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How can a job coach help in your quest for a job


Logo courtesy Big & Bold Coaching

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How can a job coach help in your quest for a job? You may think you're doing all the right things on your own and don't need a "coach." It's not like you're on a sports team right? I had many of the same questions, before I met David Kaiser, founder of Big & Bold Coaching, at a recent BNC (Business Network Chicago) HR Group event.

I ask you to think about the following questions:

Do you...
* Feel lost because you don't know what you want in a career?
* Send resumes out into "the void" and never hear back?
* Find yourself wondering "is this all there is? Where is the meaning?"
* Go on one informational interview after another and never hear back?
* Feel awful because you are trying your best and you just can't get a break?

In today's rough economy, the pool of qualified unemployed is much greater compared to years past. That said, one must  work that much harder to showcase themself. That requires pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and going the extra mile. Maybe that means, going out of your way to network with strangers, pushing  yourself out of your comfort zone at a career fair or networking event, or developing a Statement of Value (or “elevator pitch”). It's also easy to get out of a routine and let things slip through the crack with no real work schedule. This is where a job coach can step in and provide real value in stepping up your quest for a job.

David was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time to answer a few questions. I want to share his feedback in a Q&A type format below. He's also more than happy to speak with individuals about his coaching services.

Q: First, tell me a bit about yourself and experience in coaching others?

A: First, after I completed my Ph.D., I began looking for a non-academic job, I really struggled. I made every mistake at least twice, so I know what it is like to be out of work and spinning my wheels. I also learned during that time what does work and how to do it.

I started Big & Bold Coaching in the fall of 08, after leaving my job in corporate training. I got trained and certified and began volunteering at the Career Transition Center of Chicago ( as well as taking my own private clients. Since then I have helped dozens of clients with their job search. I love it when a client leaves a meeting and they feel good about where they are going and what to do next and they can’t wait to get back into the arena. It’s great to see the turnaround from frustrated and discouraged to empowered and excited, and of course it’s always great news when they land the job.

Q: What made you start Big & Bold Coaching? What is your vision for the company?

A: I like to say that I believe that work doesn’t have to suck. I want everyone to have a fun, challenging, rewarding job they look forward to getting to. My vision is to help job-seekers find great jobs where they use their best talents and make a powerful contribution to the world. That’s the Big & Bold vision.

Q: How do you foresee a job coach helping job seekers with today's high unemployment?

A: Bottom line is that many people are great at what they do, but just don’t know how to get a job. They waste effort by chasing too many possibilities (the myth of “keeping your options open”) and by doing things that don’t work, like submitting your resume to company websites. Also, a lot of people don’t know how to manage their own time, now that they don’t have a boss. Often, left to their own devices, job-seekers will avoid doing tasks they find difficult, but which are crucial to the process. For example, coming up with a Statement of Value (or “elevator pitch”), a short summary of how you can serve an employer. It takes a while to create one and sharpen it up, and it can feel awkward and uncomfortable, so people avoid it. Then, when they are finally in the room with someone who can help their career, they stammer through a half-baked, unfocused description of themselves which is not flattering. Similarly, many people avoid networking, which is really nothing more than having coffee or lunch with someone so that the two of you can help each other. The result is that it takes months longer to get a job, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars in lost salary, not to mention the emotional toll. Job loss is often accompanied by depression, divorce, addiction that serve the make matters worse.

There are many job coaches who can help you with all sorts of things, like resumes, interviews, etc. What I do with my clients I help you create a compelling vision for your career, of a job where you use your best skills and talents, one that you really want. That will keep you focused and motivated. I will also help you get out of your own way, and hold you accountable for doing that things you need to do to make progress, and make sure that you appreciate the progress that you have made. A study published in the Wall Street Journal showed that job-seekers working with a coach found jobs 15 – 46% faster than those without a coach, and that is real money saved, and less heartache.

Q: What actionable steps will a job seeker take from your services?

A: I see a job search in three phases: 1> figure out what you want, and get really specific; 2> create the communications to articulate what you want (resume, Statement of Value, success stories, etc); and 3> manage a campaign to get the job. This must be done sequentially. Once you know what you want, the rest pretty much flows from that. I keep the job seeker moving through that process. I won’t let you skip through a difficult step, I’ll also make sure that you move forward when you are ready.

Q: If someone would like to contact you to discuss things further, what's the best method?

A: Send me an email, and tell me that you are interested in a complimentary 20-minute strategy session and we’ll set up a time that’s convenient to both of us. You can also find me online and on Twitter.

Twitter: @BigAndBold


  • David Kaiser 4 years ago

    This is Dave Kaiser, the interviewee for the above article. I am now working under a different brand name, Dark Matter Consulting, which provides Executive Coaching services for leaders at consulting firms and creative agencies. You can find the new website at

    Thanks to Doug for a great service to job seekers, and for a very professional interview process!

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