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9 Common Myths About Career Coaching

Do you know the difference between a myth and a legend? 🤔

(This is from my homeschool learning in Lockdown! 😁)

According to the amazing Mrs Guntrip, a legend is based in fact, whereas a myth is totally made up.

There are so many myths floating about around coaching.

Most of us THINK we know what career coaching is – but what is true and what isn’t? 🤷‍♀️

I am a career coach specialising in transforming ambitious professional women’s Imposter Syndrome to unshakeable self-belief (what I call Naked Confidence™), so you can succeed in that high-level dream job with the salary to match.

This blog article will help you sort the myths from the facts! 😁

Read on to find out whether:

  • career coaching is really expensive
  • you need to spend hours being coached
  • or if you have to get really uncomfortable to make progress…

1. Career coaching is really expensive

Career coaching CAN be a significant financial investment.

It will depend on the coach you choose, and how long you choose to be coached for, but it can range from anything around £75 an hour to over £750 an hour – which is quite a difference!

(For comparison, my signature coaching programme, Banish your Imposter and Discover Your Naked Confidence, currently costs £5,000 for 12 sessions (ie £416 per 75 minute session), including significant amounts of in-between session contact.)

However, it’s worth considering what you get for the money.

I’ve certainly bought expensive items that have ended up being worth the money.

(I have a pair of Russell and Bromley over the knee flat leather boots I bought over ten years ago that cost nearly £300 – it was a gulp moment when I handed over the card – but they’re down to less than £1 per wear by now…)

If the coaching leads to a fundamental internal transformation, that might be something you’d be willing to pay significant sums for.

And with career coaching, your investment could be paid back many times over through promotions and pay rises throughout your career.

(Every single one of my career coaching clients has said that coaching with me has been value for money.)

So it’s worth thinking about what you want out of coaching, and then what that is actually worth to you.

And it’s also worth finding out if your workplace will pay for your career coaching – I have a number of clients who have funded their coaching programme this way.

(I help by providing a pdf outline of the coaching programme and goals, to help with the internal negotiations…)

And then the investment – as well as the benefits – become organisational, rather than personal.

2. You need to spend hours being coached

Career coaching can definitely be a long-term investment.

I have worked with some clients monthly for two years, and we are continuing to work together.

However, I’ve worked with other clients fortnightly for 3 months, and they’ve met their goals during that time.

Exactly how long you need to spend being coached will depend on what your goals are from the coaching.

And also crucially, that will affect the frequency at which you’re coached:

  • do you want to create a specific significant transformation, such as banishing your Imposter and discovering your Naked Confidence™? That will best be delivered through fortnightly coaching, and can be achieved in as little as three months, after which you can stop if you wish (although some clients choose to continue for longer);
  • or do you want ongoing nurture coaching, to ensure that you keep embedding that transformation, and as continuing support as you progress through your career? I usually deliver this through monthly sessions.

Plus, if you really want to get results, then you will need to invest time in between sessions to do homework, or practice the tools you’ve been learning! 💪

(If you want my coaching support, I will discuss with you your goals for the coaching, and we will then agree exactly what model will work best for your goal. )

Ultimately though, career coaching sessions are only short (mine last 75 minutes); and they won’t happen more often than fortnightly.

Is that the amount of time you can invest in delivering long-lasting transformation that will deliver you incredible results in your career?

3. Career coaching is the same as mentoring

This is really important – career coaching is NOT mentoring!

The key principle of coaching is that you are helping your client to find the answer inside them…

…usually through asking them probing questions, reflecting back to them what they say so they see it in a new light, or teaching them new tools and techniques they can apply to themselves going forward.

Mentoring is different.

Mentoring involves someone who is more expert than you sharing their knowledge with you, and guiding you, based on their specific experience.

Great career coaches don’t need to have had an amazing career doing what you’re doing: they just need to be able to help YOU get better at it – by being brilliant at what THEY do, which is career coaching.

However, this isn’t to say that mentoring isn’t useful.

