No boss, coworker, peer, spouse, parent, relative, friend, or anyone else, will accompany you through each job. You alone will be with yourself every step of your career journey; you’re it! You’re the only one who can increase the your career prospects, the quality of your relationships, your self-confidence, and your peace of mind.
Work With a Coach
I was fortunate early in my career to recognize the need to retain a career coach. In a nutshell, a career coach can help:
* diagnose and sort out your situation and opportunities
* offer new strategies for coping with office politics and competition from other firms
* show you vital stress management skills
* discover or capitalize on new opportunities
A good coach provides new tools to chart your goals and career path, and improve communication. Your career coach can be your positive personal, behind-the-scenes confidant, consultant, and resource.
The Benefit From a Career Coach
If you lack self-confidence, or feel as if your career progression is not on the right track, or are faced with any of the following, then it’s likely you need a career coach:
1. Organizational changes within your organization especially if they have a direct impact on you.
2. Acquisitions or mergers.
3. Expansion into new markets.
4. Diversification into new products or services.
5. Increased competition to your firm from other firms trying to take over your market share.
6. Increased management or supervisory responsibility.
7. Increased leadership opportunities.
8. A recent or soon-to-be available promotion.
9. A new boss, or leadership shake-up above you.
10. Changes in your role or assignments within your company.
11. In-company competition and power plays, corporate intrigue, jockeying for position, or turf protection.
12. Blockades of your progress by internal feuds or informal political processes.
13. Increased media exposure or public speaking requirements.
14. Increased production or sales quotas.
15. A new project you must lead or participate in developing.
For several years I worked with a career coach – we met only once quarterly for two hours but I would depart supercharged.
An Employment Contract
You coach might be able to guide you on the topic of employment contracts. The notion of generating an employment contract has been around for decades, yet most career professionals to this day know what an employment contract is, how to draw one up, or how to ensure that they only work with a contract in force.
Among other things, my coach advised me on the importance of establishing a contract. When I first heard this, I was amazed. “You mean that I am to march into my boss’s office and suggest that we develop a contract that defines both the company’s and my responsibilities over the next twelve months?” Yes. Exactly!
In all industries, the most valuable people work with a contract. This is true in the NBA, Fortune 500 companies; philanthropic groups; the highest levels of government; and civic, social, and charitable organizations. The top talent works under an employment contract.
A Huge Boost
Among other things, having an employment contract is a great confidence booster. Essentially, it defines your working conditions for the length of a specified term. It establishes your compensation rate. It practically secures your employment.
What’s more, the contract enhances your confidence while you’re writing it, and it gives you practice in assertiveness. This occurs when you first introduce the subject with your prospective or current employer and when you actually conduct the session to consummate the contract negotiation.