Assessment is essential. Gathering solid, dependable data about your midlife career client is the most efficient road to career coaching success. Midlife is said to commence when one ceases to measure one’s life in terms of time that has elapsed since birth, and gradually switches to a more interior evaluation of how much time is left. This gigantic shift generally occurs somewhere in one’s 40s (the actual advent of midlife is naturally influenced by many factors). Midlife can send psychological ‘shock waves’ through the client; some clients enter what we blithely call ‘mid-career crisis’ a frightening period of uncertainty.
Midlife is said to end when one commences retirement (although this maker is also open to contest as well). In any event, midlife opens with a flush of self-life confusion, evidenced by an avalanche of the “big” questions of life: “Where am I going?” How have I done so far in my life?” “Is my life on track?” “Is this what I genuinely want from life?” “Am I in an authentic career for me?” These, and other questions swirl in an almost unending vortex in the hearts and minds of the midlife career seeker.
The midlife career client presents to the career coach carrying all this internal confusion that screams for clarification and reason, direction and priority, as well as organization and the need to “make meaning” of it all. What’s a good career coach to do?
The Need for Good Career Assessment
There exists compelling evidence that assessments produce better insights, better decisions, and better outcomes for both career clients and career coaches. Everyday, we career coaches help our clients make life-changing decisions; decisions that we hope will lead to positive outcomes. Quality assessments can immeasurably help support our coaching evaluations and shape the direction of our coaching efforts. The overall benefits of career assessments are no more compelling than in coaching the midlife career client.
Quality assessments, ones that are valid, reliable, cost effective, efficient of time, and where training in their use is readily available, are indispensable for the midlife career client. Assessments have immense benefits because they can produce dramatic results.
Benefits of Assessment
o Allows clients to understand themselves better
o Promotes a more ‘scientific’ coaching orientation
o Lends clarity to confusion
o Provides hard data evidence
o Enhances deeper self-exploration
o Promotes quality outcomes
o Offers data to help make accurate and more reliable decisions
o Identifies personal strengths
o Enhances client motivation
o Activates time efficiency
o Jumpstarts changing client deficit behaviors
o Gives structure and order without stricture
o Increases coach confidence
Career Assessment: Development Across the Lifespan
The primary goal of career assessments is not to discover deficits, rather it’s to identify internal strengths, to deepen the conversation between you and your client, and to help you formulate more powerful questions that can not only motivate your clients but even inspire them. Career assessments motivate your clients in the most personal, practical, and relevant ways possible, to advance their ongoing career/life search across the lifespan.
Quality career assessments have helped literally thousands of individuals grow toward a much clearer understanding of the meaning and purpose of their life. The results give you clear directions for continued growth toward appreciating your client’s authentic ‘work.’ Quality assessments give you added relevance to your coaching profession when they are coupled with educational experiences designed to further personalize and extend the learning that occurred with the assessment itself.
The results of quality assessments give you the coach invaluable information about your client; information you could gain nowhere else. Quality assessments generate a personal report that allows you to dramatically advance on your path toward helping your midlife career clients in ways unavailable to you without them. The information given in assessments enables you to move forward in your work with vastly increased confidence and motivation.
Dr. Johnson is the co-founder of ReCareer, Inc., a coach training organization dedicated to helping midlife career changers find meaningful and purpose-driven careers in the second half of life. He is a nationally recognized spokesperson in the field of retirement, career transition and adult development, having written and lectured extensively in those fields. His fresh ideas and enthusiasm for the wholistic aspects of adult development and maturation have inspired scores of maturing adults to follow their hearts and live more abundant lives. He is a dynamic, engaging, and compassionate teacher who delights in seeing his students grow in body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Johnson is the former president of the American Association for Adult Development and Aging. He is the creator of the ReCareer Success Inventory©, the Retirement Success Profile©, the LifeOptions Profile ©, and the Retirement Options © program, developed from over 20 years of retirement research and dedicated to helping people lead enriched and fulfilling lives in their second half of life.