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    3 Myths About Career Coaching Caused By Social Media

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    The rise of social media has led to a new wave of self-proclaimed “career coaches.” Some of these coaches are distributing bad, and at times illegal, job search advice in viral LinkedIn posts and TikTok videos. These hustlers are perpetuating myths about the coaching profession, which has a damaging impact on job seekers looking to hire a certified career practitioner. In this article, I dispel some common myths about career coaching and explain what it really is.

    3 Common Myths About Career Coaching

    Myth: Career coaching is merely advice-giving.

    First and foremost, career coaching is not advice-giving. As Teri-E Belf and Michael Marx explain in an article published by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), “Giving advice detracts from the client’s autonomy. When a coach gives advice, the client owns less of the solution. Without this ownership there is less accountability.”

    Nonetheless, many less-experienced practitioners create a business based simply on advice-giving. These advice-giving businesses often stem from the fact that the “coach” landed a few interviews or job offers at large tech companies. While the stories these “coaches” craft around their own job searches are impressive, anecdotal experiences do not qualify someone to be a career coach.

    Fact: Career coaching is client-driven.

    You, the client, are the expert in your career and life and know your situation better than anyone else. This is one of the many reasons that trained coaches primarily focus on asking powerful questions that unlock the answers within their clients, rather than giving advice. The coach is not the expert, but rather a mirror or sounding board who is there in service of you and your goals, not just the source of anecdotal experience gleaned from landing a job or two.

    Myth: Career coaches are accountability buddies.

    Another common myth is that career coaches are merely accountability buddies. While some of my fellow career practitioners may disagree with me on this point, as many newer practitioners often focus their efforts on this aspect of the work with clients, accountability isn’t enough to achieve change and reach your goals. You also need clarity and a clear understanding of your priorities, a plan of action, and more from your career coach.

    Fact: Career coaching is often complicated.

    People are complex, so if a career coach is trained and skilled, people will bring all of themselves to the process. Even if the focus of a session is interview preparation, for instance, topics like self-confidence and imposter syndrome often come up, which require nuance and advanced skills. You deserve a coach who can expertly hold all these feelings, thoughts, and emotions with you.

    Myth: Career coaching is a magic bullet. 

    People often turn to career coaching when they’re looking to land a new job, get to the next level in their career, or improve their confidence at work. While these are some of the common goals — and outcomes — of career coaching, they’re not easy to achieve, especially in today’s day and age. In other words, you can’t expect coaching to magically solve your problems overnight.

    Fact: Coaching requires you to put in the work.

    Because the goals that people bring to career coaching are often lofty, they require significant effort, energy, and time to achieve. Consequently, you must be ready to put in the work. You must also be ready for your coach to (kindly and with permission) challenge your thought patterns and limiting beliefs, but if you’re up for the challenge, the possibilities are limitless. You’ve got this!

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