Whether they’re feeling stuck or just want to get more done, clients often seek the motivation and accountability of working with a Life Coach. Life coaching professionals can help clients break negative beliefs patterns, act more decisively, and set clear goals to achieve success in all areas of their lives. Just as people hire personal trainers to help them reach their fitness goals, a trained Life Coach can give the boost and guidance that helps clients move forward much more rapidly.
Life Coaching grew in popularity over the past several decades and has become a professional field in its own right, with many Life Coaches specializing or focusing on different aspects of personal development, such as career, relationships, finances, health, spirituality, or even sports. Life coaches are essentially cheerleaders for their clients, helping them to make powerful changes in all areas of their lives.
A trained Life Coach is able to understand the challenges that their clients face and empathize with their situation. They can also offer encouragement and support while providing constructive criticism. However, Life Coaches are not psychotherapists and are not qualified to treat mental health issues or provide clinical remedies. Rather, they should refer clients to a licensed therapist if the issue is serious or complex and cannot be resolved by a session of Life Coaching alone.
There are a variety of ways that aspiring Life Coaches can complete training programs to become certified, from retreats held over the course of a weekend to six-week online courses and some postgraduate degree programs at colleges and universities. Some Life Coaches choose to become certified through ICF (International Coach Federation) accredited programs to show potential employers that they have the skills and knowledge required for this role.
Some Life Coaches also opt to take a more entrepreneurial route and start their own coaching practice. Others become public speakers, authors, or run workshops and retreats. Still, many Life Coaches work in a variety of industries, including private businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit groups.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies Life Coaches with other counselors and advisors, most job postings for this profession now specifically require a certificate or credential from an ICF-accredited Life Coach training program. Having these credentials can increase a Life Coach’s chances of landing employment and may open up new opportunities for advancement within the field. While the responsibilities of this career can be varied and challenging, the rewards of being a successful Life Coach are often very satisfying. Many people turn to friends and family for assistance, but a professionally trained Life Coach can help those with more complicated or serious problems. The results of this work can be life changing, and can have a profound impact on the world around us. It’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing this rewarding career path!