May 5, 2024 | TNG Work | 0 comments

5 Reasons Executives Engage With a Career Coach

Written by Leigh Rautenbach

You’re a successful executive at the top of your game, why ever would you need a career consult? It’s true, that would normally be reserved for when things are not working out – but that is not the only reason to re-examine your career goals outside of the in-house process in your company.

A career consultation can save you time, money, and emotional energy when you’re faced with any of the following:

  1. You’re at the height of your career but you’re wondering if this is all there is. Isn’t there something else out there for you
  2. You’re on the succession plan but the company keeps recruiting the top jobs from outside.
  3. You have already decided you want to make a major career transition but you’d like to short-circuit the process.
  4. You have just started a challenging job in a senior role.
  5. And then, of course, when it isn’t quite working out because your organisation is restructuring and you expect to be a casualty.

The value of working with a specialist in this area is that this is not your day job. Yes, you wouldn’t have reached the level you have in your career if you couldn’t work all of this out for yourself, after all it’s not rocket science. There’s plenty of information to work with but it’s time-consuming. You most likely have had a lot of experience with coaching and consulting in your job and in this instance, the consultant brings specialist knowledge, information, and processes to the task that bring an added dimension to considering your career strategy.

Save Time, Money, and Emotional Energy


You’re At The Height Of Your Career But You’re Wondering If This Is All There Is. Isn’t There Something Else Out There For You?

Executives in the 55-plus age group who have spent years building careers and are looking at their last tranche before retiring often wonder if there is something out there that they have missed. At the same time, they also wonder if it’s too late for a significant change. What options and opportunities are still available? Using an exploratory process that is grounded in research but easy to follow and accommodates different ways of looking at the issue helps clients discover new possibilities. That’s something that’s difficult to do alone and where having a professional assist is valuable.


You’re On The Succession Plan But The Company Keeps Recruiting The Top Jobs From Outside.

I have seen this many times in organisations where you would have expected robust succession planning systems. Many companies, not wanting to create unrealistic expectations do not let people know where they are on succession plans. And your immediate manager may not even know what is needed for you to reach your ultimate career goals if they are at levels beyond his/her seniority. Over-reliance on the internal company processes to manage your aspirations often leads to disappointment. Looking at your career plans in depth with an independent person just makes a lot of sense and once again can save you time, money, and emotional energy.


You Have Already Decided You Want To Make A Major Career Transition But You’d Like To Short-Circuit The Process.

As I said earlier the “how to’s” of career transitions are not complicated and you can download a lot of information from the internet but there are nuances if you want to get there faster and not waste any time. First off solidifying the direction you want to take or at least, the choices you want to explore and being sure you haven’t missed anything are essential when making a major transition. That exploratory step is well worth the effort and crystallises your thinking so that you present well in interviews. It also helps represent you in an authentic way in your marketing documents – CV and LinkedIn profile – so that your personality comes through to your audience.

Very often you’ve decided to make a change but you still have to find the placement that ticks all your boxes. Having a job search strategy is the next step but putting it into consistent practice and course correcting is the key. Keeping at it for however long it takes can be difficult without an accountability partner that coaching provides.


You Have Started A Challenging Job In A Senior Role.

The first 90 days of a new job are critical and as they say “first impressions count” but what you can’t necessarily count on is having a robust, in-company onboarding programme that covers all the bases. Even with a well-structured programme there are likely to be parts of coming to grips with the new job that you do not feel comfortable sharing and benefit from an independent sounding board. Managing performance anxiety and what is dubbed “imposter syndrome” both of which are likely to rear their heads in a new situation are examples of vulnerabilities that you may not wish to broadcast. Getting to know and work in a different culture and finding the line between resisting assimilating and genuinely pointing out what needs to change to be successful is another area that benefits from external support, as does negotiating the politics of the organisation. Negotiating your path through the existing networks, power relationships and team dynamics doesn’t appear on your performance appraisal but is a critical success factor that has been known to sabotage careers.


Your Organisation Is Restructuring And You Expect To Be A Casualty.

This is the time when traditionally, senior managers do use career specialist services. There’s time pressure and a sense of urgency but also a slew of emotions that need to be dealt with to free up the creativity to think about the future and the energy to persist in implementing consistent action. If career management has not been a priority, it’s even more important to hit the ground running with the tools that will bring success faster.

In all aspects of career management, there are emotional traps that can stop you in your tracks or slow you down. Whether you lack the confidence to explore your real dreams, become overwhelmed by how much there is to do and navigate, procrastinate and freeze up when putting your plan into practice, or are floored by the emotional impact of starting that new job. You’re not alone. Only about 5% of people on the planet can just take the “how to” to reach their goal and that’s not to say they get there in the most elegant way.

The rest of us need some help when life hits us with curve balls, technicalities we didn’t see, or just our own bad habits. So as a famous bank once said, “moving forward” is the key and as they now say, “it can be.” It just needs a little help to get there, and we’re here to help you.

Connect with Pam at