as well.

Depending on the type of career support you need determines the type of coach that is best for you. There are many different types of career coaches:

• Leadership

• Executive

• Productivity/performance

• Team building

• Personal/life

• Financial

• Career transformation

What a coach is not

If you broke your ankle, you might tell your friends, family or even your therapist about what happened.

You would go to a doctor to get the right treatment and may eventually see a physical therapist.

A coach is not a replacement for a medical doctor, a therapist, your friends or your family.

What a coach is

You may be out of work, ready to find a new job with a new company, want to stay with your current company in a different role, desire to manage a team, dream of starting your own business, writing a book, or speaking and advising others. Whatever your career circumstances, a coach can be essential to a peaceful and successful transition.

A coach can help you get back in the game after a layoff, reorganization, change in leadership, etc.

A coach can help you to become a better leader or team player.

A coach can help you acknowledge that what you used to do is no longer what you want to do. Even though you are good at it. Even though everyone gives you kudos for the work you do.

A coach can help you see your genius when you cannot see it in yourself.

A coach can help you have a bigger vision for what is possible.

A coach can recognize the gaps and be the bridge.

A coach can challenge your limiting thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back.

A coach is that listening ear and the soft landing when things get tough.

A coach calls you to be who you are meant to be, doing the work you are meant to be doing in the world in the way that not only serves others but also serves you.

If you have been feeling less engaged at work. If you have an area that you want to develop in yourself. If you have reached a point in your career where you are ready for a complete change then there is no better time than now to work with a coach and create the career of your dreams.

• Laurie Swanson is the former owner of a highly successful Information Technology Search firm. She felt the tug for different, heeded the call, hired a coach, and now works with woman as their Career Transformation Coach with a Spiritual Approach. "I used to help women change jobs. Now I transform careers." Visit or connect with Laurie via email at

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