What’s Better Than a Coach to Help You Get Promoted?

If you want to fast-track your career, hiring a coach to help you get promoted can be a smart move — but you should also consider working with someone like this instead.

Sooner or later, we all realize it takes more than hard work and results to get ahead in business. But what exactly more is needed? 

To answer this question, we typically turn to advice from others—like our boss. But let’s be honest, their feedback can sometimes leave you scratching your head.

You might hear things like, “act like you already have the promotion,” or the classic “you’re just not ready yet.”

It can feel like you’re being handed a corporate catchphrase rather than practical guidance. Frustrating, right?

Which may lead you to consider hiring a career coach to help you get promoted–and that can be a smart move. But there’s another option you might want to explore to push your career forward even faster.

Hiring a Coach Isn’t Your Only Option

A career coach can help with many challenges – like becoming a better leader, evaluating career options, preparing for job interviews, developing your professional brand, and much more.

I personally worked with a wonderful coach earlier in my career who was a game-changer in my own professional development. Her encouragement and support played an important role in my career journey. So, yeah, I’m a big fan of career coaches!

But if your goal is to fast-track your career, hiring a coach to help you get promoted might not be the best option. Especially if you want to work with a business professional who has direct experience overcoming the same challenges you’re experiencing.

Consider working with a promotion advisor instead. What’s the difference?

coach to help you get promoted

Advisor vs Coach to Help You Get Promoted 

Here’s a quick take at the difference between working with a career coach to help you get promoted vs working with a promotion advisor.


  • A career coach can help you get promoted, as well as offer support with many different workplace challenges.
  • Career coaches are trained to ask questions and guide you to discover your own answers.
  • A career coach will facilitate and nurture professional growth.
  • Career coaches don’t usually have direct experience climbing the corporate ladder.
  • Some career coaches complete training to get certified and often apply coaching methods based on a question-answer format.

Common career coaching topics:

1) Helping you explore a new career direction
2) Coaching you clarify and set goals
3) Helping you prepare for a job search



  • A promotion advisor specializes in helping ambitious professionals fast-track their careers.
  • Promotion advisors bring a more direct and personal approach to problem solving.
  • A promotion advisor has decades of relevant experience climbing the corporate ladder.
  • Promotion advisors assess your situation, offer real-world advice, and provide answers to questions based on their experience.

Common promotion advising topics:

1) Help you decide how to respond after getting passed over.
2) Figuring out what actions you need to take to get promoted.
3) How to keep a promotion on track when your boss quits.


Bottom line, both career coaches and promotion advisors can help you overcome workplace challenges and advance your career.

If you know exactly what skill you need to develop to advance your career, hiring a coach to help you get promoted could be a difference maker for your professional development.

But, if you’ve been passed over and are having a hard time figuring out what it will take to get promoted, working with a promotion advisor could be the better option for you. Here’s a few tips to help you get started.

More Advice About How to Get Promoted at Work

Passed Over for a Promotion

Passed Over for a Promotion: Should You Stay or Quit?

Here are 3 key considerations to help you confidently decide your next career move.

When is the Best Time to Get Promoted at Work

When is the Best Time to Get Promoted at Work

The best time to advance your career and get promoted could be much sooner than you think — here’s why.

promised a promotion

When Your Boss Promised to Promote You But Then Quits

Here’s 5 steps to take when your boss promised to promote you but then quits before following through.

Selecting a Promotion Advisor: What to Consider

While your advisor doesn’t necessarily need to have work experience in the same industry or profession as you, it would be beneficial to look for an advisor who has managed through similar challenges as your own. It’s important your advisor can relate to your situation.

Working with a Promotion Advisor: What to Expect

Promotion advisory services typically consist of a series of one-on-one sessions between you and your advisor, usually lasting 45-60 minutes.

The first session is about getting to know you and your promotion challenges. It can be helpful to share recent performance reviews and managerial feedback with your advisor so they can gain a better understanding of your situation.

From here, you and your advisor determine next steps. This could mean meeting 2-3 times for support and guidance to overcome key challenges. Or it might mean a longer-term engagement that includes several one-on-one sessions and ongoing support.

Either way, the goal is to lay out specific actions you can implement immediately to help you advance your career faster!

Promotion Q&A Stories: Learn what it really takes to get promoted 

Promotion Story 2

Promoted from Director to Executive Level

“I received a 15% bump in total compensation (base, bonus, equity).”

Promotion Story 3

Promoted from Coordinator to Manager Level

“I’m proud to say I got promoted because I asked!”

Promotion Story 6

Promoted from Manager to Director Level

“I had to get better at working with other groups and influencing without authority.”


To sum it up, whether you choose to work with a promotion advisor or career coach to help you get promoted really depends on what you need and where you want your career to go.

If you have a clear understanding of the skills required for advancement, a career coach can be a valuable ally in your professional development.

On the other hand, if you find yourself struggling with uncertainties about what it takes to secure a promotion, a promotion advisor may be the better choice, especially since they’ve been through it themselves.

Just keep in mind the tips on choosing a promotion advisor: find someone who gets where you’re coming from, and get ready to work together to kick your career up a notch!

And if you’d like some recommendations on credible coaches/advisors who have been there, done that, and have practical advice to share, check out my resources page.

P.S. Did you know there’s never been a better time to advance your career? Here’s three reasons why now is your golden opportunity to get promoted in business.


About Author

Alison started her 20+ year career as an admin assistant and eventually advanced to a CMO role. But, as a quiet introvert, she was often overlooked for promotions. And in 2012, while stuck in middle management, Alison made a goal to use her corporate career to achieve financial freedom and retire in her 40s. You can read more about her story here.



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