The decision to hire a coach to assist you in improving some aspect of your life is an important one. It also brings forth some questions.

In much the same way as your exact reasons for hiring a coach are unlikely to be the same as someone else’s, so every coach is unique, too. So, how can you go about choosing the right coach for you?

Here are some of the things I would suggest you think about when narrowing down your options for a coach – and which will help to ensure you find the right one!

The type of coaching that you desire

Coaches go by different names: life coaches, business coaches, transformational coaches, strategy coaches and so on. They are generalists.

If you are looking to further your career, you might prefer a dedicated career coach who can offer more specialised experience and knowledge. The Career Coach has supported over 700 professionals one-on-one for the last seventeen years. We know our stuff!

Want to change career? Find a coach who has done that in their own life and who knows first- hand the journey that entails and how to transition successfully.

Or maybe you’d like your chosen coach to have a track record of coaching people in the same industry as you, or to have been a professional in this sector themselves?

Personal fit

Coaching is an intensely personal relationship. It is essential you feel right from the start that your coach understands not just your situation but “gets you” as a person and that you feel emotionally safe with them.

Did you feel there was rapport between you on the initial consultation call? Did you like your coach? These are simple yet important questions and your instinct will tell you what is right here.

The coach’s training and accreditations

Alas, one of the unfortunate things about career coaching in the UK is that strictly speaking, anyone can call themselves a coach.

That situation won’t last forever as the field becomes more professionalised. In the meantime, though, you need to ask serious questions about the qualifications and accreditations possessed by whatever coach you are considering.

You only need to look at our own team, for example, to see that we hold a broad range of respected qualifications. I have trained with such trusted bodies myself as CoachU and Newfield, and am accredited at Master Certified Coach (MCC) level with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Other members of our team are accredited to Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Associate Certified Coach (ACC) level.  This means we have been externally assessed to have reached certain globally accepted professional coaching and ethical standards. We adhere to a Code of Conduct.

Where and when the coach is able to coach you

While some coaches only offer their services during daytime working hours, others are happy to work with you at less conventional times.

I provide career coaching from 9-3 Monday to Friday, as well as on some evenings (UK times). My associates can offer other times.

We can also give you the convenience of coaching by phone, Skype or Zoom – although if you would prefer face-to-face coaching, we can provide this during the day at London Bridge, and for corporate engagements at your office if it is in central London.

Note that coaching is just as effective whether we meet in person or virtually. It really is down to your personal preference.

The fees that the coach charges

We all have a budget when it comes to investing in things like coaching – what’s yours? Equally important, however, is considering this budget in light of what you want to achieve and the timescale it’s realistic to achieve it in.

We offer three-month programmes for career change and job search because in our experience, it takes that long to explore what is needed to get it right and achieve really good and sustainable results. For leadership development, we recommend 6 months minimum for sustainable behaviour change.

Coaching can be an investment that pays serious dividends in your life and career, so reflect on what those dividends could be for you and don’t shy away from investing in the right coach. Consider the risks too of not getting professional support. For example, if you are out of work, for each month you are not earning, you are losing a salary. Working with a coach to find a new job will help you land that next job far sooner and provide a return on your coaching investment very quickly.

Be mindful that a more expensive coach will not automatically be a better choice for you than a cheaper one, and shop around accordingly. Sometimes you are paying for office overheads, and not the experience of the coach. We have no offices so we don’t pass that cost onto you.

Why not discuss your coaching needs with me?

While the above is a by-no-means exhaustive rundown of the factors you will have to think about when comparing providers of career coaching in the UK, it should provide you with some invaluable direction as you seek to get specific about the right – and wrong – options for you.

Get in touch with me about your own needs from your next coach, and I would be pleased to provide the free initial consultation that will enable us to determine the best steps for you – whether or not you ultimately choose me or any other member of our team as your coach.