You might be wondering if career coaching is for you. I mean, maybe you’ve heard of it… but you may not have ever considered it for yourself. In fact maybe you don’t even know anyone who has hired a career coach. In this episode I’m sharing some of the key reasons people come to me for coaching and how I can hope you achieve more fulfilment in your career and life.

Links I mentioned in this episode:

3. Why Career Coaching? – Transcript

[00:00:00] Hi, there I’m Bec McFarland the host of the Pop Your Career Podcast. As a career coach, I’m most passionate about helping my clients to discover their own personal flavour of career fulfillment. In this podcast, we are going to be exploring ways that you too can feel more fulfilled by your work. So strap yourself in, get ready for the ride. The tips around here are fast and in abundance.

[00:00:29] Hello. Hello. It’s Bec McFarland here helping you do better and be better in your career and today I am kind of excited because I’m here to talk to you about career coaching, which is something that I’ve been doing for a little while now. So whenever I go to an event or, you know, I’m making small talk with a shop owner, always the question comes up.

[00:00:58] What do you do? [00:01:00] And of course I’m like, I’m a career coach. This is usually met with a little bit of a blank face. And then with lots of questions, mostly about like, what is career coaching involve? Like, how does that work? Who goes and gets a career coach? Like there’s so many questions that get asked.

[00:01:20] And I think the reason for this is that, although it’s gaining popularity here in Australia, working with a career coach or a career counselor is just not quite as common here as what it is in some other countries like America, for example. So we’re really out there you know, kind of just making it up as we go along and, what I’ve found over the last few years is that I have really developed my own methodologies around coaching and my own ways of doing things.

[00:01:50] I’ve started to put together a toolkit of tools that I really enjoy using with my career coaching clients and tools that are giving me powerful insights [00:02:00] into what’s going on for my coaching clients. And I just wanted to share a little bit of that with you today, just in case you also have a little bit of that blank face when faced with the concept of meeting with a career coach or going down that path.

[00:02:15] So one of the things that I just wanted to say to you is that as business owners, we are often taught that we should have an ideal client avatar. The concept behind this is that basically you select the person who you most wanna work with and you kind of create this imaginary avatar of them. You can figure out what gender they are, are they married, not married? How much do they earn? What do they watch on TV? What magazines do they read? All of these things. It goes so deep into who this imaginary avatar is.

[00:02:49] And the idea behind this is that if you know your ideal client avatar really intimately then you will be able to communicate with them more effectively, [00:03:00] whether that be through marketing or discovery calls or whatever else that happens.

[00:03:04] Now, every time I’ve tried to go down this ideal client avatar path, it’s basically bit me in the tushy because my clients with Pop Your Career are not necessarily men. They’re not necessarily women. Don’t necessarily have certain types of jobs or earn a certain type of income. I work with all sorts of people in my career coaching practice.

[00:03:30] And honestly, I think that’s one of the reasons that I enjoy it so much. Just a side note, if you can hear that barking in the background, that is my beautiful dog, Jasper. He has been asked to keep it down, but he’s feeling a little rebellious today. So I hope that his input isn’t reducing your experience of this podcast today. Seems like he’s decided to quieten down. Okay.

[00:03:58] So as I was saying, I [00:04:00] work with all different kinds of people in my career coaching practice. And what I found is that they all have one thing in common and that is they want to feel more fulfilled in their careers.

[00:04:14] It’s probably not so surprising after what we’ve talked about in the last couple of episodes, right? I am really passionate about fulfillment and it turns out that the people that I’m attracting are really interested in feeling more fulfilled. It’s all a little bit of magic.

[00:04:29] So I just wanna say upfront that, although I do sometimes help my clients with negotiating pay rises and working through difficult situations and, you know, getting new jobs and negotiating new salaries and all of those kinds of things, they the things that I most enjoy doing. And because I don’t most enjoy it, they’re not the things that I’m greatest at either.

