Working with a career coach can help you stand out in the saturated job market. But is career coaching worth the money? How much does it cost to hire a career coach? How much should you spend on career coaching?
There is a range of professional career coaches and job search experts. You can find someone on Fiverr who charges five dollars to update your resume and LinkedIn profile (that is how I started my business) or you can invest tens of thousands of dollars in an executive coach.
Below are five items to keep in mind when it comes to deciding how much to invest in a professional career coach.
1. Your years of experience.
Your experience is one of the top indicators that will determine how much it will cost to with a high-quality career coach. A newer career coach may meet your needs if you have fewer than five years of work experience. However, if you are an executive with a decade or two of leadership experience, an inexperienced career coach will be unable to support you with the distinct challenges facing a seasoned business leader. Subsequently, you will want to partner with a more experienced career coach.
Note: If you are considering an on-demand career coaching service, ask yourself if you are willing to place the future of your career in the hands of someone who is juggling 30+ career coaching clients per week.
2. The position you are targeting.
After your years of experience, the position you are targeting is one of the most significant considerations when it comes to how much to invest in a professional career coach. Students and recent graduates with simpler careers may opt for a less experienced — and typically less expensive — career coach. Conversely, supporting the career of a professional in transition, senior manager, or executive takes a much different skill set and requires the experience of a coach with a unique lens.
Additionally, the more niche your position and industry, the more strategy your career will take to strategize. As a result, you can expect the price of your career coaching services to increase.
3. Your salary.
Salary is also a strong indicator of how much you should expect to invest in your career coach. A good rule of thumb is to expect to invest at least two percent of your annual salary in working with a career coach. When you do the math, this comes out to one week’s salary.
Also, if you are hoping for a salary raise, take this into consideration when determining how much to spend on your professional development and coaching. If you are aiming for a $10,000 to $50,000+ annual salary increase, for example, ask yourself how much of that raise you are willing to invest in working with a career coach.
4. The qualifications of the career coach.
The adage “you get what you pay for” rings true more often than not when it comes to career coaches. It takes time, energy, effort, and money to master and continually practice the craft of career coaching. An experienced career coach will charge appropriately for their time and industry expertise.
Be wary if your prospective career coach is not charging their worth. If your career coach cannot effectively sell themselves, ask yourself how they will brand and market your career.
5. The value of the results.
Finally, consider the value of the potential results you can achieve through career coaching. Ask yourself how much landing a job at Meta or achieving work/life balance, for example, is worth to you.
Here are additional resources to support you as you consider how much to invest in a professional career coach: