Do You Need Coach Or A Consultant?

You know you need outside assistance in some way, but who to call: Career coach, life coach, or business consultant?

You are far from alone in wondering to whom you can turn: Business (and life) difficulties are complex and often overlapping. Here are some common scenarios, along with who can help you and how.

1. You want to quit your awful corporate job and start doing work you enjoy.

A. A career coach is going to help find where to go for next move. Depending on the type of coach you find, he or she may administer strength finding tests, help you find motivation and inspiration, or even help you plan the next steps to get to the career you want.

If you dislike your job for reasons other than the job itself–- such as not feeling assertive enough or not progressing the way you would like– a life coach may help you get things in order. Working with a life coach may help you see your job in a new way or help you on the path of self-discovery. In this instance, a life coach and a career coach may work in tandem or the responsibilities may fall on one person whose specialities blur the lines between career and life coach.

Either way, a business consultant is probably not what you need quite yet. Once you figure out the next steps, however, the consultant could come into play.

2. You choose to move your department or team in a different direction in your current job.

A. This is the classic job of a strategy consulting firm: If you and your company know where you want to take things in the long term, but do not know how to reach that goal within a department or project, the strategy consultant will help architect a short term strategy and plan at an effective cost. Consultants also offer outside advice and a much more neutral viewpoint, which can be very effective when implementing change in an established workplace.

Business consultants can also give direction on feasibility of strategies, or help develop a long term vision from a set of short-term goals. Getting input from someone who specializes in business strategy will help you cut costs and see greater results, while you can focus on your craft.

3. You want your business to become a social enterprise, but are not sure what social causes align with your business goals.

A. You will definitely want to hire a business consultant. Using scientifically-based tests, business information, and goal orientations, consultants will help you find the perfect social cause for your business. They will also be able to help with the details, like stakeholder buy-in, launch, and strategy. And they can help you make it profitable, too!

4. You feel “stuck” and unmotivated.

A. Life coaches are specifically trained in motivational techniques to help you through in this case. Some will even call you in the morning with a reminder of your daily goals! Finding your inspiration again and working through blocks is quite an important step and hiring a life coach who is a great fit can be a great way to start moving forward. If deeper personal issues are at play, a therapist or psychiatrist may even be in order for you as well.

Final thoughts

Life coaches in general are best for situations in which you need personal motivation, decision-making and positive outlook. Career coaches are best for helping you move your career forward or pivot in a new direction. Business consultants are best to start, run, optimize, add, and expand your business/department/organization.

There are also many specialists for situations within each area, such as career transition coaches and life coaches for women only. If you’re unsure where to start when looking for professional help, contact us at Among the Stars, and we’ll help steer you in the right direction!

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