The pivotal moment
With more women like Shio realising the benefits of career coaching (“I’ve learnt how to identify my own strengths, I am more open to different roles,” she shares), such services are in growing demand, particularly among mid-career professionals.
“Currently, I work more with professionals who are in a mid-career transition, and are typically in their late 30s to early 50s,” says Teng Teng, who charges $4,000-$6,000 a day for a workshop, and $280-$500 for a two-hour coaching session for private individuals and corporate individuals.
“These professionals have achieved some past successes in their careers, and they’ve come to a point where they ask ‘what’s next?’. They value work-life balance, stability and growth, and wonder how can they continue to integrate such needs into their careers.”
Workforce Singapore and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) have about 300 career coaches and advisers who guide job-seekers through the career planning and development process –through e-mail, over the phone, or in face-to-face sessions – free of charge for Singaporeans.
“Over the last three to four years, as our economy restructures and our workforce urgently needs to adapt, the role of career coaches becomes more important,” says Teng Teng. “There is now more awareness of how important it is for each of us to take charge of our career and be agile in the workplace. With the emphasis on the need to learn, unlearn and relearn, people are more in tune with crafting their own development plan. Career coaching can help them find clarity about their vision, aspirations and strengths, and how to map out areas for development.”
The road to career coaching
Having spent more than 16 years as a regional training specialist and senior human resources business partner, Teng Teng has a wealth of experience with people management. As a career coach now, she also sees her fair share of clients who are struggling to place their professional strengths and discover new paths. Teng Teng herself was first motivated by an exchange with an ex-colleague to go into career coaching.
“I started in late 2010, when not many people knew what career coaching was. Not many people would pay for career coaching,” she explains.
“Over the last eight years, I have chosen to work with different groups: young people, the unemployed, women who choose to be homemakers, leaders in organisations, and mature professionals who are retiring. I have gained so much from listening to the stories of people at different life stages, and I always ask myself how else they can be at their best making a difference.”
Of course, the journey doesn’t end after re-employment. You should constantly reassess and recalibrate your career and life to avoid slumps. The good news is, armed with the knowledge gleaned from a career coach, you now have the tools to soldier on.
*Not her real name
This story was first published on Her World's June 2019 issue.