Choosing a Job Coach

At LDS Employment Resource Services (LDS Jobs), we'll help you become gainfully employed through education and networking with local companies.

Coaches are not just for sports teams. Coaches help individuals see their talents, develop goals, and see areas where they can improve. In job searching, a job coach is a valuable member of your team.  A job coach is someone who gives you honest input about what you can do to reach your goals and build your future.  

What a Job Coach Can Do for You

A job coach gives you a person to talk to about “what is working” and “what is not working” in your job search and helps you find ways to improve. After you’ve developed goals and have an idea where you want to go, a job coach is someone who will hold you accountable for following through with your goals.

President Thomas S. Monson has said, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates” ( Preach My Gospel, 150).

When a Job Coach Can Help

When someone is searching for a job, there is a lot to consider: résumés, dress, appearance, answers to interview questions, networking, and personal goals. With all this, there is also the emotional stress. A job coach is someone who can help you manage any of these concerns. He or she can help you evaluate yourself with a clear perspective, help you see the control you have over a job search, and help you remember what you’ve accomplished.

Common challenges:

  • Feeling powerless
  • Feeling an identity was lost when a job was lost (“I’m no longer a manager.”)
  • Not following through on career goals
  • Feeling unsure about skills
  • Not sure what to do to prepare for an interview
  • Not sure how to start networking
  • Feeling best efforts are not good enough

Qualities of a Good Job Coach

A coach should be willing and able to do the following things:

  • Coach you through job search techniques.
  • Be someone you want to seek advice from.
  • Brainstorm with you.
  • Help you develop new ideas.
  • Direct your practice sessions.
  • Provide feedback on how you are doing.
  • Assist in locating the needed resources to help you.
  • Give you feedback on your communications (such as résumé, cover letter, phone call technique, and thank-you and follow-up messages after an interview).

Good coaches generally:

  • Are currently working full time.
  • Understand the background and work experience required for the jobs you want.
  • Are not members of your immediate family (spouses fill a different role).
  • Can set follow-up meetings with you at regular intervals.
  • Are familiar with job-hunting skills or know where to find out what are the latest techniques.
  • Will listen and encourage you when you get discouraged.
  • Care enough to be tough when you aren’t working up to your potential.  (At the outset, effective coaches always get the job seeker’s permission to talk about the “hard things” if and when those things are discovered.)

Possible Job Coaches

When you are searching for a job, remember that people want to help you. By asking someone to be a job coach, you are letting that person know how to help you. Some possible coaches are home teachers and visiting teachers, as well as quorum and Relief Society leaders or ward employment specialists. If you don’t know whom to select, then these same leaders might recommend someone in the ward who could be your coach. 

How to Ask Someone to Be Your Job Coach

Begin by doing a self-assessment. Think about where you need the most help: networking, interviews, following through on goals, or all three.

Act like you would for a job interview, and begin with your "me in 30 seconds" statement. Explain what type of job you are looking for and that you are looking for a job coach who can help you with a specific part of your job search.

Examples:

“(Me in 30 seconds statement and explanation of a job coach) I really value your opinion as a professional and would appreciate your help with my job search."
"Part of my job search is to create a network of contacts in the industry, and I was hoping to have your help as my job coach. I need help getting started on my list of contacts and someone to report my progress to each week.”
“Statistics show that someone who is accountable to a job coach spends less time searching for a job. I’m hoping you could help me by being my job coach.”

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