Life coaching is a unique yet fulfilling job field. You assist clients identify goals in areas such as interpersonal relationships and career trajectories. Some life coaches take on specializations. For example, you could assist clients specifically with sobriety concerns or taking control of their finances. Even if you don’t decide to specialize, you’ll still need to be trained in order to help your clients reach their full potential.
Get a Certification
Life coaching certification programs can be completed online or in person. This will give you legitimacy as you set up your business. Look for a curriculum that features hands-on experience with clients as well as psychology and therapy training. Before you sign up for a program, define a clear agenda about what you want to get out of it. You can even talk to an alum and ask them about their experience. Avoid courses that make outlandish promises about income or client bases.
Put in the Hours
Certification is more than just a piece of paper. The International Coaching Federation, or ICF, requires that you complete a certain number of hours before you complete your training and apply for a credential with them. Depending on the credential, this could be anywhere between 100-2,500 hours as a paid coach working directly with clients.
Continue Your Education
The best life coaches stay on top of coaching trends and evolving client needs. Make sure that you’re one of them by broadening your skills with further education. This could be a graduate program or a series of ICF-approved webinars. Make sure you look for an instructor who is themselves ICF-certified. Do the same due diligence you did with your original certification program. Research how long the instructor has been teaching the continuing education program. What feedback do other students have for their work? What is the cost/benefit?
Develop Your Area of Expertise
If you do choose to specialize as a coach, you’ll need to hone your skills in that area. There are certification programs that allow you to focus on a specialty and develop it through coursework and electives. Some programs are entirely devoted to one type of coaching, such as health or wellness. Both have their benefits: you can either explore several different specialization options or dive deep into just one.
Once you’ve completed your training, you can start marketing your business. Clients will look at the time you’ve invested in becoming a coach and feel confident in coming to your with their goals. It’s a win-win.