Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Exploring career mentoring and coaching

Week 6: Understanding career coaching


Welcome to Week 6 of the course.

Last week you focused on what mentoring could do for you – looking at how a mentor can help you to set and achieve goals, and learning how to find the right mentor. You also considered how you might become a mentor yourself.

This week, you’ll shift your perspective to look at career coaching. You’ll see how career coaching has developed over time, what it can do andt why it works.

Now watch the following video to introduce the week.

Download this video clip.Video player: mc_1_week6_intro.mp4
Skip transcript


This week, you'll shift your focus to coaching, looking at how the concept has developed over the years, starting in the 1800s, as university slang for a tutor who carries their students through exams like a coach carrying passengers, and progressing through sports coaching into the business world. You'll look at a variety of real life career coaching examples and consider some of the theories that underpin effective coaching practise, such as Kolb's theory of experiential learning, where reflecting on an experience and implementing what you've learned from it is key to making progress. There are lots of misconceptions about coaching, like isn't coaching only for senior staff, or is having a coach a bit like therapy, etc. And you'll look at some of those in more detail. A common misconception is that simply having a coach will guarantee results. Wrong-- while a coach will support and motivate, it is up to you to take action.

End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • understand how and why career coaching has developed
  • recognise the difference career coaching can make
  • describe some of the theory that underpins coaching.

You’ll start with a brief summary of the history of coaching that will underpin your understanding of the approaches and processes that coaches use.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371