Today, I spoke to Maggie Mistal, who is a career coach, radio host, TV contributor and blogger. Maggie is Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Career Coach on SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio. In this interview, Maggie talks about career coaching, from the qualifications you need, to what makes a successful career coach, how to keep your brand name out there and get new clients and her web strategy. Take a journey inside the mind of a career coach!
What does it mean to be a career coach in 2009? What new qualifications must you have?
For me being a career coach is about helping people find their ideal careers through soul search, research and job search. My approach provides the framework for my clients to find their own answers and create careers that match their unique skills, interests and motivators. My approach hasn’t changed in 2009 but the need now is greater than ever. People are finding that traditional career paths are not as stable as they once believed and many realize this a perfect time to reinvent their careers.
No new qualifications have been necessary, but as a career change coach I must to continue doing more of what I’ve always done – to get people to be honest with themselves and to continue supporting them to make their ideal careers a reality.
What was it like to work in Martha Stewart’s organization? How did it help build your personal brand?
Martha Stewart employs creative and innovative people. Working at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia full-time (I still contract with the organization to do my weekly SIRIUS XM radio show) was enlightening. I coached and trained individuals at all levels across four different areas of business from publishing to merchandising to media to web. I also witnessed the power of someone who’s talented and passionate about what she does.
This was especially evident during my 45 minute on air radio interview with Martha Stewart herself, discussing her successful approach to business and career. Her example and my time at the company helped my personal brand in that I learned how important integrity, consistency and quality are in your message and your services. The bar is high at Martha Stewart, which is credit to her brand.
“I too hold myself to high standards and see how crucial that is to building something that lasts.”
How does speaking, your radio show and your other promotional vehicles help your business? What would happen if you didn’t have them?
Coaching is a personal service. My clients need to get a sense for me to know whether or not I can help them. My radio show Making a Living with Maggie, my speaking engagements, and my TV appearances on CNN, all give people a chance to get to know me and provide a platform to get my message out to the public. Once they’ve heard my messages and see my passion for what I do, I feel it instills in people a sense of confidence that I can help them and that they can make a career change.
If I didn’t have these vehicles, I would still be able to promote my business through word-of-mouth. My past clients are my biggest and best source of future clients and that hasn’t changed in all the years I’ve been a coach. You can read their testimonials on my website.
You have your own branded website maggiemistal.com. When you created this site, what did you want to achieve with it?
The initial goals for the site were two fold. First I launched the site to become known as a career coach in a formal way and give credibility to my practice. It also gave me a way to communicate how I can help people unhappy in their careers and help them make changes. Still today, my website gives people a safe and easy way to understand my services and how I could help them with their career needs and goals. But over time, my site has transformed from information-focused to resource-focused.
And this summer I’m launching a new version of maggiemistal.com that will incorporate my blog, my media appearances and publications, my radio show, and all my services and products in one place. It will still be a way to educate people about coaching but now they will be able to download more resources in real time.
There are over 4 million people out of work right now, but most of them won’t see a career coach. Why do you think this is? Is it because they’re afraid?
To be honest, I’m not so sure most of them won’t see a career coach. You’d be amazed at the number of requests for services I’ve received since the financial crisis started in the fall of 2008. And for the ones who don’t see a coach formally, I’d be very surprised if they didn’t ask a friend, colleague, or family member for help and advice about their careers.
People need help with their careers, and why not? Work is where most of us spend our time. The biggest obstacle I see for most people is that they don’t think to invest in their careers. They invest in their retirement; they spend weeks planning a one-week vacation but still many people wait until there is a crisis to invest in their careers. Many haven’t saved or budgeted for investment in their careers and find it difficult to save when living paycheck to paycheck. But investing in your career – where you spend over a third of your life – does not sound like a luxury to me but rather a necessity if you want long-term, consistent happiness and success at work.
Maggie Mistal is a career coach, radio host, TV contributor and blogger. CNN recently called Maggie, “one of the nation’s best known career coaches.” Maggie has appeared several times on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips and Alina Cho and on CNN’s Your Money as a career expert. She is a certified life purpose and career coach and hosts a weekly national radio show called “Making a Living with Maggie.” After being Director of Learning & Development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for several years, Maggie became Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Career Coach on SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio. She has interviewed some of the most successful names in their fields from Martha Stewart to Sally Field to Deepak Chopra to Cynthia Rowley.