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Use a Career Coach or Mentor to Get to the Next Level in Your Career

If you want to learn how to be successful, ask someone who already is.  This is solid advice, but it's amazing how often we do the exact opposite. Instead, we ask for advice on our plans and strategies from the people we feel most comfortable talking to - our friends and relatives.

Advice from your closest friends and relatives is valuable - who else is going to share their honest opinions with you in a way that spares your feelings?  These folks are your support network, the ones who will be there to see you through your struggles and celebrate your triumphs with you. Should you use your friends and relatives as your sole source of career advice? Probably not.

To get solid advice on how to get where you want to be, you need the help of people who understand firsthand how to get there.  You'll want to enlist the help of someone who has already been successful at achieving the goals you want to pursue, or someone who has a proven track record of helping others succeed. In short, you need a coach or mentor who can provide expert advice and guidance based on the facts of the marketplace and your industry.

What a Coach Can Do for You

A career coach can keep you focused on your career plan, and can even help you make changes to help facilitate progress towards your goals. Your career coach is like your personal trainer for career fitness.  They provide structure, encouragement, and accountability to keep you focused and help you move more quickly toward your goals.  A career coach can give you expert feedback on your career choices and assist in helping you choose strategic plans based on a realistic picture of the marketplace.  Your coach can work one on one with you to help you strengthen your interviewing and negotiating skills, or help you debrief after a setback to help you analyze what went wrong. 

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