What do Andrew Luck, Barbara Streisand and Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce.com) have in common? All of them work with a coach to reach the height of their careers, talent and business. It is a strategy Boomer workers should consider as well. Lisa McDonald, CPRW, career coach and owner of Career Polish, suggests that experienced workers engage a career coach while they are employed. When an employee or entrepreneur waits until their job or business is in jeopardy, “the person’s emotional state moves from proactive to reactive,” says McDonald.
Diane Foster, an executive coach based in Florida, works with clients across the country and offers a “Second Act” coaching package in as few as two sessions to increase success for Baby Boomers transitioning to retirement. According to Foster, people in mid-life come to career coaching for four major reasons: 1) they are forced to make a career change due to a work situation or downsizing; 2) a worker is interested in making a major career shift for personal reasons to pursue a passion; 3) employees move to a new location for family reasons like a spouse relocation and, 4) mature workers experience job burnout.
A career coach can help experi-enced workers navigate the new multigenerational employment landscape. McDonald explains,
“Many workers have disconnected with the value they bring an employer and think of themselves as their job title. One of my roles is to help clients who are stuck in a rut wondering what value they have to offer an employer and guide them as they gain confidence.” McDonald says career coaching is a “gift to yourself” and works with clients who are too close to their situation to view it objectively.
There are several ways to locate a career coach. Colleagues, contacts at professional and alumni associations and net-working groups, like Passport-2Employment, are avenues for recommendations. Many career coaches advertise online. After identifying a potential coach, it is important to know your objectives and expectations from working with a coach. What do you want to change about your employment situation? If you are happy and satisfied in your current role, what steps should you take to-day to maintain your position? The next step is to interview the career coach and find out how they engage with clients. Technology allows coaching clients to not only visit their coach in person; many work with clients via telephone, Skype and e-mail. In addition to the cost, you may also want to know how many sessions the coach thinks it will take to meet your objectives.
Engaging a coach is an option for Boomer employees to control the direction of their careers and transition to retirement.