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Make the Most of Your Career Coaching Session

Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for your call with a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coach may be helpful. Even if you don’t have a chance to prepare, coaches are always ready and waiting to assist you with your education and career questions.

When your education and career choices seem overwhelming, consider contacting a career coach to talk through your options. You may be pleasantly surprised how quickly decisions fall into place when you work with a knowledgeable coach who is as committed to your success as you are.

Career coaches may be more objective than family and friends and provide options and resources you haven’t previously considered. Best of all, the services of SECO career coaches are available to military spouses at no cost.

Why call a SECO career coach?

Your career coach’s mission is to help you identify your values, interests and goals at every stage of your education and career path. For example, if you’ve identified your career path, your coach can help you develop your personal brand so your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile get results. If you have a big interview coming up, your coach can show you ways to highlight your talents in an interview. Whether you’re ready to negotiate salary, strategize next steps in a job search or start your own business, a career coach is your personal resource for career success at any level.

How to contact a career coach

  • By phone. Call 800-342-9647 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Saturday.
  • By private email. Read or compose new messages using MyInbox. Career coaches will respond to all messages within 72 hours.
  • Live Chat. Use the Live Chat feature in the top-right corner of the MySECO header between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Saturday. 

What to expect from your call

When you call a career coach, expect caring, individualized services. The career coach will listen to your specific needs and provide customized resources and assistance for your situation. Sometimes you can work with a career coach immediately; other times, you will need to schedule an appointment. Scheduled time allows the career coach to focus on you, giving you his or her full attention and assistance.

A typical career coaching appointment can range from 45 minutes to an hour. Each session is unique and based on your needs. You may be able to cover a variety of tasks or you may focus on one area that needs a lot of attention. Be patient with the process as the goal is for you to be successful. You can schedule additional consultations and follow-up appointments and you can choose to continue working with the same career coach or schedule sessions with a different one.

Preparing for your call

Before calling a career coach, you may want to take some time to explore the resources on MySECO to become familiar with the areas in your career development that need attention. This will allow you to get the most out of your career coaching time. When you make the call, you may want to have access to a computer and internet service so that you and your career coach can look at online resources together. However, a computer and internet service are not requirements.

Depending on the type of consultation, try to be prepared and have materials available to help you answer questions.

  • For example, if you have a resume consultation scheduled, it may be helpful to have a list of your previous education and experience handy.
  • If you want to talk about creating your personal brand, you may want to have a copy of your resume, your website or blog address and your LinkedIn profile information.
  • You may need assistance with MyICP setup or have a career coach review it after you’ve created it. If so, have your individual career plan loaded and be ready to go through it.

Consider preparing a list of the topics you want to discuss and questions you may have.

Questions to ask

The questions you ask should reflect your particular situation. Every question is a good question, so always ask. Examples of questions career coaches can help with include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • I am not enjoying my classes. Is this the right major for me?
  • Could you give me information on starting a job search?
  • What are some career options for people with my major?
  • How do I find organizations that hire interns or full-time employees from my major?
  • I have a job interview coming up next week. How should I prepare?
  • Do I need a graduate degree? What is the application process?
  • How do I deal with the frustrations I feel having to leave a job I love to move with my military sponsor?
  • What do I do if I can’t find a job that will pay me to work?
  • How do I decide if I’m capable of starting a business?

Make sure to ask about available resources and next steps. Be an active participant in your plan.

Career coaches have special training and qualifications to provide the best services to you. Coaches are nationally certified, have master’s degrees and can assist you with every step of your career development. Take advantage of this valuable resource today by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or by using the Live Chat feature on MySECO and see what a SECO career coach can do for you.

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