When it comes to re-starting your career, supporting its progression or even launching and running a successful business, having a coach is invaluable. A good coach can help you navigate the waters of your career and give you the tools and advice you need to reach your goals. However, with so many options out there, how do you pick the right coach for you?


Here are Careering into Motherhood’s top ten tips to help you…


1) Think about your budget and timeframe

A coach is not a mentor. They make their living helping clients, so you must be aware of the costs involved and budget effectively. Expect to pay anything between £80 – £500 per session with discounts for packages or group coaching. With this in mind, think about precisely what you require from a coach and the length of time you expect to work with them. If it’s only a short-term need, you may be able to find someone who charges by the hour. However, if you’re looking for a longer-term relationship where you’ll work to some specific goals, you may want to consider someone who offers a package as a more cost-effective approach.


2) Put together a shortlist of three or four 4 coaches

Trying to figure out which coach is right for you can be a daunting task. However, compiling a shortlist can narrow down your options and make decision-making easier. Consider what you hope to gain from working with a coach. Are you looking for help with family or relationships, health and wellbeing, careers, or other areas of your life? Most coaches will have one or two specialisms. Then consider if you want help setting and achieving goals in your selected area? Are you looking for someone to provide accountability and support? Once you know your coaching objective, you can look for coaches who specialise in those areas. You can also use the Careering into Motherhood website to create a shortlist to compare coaches and find the person that’s right for you. Or contact us with some details about your goals and we’ll help you compile a shortlist.


3) Ask for a discovery call

Once you have your list, it’s time to start reaching out. The best way to do this is to set up a call, which can be anything from 15 to 60 minutes. This enables you to chat with them, ask questions, tell them what you want help with and get a feel for their personality and coaching style. However, remember, a coach is only paid for their time with clients, so please be mindful of this! And remember – you won’t get “free” coaching on a discovery call. Once you’ve talked with a few coaches, you’ll have a good idea of who you connect with best.


4) Do you want 1:1 or group sessions?

Lots of coaches run programmes for small groups to address and work through particular situations. As with anything, there are pros and cons to group sessions vs 1:1. The benefits of joining a coaching group include being more cost-effective and meeting like-minded people who can help support and motivate you long after the programme has ended. However, group sessions may not always offer the same level of personalised attention, and you may not always feel comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings with a group of strangers. Ultimately, the decision depends on your individual needs and preferences.


5) Do you have any specific goals?

Do you want to find a new job in six months’ time, grow your business sales or improve your communication and leadership skills, learn how to communicate better with your child/ teen? Be open and tell the coach what you want to accomplish. This will enable the coach to use the right tools and methods to help you identify, discover solutions and achieve your specific goals – professional or personal.


6) Are coaching qualifications or life experiences in a coach more important in helping you achieve your goals?

Many coaches have years of relevant experience, while others may have professional coaching training. Ultimately, it’s your personal preference. If you feel more comfortable working with someone who has been through similar experiences to your own, then a coach with relevant life experience could be the best choice for you. Alternatively, a qualified coach might be a better fit if you prefer to work with someone with formal training in coaching techniques. Ultimately, the most important thing is finding someone you feel comfortable working with and are confident can help you achieve your goals.


7) Understand the different coaching qualifications and ask your coach if their qualifications are essential to you

It’s helpful to understand the different types of qualifications. Several different organisations offer coaching qualifications, and each has its own particular focus.

Coaching qualifications can be broadly divided into three main categories: academic, professional and personal development.

Academic qualifications are typically awarded by universities, and they tend to focus on the theoretical aspects of coaching; professional qualifications are awarded by organisations such as the International Coaching Federation, and they tend to focus on the practical skills required for coaching; and personal development qualifications are typically awarded by life coaches, and they tend to focus on helping people to achieve their personal goals.

Whichever type of qualification is most important to you, find out if your coach has the suitable qualifications you need.


8) Ask for testimonials

Before hiring a coach, it’s always a good idea to get testimonials from past clients. This way, you can get a sense of the coach’s results with other people. You may even be able to speak to a former client directly and ask questions about the coach’s experience, methods and style. This will allow you to see if the coach is someone you would be compatible with and if their coaching methods are likely to produce the results you’re looking for.

9) Ask the coach to follow up in writing and confirm the suggested coaching programme and cost

Asking your coach to follow up in writing and confirm the suggested coaching programme and price is a great way to ensure that you are both on the same page. This gives you a record of their proposal and pricing, which can be helpful in planning and budgeting for your coaching sessions. Additionally, many coaches offer payment plans for block bookings of six sessions or group programmes, so be sure to ask about this option. By taking these steps, you can be confident that you are getting the most out of your coaching sessions.


10) Finally, trust your gut

When you’ve done your research and narrowed down your options, go with what your intuition is telling you. The right coach will click with you, and you’ll know when you find them.


Keep these tips in mind as you compile your coach shortlist and pick the right coach for you. If you would like any other information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us at Careering into Motherhood.


Remember that investing in yourself is just as important as any other investment you might make. And investing in coaching could well deliver a return for you and your family if it means you get that promotion six months sooner or nail that interview and get the job offer sooner than you would have done trying to figure it out on your own.


Good luck!