In fact, I do a bit of both with my clients, depending on their need 😊

But it is always clear when the style is moving from coaching, where I am helping you find the answer inside you, and mentoring, when I am giving you the answer to something.

The key is knowing when to use which technique to get the best results.

4. Coaching is basically another type of therapy

I’ve had a lot of therapy in my life – I had analysis twice a week for three years.

It was definitely useful to help me learn how to be comfortable with my feelings, and express them better, and I would certainly encourage people to try whatever process works for them.

But in the end, personally I found therapy frustrating, because it was backward-looking:

asking how have you got to where you are today, because of what’s happened in your past?

And then I discovered coaching 💡

Coaching is forward-looking:

you are where you are now, we accept that, and we work together to help you identify where you want to get to, and help you get there.

We don’t go into the whys and hows that led you here.

Therapy is also designed to last for years, as you keep working through your issues (I think if I hadn’t chosen to stop, I could still be in therapy now…).

Coaching (unless it’s ongoing nurture coaching) is designed to provide a targeted intervention, deliver transformational change, and then help you internalise the skills so you can move on independently.

These are the reasons why I decided to train as a coach, and not a therapist.

5. Being coached is an uncomfortable experience where you need to challenge yourself

This is both true and untrue.

Are there sometimes tears in my sessions?

Yes 😢

(Is that because some deep transformation is taking place?

Also yes 🌟)

Ultimately if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results you always have.

And banishing your Imposter can mean coming face to face with that negative critic, which you may have been trying to ignore or suppress for years…

So my job as your career coach is to lead you safely into those uncomfortable spaces, so we can resolve those issues and free you of them!

Sometimes that may feel like a challenge.

And sometimes, in order to get results, I will directly challenge you!

(I usually warn clients this is happening by saying, “if I was to play devil’s advocate here…”)

It will always be done within the boundaries of what you can handle, and in a safe and supportive way 💖

Ultimately, I will never force you to do anything – merely invite you to step into that realm of discomfort, so you can reap the rewards 🔥💪

6. Career coaching results take a lot of time to get

When you are working to overturn years of ingrained negative thinking, it doesn’t always happen in a moment.

Sadly, I don’t have a magic wand I can wave to instantly banish your Imposter (I wish I did)…

We know from the science of neuroplasticity that every time you think a thought, that neural pathway becomes stronger.

However, consistently thinking alternative (more positive!) thoughts will over time mean that the positive pathway becomes the strong one and the unhelpful one withers 💪

This is a biological process that is strengthened through repetition – which takes time.

How long is a piece of string question – but I can say it took me two months of consistent effort to eradicate the thoughts that led me to being bedridden with chronic fatigue (after struggling with them for 15 years).

However, it doesn’t ALWAYS take time…

I used to be a “late person” – I was consistently late for everything, by 5 minutes.

I struggled for two years to find the answer to this, using all sorts of tricks from setting my watch fast to aiming to leave the house ten minutes early…

But nothing worked, because I had a limited belief that I was a “late person”, so always sabotaged myself to live up to that.

And this was completely transformed during a 15 minute coaching exercise.

2 years of actively struggling to overcome a life-long habit, gone – in 15 minutes.

(And it was this experience that led me to train with this specific coach – that’s the kind of tools I wanted!)

If you get the right key, transformation can be achieved in a moment.

7. You can’t guarantee career coaching results

Career coaching is not like takeaway delivery: I can’t guarantee that your transformation will be delivered exactly on time (or your money back).

That’s obviously because people are a bit more complicated than a curry…

And fundamentally, I am also not like car wash service, where you hand your brain to me and I return it all shiny and free of negative thoughts.

YOU are the one in charge of your brain, and YOU are the only one who can do the work.

I will support you every step of the way – daily if need be!

I will do my very best to help you by using my most powerful and effective tools and techniques, and teaching you how to use them for yourself.

But fundamentally, YOU have to do the work.

What I can say is that if you DO do the work, you WILL experience positive results – often life- and career-changing results.

