In your software development or IT career, you are going to eventually get to a point where you do not quite know what to do next, or how to get to the next stage of your career. A tech career coach can give you ideas and guide you to the next stage in your career.
It can be a challenge to figure out what sorts of projects you want to work on next, or what kind of work environment would best suit you. In interviews, it is common to ask what your plans are for the next 5 years, but what about the next 10 years? What about for next month? And what tech should you learn next? How can you best prepare for your next interview?
This is where a tech career coach comes in. They can help you figure out those hard questions about your career, your current job, and your future jobs.
Here are the top three reasons you need to hire a tech career coach.
#1 Your career needs a direction
As a developer it can be easy to settle on the treadmill of learning a technology, applying it and just waiting for the paycheck to arrive. However, at some point, you want to start specializing in a technology or industry or you are more interested in particular types of projects. You want to have higher aspirations than working with the same technology or on the same projects (which can lead to career stagnation).
A tech career coach can help you figure out how you can get from working on small projects to large projects. They can assist you in planning which types of companies to work at in order to work on large-scale projects.
If you are a freelancer, career coaching can help you design a plan to turn small opportunities into larger ones. For example, by suggesting that you teach a video course on a new technology that you learned, or by presenting at a conference that is sponsored by a company you would like to work for.
Moving Into Leadership Roles
If you are looking to move into leadership roles, whether they are management or team lead or senior web developer or lead software engineer, a tech career coach can double as a leadership coach. For example, I offer leadership coaching alongside career coaching and have suggested to clients ways they can gain more respect and responsibility in the workplace and how to lead effectively.
Some developers want to remain working on the same thing and even in that case, a career coach can suggest ways for the developer to stay in the same position.
You need to think long-term and career coaching can help you think about the future of your career.
#2 Improve your image in the current workplace
Career coaching is invaluable when it comes to your current workplace. If you are in a small company, it is easy to navigate the minimal amount of politics. In contrast, at a growing company or an already large corporation, you will need a career coach to guide you in workplace politics and help you improve your image.
A tech career coach can offer ideas which projects you should volunteer for to improve your image when given a choice you decide on which projects to volunteer for. This will in turn, help you improve your chances of getting a larger raise or promotion.
The dynamics of organizations, teams and groups are easier to figure out when a career coach is involved, they may see things that you do not in your interactions with coworkers and colleagues.
Guidance on workplace emails and project selection
For example, when a junior developer was sending an email to the account manager, I coached them on how to formulate the email (summary with a few technical details at the top of the email, full technical details at the bottom of the email) without the email being too short or too heavy on details. By helping them figure out the right level of detail to provide, they made their manager’s life much easier.
In another case, a career coach has recommended ways for a developer to avoid boredom in their development job. The best part was that after the few months of “boredom”, the developer was assigned a much more exciting project.
Career coaches can help you improve your image in the workplace. They can help you figure out the politics and make life more bearable in all sorts of companies.
#3 Finding an even better job
Some day you may feel it is time to move on from a company. You are not getting the salary you deserve, or the projects that you want to work on. A tech career coach can review your resume and offer suggestions to improve it. They can also offer ideas on new skills to learn for the even better job you are dreaming about.
A tech career coach may also have their own network that you can rely on to find a better job. They will know who the better IT recruiters are and point you in their direction.
Some tech career coaches can help you with interviews and make suggestions on how to study for the technical portion of an interview. They can even coach you as you conduct a practice interview with them. Practice interviews are a great tool to help you be prepared to get a better job.
Become a Leader, Become More Respected, Or Find Your New Dream Job With a Tech Career Coach
These are the three great reasons to hire a career coach:
- Give your career a direction
- Survive in a corporate environment and thrive in all sorts of companies
- Find your new dream job
I hope this article gives you a clear idea of why you should considering career coaching. Most coaches will offer a free consultation session or other free materials such as ebooks or newsletters or blogs. From those free sessions or materials, you can judge their expertise. See if the tech career coach is good fit for you and where you are in your career.
You can use virtual career coaching via email or video conferencing.