March 11

What Questions Should You Ask A Career Counsellor Or Career Coach?

Written by:
Linda Faucheux M.A.

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Are you feeling stuck in your career and don’t know where to turn for help? Career counsellors and coaches can be invaluable resources when it comes to giving you the direction and guidance that you need. But before you hire one, there are certain questions that should be asked first. This article will explore what those key questions are so that you can find the right person to support your journey towards success.

In order to get the most out of a career coach or counsellor, it’s important to understand exactly what they do. A professional in this field acts as an advisor who provides expert advice on how best to pursue careers and educational opportunities. They also specialize in helping individuals develop skills related to job searching, goal setting and networking. With their assistance, you’ll gain clarity around which steps are needed for achieving desired outcomes.

Doing some research ahead of time is essential for finding the right fit for your needs. Asking specific questions during initial consultations with potential candidates allows you to evaluate whether or not they possess the necessary qualifications and experience required for helping you achieve growth within your chosen profession. Knowing what topics should be discussed beforehand ensures that these conversations remain focused on relevant matters at hand – ultimately allowing both parties involved to make informed decisions about next steps moving forward.

What Happens In A Career Coaching Session?

What happens in a career coaching session? A career coach will ask you questions to help identify your life goals and develop an action plan for success. They’ll listen carefully as you talk about your dreams, ambitions, strengths, experiences, and struggles. Your conversations with them should be open and honest – they’re there to support you in achieving the best possible version of yourself.

In each session, a career coach may encourage creative problem solving or brainstorming activities; provide feedback on job applications or resumes; discuss potential employers or industries that align with your interests; offer advice on how to network effectively; suggest resources such as books or online courses to further explore areas of interest; and more. Through this process, they are able to better understand where you want to go and can provide guidance along the way.

Your coach also serves as an accountability partner by setting milestones and achievable goals which can give structure to your journey towards success. By providing motivation when needed and celebrating successes when earned, their role is essential for creating a positive environment for progress.

At times throughout the sessions it’s important for the career coach to challenge beliefs held by the client so new perspectives can be explored – often leading up unexpected possibilities that were not considered before! This type of exploration helps foster self-growth in order for one’s true path forward to emerge. With these steps taken together with an experienced mentor at hand, individuals embarking on a professional journey have clear direction ahead towards reaching their aspirations.

How Do I Talk To A Career Counsellor Or Career Coach?

Talking to a career counsellor or coach can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. A good way to start is by asking general questions that don’t require much detail or personal information. Examples of such questions include: what do you specialize in? What services do you offer? How long have you been providing these services?

You should also inquire about their experience and qualifications. Ask if they have any certifications or special training related to the field. For example, if they are a certified career counsellor, make sure to ask what type of certification they possess so that you know your conversation will be held with an experienced professional.

Another important thing to consider is whether the counsellor has a similar background as yours. If there is any overlap between your experiences and theirs, then this may prove beneficial for both parties during the counselling session. It could provide insight into certain aspects of your life which would otherwise remain unknown or misunderstood.

Finally, ask yourself how comfortable you feel talking to them – how confident are you in their ability to help guide and advise you through the process of finding a new job? Are they patient and understanding when listening to your story? Do they seem genuinely interested in helping you find success? All these factors can play a huge role in determining whether or not the relationship works out well enough for both sides before making any commitments.

Will A Counselor Judge You?

The truth is that counsellors won’t judge you based on your past mistakes or decisions; instead, their goal is to figure out where you want to go and how best to get there. They may offer advice but ultimately it’s up to you to decide which path works best for your situation. Additionally, many counselors have been trained specifically in helping people develop self-confidence, giving clients more assurance that any judgement passed down won’t be negative or harmful.

Therefore, don’t let fear stop you from seeking out a career coach – chances are they’ll understand exactly what you need better than anyone else! Instead of worrying about judgement focus on building trust between yourself and the counsellor so that together, both parties can work towards creating clear plans for success. With this approach in mind, everyone wins!

So now that we’ve answered the question ‘Will a counselor judge me?’, it’s time move onto another important topic: ‘What are the top 5 questions to ask a career coach?’

What Are The Top 5 Questions To Ask A Career Coach?

When seeking advice from a career counsellor or coach, it is important to ask the right questions in order to get the most out of your sessions. Having an idea of the top five questions you should ask can help ensure that you receive all the information and guidance you need for making informed decisions about your future. Here are some key questions to consider when speaking with a career coach:

First, what options do I have? A great way to start any conversation with a career coach is by asking them what avenues may be available to pursue as far as further education, jobs, and other related opportunities. Your coach will likely provide insight into potential paths based on your current skillset and qualifications.

