Career insights: Become a Life Coacher
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Life Coaching explained
If you enjoy helping people, giving solid advice, and you have a clear sense of how to assist people in achieving their goals, you have the perfect personality to become a life coach. This career path is becoming more and more popular, with colleges and technical institutes around the world offering courses in how to become a life coach. With the ability to set your own hours, be your own boss and choose the rates that you want to charge, this is undoubtedly an attractive career. Are you thinking about making the switch? Read our comprehensive guide about what it takes to be a life coach, the education that you need, and how you can go about entering into this profession.
What is a Life Coach?
A life coach is an individual who specialises in assessing a client’s skills and desires in order to help them on a path that will fulfill their needs. This new path can include a change of career, a decision to leave a relationship, or the choice to make a big move across the country. By guiding clients through a series of exercises and speaking with them at length about their goals, a life coach can give people the boost that they need to make big changes.
What does a Life Coach do?
A life coach is an individual who specialises in assessing a client’s skills and desires in order to help them on a path that will fulfill their needs. This new path can include a change of career, a decision to leave a relationship, or the choice to make a big move across the country. By guiding clients through a series of exercises and speaking with them at length about their goals, a life coach can give people the boost that they need to make big changes. A life coach supports and encourages their clients as they make choices that will help them to live up to their full potential and live a life they only previously dreamt about.
Life coaches perform the following exercises with their clients:
- Talk at length about their lives and current situation
- Speak about the client’s attitudes and beliefs towards the future
- Help them to choose actionable goals for the future
- Work on breaking these goals into small steps
- Plan strategies about how to overcome setbacks
- Support them with empathy and energy to help them to stay motivated
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Life Coach?
TAs a life coach, you must be willing to keep all of the information your clients tell you completely confidential. As your clients might vary between individuals, families and entire companies, this can be a sensitive and important task. Your role as a life coach might be a general service that you offer as part of a larger practice, or you might have a number of specialties, such as dealing with career changes, youth counselling, or executive coaching. Remember, at times it can be necessary to turn down a client if you feel that they are in need of a qualified counsellor, or perhaps a financial adviser to help them with debt. It is your responsibility to remain ethical at all times.
What Is A Life Coach Used For?
People have myriad different reasons for seeking out the guidance and opinions of a life coach. Often, they feel aimless and confused about what to do next in their lives, and they need a little bit of help to decide their best course of action. All people want to be happy but becoming happy can be easier said than done. A lot of people who utilise the services of a life coach are hoping to make a big change, but they need some support, advice and compassion to help them get there.
Common reasons that people hire a life coach can include:
- A big break-up, such as a divorce or end of a long-term relationship, that has left them feeling lost and unsure about their role in the world
- Being laid off or fired from a job
- The desire to switch careers or seek out new educational opportunities
- A death in the family that has reminded them of their own mortality
- A sense of ennui and boredom in their career
- Grown children that have recently left home, leaving them with more time for themselves
What Skills Are Required To Become A Life Coach?
In addition to the educational skills recommended (listed below), many interpersonal skills are needed in order to become an effective life coach.
- A strong sense of empathy that does not come off as condescending
- A firm yet compassionate demeanor (needed at times to encourage clients to make a big change)
- Being a good listener, and being able to synthesize and repeat what a client has told you
- Strong note taking and clerical skills
- An ability to be a self-starter and effectively set your own hours
- Self promotion, marketing and PR for your services
What Are The Working Hours?
Many life coaches are self-employed, and as a result they set their own hours and decide when and where they will work. This can make a career as a life coach a very desirable option for parents with young children, or for anyone who loves to travel and needs a flexible schedule. If you elect to work within a practice or as part of a larger counselling firm, you will have to discuss and negotiate your hours with them.
Where Does A Life Coach Work?
TAs a life coach, you can work both in person or online/via telephone. Many life coaches prefer a face-to-face approach, and they prefer to meet with their clients in an office space (often rented, but can also be in the coach’s home).
What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Life Coach?
In the UK, life coaching is not regulated. Therefore, if you think that you would be good at the job, there is nothing stopping you from offering your services as a life coach. That said, clients favour life coaches who can prove their education and training, and who can boast a membership with a professional organisation. Getting your credentials from a well-recognised institution makes good sense, as you will be able to network with others on your course and gain the trust of clients. If you don’t have the time or resources to attend a course in person, you can gain credentials from many reputable courses in a distance learning setting. For instance, NCC Home Learning offers a range a life coaching courses that you can earn from the comfort of your own home.
No matter which course you choose, make sure it offers:
- The opportunity to liaise with coaching and mentoring bodies
- Testimonials from past students
- Plenty of resources for developing coaching skills
- Practical training in workshop and seminar settings
- Supervised sessions with a qualified life coach or assessor
- Opportunities to partake in ongoing professional development
Do you already have a degree? You might want to study for a postgraduate or Master’s course in coaching, a course that is becoming more and more popular at a university level.
Related careers include any number of positions in the counselling and coaching industries, such as career planners, trauma counsellors and psychologists.
How Much Do Life Coaches Earn?
One of the benefits of being a life coach is that there is no cap on your earnings; the more clients you recruit, the more money you will earn. That said, the National Careers Service has attempted to estimate the average wages of a life coach. They have stated: “Life coaches can earn around £30 to £60 a session, although some earn up to £300, particularly for corporate work. Most coaches sell their services as a package and charge between £150 and £1000 or more for 6 sessions.” While this annual income sounds very handsome, it does pay to be more conservative in your estimates; a different source that drew information from 237 sources has stated that the states the average life UK coach salary is actually more like £30,355
As you can see, being a life coach can be a fulfilling, exciting and meaningful career that will can potentially earn you a good living and allow you to set your own hours. If you have read the article above and the idea of becoming a life coach has piqued your interest, the next step is to get in touch with an institution that offers life coaching courses. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to a new career that will allow you to help others while doing what you love.