How can I find a qualified, reputable career coach?

Nine To Five: Special to The Globe and Mail, Published July 16, 2017


From my online searches, it doesn’t seem that career coaching is a regulated, professional designation. How do you know if they are reputable and qualified to provide advice? Is there a registry or a rating system, as with financial services? What are customary fees and duration of service? Is it worth the investment?


Career counselling is not regulated, though there is Canadian certification available. In Ontario, for one, check the Ontario Association of Career Management website for a listing of members. There are also graduates with career-management diplomas from a few colleges across Canada.

The best way to find a professional career coach is through referral. Considerations when selecting a counsellor:

  • Check out their website, read testimonials, ask for references;
  • You can book a package of multiple visits, or one-offs — the number often depends on where clients are in their life, in their job search and what their goals and needs are;
  • A counsellor need not have experience in your industry though that can be a plus in certain occupations/industries and levels of employment;
  • Chemistry is important if working together for longer than one visit;
  • Availability, location and accessibility: Independent coaches might be available seven days a week;
  • Rates vary from $100 to $200 an hour for an independent; a retail consultant at an outplacement firm may be much higher;
  • Professional resume services should start at $500, depending on varying factors. Plan to sit in on the session or be available for consultation, around three hours plus edit time.

Every professional athlete has a coach; any job seeker would be fortunate to likewise have a guiding light.