My clients have gone on to thrive in their dream jobs, having discovered the incredible power of the Naked Confidence within them.

And they have learned how to tackle that inner critic, so that it no longer drags them down.

(And if after the first session you decide that coaching with me isn’t for you, I’m happy to offer you a refund and we can just go our separate ways, no hard feelings 😊)

8. Most career coaches are unqualified so it’s hard to find a good one

Coaching is currently an unregulated profession, so this can be tricky.

You do get career coaches who set themselves up after doing a three week online course – and I wouldn’t be able to say what sort of results you’d get… 😬

So some form of recognised qualification can be a good shorthand indicator that someone is at least legitimate.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good coach though…

When I first thought about becoming a career coach, I knew that – despite my years of experience of coaching as a senior manager in the Civil Service – I wanted expert training.

And I also thought I wanted a recognised qualification.

So I investigated a number of different coach training providers, and experienced their coaching tools for myself.

But the training provider I chose ISN’T accredited – so I don’t have those lovely letters after my name (or at least, I have various letters from my two degrees from Oxford University, but not ones relating to the International Coaching Federation).

But I chose that provider anyway, because of the results I could see I would get for my clients.

(If they could resolve my hard-wired lateness, as I described above, they could teach me to help anyone overcome any form of negative thinking and limiting belief.)

Plus – and this was also important – my coach trainer invented the Lightning Process that cured my terrible chronic fatigue and changed my life forever.

So I felt that even though he didn’t have the accreditation, he’d proven his transfomational skills to me…

So it’s up to you.

You could go with letters after the name.

Or you could go with something that I think is more important: evidence of success.

✅ Choose people who have been referred to you as being good at what they do. You can even put a call out on LinkedIn to see if you get any recommendations (I’ve been referred clients this way).

✅ Look at the career coach’s testimonials – are there clients who will vouch for their skills?

✅ And then meet them: you can’t beat that actual live interaction with someone to get a sense for whether or not they can deliver, and whether or not you’ll get on (the “fit” is crucial to successful coaching).

Most coaches offer a free 15-30 minutes intro/ clarity/ discovery call so you can do this.

(I offer a free 45min intro call so that we have enough time for you to actually experience some of my coaching techniques, not just talk about the coaching programme itself.)

And if you want to see any of my recommendations, you can find lots on my LinkedIn profile.

9. Getting coaching is a sign of weakness

Ah, the challenge of asking for help.

This can be so difficult – I know I struggled with it for such a long time.

(I had panic attacks for years before I told anyone other than my boyfriend at the time and my parents – it took six years for me to start therapy.)

But you know this isn’t true, don’t you…

One reason I share my story so widely is because I want to encourage people to ask for help.

You don’t need to struggle on alone for so long, like I did!

You CAN experience amazing changes, and free yourself from that inner critic, Imposter Syndrome and limiting beliefs.

And asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength: valuing yourself enough to know that you deserve better than this.

And you showing yourself, and your potential, respect and care by asking for help.

I strongly believe the world needs women in positions of power.

It is so worth asking for help so you can take your rightful place at the table.


And that’s it! 😃🎉

I hope you’ve found this myth-busting helpful – if you have any more questions, do get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer them: kirsten@kirstengoodwin.co.uk.

So now you’ve sorted fact from fiction, you may be ready to invest in career coaching.

If so, it’s time to arrange a call with the coach of your choice! 😁

And if you want to banish your Imposter and find your Naked Confidence™, helping you thrive in your dream career, with the salary to match…

…then do get in touch with me to book your intro call so that experience my coaching for yourself.

Either email me or book into my calendar here 😊

with much love and Naked Confidence™ 😁🔥💪

Kirsten xx

Kirsten Goodwin

The Naked Confidence™ Coach

Hired to help female leaders feeling the pain and pressure of their position. Transforming your Mindset AND Skillset 🔥 Banish your Imposter, and find your way, your confidence, & your edge.

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