[00:04:51] My space, my real sweet spot is helping other people find their sweet spot, that real place of fulfillment. So as we [00:05:00] talk about career coaching in the context of this episode, I just wanted to put that up front and just make it really clear that’s the kind of person that I’m working with and they’re the kinds of things that we’re gonna be talking about throughout our coaching together.

[00:05:15] So when I’m working with a career coaching client, there are three main areas that they usually come to me for support. The first is clarity, and this is probably where I spend most of my time. So when I say clarity, I’m really talking about those clients who aren’t quite sure what to do next, and then they aren’t quite sure how to do it.

[00:05:36] Or maybe they’ve got the clarity around the front piece. They know where they want to go but maybe they just don’t quite know how to get there. And that’s where I come in. Now, I have a range of tools as I mentioned in my tool belt that we use to help my clients move through this clarity piece. I am gonna mention a few of them here today. If you’re interested in finding out more, maybe we can do some more episodes about those specific tools [00:06:00] in the future. But I do find that they are very, very useful in helping my clients to gain the clarity that they desire.

[00:06:07] This episode is brought to you by the Career Clarity Quest, my absolutely free, seven day program, which is designed to support you in getting so much clearer about your next steps. Find it at

[00:06:26] The first tool that I use, it was created by a gentleman called Richard Knowdell. And if you’re looking for more information about it, you can find it at the career planner website so that is just at In fact, if you want to go ahead and you wanna do this test without the support of a career coach, you can buy credits on his website and you can go to town. I would highly recommend doing it with a career coach because there is something to having that second set of eyes to help you to interpret the results and think about what that actually means.

[00:06:56] And after my clients complete the career planner tests, [00:07:00] we usually have a range of other steps in terms of homework, that they will then take home, do in between sessions and then come back for further evaluation. Now there are two tests on the career planner website created by Knowdell that I think are fabulous.

[00:07:16] The first is the motivated skills test and I really like this one because it shows us three very key and interesting areas. The first is that it tells us all about your motivated skills. So, these are also known as transferable skills, but effectively they’re the skills that you really love using that you’re also really good at.

[00:07:36] So we want you to spend as much time as possible hanging out in this area, doing the things that you’re great at and doing the things that you really love doing sounds fabulous. Right? So this test also helps you to understand what your development areas are. Your development areas are the skills that you really enjoy using, but maybe they’re just not up to scratch yet.

[00:07:58] I find this really [00:08:00] useful in thinking about your professional development plan. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go and complete a course or a program or something like that, but it does just give you that initial little nudge into the type of information that you might want to start to source moving forward.

[00:08:16] So maybe it is that you look for some on the job experience in that area. Maybe you read a book, a blog post, you know, watch a YouTube video. There are loads of ways to be able to learn and to be able to take in information. So I look at that, look at those professional development opportunities with like big heart eye emojis. I really love the fact that it’s broken down for you and that it does help you to gain some clarity over the future of your career plan.

[00:08:44] So the third thing that we learned from this test it’s called our burnout skills. I always say to everyone, your burnout skills are the type of things that you could do them every day for the rest of your career and manager would tell you that you’ve [00:09:00] done a fantastic job and you would get great marks on your performance reviews and on the surface, everything would look really great. The only thing is you’d probably hate your life and you’d feel a little bit like your soul has been sucked. This is the concept.

[00:09:15] Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. And I find that this burnout skills section of the motivated skills test is really enlightening in helping us to understand the types of skills that we want to be selling on our resume and in our interview. And then the types of skills that maybe we don’t want to mention so much, because we don’t want to end up in one of those jobs that just sucks the life out of us from now until eternity.

[00:09:44] So that’s the first test. I find it to be incredibly useful and my clients usually love going through the results. Now, the second test also by Richard Knowdell and as part of the career planner website, I use it’s called career values. And this is a great test [00:10:00] because it helps you to understand what your values are.

[00:10:03] Now it is a little bit surface level. In my opinion, I usually go quiet a bit further with the results from this test with my clients but I do think it’s a really great starting point. And I like the format of it because I just think it helps for people to make decisions and helps them to understand what their top values are.

