Most careerists have no shortage of ambition or desire to move up the corporate ladder, but they have little desire to invest in themselves. They see it as an unnecessary expensive and pass up this great hidden opportunity that shows you how you could be getting promoted faster and easier than you have ever imagined.
But I was in your shoes one day, and so I get the resistance to hiring a career coach. And I’ll tell you this: One of my greatest regrets is just that.
Over the course of my 12-year corporate career, I had a few great mentors who helped me greatly during tough transitions, difficult situations, and simply helped me get unstuck when things were not moving forward for me. But I never hired a coach. I never invested the money directly in myself.
Don’t want that to happen to you!
Pros and Cons of Mentor versus Coach
First, let’s dissect this. Mentor or coach?
Mentors are generally people who are willing to work with you and take you under their wing in your company. They are in the same corporation as you so the viewpoint is biased, yes, but mentors are generally doing this as a favor to you. You do not pay them.
The best parts of my corporate career were the times when I was being mentored by some amazing company leaders. I inhaled their advice. Back then, the whole corporate system seemed unfair and complex to my young eyes – now I see it more clearly and am on a mission to help you see it that way also – and yet I wanted to continue believing without becoming cynical like most of my peers.
It really was the guidance and wisdom of my mentors that helped me understand my options and focus on what matters. It was also when I started to get promoted faster!
So if you can get a mentor, get one fast! And then learn how to treat your mentor the right way – I talk about this a lot in my coaching program.
Second, enter business or career coach. These are people that you hire and pay to work with you on specific goals. They are usually from outside your company and so they have totally impartial views about what’s BEST for you and what’s the fastest path to getting you promoted. They may even suggest you leave your company or your job. They see the big picture and give you their honest perspective – then you work together to achieve your goals.
This very sound advice I am giving you right now – hiring your own career coach – resonated with me strongly as an entrepreneur but I still made a mistake of waiting. I waited an entire two years before I hired my first coach. Today I have worked with two excellent coaches. I’ve invested several thousand dollars that I would invest again today – and that says a lot about what I believe in the power of coaching.
In summary, if you want unbiased advice, get yourself a business coach. With the right coach, you get results. Period.
The thing about a mentor or a coach is that none of us want to think that we need one (that’s the ego messing up your logic again!) but all of us secretly crave a coach in the privacy of our own thoughts.
If only someone could help us figure out the way, if only someone could clarify our options, and distill the complexities down to simplicities, then we can go the whole way, no matter what!
I love how Les Brown, motivational author & speaker, puts it:
“Repeat after me, you NEED some coaching. You just can’t see the picture when you are in the frame.”
~Les Brown, Motivational Speaker
The truth is there is nothing wrong with having a mentor or a coach.
Clearing Up Misconceptions about Coaches
I remember back at Cisco, there was a female business coach who worked with our top senior executives and she was not allowed to divulge the names of her “clients”. Why? Easy. Even our top executives got coaching even if they didn’t want anyone to know it! Perhaps they were just self-conscious about having a coach. Sigh!
Let me ask you:
The real question then is how important are your end goals and results to you?
If your goals are important to you – and I know they are or you wouldn’t be here – and you want to achieve them in a reasonable time (preferably in a super accelerated time, while we are at it), then you have to get over any coach “stigma” that you may have.
This is not the same as getting therapy. This is not an indication that you lack anything. This is about discovering what you already possess. This is about getting objective, smart, useful advice and guidance from an experienced point of view. All of us in every profession can use that in one capacity or another.
Here are my quick 3 tips to help you choose the right coach for you.
- The right coach does not have an agenda and doesn’t tell you what to do. She or he lays out your best options on how to reach your goals.
- The right coach listens to you with true care and concern but doesn’t get into emotional analysis of your life like a psychiatrist.
- The right coach makes you feel energized, uplifted, and inspired – not overwhelmed – and leaves you with actionable steps.
I know you are entirely capable of charting your way to success but just think about the pace and impact you will have with the push and power of a coach – the right coach! You’ll be unstoppable. And if you want to explore coaching with me, check out my coaching programs to help you get promoted and apply here.