On September 29th, CNNMoney wrote, "Should You Hire a Career Coach?"
In it, Christopher Metzler, associate dean for human resources studies at Georgetown University, says, "Any time there's an economic downturn, career coaching spikes,"
With job searches now averaging 25 weeks, it's no surprise that the out-of-work are looking for every competitive advantage they can find. And while career coaching is not cheap, one session averages $161, it more than pays for itself, if you land a great job a few months earlier than you would have otherwise.
There are pitfalls, however. As the article points out, not everyone who calls him/herself a career coach is skilled or qualified to help you reach your goals. And the quality of coach certifications varies widely. Some coach certification training programs take only a weekend to complete, with every participant guaranteed a certificate just for showing up. (I recently spoke to a coach who completed one such program. She confirmed that it was "pretty much a joke.")
Two places you can find career coaches who have pledged their professionalism, are the coaching trade organizations, IAC and ICF. Each has a Find-a-Coach feature. You can also find career coaches at Mastery Coach Exchange, where you can easily connect with and find out about your coach, before trying them out.
Other coaching specialties that do especially well in economic downturns are business and corporate coaching, executive coaching, and money coaching, but even fields like life coaching do surprisingly well, especially now that there are lower-cost options.
Here's the full CNNMoney article on career coaching. Check out their sidebar for more interesting information about it.