[00:10:21] So again, if you haven’t listened to previous podcast episodes, you’ll, you won’t have heard that your values are basically the most important things to you. They are the rules by which you want to live your life. And so it’s really important for us to make sure that when you are going into a new role or a new organization, that both the role and the organization are aligning with your values. If you are in a job or in an organization that is out of alignment with your values, You are most likely to feel unfulfilled.

[00:10:52] Often, so often almost every time I get a client who comes to me, that’s feeling really, really[00:11:00] unfulfilled by their work, we can see it in black and white in the results from this test. So definitely, definitely one of my favorites. And I love that option to then take the results then to work with my clients, to unpack them and to put in place some extra homework activities, to help them kind of go a little bit deeper with some of the results that they’ve already.

[00:11:22] So the third key thing that I talk to my clients about usually is part of this clarity piece is DISC behavioural profiling. Now there is going to be some episodes on DISC. They’re on my list to record. I think it will be a series probably of five or six, but let’s see what happens.

[00:11:43] It is by far the best thing that I have ever done in terms of professional development for my career. I am so passionate about the DISC behavioural profiling model and the information that it can share with us. And [00:12:00] I have been doing DISC for a really long time and I’m now at a point where it’s usually pretty easy for me to profile a client without actually going through the lengthy and expensive testing process.

[00:12:12] So I usually do this with my clients. I work through the DISC model. I explain to them how DISC works. We talk about the four key DISC profiles. I speak to them about what their likely DISC profile is. I help them to understand and to identify the key DISC profiles in the people that are in their lives. So this could be team members, managers, and maybe even husbands, wives, partners, children. We look at it all.

[00:12:42] And then we look at how you can actually get better outcomes from the situations that you’re in at the moment, how you can move through conflict, how you can just get better results overall, by making some changes to the way that you approach the other people in your life.

[00:12:58] I often say that this is a [00:13:00] game changer and that is not an exaggeration. I really, really think that this is the kind of stuff that we should be taught in schools, because it is just so incredibly useful. And the changes that I see in my clients and in their relationships and in their work and everything, like every time it’s just so magical.

[00:13:24] So aside from going through those three key tests or different methodologies, we do also do a bit more of a generalist coaching approach, which includes me asking lots of questions and helping my clients to find the answers. Helping them to come to realizations about maybe stories that they’ve been holding onto or ideas that they’ve had in their minds that haven’t been fully formed. So this is a really fun part of the process. It is a lot of talking, but we can learn so much, and it really helps for my clients to get that [00:14:00] clarity around what to do next.

[00:14:01] Now, when it comes to the second clarity piece, around how to actually get it, this is where my own skills experience and expertise in recruitment and human resources come to the forefront.

[00:14:14] It is not a traditional coaching approach. This is where we move more into consultation, where I actually use all of the knowledge that I have to provide you with advice, with recommendations and encouragement about how to take what you’ve learned to the next level. So what this might look like is changing your resume, changing your LinkedIn profile, preparing for interviews, loads and loads and loads of different things.

[00:14:41] But the idea behind it is using the information that we now know about you, how can we package you up so that you are more appealing to potential employers? Or more appealing to the types of potential employers that you would like to work with? This again, can be a really fun [00:15:00]process. And there is a little bit of back-sees and forth-sees, especially if we’re using our coaching relationship to work on building or updating your resume, looking at selection, criteria, responses, cover letters, any of those types of things.

[00:15:13] I do love that opportunity to. Use my expertise in those areas, to give my clients feedback and guide them through the process of how they can actually improve these documents and be really proud of the work that they’ve put in.

[00:15:28] So once we’ve moved through the clarity stage, the next stage that often I help people with is really around their mindset. So a lot of the time when clients come to me, their mindset has taken a beating. This may be because they have experienced some kind of workplace trauma. So that could be bullying or a certain incident that’s happened.

