Each and every time I know that I’m going to make some sort of transition, I always find somebody else who’s done it before me. Whether that’s an expert, a trainer, a mentor, or a coach, I want to know what their advice is, or how they got from where I am to where they are now; I always want to seek out that professional.
Maybe you are at that same point today. Maybe you’ve written out some goals, you have a vision, you maybe know exactly where you want to go. You want to make that transition, and you’re asking whether or not you should be hiring a coach or looking for someone else. I wanted to take a couple of minutes and share with you some thoughts that you can consider, if you’re in this stage.
If you’re not quite sure exactly where you want to be going or you’re not totally clear, I recommend that you seek out a confidant. Somebody that you’re really close with, that you have a great, trustworthy relationship with, that you can use as a light sounding board; share and rattle off whatever’s on your mind, whatever you’re thinking, and get some light feedback from them.
If you’re maybe a little bit farther along, like, I’m pretty clear where I want to go, I’m just not quite sure how to get started,” then I recommend seeking out a mentor. A mentor can be somebody at your current organization or outside of it. They are simply somebody who’s already in the position, or relatively has gone through the journey that you want to go through; they’re at the place you want to be.
A mentor is also somebody that you respect; they uphold good ethics, they have good values, and you know you want to learn from them. They’re open and willing to support you, to be a sounding board, but also to maybe connect you and point you in the right direction.
If you are even farther along than that, maybe you’ve already taken some steps forward, maybe you’ve had a mentor and you’re like, “I’m just not making the progress that I want to,” you’re probably ready for a coach.
A coach is somebody who really is there to hold you accountable. They are somebody that is not a friend of yours; they don’t have any vested interest. They are showing up to make sure you do what you say you’re going to do. In addition, they typically have a process or a framework.
For example, if you’re looking to make a major career transition, a good coach is going to have a process that they would walk you through, the steps of how you could start to make that transition. As well as they have resources; they’re going to be somebody who can recommend other places, associations, other types of things that you can be taking advantage of to really catapult and go to the next level, versus spiraling and spinning in whatever you’ve been trying to do on your own.
But again, make sure that you’re really ready for that commitment. If you’re not sure, start off with a confidant or a mentor to get started, before you make that investment into a coach. Because once you get there, you’ve got too be ready to move! They’re going to help keep you pushing forward, each and every day.