The top 3 things a career coach can (and can’t) do for your career

Written by Klarrisa Frank

Whether you’ve just arrived in the Netherlands in search of a new job, or you’re freshly unemployed, the search can be overwhelming. A career coach might be just the answer you need during this intimidating transition, as they have the knowledge and experience to guide you. At Empower Amsterdam, we have a group of volunteers who are certified coaches ready to help you find your true North.

However, while career coaches can do a lot to empower you on a path to success, they can’t do all the work for you. If you’re considering trying career coaching, we made a list of the top 3 things career coaches can and can’t do for you and your career.

What a career coach can do

1. A Career Coach Can Help Personalize Your Career Plan

Are you unsure of what kind of job you want? Do you have too many career goals? Or perhaps you’ve been been applying to any job opening you can find? One of the main ways a career coach can assist you is with personalizing your career plan. They can support you in redefining your career goals and aspirations. By narrowing down what it is that you really want, you can develop a practical plan together. They can even continue supporting you while you put that plan into action. Having a career coach may be the ultimate step that you need to keep moving forward with your career.

2. A Career Coach Can Help Minimize Stress and Anxiety

Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed about being unemployed or emotionally drained from the job hunt? Don’t give up! A career coach can help bring clarity and a fresh perspective on your situation while listening to your frustrations, fears, and insecurities. “Because coaching helps you be introspective and build a better understanding of yourself, your goals and actions will be more aligned with who you are and what you need to be happy,” CEO and co-founder of ALV Coaching, Nicole Wood, shares in an article for Bustle. By knowing yourself better and being more aligned to your dreams, you’ll have the perspective and confidence to continue tackling your job search.

3. A Career Coach Can Provide Honest, Unbiased Feedback

You’ve been sending out several applications and may have even had a few interviews, but you’re not seeing any results. “If you have sent out over 100 resumes and have not landed the right opportunity, it may be time to get a second opinion on your strategy,” shares Kavita Sahai, a Coachultant (Coach & Consultant) and Founder of, in an article with Bustle. Getting a second opinion and feedback about your resume, LinkedIn profile, or other ways you communicate to potential employers may be just the ticket to moving to the next step in the job search process.

What a career coach can’t do

1. A Career Coach Can’t Do the Work for You

While a career coach can guide and assist you with your career development, you are the one who has to put in the groundwork. You are still responsible for making the final edits to your CV and cover letter, applying for the roles that fit with your career plan, and showing up to your interviews as prepared as possible. Your career coach and Empowerment's workshops provide opportunities to gain confidence in all these activities.

2. A Career Coach Can’t Change Your Life Overnight

Searching for a new job in an unfamiliar country can feel defeating. You may have been sending out resumes without success for a while before meeting with a career coach. Will a career coach instantly change your situation after one meeting? Probably not! 

In an interview on, career coach, Donna Sweidan says, “It actually takes about eight to 10 hours of counseling for the typical client to begin internalizing the key benefits of coaching.” If you decide to move forward with a career coach, be prepared to work with them for more than one session. Our volunteer coaches at Empowerment donate up to five sessions of 45 minutes each free of charge. 

3. A Career Coach Can’t Instantly Get You a Job

After an initial meeting with a career coach, you might be eagerly waiting for a job offer with your next application. While that might happen, be aware that a career coach is not a miracle worker! They are there to help you identify your strengths, goals, and guide you towards the career path you desire in the long term, rather than short term wins. With a better sense of self and blossoming confidence, you will have a new career in no time!

If any of these things resonate with you, then come try out a session with one of our career coaches for free. Empower Amsterdam offers clients up to five sessions of 45 minutes each for free. Working with a career coach may be just the jumpstart you need to kickoff a new career path. If you’re interested, sign up here today!