[00:15:50] It could be that they have just lost their confidence over the years because something’s happened. Might be that they’ve taken some time out of the workforce to raise a family or to support [00:16:00] aging family members or to travel or do something else completely, and going back into the work feels a little bit daunting because we often worry that we have lost our skills, and that we are not quite up to date.

[00:16:13] So in this confidence piece or this mindset piece, there is a lot of talking it’s moves into that more traditional coaching space where I help to uncover what are the actual stories? What are the beliefs that you are holding onto that are preventing you from being able to move forward in your career?

[00:16:30] Now I am fortunate enough to nLP master practitioner, NLP stands for neurolinguistic programming, and it’s all about basically reprogramming your mind using language. I say basically, but it’s actually not that basic, can be kind of complex sometimes, but we do have that in our toolkit. And there are a range of other modalities that I actually recommend that I have experienced that can help you to improve your confidence and change your [00:17:00] overall outlook in your career.

[00:17:02] And at that point, I love to share them with you to send you away with resources and to give you that little bit of extra homework that you can do in between sessions, to make sure that you’re continuing to work on yourself ’cause after all the work does not only happen when we are in the room together.

[00:17:19] Now the third piece that people often come to me for career coaching with is all about accountability. So we might have already moved through the clarity piece. We may have already moved through the confidence piece and now we’re at this point where it’s like, oh my God, what next? There are so many things that I need to do and I just feel like I need some help.

[00:17:40] With the accountability piece, it is really about me just being there as a support person. So this may be to continue to help review job applications, might be to continue to give you advice to help you to work through certain situations, or just to keep you on track.

[00:17:57] If you have identified that you’ve [00:18:00] got some career goals and we’ve put together a plan on how to achieve those career goals, and then you need somebody who’s going to walk alongside you, as you are moving towards those goals. I am your woman. I love this kind of thing, because it really fulfills me and gives me such a great sense of pride and satisfaction in watching my clients achieve everything that they’ve done.

[00:18:25] Now, I know I’ve heard from a lot of coaches that some coaches believe that it’s not right to feel pride for your client because you’re not their parent. And, you know, they’re the one doing the work and all of that kind of thing. And I get that, but Hey, I’m throwing all of those ideas in the bin, because I do feel a lot of pride for my clients when they achieve things and I want to be able to shout from the rooftops and celebrate their awesomeness. And it’s during this process that I often get to do that. So it’s really, really cool.

[00:18:57] So the accountability piece. Is something that [00:19:00] often happens really organically as we’re coming to the end of a coaching series. Some clients just say to me, Hey, can we work together for a little bit longer?

[00:19:07] It would really, really help me if you were there to kind of hold my hand through the next stages, and I’m obviously always more than welcome to do that. As I said, it is such a fulfilling part of the process.

[00:19:19] So they are the three key areas that people come to me for career coaching, along with some of the tools and techniques that I use through that coaching relationship to help my clients to achieve the career goals that they have been going after.

[00:19:33] If you’ve got any questions or there’s anything that you feel like I haven’t covered in this episode, please, by all means getting contact with me. You can jump onto social media, come and see me at Pop Your Career. Otherwise go onto my website, there is an opportunity there for you to book a free 15 minute consultation with me.

[00:19:50] So if you’ve been thinking about career coaching, and maybe you think that we could be a good fit to work together, I would love for you to jump over there, book a time in my [00:20:00]calendar so that we can jump on the phone and have a chat. And through that call, we’ll talk a bit more about your experience, how I might be able to help you and we’ll identify if I’m the right person to help you or otherwise, I can refer you to someone else who might be.

[00:20:15] I hope this has been really helpful. And given you a little bit more of an insight into the type of work that I do as a career coach. Until next time, take it easy. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next episode, and I hope that you are having a magical day. I’ll see you soon.

[00:20:32] Thanks so much for listening to the Pop Your Career podcast. I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s tips and that you found value in what I’ve shared with you. If you like your career advice quick and entertaining, I would love for you to subscribe. Also leave me a rating and a review. If you wanna continue the conversation, come and join me over on social media. You can find me everywhere at Pop Your Career. I’ll see you soon.


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About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.