Career coaching helps you to dissolve barriers, navigate obstacles and work towards a truly fulfilling career.
During the Circuit Breaker about a year ago, unemployment in Singapore soared to a peak of 2.9%, its highest in more than a decade. Although things have recovered somewhat since then, the job market remains unstable, especially for particularly hard hit sectors like aviation, tourism and hospitality.
To limit the negative impact as much as possible, the Government has been hard at work rolling out new initiatives to support jobseekers, setting up new job portals, highlighting emerging sectors, creating new jobs, subsidising wages, and offering traineeships so workers can update or add to their skillsets.
Even with these measures, finding a suitable job remains a challenging prospect, for some more than others. If you’ve been struggling with your career – be it COVID-19 or otherwise – well, have you given career coaching a try?
Table of contents
- What can you expect from career coaching?
- Is career coaching right for you?
- How much does career coaching cost?
- 4 tips to make the most of career coaching
What is career coaching and what can you expect from it?
Career coaching may be viewed as a professional service that blends elements of coaching with counselling, to assist in building a dream career.
The coaching part of it involves offering mentorship, training and tools, while the counselling portion focuses on achieving self-awareness and understanding, and providing support in making informed decisions to shape career trajectory and development.
In short, career coaching helps you dissolve barriers, navigate obstacles and chart a course towards a fulfilling career.
Some common objectives of career coaching include:
- To discover career interest and goals
- To assess employability gaps
- Expand knowledge, resources and tools for job searching
- To gain support and grow confidence, unlearn old habits, and take helpful and positive actions
- To understand and discover passion, motivation and purpose
- To learn or develop soft skills like leadership and mentoring
How do you know if career coaching is right for you?
Career coaching may be right for you if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- The pandemic robbed you of your job, and now you don’t know where to go or what to do. Perhaps you had been steadily holding a comfortable job for a while before, and now find yourself unable to navigate today’s job landscape.
- Feeling like you’re going in circles with your career, never feeling truly fulfilled or content, no matter your achievements, or how good your benefits get.
- Flitting from job to job, company to company, because no matter what you try, nothing seems to feel right.
- Starting a new job you are excited about, only to quickly become disillusioned, bored and frustrated.
- Constantly looking for the ‘next best thing’.
- Not knowing what your core competencies are, or the value of your skills.
- Hating your job but not knowing what else to do.
These are in no way the only signs that you should seek career coaching; you may notice other symptoms or patterns that indicate something is wrong.
In short, if you’ve been trying and trying, but not getting the results you want, perhaps you should consult a career coach.
How much does career coaching cost in Singapore?
Career coaching in Singapore can vary widely in cost, from free-of-charge to several hundreds for a programme stretching over multiple sessions.
This is probably because there’s no fixed definition on what constitutes career coaching. Also different individuals have different needs, depending on the stage of their careers they are in, as well as their goals and objectives.
All this means there’s a great variety of programmes offered under the banner of career coaching. Have a look at the following table, which summarises career coaching programmes and their rates, from five organisations we found.
(Of course, there are plenty more career coaching organisations and coaches out there, so please do your own research in order to find your best fit.)
|Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)||Career guidance sessions||$0|
|American Association of Singapore (Career Resource Centre for Excellence)||One-to-one career counselling|
Relocate, relaunch and renew
|$100 per session (member), $150 per session (non-member)|
|Gary and Pearl International||Career counselling|
Executive career and leadership coaching
|$180 per session for career counselling, $400 per session for career and leadership coaching|
|Anagram Group||Executive coaching||From $390 per session (online)|
From $490 per session (in-person)
|Emunah Coaching||Career development|
|$450 for 3 sessions|
$700 for 5 sessions
Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)
As part of the Government’s initiative to help Singaporeans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, e2i is offering free career guidance sessions for those facing job loss or career disruptions.
Those who sign up for a session will be assigned an individual career coach, who will work with them on a solutions-based approach to their career goals. This could range from finding a job, to changing industries, or upskilling to get further ahead.
