Your career is humming right along. You’re getting things done, making a name for yourself, and progressing nicely toward your goals. The idea of hiring a career coach or working with a mentor doesn’t seem to apply to you. After all, people only need advisors like that when something’s wrong, right? And the idea of sharing the details of your career with a stranger just sounds so odd…
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most professionals only turn to outside career advisors when things are dire—they’re facing a layoff, in desperate need of a professional overhaul, or worse.
In truth, however, every professional (even those who are already highly successful) can benefit from the guidance of an experienced career advisor. Think of it like this: Do Olympic athletes stop working with their coaches after winning the gold? Of course not. Success doesn’t mean you’ve learned all there is. In fact, success often makes it even more important to get that outside perspective. Otherwise, it’s far too easy to get complacent.
Here are the top 3 reasons you (yes YOU) need a career advisor, no matter where you are in your career.
1. Unbiased Advice
Friends and family can be helpful brainstorming partners for mulling over everyday career challenges, decisions, and goals. But let’s be real: They have their own agenda. They want certain things for you, and sometimes, those things aren’t fully aligned with what you want for yourself. So instead of focusing on getting where you want to be, you end up focused on making them happy or proud. It’s only later (when you’re miserable and finally seeking help from an outside advisor) that you realize what’s happened.
Outside career advisors are 100 percent focused on YOU. Their only goal is helping you identify and achieve YOUR goals—even if that means going against the expectations of others.
2. A Professional’s/Peer Perspective
Friends and family obviously offer a variety of perspectives from which to view your career situations. But it’s probably safe to say that most of them aren’t trained professional career advisors, or even peers working in exactly the same field. Their opinions are just that—opinions based on their personal experiences, many of which are steeped in emotion.
Professional/peer career advisors are highly knowledgeable about workplace practices. They understand the professional landscape and provide industry insight that outsiders don’t have. They don’t let their emotions have any impact on the advice they offer.
More importantly, professional/peer career advisors are not tainted by love. They see the reality of your career situation. They are not afraid to challenge you and tell you hard truths, if and when needed. Friends and family, on the other hand, only see the best in you. In their eyes, you’re already perfect—which is lovely, but not always the most conducive to your personal and professional development.
If no one holds your feet to the fire, it’s easy to get a little lazy. After all, you have a lot going on in your life. Career goals are just one slice of a very big, hectic pie. Working with a professional/peer career advisor helps you stay focused on the career you want to create and take consistent action toward getting there. That way, you don’t wake up in 10 years with a career that’s humming right along exactly as it is today.