Blog | Kadima Careers

How Do You Know a Career Coach Is The Real Deal?

A career coach is a professional who helps individuals develop and achieve their professional and financial goals. Career coaches work with clients to identify their strengths, interests, and values and then help them create a plan for achieving their objectives.

Here’s how to determine if career counseling is right for you!

Ready to get started? Apply to our Job Acquisition Coaching Program for your opportunity to Own Your Career!

Key takeaways

  • Career coaches are becoming increasingly popular since more and more people like yourself are pivoting job roles and industries.
  • Career coaching only benefits those who put in the effort and have the drive to succeed.
  • Before pursuing executive coaching, you can determine the best person for the job by asking three questions.

Why Career Coaching is Becoming More Common

There have never been more career coaches in the history of the world than there are now.

Back in the 1600s, when there were maybe four or five jobs in all of society, no one needed much help picking one, learning it, and doing it. Today’s global economy, with near-infinite choices, could not be more different. 

It’s natural to seek input on your career path and big professional moves, with it now being common to change jobs and change industries multiple times. After all, it can have some pretty life-changing implications.

This has created an explosion in the number of people claiming they can propel you to higher professional heights. So many that you might need clarification about how you can tell if the career guidance is worth following.

Who Benefits From Career Mentoring

My take on career coaching: It starts with taking complete and total ownership of your career.

Kadima’s philosophy is, “You own your career. We accelerate it.”

No matter how much mentoring another may offer, your career is fundamentally yours. You make the call. You live with the results. And you decide when it’s time for something to change.

If –– like so many –– you are looking for a career coach to think for you or hold your hand while issuing one patronizing instruction after the next until somehow, magically, a job offer appears… Then you are in the wrong mindset to benefit from even the best coaching available.

I contend that those who advance their careers succeed because of themselves, first and foremost. And only secondarily because of a coach’s input. 

This is why they must apply before I accept someone into Kadima’s Job Acquisition Coaching Program

The path I take people on is rigorous. It demands more than they are used to giving. It challenges their beliefs about how companies really hire.

Most people, candidly, aren’t cut out for it. Not because there’s anything wrong with them or because they aren’t capable in theory.

The level of drive someone must have to willingly do what my system asks is very high. Not to mention the resilience to withstand job search rejections and setbacks. Basically, people must have a growth mindset.

  • People who are perhaps a bit more experienced.
  • Those who have watched co-workers get promoted over them (despite being at least as good, if not better than they were.)
  • Those who are simply fed up with not being where they feel they could or should be.

This fed-up-ness is essential. It is the base-level requirement for career advancement, with or without a coach.

How to Decide Whom to Get Career Advice From

“Okay, okay,” you might say. “I get it. Let’s assume I’m fired up and motivated. As that serious and ready person, how do I pick a coach whose advice is actually valid?”

I'm In


Would I love to help accelerate your career? Sure, absolutely –– but I admit and acknowledge that I am not “everyone’s” career coach. 

I will answer that fair question the way Justin Welsh discussed whom to take business advice from; by asking three questions. Below are Justin’s questions, with my answers from a career coaching perspective.

With that in mind, simply consider my responses as food for thought in your job search. What you decide to do really doesn’t affect ME.

Question #1: Does this person actually do what they say?

I see many career experts on LinkedIn giving dubious advice that I’m not convinced they even followed.

I can’t prove it on a case-by-case basis, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that lots of experts (in career coaching and other fields) tell people to do one thing while they did something totally different. 

I teach The GROWTH Framework. I used it to get leadership roles at American Express, Google, Facebook, and Salesforce. It was the backbone of my rise from Manager → Director → VP → Global Department Head, making $500,000 per year.

It’s how I grew my network, got raise after raise, and opened doors I didn’t even know existed.

When you join our online course, The GROWTH Framework is what I show you. When you do coaching with me, The GROWTH Framework is what I deconstruct and customize at a higher level.

Hell, I turned down a half-million-dollar offer from Amazon just a few weeks before writing this post. An offer that came from past actions that I took within The GROWTH Framework.

It’s not the only way to do a job search, but it’s what I teach, and it’s certainly what I did.

Question #2: Does this person operate in a way that aligns with my values?

This one is more subjective but no less important.

Does how the coach speaks, behaves, and conducts themselves fit your sensibilities?

While I am a pretty logical person, I have to admit that there are certain people whom I simply connect with more than others. Those who, for reasons I cannot necessarily explain, I am much more likely to listen to and take seriously when they share advice. 

As you explore the landscape of career coaches, be aware of whose words genuinely resonate with you. You will probably find yourself more motivated to act on the advice of those coaches, as opposed to one who may be smart and qualified but whose values you don’t share.

Our main value is to treat people RIGHT and get shit done:

  • We treat everyone with Respect
  • We always act with Integrity
  • We behave Genuinely
  • We Humbly appreciate our privilege
  • We work hard to build and retain Trust

By “get shit done,” we mean getting people great jobs quickly, confidently, and profitably. 

We also give scholarships to those with financial hardship or underprivileged backgrounds.

Question #3: Can this person prove, without a doubt, that they are having success?

Nothing is touchy-feely about Justin’s third question, which is as clear-cut as possible.

Bottom line: is the career coach you are checking out actually guiding clients to success?

Kadima coaching clients, on average, increase their annual compensation by $96,300 after working with us (as of September 2022.) 

They’ve gotten job offers from Google, Amazon, Facebook (Meta), Spotify, Salesforce, Microsoft, PayPal, and many more household-name tech firms.

If the coach you are considering cannot furnish success stories from their work, that’s a pretty obvious red flag.

When talking about whom to take business advice from, Justin said that if you cannot answer a resounding “Hell Yes!” to each of these, consider taking advice from someone else.

I maintain the same exact stance on choosing a career coach.

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