What Does a Career Coach Do?

February 8, 2023

Posted by BOLDLY

The global workforce is quickly changing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and current economic uncertainty. Because of this, many companies are considering ways to keep their workforce agile and adaptable amidst an unpredictable economic climate. With this, career coaching services have become even more essential as resources for organisations that want to empower and engage their employees to support their wellness and performance for the near and long term.

What is a career coach?

A career coach helps individual employees to understand their strengths, passions, and professional aspirations and align them with their career goals. Specifically, they ‘know how careers work’ within organisations, being well-versed in modern careers and ‘the future of work’ so they can prompt and collaborate with employees on building the mental models needed for key career decisions and job transitions. They provide guidance and support to help individuals to identify and pursue work opportunities that are a good fit for them and develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen field.

For organisations, a career coach can help employees align their career aspirations with the organisation's career pathways and job families, leading to better productivity and mutual benefits. The career coach helps employees develop the competencies, mindset and skills they need to succeed in their current roles and advance to the next level. Moreover, they help employees identify and overcome mental obstacles preventing them from achieving their career goals.

Who can benefit from career coaching?

Career coaching can be beneficial for employees in all stages of their careers. Whether your staff are just starting out in their careers, trying to build their professional skill base, or are already established and looking to advance their career acumen, a professional coach can provide invaluable advice and guidance to build an understanding of ‘how careers work’ across your organisation. 

Employees transitioning into a new business unit or geography

For employees looking to make a career progression within your organisation, a career coach can provide valuable insight and advice on navigating your internal job marketplace and successfully transitioning into a new role or geography. The coach can help identify potential growth opportunities, create a career plan in alignment with your annual goal-setting cycles and secondment policies, and develop the skills needed across your culture to ensure the employee agility required to navigate career moves.

Employees seeking to advance their careers laterally and vertically

For professionals already established in their field, a career coach can help them identify opportunities for advancement and develop the skills necessary for success. They can provide guidance on self-promotion and networking techniques and offer advice on not just traditional ‘vertical’ promotions but also ‘lateral’ moves. The introduction of lateral career moves can broaden an employee's perspective on their options in gaining skills, networks, exposure and knowledge in parallel teams and business units, which may seem like a ‘career stall’ in the short term, but can actually ensure the employee rounds their experience to ready them for a vertical move in future. This shows that career coaching can be beneficial for employees who are planning their careers not just in the immediate term, to support transitions but in the medium to long term, showing that employees sometimes need to ‘think laterally’ to get the career experience they need to achieve their goals. 

Employees struggling with job satisfaction

employees brainstorming in a conference room

Job dissatisfaction can be a significant obstacle to career success, even for high-performing and engaged employees. A career coach can help otherwise successful individuals to identify why they are unsatisfied and provide them with the tools needed to overcome these career challenges. The coach can also offer guidance on finding a balance between work and personal life, which is often necessary for overall job satisfaction. As coaching is a resource we encourage for high-performing and engaged employees, we recommend coaching is only used for employees who are dissatisfied if the company sees a clear strategy for engaging them through career planning.

Overall, career coaching can benefit any motivated employees looking to further their careers, increase job satisfaction or make a successful transition into a new role or business unit. A qualified and experienced career coach can ask employees probing questions to help individuals reach their professional goals.

What can a career coach do for your organisation?

Every career journey is unique, and as such, each coaching relationship will result in unique career planning, questioning, goal setting, and an experience tailored to the coachee. In general, career coaching services provide a variety of benefits for organisations: 

Provide market insight

A coach can provide valuable insight into the job market and the latest trends in careers, helping organisations to make informed decisions about their workforce and the local job market. The coach can also help organisations identify individual employees' strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to align their career development resources and processes better. While most career coaches work locally and focus on individuals, a consulting service (like BOLDLY!) can also assess organisational culture and recommend improvements that foster employee career development, including role profiling, career mapping, and career communications.

Develop career progression

A career coach can work within an organisation's careers framework to develop a career plan for each employee to progress with on-the-job. The coach or consultant can provide advice on skills training and development opportunities and guidance on navigating the internal job market. Working within an organisation's career planning cycle, a career coach can not only ensure robust goals and planning aligned to learning opportunities but can also ensure those development plans are grounded in an employee's personal motivations to support sustainability.

Improve employee retention

A career coach can help organisations create development plans for employees and provide guidance on how to motivate and retain your top talent. Additionally, they can assist with onboarding new employees by helping them to identify and understand the organisation's objectives, culture, and policies to reduce time to productivity and ensure the employee feels connected to the organisation quickly. By working one-on-one with employees through their career planning and transitions, a coach is able to send a clear signal that the organisation values its people and therefore impacts retention.

Ease organisational change

proud young female employee getting a promotion

Career coaches can also help organisations during times of transition or change, such as transformation, growth, and even downsizing. The coach can provide guidance on how individual employees can handle the changes best and ensure that employees feel supported throughout the process.  In addition, our consultants can collaborate with organisations on coaching operations at scale to support these business changes, to ensure a group or pool of coaches deployed to support employees are coordinated in their message, models and efforts to impact effective change. 


Overall, a career coach is a valuable resource for organisations that want to improve employee engagement, job performance and retention rates while also helping the organisation achieve its strategic goals.

Career coaching is becoming increasingly popular among businesses as they look to improve their staff engagement, job performance and retention rates. Career coaches provide a comprehensive suite of services that can be beneficial to both organisations and individual employees. By providing guidance on how to successfully pursue career objectives, build strong networks and develop leadership skills, they can help organisations retain top talent while also helping individuals reach their career goals. By implementing a career coaching program, organisations can increase employee engagement, job performance and retention rates while also helping the organisation achieve its strategic goals.

For organisations to truly benefit from career coaching, they must ensure that their employees have access to qualified and experienced coaches. With that said, investing in a dedicated, high-value career coaching program can give their employees the resources they need to reach their full potential. 

Advance your organisation with career coaching services

career coach consulting with a client

Are you looking for a trusted career coach to facilitate your staff development? Find them at BOLDLY, where we feature vetted and highly proficient coaches who can meet your organisation's specific needs through first-class professional coaching services. Explore our platform and get to know our coaches today.