Karen Lomas
October 15, 2015

Promised a Job by a Careers Coach

courtesy of Unspash

courtesy of Unsplash

It is very disappointing, more than that, upsetting, to hear that a young job seeker has been promised a job by a careers coach, only to find himself signed up to a fast-track course at a highly inflated price. See “The Age” today, and the story by Michael Bachelard and Henrietta Cook, titled “Education lures can be job hunters’ trap” (page 14).

Ben Mutch was caught up in this “job hunters’s trap“. The coaching service signed Ben up to a course that was one of the company’s own providers, and came at a cost of $20,000 over 9 months. According to Bachelard and Cook’s article an equivalent course through a TAFE “costs as little as $550.

I recently attended a careers fair and witnessed “coaches” offering students iPads in return for signing up with one such organisation. These tactics are nothing but sales techniques, and that cannot be referred to as career coaching. People who call themselves career coaches need to be able to provide details of their qualifications (preferably to post graduate level) and experience in this precise field of work. The organisation should be completely independent, rather than affiliated with training institutions.

So buyer beware, just like in any other situation. Professional careers coaches work in the same way as a soccer coach, or a netball coach. They don’t offer financial incentives or guarentees, they simply help the job seeker (player) to grow in terms of skills and confidence.

Moreover, a career coach should have the accreditation of a professional institution, in just the same way as you would like your builder to belong to a professional guild, or an engineer be a professional member of an institute of engineers.

In Australia, the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) is the professional body that provides ongoing training to professional careers practitioners. Professional members are obliged to participate in a number of hours per year of professional development and as such are fully informed about changes in the job market and new techniques and tools for coaching. Members can access peer reviewed journals that are relevant to counselling, coaching and career development best practice, and are able to attend seminars, webinars and conferences, and connect with other practitioners via networking groups and participate in professional mentoring.

The professional reputation of careers practitioners is at stake as a consequence of the actions of career coaching agencies. Don’t mistake gifts and promises for professional expertise in coaching. If you’re promised a job by a careers coach, proceed with extreme caution!

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