International Coach Federation Reports That New College Grads Can Benefit Significantly from Professional Coaching Services

Lauren Williams's picture

New college grads are entering a slow-to-recover job market that's particularly inhospitable to individuals with limited work experience. A professional coach can help young adults navigate the job search and make a smooth transition from the classroom to the corporate world.  

"It's an employer's market, which means that many employers hold out for the 'perfect' candidate," says International Coach Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach Susan Britton Whitcomb . "That might mean additional interviews, longer wait times and more competition."

A professional, credentialed coach can demystify the job-search process. "Career Coaches can ease the often-rocky transition from the well-known world of academia into the less-familiar world of business," Whitcomb says.

More people than ever—including new college graduates—are turning to professional coaches to help them reach their personal and professional goals. The growth in the coaching profession illustrates this trend. According to the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study, there are approximately 47,500 professional coaches worldwide bringing in total annual revenue of close to$2 billion. Coaches surveyed for the Global Coaching Study were also more likely to report an increase than a decrease in fees, hours, clients and revenues over the last 12 months. These positive indicators point clearly to the coaching profession's continued growth.

Whitcomb identifies seven aspects of the job search that professional coaches can assist with:

  1. Self-assessment—Career Coaches can elicit new grads' strengths, interests and vision.
  2. Targeting—Career Coaches help people envision and create an ideal future; this includes identifying companies and opportunities aligned with their goals and dreams.
  3. Strategizing—Career Coaches can collaborate with new graduates on the best job-search strategies. In addition to networking, Whitcomb says an increasing number of new graduates find their first jobs via online postings and social media; a professional coach will help recent graduates optimize their use of each outlet.
  4. Research—Coaches can help job seekers research target companies, the influencers in those companies and the opportunities available. "Knowledge is power," Whitcomb says.
  5. Execution—Coaches can help clients maintain momentum and a healthy mindset. "I might encourage a client to take a project-management approach to their job search or help them create a storyboard to set goals and track milestones," Whitcomb explains.
  6. Networking—"Relationships play a big role in the job search," Whitcomb says. Coaches can partner with clients to help find the best ways to both nurture existing relationships and expand their professional and social networks.
  7. Interviewing—Coaches can help clients prepare for formal and informal interactions with prospective employers. "Grads need to be aware that they won't just be interviewing at formal interviews, but at every juncture, be it a social media post, an email to a networking contact or an encounter at a professional-association meeting. Every interaction is judged by potential hiring managers and influencers," Whitcomb explains. "A trained, professional Career Coach can help job seekers prepare for these encounters so they communicate concisely, confidently and with an understanding of the employer's needs."

Recent graduates and others seeking an ICF-credentialed coach to help them achieve their professional and personal goals can use the ICF's free Coach Referral Service housed at

The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with over 20,000 members in more than 100 countries and more than 9,000 credentialed coaches worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring, or training. ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. For more information, please visit our website at