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Navigate Your Career With An Executive Career Coach

AVA is an action-oriented learning community for ambitious professional women. We provide an open, honest place to learn and practice the tools and skills you need to Assess, Visualize, and Advance your career. Share on social media @advancewithava.


Feeling stuck? Have imposter syndrome symptoms? Thinking about salary negotiation? Or ask for a raise? Suffering under a bad boss? Starting with a new team? Newly a manager? Just unhappy at work? Afraid to make a move? Or unable to speak up? Felt used by HR or your boss when you confided in them? People at work you thought were your friends went behind your back?

These are all common and vexing work problems. A coach can help you set a path for success by your own definition.

navigate your career exploration

Why Coaching?

Coaching is the best way to face work place difficulties and opportunities head on. For our co-founder Steph, coaching has been pivotal to her happiness and success. Especially during transitional or trying time, coaching was the safest and most productive way for her to advance her leadership and her career.

"Unfortunately I have found myself in situations were my superiors didn't have my best interest at heart, and I needed someone to boost my confidence, help me find my career center, and to fight forward with tools and knowledge. Coaching is one of the best weapons I had in my pocket, and I continue to use the tools and wisdoms they shared with me, for good." - Steph Barry

career maze career decision

What Is A Career Coach?

Wikipedia's defines coaching as "a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance."

An executive career coach takes this further by providing a safe, structured, and trustworthy environment. The coach also helps the professional understand their current competencies, see how they’re perceived by others, and focus on identifying and clarifying current goals as well as the appropriate action steps to reach those goals, according to the Association for Talent Development.

executive career coach

Tips To Finding A Career Coach.

Our number one tip is to select your own career coach. If your company is offering to pay for career coaching make sure you still pick the coach. If they don't agree, use their coach and take the paid-for learnings, and consider getting your own coach, paying for it yourself, in the future. Company-provided executive coaches are inherently biased to the company goals. They are there to make you work well at that company not to help you with your career fulfillment.

Here are additional, important tips from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) on how to choose a coach for you:

  • Do your homework. Educate yourself about what coaching is, what it isn’t and what the coaching process entails.

  • Reflect on your goals and objectives. With a clear idea of your desired outcomes, you can better choose a coach practitioner who is well-equipped to help you develop a strategy for achieving them. As executive coach Felicia Lyon from Panthera Leadership says "It’s hard to amplify your path and create momentum when you don’t know where you’re going."

  • Interview at least three coaches. Ask each coach about their experience, skills and qualifications, and request at least two references.

  • Confirm credibility. Research each coach’s training, professional memberships and credentials.

Click here for a list of San Diego-based ICF coaches working with professional women.

Imagine What Career Success Looks Like For You.

Career coaching can be uncomfortable. It makes you face difficulties and opportunities head on. It is far less uncomfortable though than being lost in the maze of a bad job or a bad work situation or even the maze of career uncertainty. For our co-founder Steph, coaching built resolve and resilience in her career and in her life which ultimately brought her success and happiness. When you work on your professional relationships and circumstances, there is a spillover effect to your personal life, especially for women. So go ahead and imagine your future, happy, professional self. Imagine career success by your definition. Imagine...

What will life look like when you and everyone around you recognizes your true value? Get ready to shine- become the confident, fascinating, successful woman you know yourself to be. - Dr. Alessandra Wall, Executive Coach, Life In Focus

What topics do you want to discuss? Let us know in the comments below. #advancewithava

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