"We're doing the same as an athletic coach would: helping talented, capable people problem-solve and reach their goals," said Nicholas Lore, founder of the Rockville-based Rockport Institute and author of "The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success" (Fireside Books, 1998).
Career coaches differ from career counselors, who generally have some training in psychology, noted Donna Brand, a career counselor at the Women's Center, a Vienna-based nonprofit counseling and professional development organization. Counselors provide the same career planning services as coaches but can also "do psychological intervention, and can recognize conditions such as substance abuse or depression" that might be hindering someone from achieving his job potential, she explained.
It is easier to hire a career coach today than just a few years ago, as the field is growing. Though there is little data on the number of such coaches, Marcia Bench, founder and director of the Arizona-based Career Coach Institute, estimates her coach training program is up eight-fold since she founded her company in 2001. And the Kentucky-based International Coach Federation, a nonprofit association for personal and business coaches, has 8,366 members and over 132 chapters in 34 countries.
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