A life coach helps clients achieve specific goals such as better health, improved finances, enhanced relationships, or career advancement. They provide the necessary steps to success by coaching their client through advice, motivation, encouragement, asking empowering questions, and goal setting. These coaches help people from all walks of life and positions.
How to Become a Life Coach
Step 1: Get Trained
To become a life coach, you can attend a certified training program offered through the International Coach Federation (ICF). Life coach certifications cover organizational behavior, professional ethics, cooperative communication, and other life coaching skills and can require 100-2500 hours of hands-on coaching experience depending on the level of certification. ICF offers three levels of certifications:
- Associated Certified Coach (ACC)
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
- Master Certified Coach (MCC)
Step 2: Maintain your Certification
When you choose a training program to become a life coach, check if they have a certification renewal process. It’s important to understand what you’ll need to accomplish to maintain your certification. For instance, the International Coach Federation (link opens in a new tab) requires you to complete 40 hours of training every 3 years to maintain your credentials.
Step 3: Earn a Degree (Optional)
A graduate degree can help you strengthen an area of weakness. For instance, if you have a teaching or counseling background, a degree in leadership or business may serve you well. If your background is business, taking courses a counselor may take could be beneficial. A degree is not necessary to become a life coach so consider if a degree improves your skillset or marketability.
Job Description of a Life Coach
A life coach helps people from all walks of life to achieve the full confidence they need to live up to their full potential. Some may focus on a particular group of people to coach, such as executives, managers, or those just entering the workforce. They collaborate with their clients to identify the unique needs of the client and develop a strategy to achieve those goals as efficiently as possible. These include goals clients struggle to meet in their professional or personal life.
Life coaches are self-motivated, confident, good listeners, goal-setters, and enjoy helping a diverse group of people. They are also excellent communicators and can coach clients on the phone, face-to-face, or by video conference. and use highly motivational language to help their client consider new ways of thinking and to take action. These professionals can work part-time or full-time and can work for an organization or be self-employed.
Kathleen Green, “Life Coach”, Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2017.
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