Second, how can I make myself stand out? Standing apart from your peers is essential when looking for success within any industry or field. It can also be daunting without proper guidance. Asking this question allows you to tap into valuable resources such as networking contacts who could point you in the direction of internships or job openings that match your interests and abilities.

Thirdly, what experience do I need? Different positions require different levels of experience; so it’s important that you understand exactly what will be expected of you before taking on any role. Speaking with someone who knows more about the subject than yourself is always beneficial – especially if they have already been through similar experiences themselves! This kind of knowledge sharing could prove invaluable down the line.

Fourthly, where can I find additional support? Chances are good that there are programs or services available which offer extra assistance during transition periods like these. Knowing where to look and who can best guide you along your chosen path helps set up better expectations ahead of time – something that might otherwise take much longer work out alone.

Finally, am I heading in the right direction? You may know what type of role or sector appeals to you but having another opinion never hurts either – particularly one provided by someone experienced in helping others reach their professional goals! By discussing progress made thus far with a career coach it becomes easier to create realistic achievable objectives moving forward too.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Find A Qualified Career Coach?

Finding a qualified career coach can be challenging. Knowing what to look for, and where to find them, is essential in order to get the best results out of your coaching experience. Here are some tips on how you can do just that:

    1. Research online resources – There are numerous websites dedicated to helping people find the right career coach or guidance counsellor for their needs. Take advantage of these sites by checking reviews, talking with current clients and getting an idea of who might be a good fit for you.

    1. Reach out to professional organisations – Professional organisations such as The American Counseling Association (ACA) have databases full of experienced coaches from which you can choose from. They also offer advice based on your individual situation and provide referrals when needed.

    1. Ask for recommendations – Word-of-mouth is often one of the most reliable ways of finding a great coach or counsellor. Talk to friends and family who have used such services before or ask professionals in related fields if they know any reputable coaches or counselling services that could help guide you towards achieving your goals.

It’s important to remember that there is no single solution when it comes to selecting a career coach or guidance counsellor; rather, it’s about finding someone whose knowledge, approaches and philosophies align with yours so that together you can create meaningful change in your life and job search journey. By taking the time to research possible options, reaching out to relevant organisations and asking around for recommendations, you’ll be sure to find the perfect match for yourself!

What Qualifications Should I Look For When Choosing A Career Coach?

Choosing a qualified career coach is an important decision that will help you achieve your professional goals. It’s wise to ask questions and research potential coaches before committing to one, so you can be sure they have the right qualifications for your needs. So what should you look for when choosing a career coach?

Start by considering their level of experience in the field. Ideally, you want a coach who has worked with many clients over several years and has helped them reach success. You may also want to check if they are certified or belong to any organizations related to career coaching. These credentials demonstrate that they meet certain standards set by these bodies and show that they’re committed to delivering quality services.

You’ll also need to assess how well their approach fits with yours. Since each person’s situation is unique, it’s essential that the coach understands your individual circumstances and provides tailored advice accordingly. Look out for signs such as whether they take the time to get to know you before making recommendations, or listen carefully during conversations without rushing through topics too quickly. Their ability to connect with you on a deeper level could make all the difference in getting results from their guidance.

Lastly, keep an eye out for feedback from past clients – either online reviews or word-of-mouth references – which can give insight into how effective their strategies were in helping people move forward in their careers. If possible try reaching out directly and asking about their experiences working with the coach; this can provide invaluable information on whether they’d be able to support you adequately throughout your journey towards achieving greater success.

By taking these steps when researching career coaches, you can find someone who meets your criteria and gives sound advice while providing empathy and understanding as needed along the way – setting yourself up for long-term growth within your profession.

How Often Should I Meet With A Career Coach?

Deciding to invest in yourself and your career can be a daunting decision. But, taking the plunge and seeking out advice from an experienced professional could be exactly what you need to set you down the path of success. So how often should you meet with a career coach? Let’s dive into this question together!

The short answer is: it depends on your specific goals. If you’re looking for more immediate guidance then meeting frequently (e.g., weekly) may be appropriate; however, if your primary focus is developing long-term strategies then meeting less regularly (e.g., every couple of months) might make sense. In any case, both scenarios will require time spent between sessions preparing thoughtful reflections or completing assignments that contribute to progress towards achieving established objectives.

When selecting a career coach, it’s important to ask about potential frequency expectations before committing so that everyone is clear about the commitment required by each party involved. This clarity helps ensure everyone has realistic expectations going forward which will ultimately lead to better results over time as well as help avoid misunderstandings and disappointment when objectives are not met according to plan.

