iStock_000008216420_SmallAmericans have a lot of regrets when it comes to their career. Almost 60 percent said they wished they had chosen a different career path, according to a survey conducted by Parade Magazine and Yahoo! Finance.

Given that you will spend approximately 50 years of your life working, devoting that time to something you love will have an immeasurable impact on your quality of life.

If you are one of the majority of Americans who regret their job choice or are thinking about a career change, working with a career coach can help. When does it really pay to see a career coach?

When You Want to Make a Change — But Don’t Know Where to Start

You feel stuck. You know that your current work isn’t providing you with a sense of fulfillment. You know that something needs to change — but what?

A career coach can help you determine your next steps. They’ll help you articulate your goals and take stock of your talents, values and interests.

Why are your interests particularly important? Because research has demonstrated that when people are allowed to pursue their personal interests in their work, they tend to be happier and have fewer career choice regrets. According to the Philips Work/Life Survey, 48 percent of workers who are able to leverage personal interests in the workplace state they are very satisfied, while only 7 percent of those who are not able to do so state they are very satisfied. Further, only 23 percent of workers who are allowed to focus on personal interests in the workplace have regrets about their job choice, compared to 41 percent of those who do not get to apply their personal interests.

Your coach will help you synthesize a wealth of information in order to assess what will bring you the greatest career satisfaction and fulfillment, whether that’s a different role within your current company, a different job in your current field or industry, or a completely different career.

When You’re Unclear on What Your Talents Are

iStock_000036196128_SmallOften, we’re blind to our talents because, as we grow older, we assume limiting beliefs or a sense of defeat that clouds our judgment. Or, some of our talents might feel so natural that we take them for granted or undervalue them, thinking, “This is easy, anyone can do it!”

A career coach can help you gain invaluable knowledge about your talents, which are a critical factor in determining your best career fit. Aptitude testing administered by a professional coach is one of the best ways to identify your natural talents, which will provide great insight into potential career matches.

When You’re Ready to Start Your Job Search

If you already know the job you want to target, a career coach can help you get a leg up on the competition through:

  • Job search strategies: The process of finding a new job can be overwhelming. It takes time, energy, discipline and organization. A career coach can help you develop effective strategies to make the best use of your time while keeping you motivated and focused.
  • Interview coaching: By conducting a one-on-one mock interview, a coach will provide you with much greater awareness of your verbal and nonverbal performance, as well as guidance around how to respond more effectively to interview questions — all of which sets you up to be more confident, polished and poised when it comes time for the real interviews.
  • Resume rewrites: In today’s marketplace, standing out to potential employers is becoming increasingly difficult. Creating a strong first impression with a concise, well-written resume is paramount.
  • Personal brand coaching: A great coach can help you not only optimize your online profiles and develop your elevator speech, but can also go deeper to help you better manage your thoughts, beliefs and perspectives — these shape the core of your personal brand.

How could working with a career coach help you achieve your career goals?
Stuck in the wrong career - four steps to get unstuck