What is Career Transition Management Coaching?

A career transition coach advising a candidate on their new search for a job.

Posted on

April 8, 2020


The thought of looking for a new job is an exciting prospect for some, and a frightening one for others. Some relish the chance to look for a new career that better fits their talents or interests, while others feel regret or sorrow about the previous position they lost due to a layoff or other workforce change. In either case, career transition management coaching can be a helpful service for those looking for their next step in their career and life path.

Career transition management coaching, in brief, is support and guidance provided by a career coach to help people manage changes in their work lives. The career coach helps the person in career transition figure out the best next step for them to take, whether that is finding a new job, changing industries, going freelance, starting a new business, or seeking an encore career.

Who benefits from career transition management coaching?

People in all stages of their careers benefit from career coaching, because one-on-one attention on personal work-related goals from an impartial and professional career counselor can provide important insights into what type of career goal to set, and expert guidance to achieve that goal. Recent college graduates may want to seek coaching in order to figure out what career path to pursue, mid-career employees may need support and knowhow for a career pivot, and executive-level employees may want to figure out how best to find a position that merges their existing skills with greater personal meaning or social impact.

In addition, circumstances play a role in people’s decision to seek out a career coach. People who have unexpectedly lost their job may especially find career coaching beneficial. Many who seek professional career coaching are people who have been let go from their previous company and received outplacement benefits—also known as career transition services provided by a former employer—as part of their severance package. In such cases, career coaches can help people in career transition manage difficult feelings related to the layoff as well as help create individualized plans to find a new position.

What can you expect from a career transition coach?

Career coaches provide personalized help and support for people in career transition. Unlike the one-size-fits-all career advice made available in articles or workshops, the guidance given by a coach is unique to the individual.

According to Intoo career coach Natalie, people benefit most from specialized attention. “Every candidate is different—they have unique needs and varying degrees of readiness for action steps in the employment transition process,” Natalie says. “We meet them where they are and tailor the coaching approach to their industry, experience level, communication and work style, and career targets.”

Depending on the person’s needs, career coaches can help with any stage of the career management process, from taking personality or skills assessments to figure out what types of careers or job environments are a best fit, to assessing the upskilling or reskilling needed to transition to a better opportunity, to researching the possibilities of an encore career. This means career coaches are skilled at a wide variety of tasks, including revising a resume, planning a networking plan, and negotiating job offers.

Because career coaches are experts in the career management process, they are able to move people toward their career goals more quickly. “A career coach’s ability to connect people to resources that they may not be familiar with is huge,” says Intoo career coach Holly. “Some of those resources can make all the difference in the job search. For example, I have a lot of clients who are interested in remote work or the nonprofit space, and I’m able to connect them to job boards specific to those positions.”

While career coaches provide support for a wide variety of career transition tasks, it is still up to the coachee to work on their own career transition. “Coaching is 80 percent the candidate and 20 percent the coach,” says Intoo career coach Jyl. “I’m very much a structured person, so I love developing a relationship with the candidates, helping them identify a structure for their job search, and seeing them move forward with success.”

Is it convenient to access career transition management coaching?

The accessibility of career coaching depends on the coaching program. Outplacement programs differ significantly in their coaching service. Some, for example, require people to meet with coaches face to face by making an appointment well in advance and driving to an office. Other outplacement programs are more flexible. Virtual outplacement programs, for example, can offer one-on-one coaching through video, audio, email, and text at the job seeker’s convenience.

The amount of coaching you receive also differs widely from outplacement program to program. Some limit coaching to just a few hours, while others offer unlimited coaching for six months to a year. Because there is so much variability among outplacement programs, it is important for the HR professional selecting an outplacement provider to consider the convenience and availability of coaches as well as the duration of the coaching process.


Intoo’s outplacement solution provides unlimited, on-demand, one-on-one coaching through video, audio, and text seven days a week, so people can get career advice when and where they need it. Learn more about how Intoo can help you support your departing employees in their job search.

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