Your startup is not just you and your employees. Yes, at its most basic level you wear the hat of manager – amongst many others – while you staff works under you, but separating the people from the business itself does a disservice to the entire organization. You are all, collectively, a team. Without a solid group of individuals helping to grow your startup, investing in it with a similar passion and drive as you, all you’d be left with is an idea and some empty office space. You need to do what is in the best interest of your team in order to build a strong foundation that both yourself and your employees can rely on as the startup grows. So, what does every team need? A coach.
A career coach is going to help mould you into the best founder, manager, and boss you can be. You might already have your career determined – a business owner, CEO, founder – but they’ll sharpen you to a fine edge. Whatever goals you have, whatever milestones you’re looking to hit, they’re there to see that you achieve them. By monitoring how you operate, modifying your approaches towards clients and staff, and providing overall feedback, your chosen career coach, like a personal trainer, will shape you into the ultimate version of your career self you’ve always wanted to see.
Now that you know you need one, where do you find a career coach in the first place? Here are three areas to start your search:
With over four-hundred million registered users, LinkedIn should be your first stop when looking to fill any position, career coach or otherwise. A career coach is not a job title one can easily apply for. They’re a mentor and a guide, assisting you and your startup to reach your potential. Not only that, their services could even be offered to your employees, helping them see what career paths in the company they’d be best suited for moving forward.
Look for experienced business people on LinkedIn, those who show an aptitude and desire for helping others. Talk to them, build chemistry, and create a relationship with them. Once you know they’re the right fit, see if career coach is a role they’d be interested in taking on.
Whether it’s a business event, a tech conference, or a convention, you are surrounded by all types of people. Not every one of these individuals is looking to build the next Microsoft from the ground up. Strike up conversations with industry veterans and see why they’re there and what they’re looking for. Odds are a handful of them are career coaches actively assisting startups already or they’d be interested in doing that for you. It’s all about connections.
While a site like LinkedIn gives you a vast array of potential employees to choose from, it can be difficult to search through the haystack for just the right career coach. Your time is limited, so why not look to those who’ve already seen great results from a career coach of their own? Reach out to your business partners, co-founders, and career connections you’ve made to see if they have anyone to refer you to. Most career coaches are independent and they’re looking for their reputation to sell them to the next client. If you’ve seen what they’ve done for others, it’ll make building chemistry that much easier.
The important thing to remember, however, is that this is your business. You set your goals and it’s up to you to achieve them. A career coach can build you as many roadmaps to success as possible, but if you don’t heed warning signs or take the right lanes, you’ll be stuck in a career ditch before you know it. It’s all up to you, no one else.