Difference between Career Counselors and Coaches

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woman talking to career counselor

Both career counselor and career coach serve as allies and partners to help individuals and organizations in multiple ways, including assessing your job or career, as well as planning your life and work. Despite their differences, however, many professionals especially young adults aren’t sure about their core tasks. How do they differ?

Career Coach vs. Career Counselor

A career coach focuses on how you can further improve yourself based on what you can do at present. He/she work with individuals and teams that are prepared to take a life-altering change in their current track.

On the other hand, a career counselor tries to get a full view of your past to better explain how and why you got into your current situation. He/she works with individuals and teams that have a difficult time seeing a bright future that lies ahead.

Both of them can serve you in different ways, so it is important to seek the right and committed person to do the job. Working with them can be a great opportunity to change or rejuvenate your life and career.

As a career professional, how will you know that you need to seek help from any of them? The following are some symptoms:

  • You feel stuck in your present job.
  • You feel restless.
  • You are not progressing to where and how you want to be.
  • You think of making a career change.

Guidance Role

The role of a career counselor or coach is to help you realize your inner potentials that are kept hidden from you for a long time, and guide you in your journey toward understanding them little by little.

He or she uses certain tools and exercises for testing and evaluation such as psychometric tests, and career exercises among others where you are scored based on your own answers. Each of these is utilized depending on each individual cases and situations.

Mentoring Role

A career counselor or coach can also take up the role of a mentor by offering training in topics or areas that he/she and the client can work on together. These include the following:

  • Strategy and tactics on salary negotiations.
  • Determining and utilizing transferable skills.
  • Tips on making career decisions.
  • Tips on resume writing.
  • Tips on entering a different industry.

A career advisor may work with you one on one, by telephone, by e-mail or a combination of these methods. Decide what method is most comfortable for you so that you get the most benefit out of your sessions and are motivated to improve your career situation.

Related Article: Resume and Career Gurus and Their Different Approaches