Be Your Own Career Coach

Unsplash image by Valentina Conde

Conducting a job search is not just about finding a new job. It’s about improving your life for the better. It’s an opportunity to learn from the past, reflect on who you are today and what you want for your future. It’s about reinventing yourself and your life, to align close to your current values and become the person you want to be in the future. It’s about finding a new role that will allow you to feel more fulfilled in all aspects of your life. 

The title of this post is misleading; it suggests you don’t need help, or you can go it alone during a job search. That is absolutely not true! You do need help, however, it is possible to find the help you need without hiring a professional career coach.

Although hiring a coach will likely make the job search go smoother for you (and I may be putting myself out of a job), but I want you to be wildly successful in your job search because I believe everyone should be working in a job that is fulfilling. This is a main reason why I’ll share how.

Don’t Hide, Ask for Help

It’s a natural human tendency to hide when things aren’t all rainbows and butterflies in our life, hence why such parts of our life are not often shared on social media. So, when you’re looking for a new role, it’s likely because you are either miserable in your current role or because you don’t have a job. This is likely not something you want to broadcast and share openly; it can feel awkward at best. 

During this time is precisely when you need support. Do not hide and think you need to figure it out on your own. The most courageous thing you can do is ask others for help. The most successful people I know are people who are willing to ask others for help. It is not a sign that you are inadequate, instead, it is an understanding that someone else may be able to offer you valuable guidance in your search.

Know what their strengths are and, more importantly, know where you’re not strong and find someone to help you fill this gap. Offer to help others by allowing them to lean on your strengths. These relationships encourage a positive outlook during challenging situations like a job search.

You need partners, regardless of who you are. Why? Because I know you’re human, and human behavior dictates you will need help with motivation, accountability, proofreading, and feedback. 

Below are the different types of partnerships you’ll need in your support team. Hopefully, they will also be supportive, fun people that will make the process feel less stressful and will be totally honest when necessary.

Accountability Partner

If you know someone else in your life who is also a current jobseeker, who is supportive, detailed, and motivated – be accountability partners with that person. 

This is a partner who will hold you accountable and vice versa. Both of you will create job search plans and commit to keeping each other on task. You will mutually encourage each other while building positive momentum towards your goals. Together you will grow your confidence. You will give each other tips you discovered along the way.

I recommend connecting weekly to review progress, coach each other, and commit to taking the next steps. 

Editor and Marketer

You’ll need someone that is exceptional at proofreading, has a concise way with words, and can help you present yourself in the most authentic story-telling way possible. Your marketer can help compose your message to help sell it in a compelling way. Your editor and marketer do not necessarily need to be the same person. 


I bet you feel like you don’t have a great network. I hear this so often from my clients. They are convinced they don’t have the network necessary to make connections for a new role. 

Fiddlesticks! You have the network necessary; you just need the courage to use it. 

If you haven’t already, read my Networking: How to be effective and not feel like a nuisance!

Identify the person in your network who you feel is the most socially networked person you know (if you have a few of these types, even better). This is the person you’re going to ask to be your connector partner. The role of this person is to help you come up with ideas for how to connect with people for informational interviews and to expand your network. This person needs to be supportive and kind (especially if you don’t like networking). They are someone who will help you generate ideas and make connections directly (when appropriate). 

Support Group

Hopefully, each of the partners named above are supportive and encouraging. They should not be the type of person that just tells you, “Everything will be ok; you’ll figure it out.” While this may be true, it likely won’t feel great. If you’re like me, it’ll annoy the heck out of you and only depress you more. 

Instead, identify the person who knows how to speak your language and who can deliver a pep-talk in a way that resonates with you. It could be someone that might just say, “Yeah, job searching sucks. I’m proud of you for sticking with it and wanting something more for yourself.” Or perhaps someone that will distract you with a funny story and give you a big belly laugh. Whatever you need, that person is in tune with you and, most importantly, will be there to listen! You may need a few of these people in your life because you can never have enough of these amazing gems.

Once you have your partnerships that make up your Career Coach team. Now is the time for action. If you haven’t yet, create your Job Search Plan and start putting it into action. 

And don’t forget to do a Mindset check all along the way. 

The Job Search Process

This is a high-level overview of what your job search process will look like:

  • Identify what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and how you solve business problems.
  • Identify the type of working environment, company culture, and management style that helps you thrive.
  • Identify your ‘must haves’ and ‘deal breakers’ in your next role that consider all aspects of who you are and what you want.
  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to match your ideal job description and your brand in a voice that is clear, concise, and connecting. 
  • Identify the companies that are in your preferred geographic location or allow remote working that have your role (regardless of a job posting or not) and company culture you’re seeking. 
  • Identify who in your network can assist you with your search of the hidden job market. 
  • Identify the job titles that are a logical fit for your ideal job description to get started on the posted job market. Use your network before applying online.
  • Interview preparation by practicing and refining responses to possible questions. 
  • Negotiate an offer that aligns with your ‘must haves’.

A job search is not a linear process. You might jump around as you learn more and integrate the new information. 

You may get an offer that doesn’t fit your ‘must haves’ and therefore you’ll need to continue filling your pipeline. No part of the job search process is done until you’re in a role that fulfills your needs. 

The best practice is to not stop job searching once you have a new role (just ease off for a bit). Make it a practice to keep your network warm. Regularly check in with yourself to make sure your needs haven’t changed, or your current role hasn’t changed and no longer serves you. It’s much easier to find a new role when your job search skills are sharp. 

If you decide you do want a professional partner with your job search, I’m here for you.