If you are reading this, you must be considering taking a career coaching program or most probably you’ve booked your first career coaching session and are looking for preparation tips. In any case, you already started doing things right – the first step is always preparation.


Through this practical blogpost, you will learn how to maximize your career coaching experience – and your return on investment!


Put yourself in a position for success


Before every career coaching session you need to do your homework based on what has been discussed with the coach. Preparatory work may consist in preparing your elevator pitch (a 30-second, impactful self-presentation), crafting a short description about your career objectives, identifying your main achievements or drafting some content for your CV. It is a best practice to come up with specific questions for your coach. To prepare your questions well, start to think about your career expectations, needs and challenges. Think about what you want to do, what you need to achieve it and the main challenges you are facing. It’s time for introspection!


Set the right expectations


It’s critical to have appropriate expectations towards a career coaching program, so talk to your coach before you start in order to set a realistic goal and desired outcome. Define together the focus of the work together and what will be out of scope due to timing and/or budget constraints. A coaching program will be formalized by your career coach after a quick exploratory call to diagnose your needs. It should include the overall objective, the number and format of sessions with the coach, the program duration, the materials, the expected outcome and the price.


how to prepare a career coaching session


 Open up!


Honesty is key in a career coaching session. Be upfront about what matters to you and communicate your ultimate career goal. Being transparent will enable your coach to understand your motivational drivers and your expectations to help you achieve your objective.
It is very common to start a coaching session with a series of questions to better understand your background, profile and motivations. Be prepared to tell your story and show an open attitude when deep diving into your background and past experiences. It will give your coach the necessary insights to help tackle your next career step.


Focus on your life purpose (your WHY)


A coach will help you find out your life purpose and suggest careers that are aligned with it. The closer your job is to your purpose, the happier and more satisfied you will feel at work and in life.
Your WHY is a concept created by Simon Sinek that refers to the cause or belief that inspires you. Knowing your purpose (or your WHY) gives you a filter to make choices, at work and at home, that will help you find greater fulfillment in all that you do. Having your life purpose in the spotlight will help you make meaningful career choices and maximize your career satisfaction. Your WHY should be the backbone of a career coaching session.


career coaching session


Engage in a true partnership with your career coach


To make the most out of your career coaching experience you need to fully participate in the partnership – give your opinion and be prepared to be challenged. Don’t hesitate to express your doubts, fears and ideas with your coach. After all, they’re there to help you and make you feel more comfortable with your career path. It’s all about teamwork to build an effective roadmap for your career.
If possible, go the extra mile and research on topics introduced by your coach and practice what you learn during the sessions right away. Embrace a growth mindset and remember that everything you achieve in a coaching program will be dependent on the actions you take. Be ready for action!


Set the right atmosphere for your career coaching session


Don’t try to squeeze a coaching program between two planes at an airport. A career coaching session requires a professional setup, so create an appropriate atmosphere to maximize the outcome and the quality of the session. Find a quiet spot with a good connection to the internet and no interruptions.
Make sure you are fresh for the session and, of course, remember to arrive on time or cancel if necessary at least 24 hours before the meeting.


career coaching program


After completing a career coaching program, you should have identified your career goals and the specific path to follow to reach them. For more information on the benefits and expectations of career coaching, check out this insightful article.


Now you are prepared for your career coaching session. Go and make the most out of it!

Montserrat Lorente is an International Talent Manager at Planet Expat. Graduated from International Management at ESADE Business School. She enjoys engaging with candidates, learning about their professional projects and helping them land their dream jobs, ultimately boosting their careers. Her interest in people management and career development is reflected in her blog posts, which tend to focus on HR trends.