Guidance sessions may be conducted over the phone or face-to-face, and there is no limit to the number of sessions you can sign up for.
American Association of Singapore – Career Resource Centre for Excellence (CRCE)
Rates: $100 per session for members, $150 per session for non-members
The American Association of Singapore offers two career coaching programmes via its CRCE, which are open to both members and non-members alike.
The first programme is one-to-one career counselling, which is designed to help you in your job search by understanding Singapore’s job landscape: imparting tips on how to network, use LinkedIn and other tools, résumé review and feedback to align more closely with local expectations, and exploration of transferable skills and potential options.
The second programme, ‘Relocate, relaunch and renew’, is geared towards those seeking to relocate or repatriate back to their home countries. It focuses on identifying transferable skills and consolidating past work experience, so as to better identify suitable opportunities in your new destination.
Both these programmes are conducted one-on-one with a career adviser, and last 45 minutes each.
Gary and Pearl International
Rates: $180 per session for career counselling, $400 per session for career and leadership coaching
Business consulting firm Gary and Pearl International runs a multi-session career counselling programme – led by their in-house psychologist, no less – which may be ideal if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of your personality and motivations, and how they impact your attitude and beliefs towards your career search.
The programme is conducted in phases, with as many as eight sessions each, so be prepared to commit for the long haul.
For high-level positions (and entrepreneurs), you can choose leadership coaching to sharpen your ability to lead a team, or executive coaching to help you attain your career or business goals.
Rates: From $390 (online) or $490 (in-person) per session
Anagram Group’s executive coaching programme may be pricey, but that’s because it was once reserved only for the lofty ranks of C-suite and upper management.
They have updated and expanded their programme to benefit a wider audience, including directors, managers, and high-performing young employees, focusing on helping participants improve leadership skills, gain or improve specific skills, and transition into a new role.
Recommended whether you’re seeking a new direction in your career or getting ready to ascend to a new level in your current role.
Rates: $450 for 3 sessions, $700 for 5 sessions
Utilising a deeply personalised approach to derive useful insights, Emunah Coaching’s brand of career coaching revolves around helping you understand your career journey.
It focuses on three pillars – purpose, clarity and confidence – to assist in getting your ideal job or fulfilling a career goal.
If you’re unsure of what your next steps should be, the three-session Career Progress Program will help you get closer to your dream job by discovering your passion and motivations that drive you forward.
Meanwhile, the five-session Career Success Program is designed to help you find out your current and potential strengths and how they can lead you to your life’s mission.
4 tips for making the most of career coaching
Be open to the process
Career coaching can be challenging, because you may be asked to try new behaviours, challenge a long-held belief, or question some of your deeply held convictions.
While you may find changing your mindset or attitude difficult, remember that if you want to get different results, you have to do things differently.
Hence, keeping an open mind throughout the process is far more likely to give you the results you want out of career coaching.
Be honest about your challenges
Asking for help can be difficult, as we may fear shame or ridicule. However, not being honest about what you really need help with will only hinder you from getting the right advice and resources.
Besides, professional coaches are trained to help you work through your issues in a non-judgmental way, acting as a source of support and building up your confidence.
Try a free consultation first
Career coaching is a very personal exercise, and works best when both coach and trainee are able to establish a good level of rapport.
A good way to find out if a coach would be a good fit is to ask for a trial consultation, which you can use to gauge their suitability (and them, yours – it goes both ways!) Many career coaches offer free trial consultations.
Do your part
While your career coach can point you in the right direction or guide you to important insights, it is equally important (if not more so) that you do your part.
What this means is participating actively in exercises, doing homework assigned to you, exploring leads provided, using tools you gained… you get the idea.
To butcher an oft-repeated idiom: you can lead a horse to water, but no amount of career coaching – no matter how exciting or expensive – will slake your thirst for a fulfilling career if you don’t lower your head and get down to work.
(Sorry for calling you a horse. Now hup!)
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.