What is a coach?

You know what a coach is, because at some point in your life you have played or watched a sport. The coach does not play the sport. However, the coach is a critical part of the team.

Any coach has two main responsibilities. One is strategic and one is tactical. The strategic role of the coach is to assess the playing field, the weather, the other team, and to give honest critical feedback on each player. The tactical responsibility is to shift strategy when the conditions change and monitor progress throughout the game. Transfer this analogy to a professional playing field. A career coach is responsible for strategically helping you assess where you are headed and where are you likely to achieve success based upon your skill set, potential, and drive. The coach and you co-create the overall objectives and plan. Then you and the coach work together to execute the plan. Resume writing, interviewing skills, networking skills, and keeping on point are the tactical means in which you will achieve your goals. The 21st century life and career landscapes are very complicated with a myriad of challenges and choices, what possible reason can you think of not to have someone in your corner helping you make the best decision possible.

How do I find the right coach?

The purpose of a coach is to motivate you, to expand your thinking and possibilities, and to help you achieve results that you cannot complete on your own. In order to find the right coach, determine if you have any special focus and then use our coach search tool to sort by criteria. Then set up a time to speak with the coach or coaches in person or via phone. See if the conversation has a good flow, do they seem curious about you, focused on listening and seem to have a good understanding about careers or personal relationships. Then be sure to check out their online presence or ask for a resume.

What is Columbia's role in my relationship with my coach?

Please be advised that Columbia University is merely acting as a networking resource for coaches and clients. The parties understand that participation in this program is completely voluntary and Columbia will not be responsible and/or liable for any outcomes and/or agreements that may occur between the parties. Any inappropriate actions on the part of the coach and/or the client, which Columbia becomes aware of, may result in the offending party being dismissed from the program.

Am I coachable?

Are you at the right point in your life to be coached? Key skills to being coachable include an acceptance that you do not have all the answers, that you are ready to act and not just to think, and that you want the best or better for yourself. Wanting a better career or life takes more work and more focus than you have today, so be ready to push yourself. But the work will be worthwhile.

What should I expect when working with a coach?

Prepare to be challenged. Prepare to work differently and to try new things and be willing to see things in a new way. Generally coaches will meet with you once a week and provide small amounts of homework or some self tests for you to complete. Tracking of results by you and the coach will help you to assess how you are doing along the way. The actual results can appear in increased effectiveness in current jobs or new opportunities.

Are coaches like therapists?

No, coaches and therapists are not the same thing. When you are working with a coach, you should remember that the sessions are centered around helping you move towards your professional goals. If you begin working with a coach, you may discover you have personal issues to address. In this case, a coach can refer you to a therapist. 

Will a coach find me a job?

A career coach is not responsible for finding you a job, but will provide you with the tools you need to conduct a job search on your own. If you are interested in working with a coach, you should not expect the coach to job hunt for you.

How much does coaching cost?

To learn more about pricing, you should contact the coach you are interested in working with.