What's the forum's perspective on the value of hiring a career coach for the mid career professional for 2 reasons: optimising career direction and improving performance at work.
For me, fully endorse and the fact you're thinking like this, its good. You be amazed how many people don't realize they can benefit from external help (especially outside a company without them involved, though some big company's do offer the service with confidence preserved between coach and client).
The challenge is finding the right coach for you.
A good one will center you, define your current situation, and work with you to mapping your direction. My advise is don't expect a coach to TELL you what to do. That's NOT their job. Their job is work WITH you to help YOU define your direction and ways you can thrive in your current role. Not tell you what to do. So long as you're clear on the coach's operating platform then good to go, the are not a mentor in other words nor an "advisor"
Look for a "transition" or "leadership" coach. I do know a great one but unfortunately that would compromise anonymity. There are platforms you can use, i.e. betterup platform to find a coach. There are others. All will offer generally a cost free discovery session for you to figure out if that person is the right coach for you. You can see if there is a local chapter of the International Coaching Federation, they may be able to also provide you a link to a coach/coaches.
My recommendation is find a certified coach who is deeply experienced you your area/industry or sector. Don't use a coach who as never worked or shown career progress before deciding to be a coach, some may actually still be in their professional career.
You won't get the empathy factor versus from a coach who as directly worked in an organization and actually thrived in it. For me, i've seen coaches who were ex-Heads of function or Group leads and/or program leads, some deep experience (many many years) as individual contributors working and driving cross-functional teams (and/or) team-leads that delivered against team and corporate objectives, working within different companies, experiencing different organizational behaviors. This is type of coach what you want.
You can find coaches that are say amateurish, they have big mouths, self-appointed expertise with low in-job/real-world experience - watch out for those. Some may not be certified, that means they're not trained professionally to do coaching. Watch for those. The coach that will most benefit you most are the less vocal ones (low internet profile) in my opinion, but that's my non-coach expert opinion.
That said, i'm not a coach. Nor care to be one, I don't have the personality. I just have a few really good coach friends 🙂