Back in the olde days there were career mentors. Mentors are great, but now there is a new layer: the career coach, in particular the career coach found online. There are a lot of similarities between the two, but the biggest difference is that mentors are free, and career coaches are compensated.
That “compensated” component means a lot.
It means that the career coach need not be in the career field that you are presently in; she may be part of the field that you want to go to. Incidentally, I consider myself an online business coach because most of you are transitioning to an online business from whatever it is that you do now. I absolutely do not know your present business, no matter what it is; but I do know online business — THAT’s where I can help you. Even if you have a strong mentor in your present position, odds are that you can’t talk to her about transitioning to an online business. Your mentor and I serve very different goals in your life.
The professional component (i.e., the “compensated” component) also means that both the coach and her student have much wider choices of who to work with. The internet will take you anywhere in the world. No matter how small your niche, there are people in the world who you can help. There is no need to restrict yourself to your home country unless your home country has unique industries, or if your home country provides unique challenges to women entering new careers.
The flip side is that your potential student can go anywhere in the world to find her career coach, so you need to connect with her on a real level.
Presently there are 5 types of career coaches that are especially in demand:
Coaches for those who are changing careers
This is what we talked about above. Perhaps you can guide someone entering the book editing field or the entertainment field. It doesn’t matter where they are now; your job is to help them reach their next goal.
Coaches for those who are changing physical locations
A teacher moving from France to New York may indeed need help navigating the educational market, and may even need help supporting herself while all the paperwork clears.
I worked with one woman who was helping nurses who were trained in the Philippines come to the United States and work as temporary nurses in different hospitals throughout the country. There is always a demand for trained nurses, and the nurses from the Philippines were anxious to get here, so it was a real win-win for everyone.
Career coaches for those in the midst of salary negotiations
This is a touchy spot for newbies in a field as well as for established career women. Be sure to target your professional niche here and ensure that you know it well — a public relations specialist isn’t likely to be able to help an accountant.
This niche seems especially appropriate for women. We are still paid significantly less than men in virtually all fields. Most of us simply don’t negotiate very well, and that lack of a particular skill shows up on our paycheck. If salary negotiation is your forte, for goodness sake share it with others!
Career coaches for those looking to advance
Teaching your students how to negotiate salaries, preparing them with the stats and arguments they will need for a successful negotiation, is also a huge area. Mentors are great, but they sometimes are reluctant to bring their subordinate up to their own level. That’s where career coaches come in. Not only can they assist with negotiations with the same company, but she can reach out and find advancement opportunities in other companies.
Career coaches for passing exams
Bar exams are notoriously monstrous. But there are lots of other exams too, from paralegal exams to licensed contractor exams to CPA exams. Online courses are often available for these, but if you have the expertise in a particular area, your input would be invaluable to someone relatively new to the field.
Career coaching is one field where age is typically a real asset. You’ve been there, you’ve done that. You know the ropes. Youngsters just don’t fare as well as advisors.
If this is for you, promote the dickens out of it.
- This really is a perfect online business. Find your target market, whether by age, profession, geographic location, or any other criteria, then market directly to that audience.
- You will need a strong website, something that will demonstrate that you are a true pro.
- You might incorporate free webinars to introduce yourself to potential clients.
- Distribute ebooks as widely as possible, joint venturing with aligning professionals perhaps.
- Speak at all the conventions and gatherings that will have you. Don’t worry about being paid for those presentations; just get your name out there.
- Gather testimonials, and encourage your clients to tell others about you.
Your world awaits. Go for it!