Let’s face it: life can be filled with a lot of uncertainty. For some, it may seem like everyone else has their act together. They know what job they want, what school to go to, and what life to lead. If you want to help people in need of answers for their life plans, you could become a professional certified life coach.
What Is a Life Coach?
Certified life coaches are the masters of motivation. They use coaching skills to spur individuals who feel like they have no discernable direction in life. They want to take the reluctant individual and turn them into a more confident person.
A life coach doesn’t limit themselves to students who don’t know what post-grad career to pursue. Clients can range in age from college students to senior citizens.
What Does a Life Coach Do?
There’s much more to a life coaching business than just spouting quotes of positivity and well wishes. Like a counselor, professional life coaches work alongside their clients to achieve optimal results in numerous facets of life. Relationships, work, family life; nothing is out of a certified life coach’s wheelhouse.
Identifies and Helps Set Goals
Successful life coaching is filled primarily with defining one’s goals and finding the best, most beneficial way of achieving those goals. Depending on who you are, setting and completing goals can be easier said than done.
These aren’t just career goals, either. Coaching programs shine a light on nearly every aspect of someone’s life. If someone feels unfulfilled socially, unsatisfied creatively, or unpolished professionally, mentor coaches can turn everything around.
Uses Coaching Skills to Help Achieve Goals
While anyone can set goals if they put some effort in, successful life coaching sets itself apart in executing those goals. Life coaches will build upon your life experience to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
Motivates the Individual to Succeed
Positivity is fantastic. With a positive attitude, people can better accomplish goals and improve life experiences. Life coaches take it a step further. They use that same positive attitude and harness it to the client’s advantage.
After having a successful life coaching session, how does someone hang onto that advice? Part of the life coaching business is motivating the individual to get into a healthier mindset. They also help identify and eliminate toxic behaviors.
Essential Life Coach Skills
It may seem obvious, but being aware of yourself and others is a fundamental skill to have. Awareness is the foundation that all coaching programs capitalize upon the most.
Heightened awareness is a fantastic quality to have, and it pays off in spades as a certified life coach. Life coaches need to pick up on someone’s strengths and weaknesses to better help the client.
A key aspect of good awareness is reading between the lines. A client may say many things, but what do they mean? Life coaches must parse through the content of messages for the implications behind them.
You need to be able to pull someone out of the same, tired patterns that hold them back. Life coaches need to find the perfect balance between pushing someone out of their comfort zone and keeping everything comfortable. Motivating a client is key to a successful session.
Communicating with a client makes coaching programs succeed. The entire basis for the existence of professional coaching is pristine communication between mentor coaches and their mentees.
If you aren’t able to articulate or help them understand how to build a better life, then you don’t have a shot at successful life coaching. Professional life coaches need to master multiple communication techniques, like positive affirmation, clarification, reflection, and reiteration.
Life Coach Salaries and Job Outlook
A life coach’s rates can vary across the country. Some coaches can charge well over $100 for a 30- to 90-minute session. While you may not reach Tony Robbins-level pay, you can still earn a healthy living via professional life coaching.
Overall, the median salary for life coaches is around $62,000. As with any career, you won’t be starting with an impressive salary right away. You need to beef up your bona fides before you can confidently charge clients a hefty amount per session.
Since life coaches take on about 10 clients at one time, they can earn a healthy living in no time. With experience, that opportunity for a salary bump is right around the corner.
The most successful life coaches are those who partake in executive coaching. These life coaches help executives and other highly-ranked employees earn better business development and self-awareness skills. The second most successful life coaches are those in general business. Helping out businesses and employees is a fantastic route to go with.
Overall, life coaching as a job will increase slowly but surely over the next decade. People are eager to improve their lives and the success of their businesses.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Life Coach?
Technically, you don’t necessarily need certification to become a life coach. However, this adds legitimacy to your profession, so we recommend earning certification.
The consensus is that depending on the program you’re in, it could take anywhere from a little over 10 hours to 100 hours. What type of plan you choose is entirely up to you.
How to Become a Life Coach: A Step by Step Guide
You can get into the life coaching mindset early by using essential skills to become one yourself. Here are the key steps to take to become a professional life coach.
Step 1: Start Learning
Some would-be life coaches already have fantastic skills up their sleeves. However, what if you don’t exactly have the knack for motivational and positive thinking? Are you hopeless? Far from it. Not everyone is a natural life coach right off the bat. It can take some time to get into the proper mindset of being a professional life coach.
You will get the most beneficial life experience through your time earning a certification. These programs will put you through the wringer in terms of what it takes to start a life coaching business.
Step 2: Choose Your Specialty
What type of life coach do you want to be? There are luckily many options to choose from. Of course, you can be a more general life coach, focusing on someone’s general well-being. Not everyone is looking for career advice.
You could also focus on a specific facet of life. Some excellent subfields of life coaching are:
- Substance abuse
- Career coaching and business development
- Family life
- Health and wellness
- Mental health
- Diet and fitness
Determine what your strengths are. Even if you are clueless about dating advice, you could be a master at crafting the perfect diet and workout routine. Help someone dissatisfied with their career, their marriage, or diet.
Step 3: Earn a Life Coach Certification
You need to engage in a comprehensive life coach certification program to achieve your fullest potential. You could forgo a life coach certification, but you should strongly consider joining a program to better help your future clients.
The International Association of Coaching (IAC) and the International Coach Federation (ICF) offer excellent certification programs for the eager life coach. Earning a certification involves passing both oral and written exams.
You don’t need to attend college or earn an advanced master’s degree to become a life coach. These certification programs offer a flexible schedule and allow you to complete them over the weekend or at your leisure.
Step 4: Become a Social Media Guru
The considerable benefit of our Internet-based culture is the far reach and impact of social media. A great social media account dedicated to your professional coaching skills gives you a huge leg up in successful life coaching.
Use the skills you have learned in your certification program to modify your multiple social media accounts and better advertise yourself and your coaching practice. Prove to an audience that you are capable of helping them in a specific area of their lives.
Step 5: Start Your professional Career
This is where you put your skills to the test. Hit the pavement and start advertising yourself as a fantastic, motivational, and well-rounded life coach.
Should You Become a Life Coach?
Uncertainty is a scary thing. If you happen to be a motivated, positive, and forward-thinking individual, you can use your life experience and forward-thinking attitude to assist those who need guidance.
Although the salary can vary significantly in professional life coaching, you can secure a great living if you are a natural fit.
Life Coach FAQ
According to an International Coaching Federation (ICF) survey, clients experienced an increase in the following areas of their lives:
80% of clients improved their self-confidence
73% of clients improved their relationships
72% of clients improved their communication skills
67% of clients improved their work-life balance
Therapists work with clients to explore past traumas and mental health. They can diagnose clients through in-depth analysis, and often prescribe medications. Life coaches consult with clients to live their lives to the fullest. They explore what holds people back and use positive and motivational tools to help them.
It depends on the length of time clients want to employ life coaches. Some people only need a month or so to get a life boost. Others will require a longer-term solution to their lives and may engage in professional life coaching for a year or more.
First, you need to determine what you want from a life coach. Are you focused on business development or family life? Once you decide, you must find a life coach that fits with your goals. Much like finding an effective therapist, healthy chemistry works wonders for both client and a professional life coach.