Many of us have heard of them, but what does being a life coach entail and is it a career path suitable for you?
Support is the role:
The responsibility of life coaches is to help and guide those who are unsure or confused as to what to do with their lives. This role covers a variety of areas from social life through to career choices.
Being a life coach means providing support in areas such as:
- Personal growth
- Behaviour modification
- Goal setting
In terms of setting goals, a professional life coach helps others to set reachable targets through the improvement of different actions. The intention is to make it possible for the individual to take a firmer control over future plans.
Key areas of focus include:
- An increase in a client’s own belief
- Improving self-confidence
- Looking objectively at career aspirations and relationships
What does the role entail?
Those considering a career as a life coach need to coax, encourage and support clients to fulfill their true potential while making the most of their lives. To achieve this, they will:
- Work to build a client’s trust and confidence
- Encourage them to talk openly about their current situation, challenges faced and aspirations
- Discuss values, attitudes and beliefs relevant to their current personal situation
- Discuss and agree goal-setting targets. This will be achieved by putting in place a plan that makes targets achievable through small-step progress
- Where realistic, they will work to convince their clients that barriers and setbacks can be overcome
- Provide motivational advice and maintain end-goal commitment.
The working environment of a life coach is a wide and varied one. They may choose to generalise and assist people from any walk of life, specialise in company-wide contracts to assist employees of an organisation, or provide services in niche areas such as: executive and youth coaching/development.
They can also mix online coaching with face-to-face sessions dependent on client preferences and their location.
Life coaching is not currently regulated in the UK so anyone who feels they have the qualities and necessary skills can make it their career.
Having said this, more prospective clients than ever before are looking for life coaches with qualifications and who are members of a professional organisation.
If you are looking to add these valuable assets to your life coaching expertise then it is recommended that you do so via one of the approved, independent coaching bodies.
Before committing to any course or qualification, please take time to understand exactly what is on offer and what the perceived value of completion will be.
Course criteria check-list:
Those looking at life coach courses should make sure that any chosen course is right for them and the type of person they are.
There are many ‘personal’ considerations to such a choice. Major ones to take into account are:
- Do you prefer online learning or a face-to-face learning experience?
- Will the course give you valid resources such as online database access and valid contact links with other mentoring and coaching bodies?
- How positive are the reviews and testimonials from coaches who have already completed the course?
- What level of practical training is included? Workshops being a good example.
- Is there a course module relating to the setting up and running of your business?
- Do they offer different, stepped qualification levels that you can work through as your business and ‘on the ground’ experience progresses?
Start by setting your own goals!
As can be seen from the above, a life coach can have a varied and interesting career, so if this career path interests you why not start the process by setting your own goals.
Make your first target a deeper research and understanding of the type of courses available to find one that is right for you.