What is Life Coaching?
“By changing nothing, nothing changes.”
This quote by Tony Robbins pretty much sums up life in general. Change is unavoidable in life. It’s what move us forward, toward bigger and better things. Many people are able to take change in stride and adjust to it well, and others may even welcome life changes with open arms in excitement of something new and different.
Not everyone looks forward to life changes, however, and some may have a hard time coping with them. Unfortunately, those who can’t or won’t change will often miss out on improving their lives. Some may even need help with these changes.
Life coaching is a type of coaching, or counseling, that can be used to help people who are in major transition phases in their lives. Professionals in this field often try to help people plan goals and takes steps to realize those goals. Simply put, a life coach offers advice and guidance to deal with change that will put them on a path to success.
There might be a number of reasons why a person might seek the guidance of a professional life coach. For instance, they might be stuck in a rut in their lives and looking for a way to move forward. Others, however, seek the guidance of life coaches for help at different turning points in their lives, such as:
- Choosing a college
- Starting a career
- Advancing a career
- Moving on from divorce
- Buying a home
- Reorganizing financial goals
Life coaching clients might also be looking for guidance on personal goals as well, like losing weight or getting healthier.
There are certain traits and skills that an individual should possess in order to succeed in a life coaching career. Life coaches should be energetic, inspirational, motivational, and organizational. Excellent listening and communication skills are also a must.
The field of life coaching has been around for years. It became more popular during the 1970′s and 1980′s, however, as it took on the form of executive coaching, or business coaching. This type of coaching was often used to help executives and CEOs communicate better with their underlings and further their careers. In the 1990′s, business coaching started to make the transition to general life coaching. Today, life coaching is available and useful for everyone, not just executives, and the field is growing steadily.
Why Do We Need Life Coaching?
Many people might feel lost during a major transition in life. Of course, as mentioned above, those who are unable or unwilling to change, will often be unable to move forward in their lives and change them for the better.
Life coaching, however, is excellent for anyone looking to get past the bumps along the path of life. Professionals in this field can help people move forward in their lives, making them better.
What Does a Life Coach Do?
Life coaches offer guidance to all types of people in different stages of their lives. Some life coaches might focus solely on certain types of situations, like advancing careers, while others may be willing to help with nearly any life transition.
A life coach will often act as a sounding board for his clients. He is often expected to listen closely to their concerns and problems. Many times, he will also be able to look at a client’s life with an unbiased eye and offer fresh perspectives on certain situations. In doing so, the life coach will usually be able to help his client work through any hurdles or problems he may face.
Before a life coach can help a client, however, he first needs to initiate an in depth interview. During this interview, the life coach should be made aware of what a client’s wants, needs, and goals are in life.
Helping each client is different for everyone, and it is a very individualized process. Methods that work for one client, for instance, may not work for another. Because of this, a life coach must develop plans based on each client’s strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and limitations. A life coach will also usually take into consideration each client’s morals and values.
Another important duty of a life coach is to keep track of his clients’ progress. He will often give them action-oriented homework assignments that are designed to help them move toward their goals, for instance. A life coach also often demands accountability from his clients, but also acts as a source of inspiration and encouragement.
Where Does a Life Coach Work?
Some life coaches may be able to find employment with a few select universities and corporations. There are also a handful of large life coaching firms that hire life coaches as well.
The majority of life coaches, however, typically work for themselves, opening their own life coaching practices. In some cases, two or more life coaches may be able to team up together, bringing a wider range of services and areas of expertise together.
What are the Education Requirements for a Career as a Life Coach?
There are typically no strict education requirements for starting a life coaching career. Depending on where you live, you may not even be required to be certified or licensed to start a life coaching career.
However, successful life coaches realize that a good and well rounded education is imperative for a successful career. Aspiring life coaches can choose a number of different paths for starting their careers. There are life coaching certificate programs, for instance.
Aspiring life coaches can also choose to earn degrees in areas such as counseling or psychology.
A brief list of quality education programs for Life Coaching includes:
What is the Median Salary for a Life Coach?
It can be difficult to forecast your salary as a life coach, because publicly available sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics do not record specific salary data for areas of specialization like life coaching. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does record salary data for school and career counselors, which are considered similar professions to life coaching. These professionals earned a median salary of $53,380 in 2011. A second resource, Payscale.com, reports that life coaches typically earn between $23,000 and $105,000. This range is extremely broad, and is representative of factors such as an individuals ability to attract clientele, and competition within the field.