shutterstock_139696399Last week I was contacted by a late-thirties executive who was seeking a career coach. He said he had worked previously with a coach in an other state, the result of which was a move to Atlanta with a step up to a Vice President position and considerably more income. I asked him why he called me and he said he was ready to take the next step in his career. He said he had been very happy with the help he received from his last coach and wanted a local Atlanta coach to work with him in making his next step upward. I smiled … outside and inside.

A common expression some coaches like to use is “Even Tiger Woods has a coach.” They say this in an attempt to wake people up to the fact that every level of performer can benefit from being professionally coached. Because many people are resistant to change, I believe that this comment tends to fall on deaf ears. Engaging a coach is an action that openly invites change. If you are like the VP who called me and are open to change, then professional coaching may be right for you.

Most career seekers I speak with each week are not like my VP caller. They have gaping holes in their thinking when it comes to career planning and career changes. They want some free advice and then, upon receiving it, go along their merry way. But, if you are the exception and are interested in learning more about the benefits of coaching, then professional coaching may be right for you.

Coaches seek to determine if a prospective client is “coachable.” Even if you are open to change, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are willing to do the work. It also doesn’t necessarily mean you are willing to let down your defenses and let go of needing to be right. If you are committed to making the effort required for meaningful change and are willing to examine things objectively, then professional coaching may be right for you.

There are oodles and oodles of free, amateur advice available. Most people love to share their opinions. But, it can be difficult to judge which inputs are useful. If you are willing to step up and invest your hard earned money in your future, then professional coaching may be right for you.

Your current circumstances in life and your career were fashioned by your past decisions. Your future will be crafted by the decisions you make next.

As you make plans for the new year, consider professional coaching. It has the potential to increase your odds of making better decisions and creating the future you desire. Happy new year!