If you're struggling with your career, tired of sitting in the same cubicle day in and day out, or staring at the same walls, you may feel like you need a professional to help you out of your rut. But career coaches don't come cheap. Make sure you know exactly what's involved before you put put down the investment.
Career coaches are typically hired by people who are in the middle of their career, rather than by people who are just starting out after college. A career coach may help a client transition from her current career into a completely new field, or from working for other people into starting her own company. Career coaches help with resume writing and portfolio creation, since some people who are transitioning may not have had to put out a resume for years. They may run personality tests to help a client find a better career match where she'll feel more fulfilled.
Many career coaches charge by the hour, and their price is typically similar to the hourly price of an attorney. You might be charged between $75 to $500 an hour, with the most typical price landing at around $100 an hour. In 2007, the average price of one session with a career coach was $161 an hour, according to the Coaching Federation.
Some career coaches prefer to charge by the consultation or they may even be put on a retainer. The typical price for a consultation with a seasoned career coach is about $1,000, but some coaches who are newer may charge around $300 a session. Keep in mind that career coaching generally entails more than just one session. You may end up paying thousands for a complete package over time. For example, 12 months of consultation can cost about $8,000.
Weighing the Costs
Although a career coach can be expensive, the investment could be worthwhile if it helps you find a higher-paying job or reduces your overall debt. Look at your finances to find out if you can hire one without going into debt. If you're working for a company that's unstable and may be laying off people, or if you're getting back into the workforce after raising children, or even if you're dissatisfied with your job and looking for a major change, a career coach can be a good choice. However, keep in mind that if the job market for your field is tough, hiring a coach isn't a guarantee that you'll get a new job.
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