Sep 1, 2009

What's the difference between an Executive Coach and a Career Counselor

Posting a comment on my earlier blog post, Madhur asked if I could elaborate between a career counselor and an Executive Coach

Some of the basic differences IMHO are the following:

  1. An Executive Coach focuses on developing the employee to be successful in his/her current job or the next role. A career counselor helps an employee look at various career options to choose the one that most suits his/her strengths
  2. Most Coaches are paid for by employers (although news items are showing that employees are also taking their own initiative and hiring coaches) while Career Counselors are provided either by grad schools or by the individuals
  3. Executive Coaches usually work with middle and top level executives - while Career Counselors work with people looking to start their careers 
  4. Coaching can be focused on specific skill building - from technical functional skills to interpersonal skills - hence a person can be working with a variety of coaches at different points of his/her career. Career counselors might be working with an employee at only one stage of his/her career
What is common to both of them:
  • Both help the employee/candidate to come to his/her own conclusions 
  • Both assess the strengths and opportunity areas for the person and show him/her the mirror
  • Both seek to 'facilitate' rather than 'direct' the employee to action.