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You know that feeling of panic you get once you realize you have to find a new hair stylist after you PCS’d? It’s frustrating, it’s kind of scary, and it often results in counting down the days until those extra 5 inches grow back or the color fades! Finding and building a new relationship with someone who knows for example that you have a thing called “hot roots” (yes, apparently that is something I have, which makes my hair turn orange when I get it touched up) takes up a lot of time–time that could be spent rocking a new ‘do.

I’ve found that starting over with a new career counselor/coach/mentor when you PCS is also much like this. It can be very annoying to have to tell your story over and over to someone new every time you move. The great thing about coaching is that it’s all conducted over the phone, Skype and any other technology we feel so inclined to use. This means no more wasted time trying to find someone you mesh with, develop a relationship, start over with your game plan.

Now, if only our hair stylists could cut and color hair virtually. . .

It helps to think about the coaching relationship as similar to a personalized exercise training plan at the gym. A good fitness trainer will base your workouts on your current fitness level and what you hope to achieve. The direction is determined entirely by you, but the coach guides you and provides you with a variety of opportunities to achieve your personal goals. My coaching services are very similar! We figure out your current situation and what you hope to achieve. My role is to then help you achieve that goal by providing resources and career workouts (homework).

A one-size-fits-all approach will not work for the majority of us, which is why I tailor my career counseling to the needs of each and every person I work with. This means that not all coaching will follow the same format. There is, nevertheless, a general flow of our discussions:

1. Career Reconnaissance – This is the very first step in the coaching relationship. At this point, you will have the opportunity to experience a free 30-minute introductory coaching session. We discuss what you want and the goals you hope coaching will help you achieve. After spending time learning more about you, I suggest some possible coaching options. The decision to continue with coaching is yours.

2. Coaching Plan – After the completion of your initial, complimentary coaching session, we set up a plan for the frequency of appointments. The appointments from this point are entirely designed by you. You may choose a one-time coaching session or ongoing appointments.

3. Accountability and Progress – We often need to reassess where we are in the process. While we will do this continually throughout our coaching sessions, it is important to also reflect as we get closer to and eventually achieve our coaching goal.