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  • Writer's picturePritam Ghoshal

Career Coaches or Career Roaches

Recently, I have been more active on social media than is usual for a typical PhD candidate, all in pursuit for a decent internship opportunity relevant to my research. While I find these platforms buzzing with the usual political banters, religious conflicts, and the random stuff, I came across something that has been plaguing LinkedIn and Instagram for quite some time now- career coaches or the 'know-it-alls'.

These coaches claim to have the golden ticket to success in any field. They play on people's insecurities, making them feel like they're not good enough. The fix? Fork over some cash, sign up for their course, and voila, you're suddenly a powerhouse in your field.

Sure, there are some genuinely helpful coaches out there, but a lot of it seems like noise. Figuring out what advice to follow is like navigating through a maze. Let me break it down with examples from my internship search. Here's what I found from different sources on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Some say use the green 'Open to Work' banner, others warn against it. Opinions vary from following up with recruiters to avoiding them as it may seem intrusive and clingy . The great cover letter debate – some swear by it, while others call it a total waste of time. And don't get me started on resumes – simple, designed, tailored, or generic?

Do you see the conflicting information that each person gives. Surely they are mutually exclusive, meaning if one gets you the job, then the other will not. It's like everyone has a different recipe for success, and the funny part is, no one really knows which one works.

Contrary to what these coaches say, your resume format or interview outfit or the thousand other things these people talk about, won't magically make or break your career. It's more about what you bring to the table. When you walk into that interview room, it's just you – no coach tagging along.

But cutting through the noise is easier said than done. It's like telling someone to go to New York but skip Times Square. The key is to steer clear of these career coaches, focus on your end goal, and avoid getting sucked into their insecurities-exploiting game.

So, don't let these career coaches pull the wool over your eyes. They thrive on making you doubt yourself. They feed on insecurities and weakness. Hence I prefer to call them career 'roaches'.

[Images generated by AI. I am not skilled enough.]

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