Send questions about careers, productivity and work-life balance to email@example.com. Please include your name and location, or request to remain anonymous.
I think I need a mentor or a professional career coach but I don’t know where to start or how to look for one. Can you help me figure this out?
Investing in yourself is always a good idea. We work on ourselves at the gym, but many of us forget to exercise our minds. The uncomfortable truth is that life will always be a challenge, and we can all benefit from having a coach or a mentor. Many successful leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, from Oprah to Bill Gates, have coaches or mentors.
Adaptability and resilience are the two most important things to a fulfilling and successful life. This requires a shift in mindset and a widening of perspectives. A good professional career coach will help you excel in your career and help you develop a growth mindset to set you up for a lifetime of success while preparing you for anything life is going to throw at you.
Reasons to hire a coach:
A coach will help you reach your goals and level up faster.
Time is money, and a coach will help you reach your aspirations faster. Money can always be made, but time is something you can never get back. People often search for instant gratification — aiming for quick results, but they will always be mediocre. If you embody a delayed gratification mindset and learn to do things correctly, you won't waste precious time achieving your goals.
A coach is unbiased
Sure, you can get advice from your friends, but we tend not to listen to people closest to us. We also put more value in things we make an effort towards. If you invest money in coaching, there is an increased chance you will get higher returns.
A coach will see your blind spots
One of my many philosophies in life is to surround myself with people who will call me out on my faults. We are all victims of our blindsides. By hiring a coach, you will have an unbiased personal cheerleader who will help you reach your goals faster and do it in a way where you are not self-sabotaging yourself with unseen bad habits.
A coach will help you find clarity
Life is a constant journey, and many don’t know what we want. Our aspirations and desires will also change as we approach different seasons in life. A coach will guide you when you get stuck because it's important not to lose momentum. A secret I learned is that you must be extremely clear on reaching your goals, hence why techniques such as visualization and journaling are so effective. Coupled with evidence-based neuroscience techniques, a coach can help you “fake it until you make it,” the ethical way to help you find clarity.
A coach will help you overcome mental blocks
Mental blocks are from paradigms that have been programmed in your subconscious from birth and influenced by your environment, upbringing and genetics. If you don’t understand your programming, you won't be able to change your mindset and behaviour even if you consciously want to.
A coach keeps you accountable
We all have lazy days where we don't want to do anything. A coach will make sure you are maintaining momentum with consistent checkups and encouragement. Essentially, you are paying someone to prevent you from being lazy, but trust me, it’s money well spent.
A coach will help you get out of your head
Most of us don’t understand that our brain’s default mode network will always be biased towards negativity because its only purpose is to help you survive, thus constantly scanning the environment for dangers. The first step to solving any problem is extreme awareness and cultivating awareness requires constant practice to rewire your thinking. A mindset coach will guide you along that journey.
A coach will help you make more money
It may seem intimidating to spend money on yourself, but you can exponentially increase your earnings with the proper coach. Perhaps because of your upbringing, you may be operating with a scarcity mindset. Understandably, suppose you’ve always struggled to make ends meet. In that case, this will be difficult at first because you are operating from a place of scarcity and need to come over mental blocks that have been subconsciously programmed in your mind since birth. I came from a middle-class immigrant family where my parents worked multiple jobs. Still, the one thing I noticed from friends with a more abundant or entrepreneurial upbringing is their mindset: successful people know we need to spend money to make money. Knowing this, I shifted my mindset to operate from a space of abundance, but redefining paradigms doesn't happen overnight.
A coach will help you be more attractive
When I say attractive, I mean in terms of energy. When you are happy and confident with yourself, you will give off a positive energy that will only attract more success because energy is constantly vibrating and never rests.
Like energy attracts. This may sound “woohoo” to you, but we are made of atoms — a dense nucleus which makes up approximately 0.01% while the rest of the atom is 99.99% seemingly “empty space.” However, it’s not empty– we can’t see this invisible electrostatic field, but it is there — and is currently being investigated by quantum mechanics. Although controversial because it hasn’t been studied enough and lacks funding, and perhaps technology hasn’t caught up yet, energy-based practices such as reiki and acupuncture have been shown to increase quality of life.
How to find a coach
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. You are probably reading this because you are ready to level up. I am also aware that I got to where I am through various teachers in my life.
From my own experience, the best way to find a good coach is through word-of-mouth referrals. You may also find coaches on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook business groups, and even Instagram.
Remember that not all coaches are equal, and you should take your time to find one that suits you because you will be spending so much of your energy with that person. If the first one doesn't work out, don’t feel guilty about finding another one you feel comfortable with because a good coach will understand. Many coaches offer free consultations you can take advantage of.
How much is a coach?
Coaching can range from $75 to $250+ (into the thousands) per hour based on many factors such as experience. Remember, you get what you pay for, and anything invested in yourself is time and money well spent. This is another characteristic of a growth mindset because we see energy as currency. We live in a cyclic universe, and what you put in, you get out.
How coaching works
To maximize value from coaching, an ongoing relationship with your coach is the key to achieving our goals and creating long-term positive change in your life. Different coaches have different approaches, such as scheduled one-on-one coaching sessions (weekly, biweekly or monthly), email or text follow-ups between sessions, homework such as journalling and goal tracking through various online software. You and your coach should work together to create a program that works best for you to keep you accountable.
When you are finally getting everything you want in life, knowing that you have earned it by putting in hard work, your quality of life— mind, body and soul will substantially improve. Our brains tend to hold more significance towards hardships and challenges we experience over the “easy and happy” times because we feel the most fulfilled when we grow. It is hard work to decide to invest in yourself finally, and once you do, you’re only going to reach your aspirations faster and feel accomplished. Embody an abundant growth mindset and understand that energy invested in yourself only guarantees momentous returns.
Kate Pn writes about mastering a healthy work-life balance by focusing on productivity hacking. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.