Life is never really easy for anyone, but once we transcend out of childhood into adulthood it becomes even harder. There’s nobody to guide our way, help us achieve things, or give us the motivation we need to succeed, and for many, it leads to a lack of direction and success.
A life coach is someone that helps adults to find their way in life, and there are many facets to this role. If you’ve always had an interest in helping others, think you are a motivational communicator and have a genuine desire to see people succeed; this could be a rewarding career path for you to take.
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The life coach industry is booming at the moment and people are seeing the real value in enlisting the help of one of these professionals. So, what is the job all about, how do you become a life coach, and what can you expect in a normal workday when you take on this career? We’re going to find out all there is to know about the growing profession.
What Is A Life Coach?
The term ‘life coach’ is a relatively new one in the grand scheme of careers. Although the concept has been around for some time, the career only really started to emerge in the 1980s. Before then, people would speak to a counselor or therapist about moving forward in life and the roadblocks they were facing.
A life coach offers a completely unique service to a therapist though, as the therapist usually tends to look at things from your past that might be affecting your future. A life coach is focused fully on the future though and wants to help people achieve their goals, change bad habits, and generally progress in life.
These people work one on one with clients who hire them to improve their life. They will meet with them either in person, on the phone, or through a video call and check in to see if they’re following up with advice and recommendations that people make. Reviews will be conducted often on their progress and any changes necessary will be made.
What Will Your Job Entail?
As a life coach, there’s no set of rules about what your job entails specifically. Every life coach will operate in their own unique way and the way they deal with clients will be special to their own practice.
For a standard life coach, you can expect to meet with various clients throughout the day either for initial assessments or catch up meetings. During this time you will listen to what they have to say, hear their goals, and help them to come up with a structured plan to get things done.
A life coach is responsible for sharing tools and resources with their clients as well. These can come about from networking, research, or personal experience, and it’s an important part of the process of helping people improve.
There are some general life coaches that deal with all aspects of life including diet, relationships, spirituality, career, and age-related problems. However, it is more common to find a life coach with a niche specialty that can help you with meeting your goals, depending on what they are and how they align with their experience.
What You’ll Need to Become a Life Coach
Compared to becoming a therapist, the road to becoming a qualified life coach is relatively easy. Although it doesn’t require as much study or licensing, there are specific skills and personality traits that will make you more successful in this role. They include:
- Compassion for others who are struggling and might find it harder to get things done.
- Supportive in times of crisis for clients and supportive of what they’re going through.
- Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, that let you send your message clearly.
- Good listening skills so you can truly hear what people are saying to you and understand what might not be said as well.
- A thirst for knowledge that you will use to help others like researching things, finding tools and resources, and networking with others who could be useful.
- The humility that allows you to stay level and never feel as though you know more than your clients or are better than them.
- Dedicated to helping others no matter the cost and not willing to give up on people.
- Willing to motivate and push others without being aggressive and put up with those who simply don’t seem to get things done.
- Honesty and trustworthiness are hugely important as your clients need to feel safe and respected.
How to Become a Life Coach
Once you’re certain that this is the career you want to pursue, you’ll need to follow the right steps to make it so. The process will differ slightly depending on your location and what previous study or experience you have, but these are the steps to take.
- Find your niche and research more about what it entails and the types of clients you’ll be working with. Some options for life coach specialties include weight loss, business, academics, spirituality, family, and romantic relationships.
- Do a search for relevant training programs that teach coaching or something similar. There is no specific degree or course that you have to enroll in and no need to become certified to start a business, but it’s important to undertake some form of study to learn about things like determining client’s needs, ethics, communication skills, and the psychology of coaching. Clients will react more favorably to a life coach who has undertaken some form of study or training.
- For those who want to add more credibility to their business, you might think about adding a credential to your studies as well. This will include meeting a certain number of hours coaching others and will show your clients that you’re experienced and professional.
- Set up all aspects of your business including a website, marketing yourself, organizing your business clarification, business insurance, and finding your new clients.
Salary and Career Growth
As an established life coach, you’ll have really no limit on what you’re capable of earning. It will depend on your location, the niche you’re working in, your client base, and how much experience you offer as a coach. On average, life coaches earn around $36 per hour in the US, and according to an article published in Forbes, 20 percent of coaches bring in over $100,000 each year.
Though the concept of a life coach isn’t that new, the career space is still growing. This means there’s no telling where a career as a life coach will take you, but trends are indicating that this role is now more popular than ever.
Tips for All Life Coaches
According to an article in Forbes, there are some things that professional life coaches want all hopefuls to understand. Many people have misconceptions about the role and before you undertake the training and study, there are some things to be aware of.
- Always sign a contract with clients so that both parties understand what their obligations and rights are.
- Realize that not everyone who comes your way will be coachable, no matter how hard you try.
- Have additional products or services to sell as well as your coaching skills.
- Don’t waste your time with people who are uncoachable or consistently fail to meet their end of the bargain.
- Offer both group and private training that will expand your potential customer base.
- Spend some months coaching for free to build your skills and get feedback from your volunteer clients.
- Have one simple questionnaire that all clients start with and work off that with everyone.
A Worthwhile Career Helping Others
If you believe you have the right personality traits and skills to become a life coach, it could be a lifelong and rewarding career. Being able to help others and give them a push in the right direction to achieve their hopes and dreams will pay off with serious job satisfaction and an above average salary.
Even though there is no official need for certification and no regulation of this industry, it’s always recommended to study and train to become a life coach. You’ll be better equipped for the role and learn some valuable skills that will help you to help others. For a rewarding and diverse career path, becoming a life coach could be a great choice to make.