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What is career coaching and how can it benefit you?

Written by: Corinne Mills, Personal Career Management
Published on: 2 Feb 2016

Corinne Mills

Corinne Mills is the Managing Director of Personal Career Management, the leading career coaching company, who are career management partners with TotallyExec.


What led you to set up Personal Career Management?

I had been working for a Charity helping people with all kinds of career challenges and I noticed that what made the most difference to people’s success was when they had a greater understanding about themselves in a work context.  It meant that they could make smart choices about their next move and apply for roles that they genuinely wanted and for which they were a good fit.  As a result they found the right job for them far quicker and were much happier in their new role.  I decided to set up Personal Career Management in 2003 because I could see that so many more people could benefit from this.  It was a service very different from the career advice that people might be used to from school or even from outplacement companies who tended to focus on CVs but not a lot else.  I wanted to set up a comprehensive career management service for professionals, providing deep expertise and support on everything from career decision-making to the practicalities of a job search campaign. Since our early days we have grown and grown and have since worked successfully with thousands of people all over the UK and abroad to help them progress their career. 


Why do you feel career coaching has become so popular in recent years?

There have been societal shifts in how people view work.  People are still generally very loyal to their companies but they understand that they are vulnerable to changes in the business that could affect their continued employment.  At the same time, people now spend so much time at work that they want to make sure that they are working in an environment where they feel respected and that they can make a contribution.  Career coaching helps individuals build resilient careers that can withstand knocks and helps them move into roles where they feel far greater job satisfaction.  People have also increasingly realised that their career management is their responsibility – not their company’s and that investing in your career reaps huge dividends both financially and in terms of your personal happiness.


When should a jobseeker consider career coaching?

Career coaching is very helpful if you are unsure about what you want next and/or you are not getting shortlisted or offered the jobs you want.  Your coach will work with you to look at your options, help you market yourself as effectively as possible for the roles you are interested in and work alongside you in the implementation of your career action plan.


What advice would you give someone looking for a career change?

Do your research. Talk to people who work in this field who can give you the low-down about what the role entails so you know the day to day reality.  Check in with recruiters to see how you compare with other candidates applying for these roles and make sure you plug any gaps. Don’t talk about yourself to others as being a career changer but focus on all of the transferable skills and capabilities you have which are pertinent to the role you are trying to move into.


How can you help a candidate change career or reach their career objectives?

If you are considering a career change, it’s essential that you are clear about your career decision criteria so that you don’t end up replicating the situation you have just left. If you are at a career crossroads, your coach will help you achieve far greater clarity, build your confidence and capabilities in selling your skills to prospective employers and support you throughout your job search campaign.  Everyone’s career challenge is unique to them but whether you are looking for career progression or promotion, want to find a new job following redundancy or a career break, look at different ways of working or a complete career change, then a career coach will help you to achieve these things far more quickly and easily.

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