I know I just wrote an article not too long ago titled “Someone wants to charge you money for a job? Are you Crazy?” about the rise in numbers of career coaches. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback about that article which has prompted me to make a few more points. I’m not looking to bash legitimate career coaches since some of them are great at what they do and I’m in the process of looking for some to help write articles for a blog. I am irritated by those who have decide to jump on the gravy train to take advantage of this market by sucking the life out of those that are in need of some help.
The job market today is a client driven market, unlike the late 90′s which was a candidate driven market; which meant if your candidate was breathing, you got them a job. We would interview a job candidate in the morning, have them interview with one of our client’s in the afternoon and by the end of the day we would have an offer. Today the job market is quite the opposite. Since it’s been slow, many recruiters stopped recruiting and are looking for greener pastures and are now calling themselves career coaches. To me it just doesn’t sit right. I know that there are people out there that take advantage of every situation they can, but how do they sleep at night?
There are career coaches out there that have been in that line of work for a very long time. I respect what they do and some are great at guiding you through the process of getting a job. Some of them can craft a great resume and make it flow in a way that will make a difference in getting your foot in the door. They can help with dress attire, interviewing techniques and perhaps help you gain some confidence. Some of them do it because they enjoy and have a passion for helping others and I commend them for that. The problem lies with the “NEW” career coach. The opportunist who went from being a third party recruiter to HR in the last two years then onto part time used car salesman. These guys and gals are the ones that are trying to take advantage of the current situation that people are facing with our growing unemployment. People, you need to wake up and look into the backgrounds of these so called experts before you spend one red cent, other wise, Barnum was right in saying that “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Here is some FREE sound advice for those who can’t really afford to spend about six thousand dollars for a six month subscription for a career coach. Join a gym for about six hundred dollars a year that would be my suggestion and a much better deal. I’m just saying a little exercise goes a long way. Losing some weight will not only make you look younger but by releasing some endorphins you’ll even feel better about yourself . You know there is nothing that makes you feel better than dropping some weight and then hitting the stores for some new clothes. A brand new tailored suit with all the trimmings will not only make you look great but will make you feel great too. Feeling great about yourself is obviously something that I keep harping on because if you are out of work you need to understand that confidence perhaps is what you may be lacking. Let’s face it, if you have been interviewing and not getting anywhere spending six grand isn’t going to help, in fact in six months you’ll be depressed about spending the six grand! In times like these you need some major me time! For many of you it’s not your fault that you’re not working. You need to make sure that things are in prospective and exercise can play a major role in your mental well being. Don’t allow some snake oil salesman to con you out of your hard earned money by convincing you that they have the answer.
What everyone today is really looking for is some good sound advice that is relevant to today’s economic times. There are so many places you can go to get FREE advice. LinkedIn is one of those places that you can ask all the questions you want and people will answer you. Some people seem to be making it a career by answering everything from tuning up your car to filling out your taxes. Keep in mind though that not all advice is created equal and you need to check out who is giving the advice, but it is FREE. There are things that perhaps your friend can tell you honestly or you can get some advice from someone at a search firm. Heck, they’ll even meet with you for free. They might not be able to place you in a job at this time but they’ll probably help you with some pointers.
When it comes to paying someone money for advice you have a lot to lose. After all a career coach has no skin in the games since you pay them upfront for their advice. It’s like pro athletes, once they get paid their numbers seem to go down. A good example is the New York Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon. This was his last year on his contract so he is looking to get paid for next year, and man did he ever have a great year. I know some will say “Well I have my reputation on the line!” My answer to that is RIGHT! Recruiters have skin in the game because they are investing their time to try to place you with one of their clients so that they can get paid. If a career coach is so good at what they do then why don’t they just charge you after you have landed a job? Their answer to that is “Well we need to make sure we get paid.” The truth of the matter is that they know the more interviews you go on and the more practice you get, the law of large numbers comes into effect. Which means you will eventually land a job. Somehow they want you to believe they had everything to do with it.
So my advice would be to practice, practice, practice and in between sweat, sweat, sweat!