Today is the first of a weekly event where someone gets free coaching. The coaches will be different each week, and they will address a variety of aspects of work and life.

I’m calling this feature Coachology because I think we all are going to learn a lot about the wide range of coaching that is available, and which types can help each of us the most.

I’m a big fan of coaching. I have learned something from every coach I’ve had, and coaching has been a great way for me to get out of a rut, get up to speed on something faster, and know myself better.

Also, it’s an important skill in life to learn to be coachable. You need to learn how to take advice, incorporate new input into your old plans, and make changes in yourself. You’ll be a better person if you are coachable — you’ll be more of the person you want to be.

So the first coach is Debra Feldman of JobWhiz.

The person who first told me about Debra said, “She cold calls and gets you a great job.”

Fantastic, right? So I called her up, and not only interviewed her, but asked her to role play how she does a call so I could figure out if I thought I could do what she does.

In fact, I probably could, if she trained me. That’s why I thought she’d be good for Coachology.

What Debra is great at is understanding the groundwork you have to lay in order to call someone and get the job. She knows which person to find, how you have to pitch yourself, what research you need to do before you call, and how to show that you bring significant, immediate value to an organization.

I have recommended in many columns that people hire Debra. But her expertise is not inexpensive. So someone will be lucky to get to work with her a little for free.

But listen, the people who will work well with Debra will already have great communication skills. This is not for underperformers. This is for if you are good at what you do, and you know what job you want, but you’re not sure how to get it.

So how do you get ninety minutes with Debra? Email me three sentences about why you think this sort of coaching would be good for you. Put “Coachology” in the subject line. I will look through the emails and pick the person who will benefit the most from working with Debra.

Please note, though, that I’m sure there is a better way to pick the person who gets the coaching. So if you can think of a better process, let me know before next Friday, when we do this all over again with a new coach.

Update: Email submisssions close Sunday, March 4.

6 Comments/by
6 replies
  1. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    Most of us could use someone to hold their hand through the cold calling process. But I know that even the simplest forms of support amounts to hiring a personal assistant which puts it beyond most people. Debra proves this true. If you’re as “nervous as a schoolboy” when it comes to finding a job, you’re f**d. She ain’t going to help you unless you’re loaded.

    If you don’t have money for Debra, David Perry’s book, Guerrilla Marketing For Job Hunters tells you how to be your own headhunter.

    I recommend it to everyone who asks me for job hunting advice. Almost no one actually buys it and those who do, never open it up. Mainly, I believe, because people want me to do their work for them. When, in fact, they know what they do much better than I do and could theoretically be their own best salesmen.

    A guy called me last week and stayed on for an hour not responding to any of my cues that it was time to end the call. A couple of days later, he called again. When I asked if he’d bought the book. “My wife is going to walk over to the library and get it for me,” he said. Then he went on to brag about his great sales experience.

  2. Lea
    Lea says:

    This is a fantastic feature! Thanks for doing it. And thank you for your blog — I’ve read at least half of the archived posts, and I’ve sent all of my friends over here to learn from you. (About six people in my circle of friends are looking for jobs right now.) As someone who has been working on a career change for more than two years now, and who has been job-hunting for all of that time, I have to say that your blog has been one of the best resources I’ve found.

    I also want to let you know that I used your advice during an interview yesterday: I closed with “Do you have any reservations about hiring me?” The recruiter who interviewed me said NO(!), then gave me some great feedback about why she thought I was right for the position. I have two more sets of interviews to go through with this company, and I’m going to use this question at the end of every interview. It really does work.

    * * * * * *
    Thanks for this comment, Lea. Good luck with the job hunt, and you made my day :)

    –Penelope

  3. Tom Morgan
    Tom Morgan says:

    This is a really valuable new feature for your blog.

    I love the way you keep finding ways to surprise and delight us with the topics and resources you make available to your loyal readers.

  4. Jason Alba
    Jason Alba says:

    Congratulations Penelope – this is a terrific feature for your readers! I’ve seen a number of Debra’s posts at http://careerhub.typepad.com/ for a while and have a lot of respect for her – I’ve always been interested in this cool service she offers.

    My only question is … when do you decide? You post today (Friday)… how long do people get before you close the decision process? I’d like to send people here from my blog ;)

    * * * * *

    Jason, thanks for your enthusiasm. I am going to cut off emails on Sunday night. I’m going to do this every Friday, though. So everyone will have a lot more chances.

     -Penelope

  5. Devin
    Devin says:

    This is awesome, Penelope! Will you be spotlighting the (success) stories behind these coaching endeavors? Mini “case studies” are always fun to read and relate to. :)

    * * * * * * *

    Yes, good idea. I will do that. In some way… not sure how yet. 

    -Penelope

  6. Marci
    Marci says:

    I love this idea, Penelope. What’s so wonderful about this is that the criterion for winning the coaching session is related to the coaching skill she’s supposed to be so good at delivering.

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