Career Coaching Theory and Coaching for Career and Professional Development

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Coaching Career Changers

Career Changer:

typical behaviour exhibited when career changer is in each stage

Career Coach:

suggested behaviour to help career changer develop self-awareness and move on to the next stage


  • Experiencing discouragement (although not fully aware of the reason)
  • Loss of interest in work tasks/industry
  • Letting go of work and old work identity




  • Growing awareness of job dissatisfaction
  • Concern for the future
  • Initial thoughts of a possible career change
  • Expressions of doubt regarding a career change
  • Weighing pros/cons of a career change
  • Emotional expressions – increasing personal control / self-efficacy




  • Increased motivation to change careers
  • Willingness to explore interests/skills through assessments
  • Willingness to explore educational opportunities
  • Crystallizing, specifying, and implementing




  • Managing stress
  • Redefining self
  • New life roles (e.g., student, new employee/ trainee)
  • Determined/committed
  • Stabilizing, consolidating, and advancing




  • Building coworker relationships
  • End of formal educational pursuits
  • Career change complete
  • Holding on, keeping up, and innovating



Barclay et al 2010

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