Whether you’re using a meditation app or reading an article on how to “find your purpose,” it’s safe to say that personal development is officially a “thing” that we’re all interested in. When there’s enough interest in a topic then there are people who capitalize on that opportunity for profit. So let’s talk about life coaching, an industry that handily generates a billion dollars.
A life coach is someone who provides guidance and support to individuals that want to address life challenges and gain clarity on how to make proper life choices. There are professional organizations where coaches can receive certification such as the International Coach Federation. However many coaches are not certified and instead rely on life experiences.
How do you decide when it’s time to get a life coach?
Life coaches are great when you need an objective perspective with navigating your life. They help you understand how to balance the different areas of your life such as career, family, spirituality, health/wellness, and relationships. A great life coach helps you get balanced and focused on long term goals.
Why does it seem like everyone is a life coach?
It’s relatively easy to become a coach. You can sign up for a certification program online or you can set up a site and start calling yourself a coach. The problem is not that everyone wants to be a life coach, instead people who are specialized in one specific area are generalizing their expertise.
When looking for a life coach, here are some tips to help you filter your search.
- Find a coach that knows how to stay in their own lane. Figure out what exactly you want to work on and find a coach who specializes in that niche. If you want to change careers, work with a career coach. If you want to start a business, work with a business coach.
- Let their body of work speak for itself. Don’t assume that a certification makes for a good coach or that someone without a certification is not qualified. A good coach will have testimonials and articles that reflect their work. A pretty website is easy to create so connect with them online and observe how they engage their audience.
- Be ready to do the work. A coach is responsible for helping you to do the work. You don’t know what you don’t know, so a coach is that person who gives you guidance and support. In sports a coach helps you leverage your strengths so that you can compete and win. In life, a coach’s role is no different.
If you decide to go down the path of working with a life coach, be open to the journey. Working with a life coach may have you discovering new things about yourself. After 6 sessions with a coach you may realize that you need to see a therapist or that you need to work with a consultant instead. Set goals and expectations but be flexible with how you reach them. A coach is not a genie in a bottle. They’re not going to do the magic for you but they will help you learn how to unlock your own personal magic.