By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes
You don’t just want a job.
You want a new career, a fulfilling job, or a thriving new business.
Whatever the reason may be, you have started to feel lost, unsure and unenthusiastic about your career. Our frenemy, anxiety, is creeping into your body, and you are beginning to wonder if you should seek professional career help.
If you’re anything like I used to be, you may be telling yourself, “I can do this on my own! I am strong!” And you likely are, but there does come a time when it is in your best interest to save yourself some time and pain by hiring an expert for outside perspective in support of your future.
While some signals may feel obvious, it isn’t always clear when it is time to seek help in advancing your career. Here are seven signs it is time to invest in a career coach.
1. Your job angst is leaking into other parts of your life.
Perhaps you are bored at work or frustrated with your job. This irritability has started to affect how you perform the job, and your relationships have also begun to feel dark and clouded. You’d do something about it, but the problem is, you don’t know what other careers or paths you should pursue. The thought of leaving a miserable job, only to take another miserable job, scares you.
Most of the clients I work with say their dissatisfaction at work was one thing, but once it started to affect everything else in their life, they knew it was time to seek outside guidance and support.
You might be thinking, “This sounds like I need a therapist.” The difference between a psychologist and a coach is, a psychologist will focus on looking in the past to heal, while a coach will focus on the future and creating strategies to generate an external outcome.
2. You lack a clear vision and don’t know what to do.
You don’t know what you don’t know about what’s out there for you. When I was feeling uncertain about my path forward and hired my first coach, I had a general idea of what I wanted, to start a business to help people, but I wasn’t clear on the specific details, nor did I know how to put them into action once I did. Thanks to my coach a decade ago, I was able to discover my calling and build a six figure company within one year.
You might be feeling like your entire world needs to change; perhaps it does. It also may simply need an outside perspective to help you course-correct just a little. More often than not, I have found that most people are only a few millimeters off track from the right career fit for them.
3. Your patterns do not support your goals.
You are clear about where you want to be, but you continue to make self-destructive decisions that keep you tied to your bad habits. This is where commitment comes into play, and if you’re being really honest with yourself: you feel like you may lack the true commitment (so far!) to really making your dreams a reality.
Your vision may feel so grand it becomes paralyzing, and you need help taking the small steps forward to reach the big goal.
I have had plenty of clients who come to me feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm is usually a pattern or coping mechanism to protect yourself, so I tend to start with mindset. In the words of John Assaraf, “When you’re interested, you do what’s convenient; when you’re committed, you do whatever it takes.”
The feeling of overwhelm or lack of commitment may be a result of one’s fear of success, fear of failure or fear of the unknown. All of these fears require mindset shifts that most people can do, but they need support in the process. As a career coach, I help people clear blocks and reach the levels of personal commitment and growth they haven’t yet accessed.
4. You are job-hopping constantly.
Getting the job hunt itch too often is one of the more obvious signs you need help. When you build the inability to maintain employment in a certain position or start to job hop every eight to 12 months, it’s time you seek out support.
Perhaps this pattern is a result of losing your job due to poor work ethic or performance, or this pattern is a byproduct of constant dissatisfaction in the roles you do land. The ladder may just mean you’re looking to find your place at work. Whatever the case, this process of applying for new jobs, moving positions and ultimately leaving will start to take its toll on you— emotionally, physically and professionally.
If this pattern continues, it will start to be a red flag to hiring teams who view it as a sign of commitment phobia or low resilience, leaving when things get tough. In order to put a stop to this pattern, a career coach will be able to get to the root of the career dissatisfaction and help you create a career that fits your short, and long term needs.
5. You get interviews, but aren’t landing job offers.
You may have it all mapped out with a solid plan in action, which is great. But then why can’t you land the jobs you apply for? Because no one teaches you how to communicate in a job interview… It’s not something we learn in school.
You are in need of a self-audit on your interview and job hunting skills. This is a very common concern that many of my clients have come to me with, and luckily something that can be quickly resolved. I have found many people have nervous ticks or answer the standard interview questions in a way that doesn’t showcase their strengths. Learning how to answer some of the tough questions will put you at ease, and make the interview process far more successful.
Even when you hold a corporate job, you need to consider your professional brand. When you are on the job search, having a strong brand will support you in the process… and that starts with having a strong resume. A good career coach will be able to help you: craft a solid resume, write a cover letter that puts a career transition into a positive light, or craft an elevator pitch to use for networking. Hope is not a strategy, so get a plan into motion to land the job you love. You are worth it.
There’s nothing powerful about deliberating and analyzing! Get out there and step into your power so you can love the career you’re in. Don’t waste any more time saying “no” to your dreams.
If you need support, I am always here to help.
For a FREE course to land a new job you love, launch your dream business, or find your purpose, visit https://ashleystahl.com/