By Alyssa Vitale-Shoop
Business Industry Career Coach
At the University, the Department of Career Services offers a multitude of services such as resume, cover letter and social media reviews. We also provide mock interviews, Virtual Career Fairs and job boards. Our industry-specific career coaches use these services as our tools during career coaching appointments.
What Is Career Coaching?
Career coaching helps our current students and alumni to develop an understanding of how their previous work history intersects with their current professional goals. It also empowers them to move forward with their professional journey through the creation of actionable steps.
Career Coach Rachel Dhaliwal summarizes this process best: “We discuss their goals and expectations, what they have done in their career journey thus far, what the expectations are, and how we as coaches can help them.” Through our career coaching, we provide guidance during a pivotal time in their lives so our current students and alumni can better navigate the ins and outs of an ever-changing workforce.
Before the Call
The first step to setting up a career coaching appointment is reaching out to Career Services. As Ashley DeVore, one of our Business Career Coaches, says, many students come to us because they are “trying to figure out what they can do with the degree they’re seeking, have decided to make a career change due to military transition or new interests, or unexpectedly lost a job. We have tools and resources we can use to help no matter what stage you are in.”
Prior to a career coaching appointment, be prepared to have an open conversation about your background and interests. Also, think about the professional goals you have.
3 Tips to Prepare for a Career Coaching Session
In addition to preparing for a conversation and discussing your professional goals, there are three other steps you can take:
- Review the resources. If your Career Coach sends you resources before the meeting, take a look at them because we will reference them during your appointment. If you don’t understand them yet, that’s okay. We love questions and helping you navigate through the steps of your session.
- Send your resume to your Career Coach in advance. Your resume is another tool to help your coach understand your background, so that the focus of your appointment is goal setting and creating actionable future steps.
- Keep an open mind. You may come into your appointment prepared to discuss one or two specific topics regarding your career path. While we will discuss those ideas in depth, sometimes the appointment calls for discussing other topics related to your needs.
What Will Happen During Your Career Coaching Appointment
During your appointment, your Career Coach will help you navigate difficult questions that may prevent you from determining where to go professionally and what career to pursue. This effort may include investigating what major to select or how to change up your job search strategy. Each session is individualized to meet you where you are currently at in your life and to prepare you to put your best foot forward.
Genia Wells, one of our National Security and Intelligence Career Coaches, approaches her appointments by “fostering a collaborative work relationship with the students.” She “genuinely wants to see and hear about their successes. Students can expect to be ‘heard,’ receive customized career services and achieve their coaching goals based on the effort they are willing to exert. Through it all, they are not alone during the coaching process.”
Now you may be wondering, “What steps does Career Services take to ensure that career coaching appointments run smoothly?” We walk you through resources, ask questions and help you narrow your professional goals so they are actionable and measurable. Some of the questions discussed in your career coaching appointment might include:
- What am I hoping to get out of this appointment?
- What do I want my coach to do for me?
- What do my professional goals look like? How might they need to be adjusted?
- What information do I need, and how do I find it?
- Do I have the resources I need to make an informed decision?
- Do I have steps to take to move forward with my professional goals?
After the Appointment Ends
Once your career coaching appointment is over, you will have clear goals that can be accomplished with easy-to-follow steps. This work is typically done between coaching sessions. For instance, you may be asked to:
- Update your resume according to the feedback provided by your Career Coach.
- Look at different job titles and identify if they align with your interests.
- Use the resources provided during your appointment to gain knowledge about the requirements necessary for the role you’re pursuing.
Follow-Up Career Coaching Sessions
Follow-up career coaching sessions typically discuss the progress you’ve made toward your goals and creating new steps as you continue to pursue whatever goals you set out to achieve. These sessions can be conducted via phone, Zoom or email to accommodate your schedule. Most of all, we are here to support you and offer a sounding board as you navigate your career journey.
Attend Our Fall Virtual Career Fair
Regardless of where you’re at in your career journey, Career Services is here to help. One of our favorite ways to connect students to future opportunities is through our Virtual Career Fairs.
Our Fall Virtual Career Fair will be held on November 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. This event will host recruiters from several companies, who will discuss job opportunities for students from various degree programs. To determine which company representatives will attend, you can find more information in the Success Center of your ecampus.
Registration for the fair is currently open. To help prepare for the upcoming VCF or to set up a career coaching appointment, email Career Services. We’re excited to work with you!