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How to be your own Career Coach: 22 Best Tips


If you are relying on someone else to guide you in your professional path, then you need to think carefully. Is he/she aware of what your goals are? Is he/she well versed with your skills? Does he/she have a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses?

Be Your Own Career Coach

Tips To Be Your Own Career Coach:

The following mentioned are few pointers to know how to be your own career coach.

1. Be your own Coach:

Can you guide yourself better than the outsiders? Yes, you can carve your own path, by being a coach yourself. As you know yourself better than anyone else in the world. You would be surprised that the advice that you give to others, when applied on your own career will give wonderful results. Register every advice that you give to others and make it a practice to apply the same in your career. You are your own Coach then!

2. Be a self-cheerleader:

There will be many instances in life where we would need a cheer leader to motivate ourselves to perform better. If we see any sport on television, we can see the crowd cheering their team and hence building up the moral and self-confidence of a player to do well. The same applies to any other field and any other situation. Who can be our cheer leader other than near and dear ones. They will never give wrong advice and would cheer hard in good and bad phases or our career.

3. Questioning one-self, can lead you to success:

Penelope Trunk also advocates the Pretend-and-play self-coach technique. In one of the job interviews she wanted to ask a question to the interviewer but was scared that it might not come across in a positive way. She kept asking this question, till her mind gave her the answer – “You have to do it!” So, she went ahead with her question and looking at her confidence, the interviewer had no other choice but to hire her. You can be a cheer leader for yourself, to help you sail through your career.

4. How to raise the self-confidence:

Look into in the mirror and cheer yourself before any important meetings or interviews. Make yourself believe that you can do it and there is nothing in this world that can put you down. Face your fears or problems with 100% percent self-motivated confidence and you will be able to see the results. Giving 100% to what you are doing raises your confidence as you would be satisfied with your efforts. I really believe and preach what Penelope trunk has advocated in her blog for being a self-coach.

5. Practice what you preach:

There is another instance that Penelope Trunk mentioned in her blog which is very inspiring. Being a writer, she has published many articles which were related to workplace and in one of the articles, she had mentioned on how to manage time, and make sure of on-time delivery. Commitment is a key to success and you need to ensure that you are committed to deliver on-time and efficiently. Well, a moment came and Penelope, herself, failed in delivering her columns for five weeks. And her editor was the first one to give her advice back to her on “how being late is for losers?”!

6. We are born Advisors:

We all are born advisors and we need to listen to ourselves more often than we think. Advising ourselves is not crazy but reliable. Your experience influences your decisions. And it makes your path towards your goal easier. So, don’t shy away from advising yourself when you are in doubt.

7. Coaching Techniques:

Let us discuss on the most effective ways of self career advisor. From now on, we will describe on the ways in which you can help yourself to succeed in taking decisions. How you can analyze yourself and work towards improvement. How you can build your confidence and at the same time climb the ladder of success. Self-criticism is important and there are many ways to do that.

8. Different Techniques of being a self-coach:

You can have imaginary coach and talk to them out loud rather than in mind. You can question your decision and have a logic argument with yourself. You can pretend that you are advising someone else so that the problem is analyzed thoroughly. You need to believe in what you can do. Self-belief is the key!

9. Ask as many questions as possible:

It is important to question your every decision. Review your reasoning like a third person and ask good quality questions to get good quality answers. You are your best critique and hence, you can analyze yourself better than anyone else. The way you ask your questions is also an important aspect of getting answers.

10. Asking Wrong Questions:

You are sitting in a meeting, and you look at the way the others are responding. You begin to question yourself in the break by saying “You are a looser; you cannot put your views through in front of people. These so-called self-motivating lines are putting your morale down. So, when you attend the meeting after the break, you are more silent and nervous! So, these negative questions are creating wrong notion in your head and hence, are not helping you at all!

11. Asking the right Questions:

Let us look at the same example of a meeting and see how we can self-coach ourselves by questioning the right way.”How can I put my opinion across the table? Should I just cut-in or wait for a verbal conversation? Are these questions putting you in a motivating zone and helping you understand what you can do and how can you do it. Good questions always yield good answers. You need to ask yourself as many questions as possible to ensure that you have reviewed all the angles to the problem.

