Should I find a career coach or executive coach?

career progression
New answer on Jun 09, 2022
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 07, 2022

More and more people are advocating the benefits of hiring a career coach (or executive coach). In the strategy consulting field, is this common? Would hiring a career coach really benefit career progression?

Would appreciate if you could share your experience and also some recommended resource / website for identifying a good career coach (specifically for management consultants).

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Florian
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replied on Jun 07, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Once you get in, every reputable consulting firm has a good mentoring program and several support systems for you. I would definitely not invest in anything outside of that.

The mentoring and support are usually fourfold in consulting:

  1. You get an official mentor, most of the time a partner, who will be your advocate,  direct contact for issues you face, discussion partner for career ambitions, etc.
  2. A big brother/sister type of colleague, who is usually 1-2 years longer in the firm and can help you with day-to-day questions you might face.
  3. Periodic and progressive training programs that teach you everything from hard skills (e.g., Excel, etc.) to soft skills (e.g., leading difficult client conversations, etc.).
  4. HR staff who can help you with staffing, career ambitions, work flexibility programs, etc.

No external party could provide any value here.

Take care and best of luck!

Cheers,

Florian

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Kurt
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replied on Jun 09, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

Hi - great question!

My personal opinion is that a career coach is most beneficial around the mid / senior levels of consultant (Manager, Principal, Junior partner). This is where you already have a lot to work with and some strategic decisions to make around where to invest your time.

At more junior levels (University looking for jobs, analyst etc.) I believe the return on investment would be low as you have less to work with and usually the answer is just to put your head down for a few years and build skills and reputation.

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Lucie
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updated an answer on Jun 08, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer and coach & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hello there, 

Career coach can definitely unlock your potential and help to move your career, there is no doubt about it and ROI I estimate on career coaching is 8,000%+ (no kidding). But what is important to understand, career coach is someone that helps you to find you YOUR way and find YOUR answers by providing tools, giving  you space, ask the right questions and provide support. Coach is not someone that will figure it out for you. The responsibility is on the coachee, but you should be demanding on your coach having the accreditation from Int. coach federation as well as adequate practice and true coaching hours gained. 

(compared “coaching” through this website is actually mentoring and training, teaching candidates how to best crack the interviews. MBB experience is actually the most important)

I am certified coach and accredited under International Coach Federation with 250+ coaching hours, out of which 200 coaching hours at BCG, coaching management consultants. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me privately if you want we can connect for a quick free session to answer questions you have

Last but not least, BCG (at least) invests in coaching for their consulting staff, all coaches must be officially accredited. We also provide mentors, but the effect is not the same. 

Lucie

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(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Jun 07, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Yes, it can be extremely beneficial!

On paper I am a case coach, but I am currently operating as a career coach (mostly for undergrads) and an executive coach (for executives in both the public and private sector).

Feel free to shoot me a message and I can put you in touch with people I am actively working with.

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Ken
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updated an answer on Jun 07, 2022
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

It's a great question!  As much as I agree that you can find a lot of coaching and mentoring within the consultancy, I personally have also experienced the value of having an executive coach as well.  Actually, at McKinsey, many (senior) partners have one.

I found an external executive coach as soon as I started to lead teams.  He happened to be one that I met on one of my leadership training and still is my coach to this day.  Again, I can only speak for the firm I was at but there was a coaching network that all consultants had access to.  

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Jun 09, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It can be great if you find the good fit. However, have you considered mentoring? Is a similar thing at the end of the day, but with less intensity (and free)

 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Eishan
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jun 07, 2022
Helping consulting aspirants crack the case interview and achieve thier dream job. Bain I LBS MBA I Uber I Bloomberg

I totally agree with Florian and Adi on this one. 

Do think about this as you get much senior not at the consultant/ Manager level. 

However, the only caveat is that if you feel like you are struggling with anything and the support networks at your company are not being able to unlock your potential, at that point, you should consider looking externally. 

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Adi
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replied on Jun 07, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Completely agree with Florian here..once you are in a top firm you are taken care of. There are so many resources available to you for coaching, training, development..so make the most of those.

Once you become very senior, then external executive coaching for C-suite training will come in handy. Then again, if you are a high performer the company will sponsor you for such leadership trainings.

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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