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Try These Career Coaching Exercises on Your Own to Jumpstart Your Job Search

career coaching exercise

There is a huge demand for career coaches around the United States.

When you want to search for a new job, or plan your professional future, a career coach can provide guidance.

For instance, they may ask you to identify what makes you most excited or fulfilled in your current role, which, in turn, can direct your next steps. Later, they may edit your resume to ensure you’re highlighting your key qualifications for a job you want. 

If you’re searching for a career, it’s important to choose a career coach who can help you with what you need. Here are instructions on how to find someone from our archive. 

If you’re not ready to work with a career coach, or you’re not sure what advice you need, you can try some common career coaching exercises on your own. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Career Plan Template

If you have a long-term future goal, like entering the C-Suite or operating your own business, you may need clarification on what it would actually take to reach your objective. 80,000 Hours’ Career Plan Template helps you move from where you’re at to where you’d like to be in one of their career coaching exercises . 

Here how to write a Career Plan:

  • First, land on your objective. What does your ideal career look like? Next, decide what your role in this career will be.
  • What is the path or paths you want to take in the long term?
  • What is your focus? What have you done in the past? Identify your skills.
  • Fifth, pinpoint what your next career step will be. If you want to develop yourself or have your eye set on a long-term objective, what do you need to do next? This is your Plan A. 
  • If Plan A doesn’t work out, what is your Plan B? 
  • Next, the organization recommends investigating “key uncertainties” in Plan A and Plan B. For instance, they note, “One general tip is to always start with the lowest cost ways to gain information. For example, you could start by reading relevant career reviews or problem profiles, and then decide to talk to people in an area. If you want to invest more, you could test out a project.”
  • The last step is to decide how to put your plan into action. 

Top 10 Values

This career coaching exercise from the International Coaching Federation encourages you to figure out what values you have in life. If you are in a job or even a field that doesn’t align with your values, you’re that much more likely to be dissatisfied. After you have identified the values that are most significant to you, you can even rate them in importance from one to 10. 

Next, use the tool to determine if the role you have connects with your values. If it doesn’t, you may want to start searching for a position that is more congruent. 

Career Drivers Assessment 

Developing by Crowe Associates Ltd., the Career Drivers Assessment asks you to identify what motivates you and what saps your energy in a professional setting. The tool isn’t an either/or choice; instead, you have three points to give to two opposite settings, based on how strongly you feel about each one. 

For instance, here is a pair: 

“I only feel satisfied if the output of my job has real value in itself.” 


“I want to be an expert in the things I do.”

Then, you’ll determine the number of points on a series of categories labeled “A” through “I.” These numbers help you determine your primary career motivations, which can include factors like material rewards, meaning, and creativity. 

GROW into Action 

Coach Sylvia Nichols used this activity when she was determining the career pivot she wanted to make. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Way Forward, and essentially, it is a plan for transitioning to new responsibilities in your current role, to a new position, or even into a new field. 

The first step – Goal – asks you to identify what you’re looking for. What is it that you want to change? Be as clear and specific as possible. 

Next – Reality – focuses on describing your current situation. What isn’t working in your current role? In what ways do you feel dissatisfied? 

The third step is listing Options. What could you do to change your situation? Be sure to list all the possibilities you can think of, no matter how difficult they may seem. 

Finally, consider a Way Forward. This step isn’t about choosing one of the options, but perhaps your Way Forward would involve researching the possibilities that are most appealing to you. Or maybe you decide you want to talk to a family member or colleague about your goals. Decide what you’re going to do next. 

Finding a Career Coach

While it is helpful to try these career coaching exercises on your own, sometimes you need someone else to clarify what you’re looking for and suggest next steps. Ivy Exec’s Executive Coaches and Mentors can provide you the clarity you’re seeking in your professional future. 

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