7 More Career Coaching Tools and Ideas for Clients Who Have Absolutely No Idea What They Want!

Client or Coach pondering Career Ideas writing in journal
This is Part 2 of the article 7 Career Coaching Tools & Ideas for Clients who have absolutely no idea what they want!

And here are 7 MORE Career Coaching Tools and Ideas

For the client who wants a new career—but has absolutely no idea where to start!

1) 'Future' Self Exercises and Inquiries Part 3

(Parts 1 and 2 can be found here) A final idea is to ask clients to write out what an ideal work day would look like.

The more detail they go into the better. Ask them to:

  • To start from the moment they wake up right through to when they get home at night.
  • Use their 5 senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch).
  • How do they feel? This is just as important as what they are doing.
  • Use the 5 Ws: Who (are they working with)? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? Where are they doing it? When (or How often) are they doing it?

Then, explore their write-up wih them, looking for themes, needs, values and ideas.

2) 'Needs' Work

We know about life and work values, but what about our needs? When we don't meet our needs, we often sabotage ourselves as we try to meet them unconsciously.

And one thing that is really common is how we limit ourselves when we expect our 'work' to meet all our needs.

So, one way to get underneath to the client's real needs is to ask the question "Why?"

  • First ask what they would like their 'work' to give them.
  • Then for each answer, ask "Why do you want that? What does that  give you?"
  • Keep asking "Why and What does that give you?" until you get to the real underlying need—which is likely to be value words like love, respect, connection, order.

Now your client can find ways to meet those needs in LIFE instead of the workplace—and possibly open up new career ideas and possibilities.

3) 360 Degree Review

A great follow-on or addition to simple Strengths and Weaknesses work is a 360 degree review. (We offer a simple 360 review exercise here)

A 360 degree review is where your client asks other people (those that work for them, alongside them AND "above" them) for honest feedback on their strengths and weaknesses.

They can use this career coaching tool even if they're not currently working by asking friends and family as well as past colleagues/employers they might still be in touch with.

4) Don't Stop at Strengths: Identify their Talents!

Talents are the things we do naturally that come really easily to us. And a great resource for this is Marcus Buckingham's "Now Discover Your Strengths". In this book he describes talent as, "Any recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behaviour that can be productively applied."

Therefore being charming, persistent or responsible (and even being stubborn or nervous if it means you stick to your guns or worry and identify problems!) are talents.

Then once your client has identified their talents you can ask questions like:

  • Where would this talent be useful?
  • In what industry, job role or career could this talent be considered helpful?

5) Find out what their New Career MUST and Must NOT have

MUST haves are your client's 'minimum career requirements'. And 'MUST NOT haves' help your client rule out unsuitable careers.

One way to kickstart this process is with The Love and Loathe List where they identify what they love and loathe in their current job—and then spend time reflecting and learning from their answers.

6) What Makes My Heart Sing?

What Makes My Heart Sing is a simple tool that's both inspiring and uplifting. It helps boost your client's energy so they can see that happiness is much easier to achieve than they think.

To turn this into a career coaching tool, ask them to answer the question: What Makes My Heart Sing at Work?

Then when you review the exercise results with your client, this helps with work values, elements to include in their work-life and may even give more direct clues and pointers as to possible new careers.

7) Try new things

Finally, encourage your clients to try new things, activities, courses, or even take up an old hobby to stimulate their minds and imagination.

Anything new or different will get clients creating new neural pathways and opening their minds.


So, hopefully these ideas will help your clients identify a new career!

And remember that sometimes a client will have great ideas or know what they want to do—but be afraid to say it aloud or go for it. Our job may be to help them see the truth that is already there—and support and encourage them to follow it.

When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature. Sigmund Freud

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Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Happy Client pondering Career Coaching Tools with their journal and a pen by mimagephotography via Shutterstock

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