“We Empower Their Self-Discovery”: A Chat with Natalie, CareerArc Certified Career Coach
A good career coach can help you get another job, but a great career coach empowers you to push beyond your boundaries—and pursue your biggest career dreams.
That’s the kind of work Natalie, CareerArc certified career coach, loves doing. With more than 18 years of career coaching experience, Natalie brings to her CareerArc clients a wealth of knowledge and expertise. She holds a master’s in higher education and student affairs with an additional year of coursework in vocational rehabilitation counseling, as well as certifications in professional career coaching, employment interview, resume writing, and assessment administration and interpretation.
In this Q and A, Natalie shares her process for working closely with her CareerArc candidates—most of whom are mid- to late-career professionals—to support their journeys towards dream jobs and careers.
“Career coaching offers accountability, motivation, structure, and an unbiased sounding board to support the candidate’s professional aspirations.”
What can a CareerArc Outplacement candidate expect when they first click “chat” and connect with you?
They should expect personalized attention. Every candidate is different—they have unique needs and varying degrees of readiness for action steps in the employment transition process. We meet them where they are and tailor the coaching approach to their industry, experience level, communication and work style, and career targets.
I think coaches aim to release the job seeker’s internal drive, and then step out of the way so their goals can be realized. We empower their self-discovery, clarify their options, and amplify their brand messaging—whether it’s resumes or cover letters or social media reviews.
A lot comes with career coaching. It offers accountability, motivation, structure, and support of the candidate’s achievement, of their personal aspirations. We’re able to increase the efficiency of their process by meeting them where they are and either restrategizing if there’s something that’s not working, or working with that candidate who is doing well and helping them to recognize what’s going well in their search to increase their motivation.
So there’s quite a lot that can be gained from the coaching process—from clicking “chat.”
“Providing structure to the networking process is a critical step in optimizing the efficiency of the candidates’ job search campaign.”
How do you counsel someone who isn’t quite sure what they want in terms of a job or career? Where do you start?
I’m often in conversations with people who’ve been in a specific field or industry for some time and are now reevaluating their fit with that work. Some say, “I want a fresh start, I’m looking for something different—where do we begin?”
The assessment instruments in the CareerArc program are a wonderful starting point for many. Candidates can send results to their coach so we can go through the interpretation process together. That helps us get the conversation started with a focus on the candidate’s strengths.
Coaching questions also bring light to the candidate’s options and priorities. We begin to add the layers of interests, of values, and to have a discussion: What are some of the points of curiosity that you have? What are the things you are doing when you lose your sense of time? What are the things you would do in your free time?
Another very important step is encouraging candidates to talk to people in organizations that they are drawn to or those doing the kind of work they wish to explore. As coaches, we can point them to wonderful sources of preliminary industry research, like the Occupational Outlook Handbook or O*NET, but getting a first-hand perspective is invaluable. Providing structure to the networking process is a critical step in optimizing the efficiency of the candidates’ job search campaign.
I often propose that candidates reach out to professional associations in industries they’d like to explore and see them invited to local chapter meetings to network with leaders in those fields. That’s an important step that candidates sometimes need a bit of encouragement to pursue. If it’s been some time since they’ve found themselves in an employment transition, they might seek help in the development of questions and a list of target contacts and companies.
“Providing job seekers with a safe space—where they can imagine and explore possibilities and then strategically target roles that honor their values, interests, commitments, and use of favorite skills in the world of work—that’s an honor for me.”
Could you share an experience you had with a person you coached that especially touched you or made you proud?
I spoke with a candidate yesterday who told me she just received an offer for her dream job. She and I have been in communication through this program for the last few months. We’ve collaborated on goal-setting, resume updates, cover letter development, preparation for interviews, networking, salary negotiations, and also managing the highs and the lows that come with any job search.
Throughout the coaching process, she’s been actively networking with professionals in her target organizations. While the opportunity she ultimately secured is one that she pursued from the start, it takes time and tenacity to stick with the process and stay positive over the course of months to reach the point of offer. She did such a fabulous job of setting goals and tracking progress along the way. She also took breaks as needed to maintain a healthy balance and a positive perspective.
Not every day was easy for her. Sometimes she’d start the call by telling me, “This is a low day for me. What can we do to help pick things up again?” The week prior to receipt of an offer, she said, “You know, I feel my confidence starting to lessen because it’s been months out of the workplace, and I gain my confidence from my work.”
Following that call, she did some journaling as a reminder of professional success stories. It boosted her confidence just in time for negotiation dialogue. It was really important in that process to have a clear understanding of her own worth.
It’s been a joy to follow her journey. She’s all set with a start date and is eager to go forward. Providing job seekers with a safe space—where they can imagine and explore possibilities and then strategically target roles that honor their values, interests, commitments, and use of favorite skills in the world of work—that’s an honor for me.
CareerArc coaches have an average of 12.9 years of career development experience, and 75% of coaches are highly experienced in coaching executives and senior-level professionals in transition. Learn more about CareerArc’s outplacement services, which includes one-on-one coaching from premier career counselors, detailed resume reviews, video interview coaching, and more cutting-edge career transition tools and benefits.