12. Practice asking Questions:

If you are not used to asking yourself and rely on others then I would suggest that you practice in front of a mirror. Practice asking about career coaching questions and answering looking in the mirror. It will slowly turn into a habit, and you will begin to coach yourself before you know it!

13. Take a Cue from your Childhood!

In childhood, everyone had imaginary friends, with whom we played and enjoyed our day. We also spoke with them: “how our day was? What happened in school? Did he like the tea party/sport?” Our tensions, happiness, sadness, anything and everything that happened in life were shared with them! A similar process can be followed for being a self-coach.

14. Talk to an imaginary Coach:

Make an imaginary coach, with whom you can freely discuss your aspirations, issues/problems. There will be detailed discussions, and hence your decision would be clearer in your problem and since you are talking to a third person, you will mention your problem in detail, and hence, analyze your issues in a better way. If you keep the problem to yourself, then the details might get ignored and you might end-up with a wrong conclusion because the problem is in your head and sub-consciously you feel that you know everything, you might ignore some important facts, landing up with wrong decision. So, if you have an imaginary coach to talk to, the problem would be stated in detail and hence the process of analysis will be smoother with good results.

15. Are you a critique?

Humans are good at dissecting other’s problem as we love to be critical towards others. We register every minute detail before giving our verdict, making our presence felt. We all have had “pretend and play toys” in our childhood where we pretend to be the characters with the prop and accordingly acted based on the situation. We mastered the art at a quite younger age, where we hardly knew what “PRETEND” meant. So, it is easier to do the same when we know what “PRETEND” means!

16. Pretend to be a career coach to a third person:

So, make your problem as someone else’s problem and dissect it. Question it, look at it in a harder way. It is far easier to be a critique for other people than yourself. As a nature we would never give ourselves a hard time, but for a third person, we would go out of the way and make sure that he/she gets a hard dose of our advice. So, go ahead and pretend that your problem is other’s issue and you are there to coach them through!

17. Believe in your ability to make a positive change:

It is important that we do believe in ourselves first. If you don’t have the confidence and the desire, then there is no point in having an external or internal (self) coach. You need to believe in what you are doing and have the confidence of doing it well and it is said, that if you believe in yourself then half your battles are won. Build up the confidence in the ability that you have and feel that you own the place wherever you walk in. Never feel shy of any problems that come your way as you believe that you can solve them and pass them with flying colours.

18. Cycle for being a self-coach:

J. Herald Suarez has authored a book “Leader of One” which has designed a cycle for being a self-coach. He has designed a cycle where you can understand, define, search for solution and implement it. It is a stepwise guide on how to career coach oneself. If all the steps are followed then you can keep yourselves motivated. You can achieve a lot by adapting to the cycle.

19. Cycle for being a self coach: Contemplation:

He says: Contemplation is nothing but defining what the future holds for you and how can you control it. How to work on your present so that your future is affected positively? You need to take break, think on what you are doing in your present and understand your situation.

20. Cycle for being a self coach: Desire:

Desire to do well in one’s career, is what everyone dreams of. But for gaining the success you need to know your strength and weaknesses. With the pressures of doing well in life, we end up with a career that we never desired or looked at. But we need a career to reconnect with our passion or desire. Only if we have the passion or desire towards the job, can we do well in life.

21. Cycle for being a self coach: Design:

Design is the creation of blueprint. Before the construction of a building, we need to know the design to understand the technique to be used to build it. The blueprint is exactly what it does. Hence, once you are clear with your desires and aspirations, you need to sit and design your path of success. How can we achieve this? By asking the right and critical questions!

22. Cycle for being a self coach: Creation:

Creation is the commitment that we make towards the design. This is the most difficult phase. There is no point in spending time on contemplation, desire and design if we cannot commit. We need to stick to your decision and work towards the goal effortlessly. There will be distractions, but we need to remind ourselves time and again what the goals are!

The key to become a career coach is to QUESTION and you need to take a break and ask yourself right questions at any time. There is no right and wrong remarks for being self-critical so accept your remarks, analyze them, weigh-in all the solutions that you have and then work towards them. Self-motivated people, never deviate themselves from the goal and any distractions that come their way is avoided as they have the tendencies to question themselves once they are in doubt and get back on the path that they had designed for themselves! Understand the problem, look at the various solutions, pick the best using logic and then commit towards execution.