No matter what approach feels right for you, investing in yourself through coaching is never wasted effort – especially when done with intentionality and thoughtfulness around establishing achievable goals and outcomes while also understanding the amount of work needed outside of scheduled meetings to reach them. After all, this journey isn’t one we take alone but rather side-by-side with our coaches who act as guides along the way – aiding us in reaching those eureka moments that open up doors previously unseen!

Are Career Coaching Sessions Confidential?

When considering a career coach, it can be important to ask if the sessions are confidential. This is an essential factor in helping to create a safe space for open and honest conversations about your professional goals and potential areas of growth. Establishing trust with a career coach is key in producing positive results from any session.

For those wondering what kind of questions they should ask when meeting with a career coach or counsellor, here are three points that might help:

    1. Are sessions conducted confidentially?

    1. How often should I meet with you?

    1. What methods do you use during coaching/counselling sessions?

Confidentiality allows for individuals to openly discuss their ambitions without fear of judgement or harm coming back on them through sharing sensitive information or details around their situation. It also provides an opportunity for someone to reflect honestly on their experiences and feelings towards certain events or topics within the context of their work life or personal development journey. Knowing that this type of conversation remains private helps people feel more comfortable exploring different avenues for enriching their lives.

A qualified career coach will have experience working with various clients across industries and backgrounds which means they can offer tailored advice based on individual needs rather than providing generic guidance which may not always fit everyone’s circumstances perfectly. When discussing confidentiality make sure to inquire as to how your data will be stored securely, who it could potentially be shared with, and what measures are taken by your coach when using technology such as video conferencing software – all factors that contribute to safeguarding both parties’ privacy at all times throughout the process.

Choosing the right person to work with is crucial when embarking upon any form of self-development journey so making sure you’re asking questions upfront regarding confidentiality gives peace of mind before engaging further into other aspects surrounding a successful partnership between yourself and your chosen career counsellor/coach; ensuring there’s mutual agreement over boundaries set out at the start helps build trust from the get go which leaves room for productive dialogue down the line in order reach desired outcomes faster and more efficiently together!

What Is The Typical Duration Of A Career Coaching Session?

Asking the right questions can be crucial when it comes to finding a career coach that is right for you. One of those important questions being: what is the typical duration of a career coaching session? To answer this question, we must look at the big picture.

When seeking out guidance and assistance in one’s journey to find their dream job, understanding the length of time needed to do so is key. Taking into consideration all aspects involved with exploring new opportunities – from researching potential roles, preparing résumés or CVs, networking and interview practice – it may require more than just one hour-long session. Think of your search as an expedition – each step needs to be taken methodically and thoughtfully if you are going to reach your desired destination.

Career coaches come equipped with invaluable experience and knowledge that helps guide their clients through these steps. As such, they will typically suggest having multiple sessions over several weeks or months depending on a person’s individual goals and circumstances. Breaking down long-term objectives into manageable chunks allows for progress to be tracked and reassessed regularly – something which might otherwise be lost without structure, focus and accountability provided by working with a professional coach.

It is also worth noting that while most professionals offer private sessions only, there are some who provide group workshops too should budget constraints become an issue. Whatever option works best for you; communication between client and coach remains paramount throughout the process regardless of whether it takes place online via email or video conferencing etc., or face-to-face. Afterall, tackling any kind of challenge requires trust before results can begin to show themselves!

Ultimately then, the duration of a career coaching session varies based on an individual’s particular needs but rest assured knowing that no matter how long it takes, support shall remain available until success has been achieved!


Finding the right career coach for you is a big decision. It’s important to ask the right questions when interviewing potential coaches, so that you can ensure your needs will be met and your goals are achievable. To help with this process, here are some of the key questions to consider: what qualifications does the coach have? How often do they meet with clients? Are their sessions confidential? And how long do they typically last?

Choosing a qualified and experienced career counsellor or coach should feel like finding a safe haven on your own personal journey. They’ll provide invaluable guidance and support along your way, giving you insight into yourself as well as options for pursuing different paths in life. Just like an anchor supports a boat during turbulent seas, having someone knowledgeable and trustworthy by your side gives you the confidence to make informed decisions about your future.

The road towards achieving success in any area of your life can sometimes be daunting but it doesn’t need to be done alone – especially when it comes to setting up and progressing through a successful career plan. With the help of an experienced professional who understands both your needs and ambitions, there’s no doubt that you’ll reach new heights!


Linda Faucheux M.A., Career Coach & Counsellor

Linda is an accomplished Career Coach and Career Counsellor who helps clients worldwide and is a valued team member at Careers by Design.  She specializes in a contemplative and mindful approach to career path selection and challenges.  Her calm and grounded delivery helps clients feel at ease and able to gain insights in a joyful manner.  

Linda is a former Director of Career Services at Naropa University & brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to her practice, see Linda's bio here for more details.

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