“What does the CHES® acronym after your name stand for?” After, “How long should my resume be?”, this is one of the most common questions I receive from the clients I work with. (P.S. The length of your resume depends on your unique career story; there is no one size fits all.)
After explaining the requirements to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®), people then inquire, “OK, but you’re a career coach… why do you need a degree in health education?”
Their question is a valid one. You rarely see a career coach with the CHES® acronym after their name. (I might just be the only one?) And, you do not need a health education degree to become a career coach. However, the education leading up to the CHES® exam and the continuing education required to maintain my status as a CHES® have proven invaluable to my work, my career, and my business.
As a career coach, I help people find jobs they LOVE (or at least tolerate). I use many of the Seven Areas of Responsibility in my daily work…
I: Assessment of Needs and Capacity
People come to me when they need help finding jobs they love. I asses their needs, connect them with resources (or create new resources based on their unique needs), and establish collaborative resources to help them land a new job, higher salary, and more satisfaction — in work and in life.
Together, I partner with my coaching clients to plan and design tailored plans and strategies that take into account their unique career and life situations. In partnership, we identify and analyze factors that may foster or hinder the implementation of their plan.
With a tailored plan in place, we develop measurable objectives, implement the plan, and evaluate progress against the plan. I provide ongoing assistance to my clients as they implement the plan and work to identify and secure jobs they LOVE!
IV: Evaluation and Research
Much of my work with job seekers is focused on evaluation and research. I asses my clients’ experience, education, skills, interests, passions, and capacity. I then support them in researching and evaluating workplaces and careers that are in alignment with their goals and values.
Advocacy is a critical component of my work. Not only am I helping my clients advocate for themselves in the competitive and saturated job market, but I am also advocating for myself — I frequently share my lived experiences as a queer person, someone living with mental illness, and a male rape survivor.
Communications has to be the most significant, most fun, and most rewarding component of my work. Whether I am crafting a robust new resume or helping a job seeker prep for an upcoming interview, I have the privilege of working with clients to determine their target audience, polish their communication, and deliver a powerful message.
VII. Leadership and Management
Beyond my coaching work with clients, as the founder of CaffeinatedKyle.com, I also run a business. From developing and monitoring financial plans to managing relationships with fellow career partners and stakeholders, the education leading up to the CHES® prepared me to run a thriving coaching practice, too.
Consider a Career as a Career Coach
Working as a career coach may not be at the forefront of your mind upon receiving the CHES® designation. However, it is a career that not only leverages each of the Seven Areas of Responsibility but also allows you to have a positive impact on the health and lives of so many other humans. It is an exceptionally fun, interesting, and rewarding career path.
Just be ready to repeatedly be asked, “What does the CHES® acronym after your name stand for?”
About Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES®
Kyle Elliott is the career and life coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His goal is simple — to help people find jobs they LOVE. He loves coffee (if you couldn’t tell), writing, and eating the same thing at different places.
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