Chemistry is important in all relationships. A few wrong words can instantly damage a friendship, while the complexities of business relationships can be downright daunting.
How can you tell if a business relationship is broken beyond repair, or should be avoided from the start? When it comes to engaging a career coach, there are five things that should signal you to end your association:
- Lack of chemistry. Call it collaboration, cohesion or chemistry, this is an essential ingredient of any coaching arrangement. A coaching dialogue should promote open sharing, never stunted or awkward conversation. After all, isn’t that the reason you’re there? If a coach isn’t willing to explore and expand your communication boundaries, you are in deep trouble.
- No new leads or opportunities. A coach should be experienced and well-connected. Part of the value of employing a career coach is for them to provide genuine and meaningful leads for you to explore. I normally provide several if not dozens of leads that can bring value to my coaching clients’ career advancement or transition.
- A hopeless feeling. A coaching arrangement should be exciting and invigorating. A coachee should leave a session on a high, not a low. I always like to finish my coaching sessions with a thought-provoking and resonating conclusion. You should be able to reflect on a coaching conversation for a considerable time; those positive thoughts and ideas should carry you through to the next meeting.
- Social media missteps. Would you hire a career coach whose social media presence doesn’t portray them as a true professional? Do you see them posting some questionable photos of a drunken skinny dipping escapade, or making nasty comments about other people’s content? Or do you not see them at all on social media? What story does that tell? A career coach should have a significant social media presence. Failure to do this for themselves shows they won’t have the knowledge to help you do it for your own career.
- No happy clients. Use the internet to conduct comprehensive due diligence where you can unearth the good, the bad, and the ugly about a potential career coach. Look for recommendations on their website, on LinkedIn, and on their static web platforms such as about.me, Flavors.me, and branded.me. Even though they work in a highly confidential environment, any good coach will obtain permission to share recommendations from current and former clients. Contact some of those clients about their experiences before engaging the coach in your own career.
A career coach should be willing to provide an initial 15-20 minutes of their time before entering into any formal arrangement, to discuss their services and how they intend on advancing your career. Watch for these five signs and steer clear if you see them.
If you’ve already engaged a coach, think twice about whether they are a good investment in your career.