Over the last few years, it seems that more and more people are looking to do work that has greater meaning and purpose in their lives. With the rise of The Great Resignation (as we’ve come to know it), people all over the globe are being inspired to trade-in their corporate jobs for careers that are more aligned with their core values.
If you are considering a career change of your own, you may have a few concerns about actually making the leap at this point in your life and career. No matter what your situation is, there are some risks involved that should be considered, including:
- Financial stability
- Acquiring new skills
- Job security
By taking a closer look and carefully assessing each of these areas, you will be able to successfully map out a plan to transition into your next chapter. The good news is, you are not alone in this process. There are droves of people just like you who are figuring these things out, leaving behind the familiar, and stepping into the unknown to pursue more satisfying and rewarding work. According to the Harvard Business Review, over the last couple of years, there has been a tidal wave of job resignations, mostly among mid-career employees.
The question is, where are all these people going?
Life Coaching as a New Career
Although not necessarily a new industry (life coaching has been around since the 1980’s), life coaching has gained popularity over the last several years.
During the pandemic, many people began to question what their purpose was. While some did their best to maintain normal routines and schedules, others engaged in deep introspection and used this time to work on themselves. The result was a wave of motivated and inspired people who were eager to help others achieve the same.
If you are considering changing careers to become a life coach, there are some exciting benefits that you can look forward to, including:
- The opportunity to be self employed
- Design your own schedule
- The ability to work from anywhere
- High earning potential
- Meaningful work
While it may take some time and effort, you can build a highly profitable coaching business. Depending on your model, you can choose to offer individual or group coaching sessions. The amount you charge is completely up to you, however, according to ICF, the median annual income for coaches in North America as of 2020 was $62,500 and the average hourly rate was $244. Of course, experience and niche can greatly impact these numbers.
How to Become a Life Coach
Although you don’t need a degree or certification to become a life coach, it is highly recommended that you obtain certification through a reputable program, preferably one that is accredited by ICF. Considered the gold standard among the coaching industry, ICF accreditation will add legitimacy to your coaching skills, equip you with essential skills, knowledge, and tools that will ultimately serve to benefit your clients. Without the proper training and resources, you will lack valuable expertise and insights that can determine the long-term success of your coaching career.
Once you’ve decided on a certification program, you can begin to form relationships with fellow coaches within your new community. It is common for coaches to regularly seek each other out for counsel, advice, and mentorship and to bounce ideas off one another. Your coaching network can be an invaluable resource, especially when you are just getting started in your new coaching career.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you do not need to wait to be certified to begin working with clients. The best way to build experience and grow your confidence is to get going as soon as possible. Share the exciting news about your new career with everyone you know- friends, acquaintances, family members, neighbors, and everyone you meet along the way. Although you will be learning new skills from your certification program, you will be able to easily incorporate them as you work with your clients.
If you’re worried about details like having a website or business cards before you can get started, you’ll be happy to know they are not necessary in your business, especially in the beginning. Some of the most successful coaches are fully functional without these things and they encourage others not to be deterred by not having these items in place.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Life Coach?
If you are coming out of a career that seems to have no connection to coaching, you have nothing to worry about. As a coach, the most important skills are not what you might think and can go a long way in helping you to master the art of coaching. These skills are often referred to as soft skills and include:
- Life experience
- Emotional Intelligence
Compared to hard skills that are more technical in nature, soft skills are not skills that can be taught. Working with people requires a special ability to empathize with others in order to understand their position and help them achieve their goals. While anybody can learn job skills, not everyone is cut out for the business of coaching. By having these inherent skills, you already make a great candidate for coaching.
In addition to learning new skills, one of the greatest takeaways you’ll receive from your coaching program is the ability to discern your role as a coach. You will learn that your main function is to listen and guide your clients toward achieving their desired results while maintaining clear boundaries throughout your work together. Rather than serving as a mentor or advisor, you will learn to effectively coach your clients toward making decisions for themselves that help them to be successful in the long-term.
Is Now a Good Time to Start a Career as a Life Coach?
If you’re wondering whether there is a demand for life coaches, the answer is a resounding YES! According to iPEC, there are 1.5 million searches every month for life coaches, business coaches, and executive coaches alone.
Although there are more than 71,000 coaches worldwide (ICF), there continues to be a great demand for more coaches to enter this space.
As a 2.85 billion dollar industry, life coaching has become an attractive career choice for many people looking to earn a nice income while helping others achieve their personal and professional goals.
Over the last few years, there has been a sharp decline in the overall quality of life for many people, largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on what we all considered our daily lives.
Individuals of all ages and backgrounds have realized their need for support and guidance in managing and enhancing their mental and physical health. There has also been a great demand for coaches to provide mentorship and accountability in meeting personal and professional goals.
Fortunately, those in the coaching industry have provided a safe space to meet the growing demand of each of these needs and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon.
At a time when many people are looking to explore their purpose, reach goals, and discover the possibilities before them, life coaches have become the go-to resource for helping them to achieve success.
Through your own work of self discovery and action, you can successfully navigate the path toward a career change. By seeking out quality coaching certification programs, you will find the best fit for your needs and can begin refining the skills necessary for working with others.
Life coaching is a rewarding career that allows you to make a lasting impact on those you work with. By helping others meet their goals, experience meaningful transformation, and improve their overall wellness, you too, will enjoy the benefits that come along with this field of work. The opportunities as a life coach are truly limitless!