What’s the Difference Between Career Coaching and Therapy?
If you’re on the fast track toward self-improvement, you’ve likely considered seeking out assistance from a professional. Yet, deciding on the best type of professional can prove tricky. If you’re looking for support in your life, which includes pivoting in your career, should you talk to a therapist? Or would a career coach be a better fit?
In this blog, we’ll dive into the differences between each and how you can find the right professional for your needs.
What is a career coach?
A career coach is an individual who is an expert in career planning, resume building, negotiation, and interviewing. They’re up to date on current hiring practices because it’s their job to help job seekers look for new positions and careers. They partner with their clients to find out what’s important to them and help them achieve their goals.
Working with a career coach is for you if …
- You’re struggling with a job search
- You’re experiencing career or job angst
- Your professional brand needs improvement
- Your career has stalled
- You’re afraid to showcase your accomplishments at work
- You’re having a hard time standing out from your peers
- You’re struggling with motivation
What is a therapist?
A therapist is an umbrella term, which refers to professionals who are trained to provide treatment and rehabilitation. While the term is often used to describe psychologists, it also includes social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and others who work in more specific fields.
Additionally, while “therapist” is not a protected occupation title, there are many types of therapists who MUST be licensed to practice. For example, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and marriage and family therapists fit into this category. Some specializations will require additional training and certifications. We recommend looking into your state’s specific requirements and regulations to understand the education they have and the training they’ve undergone.
Common reasons to talk to a therapist include (but are not limited to):
- Relationship issues
- Difficulty coping with life changes
- Eating disorder symptoms
- Feelings of loneliness and worthlessness
- Low self-esteem
- Negative thinking
- Gender identity exploration
- Substance or alcohol issues
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
So, what’s the difference?
Coaches and therapists have a core difference, and if you’ve ever played sports, it’ll make sense to you. A coach is a great resource if you’re looking to reach your peak performance in a sport (or in this case, your career). However, if you have a broken ankle or another injury that needs to be addressed (negative thinking, anxiety, trauma, etc.), then no great coaching is going to get you beyond those. Those issues must be addressed FIRST and then a coach can step in.
A career coach is ideal if you want to accelerate your professional journey, but you’re having trouble with your professional brand or your career search. However, if you find that your issue stems more from an internal struggle on the “common reasons to talk to a therapist” then your efforts may be best spent there first.
Fortunately, once you’ve decided which direction to go, the Quarterlife Center offers both therapy and career coaching that you can take advantage of. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment or you’d like more information, please call or email us.