Life coaches are big dreamers, lovers of life and seek to see everyone be their real selves.
Their goal is to work with an array of people to ensure they reach their full potential and understand how they can live the life they’re dreaming of. It’s about out-the-box beliefs, positive messaging and loving and encouraging people.
Working as a life coach is an opportunity to play a part in many people’s personal development. The coaching focus is to empower their clients, helping them to make the right decisions and life changes to achieve their potential.
What is a life coach?
Life coaching is similar and also different to counselling and therapy. Life coaches work with their clients to help identify personal strengths and areas for development. You’ll work with your clients on a one-on-one basis, focusing on deep emotional healing and aiding the client in setting and achieving positive, personal goals.
The key thing to being a coach is the development of confidential and continuous relationships with your clients. As well as, being able to identify when clients require alternative support.
The collaborative role is a non-directive conversation between you and your client through questions, choices and new behaviour. Your focus is on empowering them to make better decisions for their life, career, external relationships and relationships with themselves.
Life coaching isn’t a regulated profession and doesn't require specific qualifications.
Life coaching has various specialities. When it comes to training as a life coach, you can specialise in one or a few areas. These are the most popular types of life coaching areas to consider:
- Business coach: These focus on bringing businesses to the next level. Coaches can do this by offering business management and development insight. They’re known to create star employees.
- Career coach: Career coaching focuses on looking at a career review, whether it’s changing careers or developing your current one. A job coach teaches you how to boss interviews, understand the job market and be more organised. Empowering clients to follow their big career goals.
- Relationship coach: These focus on a range of areas under the relationship category. From teaching you about friendships, and family relationships to your relationship with yourself. They can help clients find the perfect partner or fix issues in their relationship.
- Financial coach: Many people struggle to gain financial freedom and are unsure how to manage money. These coaches help clients understand finances and help them make better choices surrounding their money.
- Health and wellness coach: This type focuses on developing the health and wellness of clients. They aim to help clients feel physically and mentally healthier. You can work on areas to balance energy, sleep better or feel fitter overall.
- Personal development coach: Personal development is the key with all coaches, however, those who specialise in its work with clients who struggle to move forward in their personal goals. They look at the blockers which are preventing them from achieving those goals.
The role of a life coach can vary depending on your speciality and has a range of clientele. These are your main responsibilities as a life coach:
- Plan out a coaching contract for your clients, including the number of sessions and working to a Code of Ethics.
- Creating a safe and open environment for clients to discuss their values and beliefs.
- Building strong and collaborative relationships with clients.
- Understand various self-help techniques and how these can help your clients manage stress and other issues.
- Help develop client’s self-awareness through coaching tools and techniques.
- Empower and encourage clients through their development.
- Collaborate with clients to develop strategies that help teach their goals.
- Continuously review the progress of the client’s development strategies.
- Work on your development and self-awareness to help your skills when working with clients.
- Work with clients to help them have a clearer understanding of beliefs and how they can impact their feelings.
- Have a strong understanding of how coaching works and theories of positive psychology, and be able to put them into practice.
- Work with clients whether online, via telephone or face to face.
Salary as a life coach varies massively, depending on location, level of expertise and experience. Life coaching is a freelance and self-employed career which means, it’s down to you to set your rates based on your skills.
Life coaches on average charge around £46 an hour, however, this can increase up to the £100 mark, depending on the various factors mentioned above. As you grow in experience and clientele, increase your rates. Coaches earn between £24k a year to £153k. This depends on how many hours you work, the number of clients and your set rate.
Life coaching typically is started on a part-time basis until you’re able to build up a clientele who you regularly work with, and with that growth, increase your income too.
Life coaching isn’t a regulated profession and doesn't require specific qualifications. Although to become a professional life coach, it’s necessary to consider specific training, accredited by coaching associations.
As life coaching is mainly a self-employed role, it means personal development is usually self-directed.
Relevant subjects such as psychology degrees or business degrees can help your overall knowledge, however, life and professional experience are more important. Although, if you’ve already chosen a university course or achieved your degree, you could apply for a postgraduate award in coaching.
Either through college, self-learning or training via a specific coaching programme, you can gain a qualification, approved and accredited by an independent coaching body. Life coaching courses vary as well as the costs involved. They’re available either online or face-to-face and typically involve practical coaching sessions. Some accredited coaching providers include the Association for Coaching (AC), the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the International Coach Federation. When searching for courses, ensure they have one of these accreditations.
Training and development
As life coaching is mainly a self-employed role, it means personal development is usually self-directed. You will be required to complete continuing professional development (CPD) work once qualified with a coaching body. These opportunities can vary from workshops to master classes and relevant conferences. What you’re required to complete is dependent on the professional body you studied with and can range in many hours of self-improvement. Also, they may recommend a reading list to aid your CPD.
If you prefer studying whilst working, an apprenticeship is a good choice. It will allow you to work within an organisation, or with a coaching individual and learn more about the job itself.
Aside from work set by your accrediting coaching body, it’s essential to take up further life coaching reading, sign up for updated courses and attend conferences. The more you know, the better it can help with your life coaching business. Life coaching is a job for life with endless growth opportunities.
The skills of a life coach vary and there are many to be aware of:
- Build a safe and productive working environment with your client promptly.
- Have a non-judgemental attitude and the ability to connect with those from diverse backgrounds.
- Strong listening and observational skills - with the ability to demonstrate empathy to others.
- Inspire and motivate clients to improve.
- Confident in challenging clients to reach their full potential.
- Expert in knowledge of personal growth.
- Self-aware and a strong understanding of your own beliefs and how they may influence your responses.
- Basic marketing skills to create campaigns and understanding of online advertising.
- Strong organisational skills to manage your list of clients.
- Ability to work within boundaries and understand confidentiality.
- The drive and passion for setting up and running your own business.
- Key networking skills to help acquire and grow your client base.
- The ability to understand other’s emotions and how to reach to them.
- Remaining calm in stressful situations.
If you prefer studying whilst working, an apprenticeship is a good choice. It will allow you to work within an organisation, or with a coaching individual and learn more about the job itself. You could do this through a coaching professional higher apprenticeship, which takes around 14 months to complete. It’s a combination of workplace learning and self-study.
Any relevant work experience is helpful when training to be a coach. This can be volunteering for roles within the charity sector for example. From care homes, and prisons to community centres, wherever you’re able to work with people can help you develop crucial communication skills.
The voluntary experience is useful in helping you gain a place on a coaching course, accredited by a coaching body. To make up most career coaching courses, you’ll also need to complete the necessary training hours as a part of the coaching course.
Life coaching is similar and also different to counselling and therapy.
Internships can also be available for life coach training, whether it’s working within an organisation or for a life coach personally. Wherever you can get your foot in the door is a great benefit.
Coach jobs can differ massively as a life coach. You can look into specialising in certain areas to give your job more variety and build that level of expertise. There’s also the opportunity to run workshops and offer supervision to other coaches. As a self-employed role, you can expand your brand further by writing books, being an internet personality or contributing to the radio. There are many mediums to share your coaching expertise and grow your client base.
- Average Life Coach Hourly Pay in United Kingdom — Payscale.com Retrieved 2nd September 2022.