If you are passionate about helping others achieve happiness and contentment in their life and careers, Life Coaching may be the career for you!
As a Life Coach you work one-to-one with clients to help them identify and achieve their personal or professional goals. You support and encourage them as they set out to fulfil their potential and make the most of their lives.
“For me, life coaching is about empowerment and growth. Clients are able to take the skills and understanding we develop during sessions, and take that forward into the future. It truly can be a life-changing process. My work with clients is very varied, as we focus on the areas that are most important to them, whether that’s relationships, career goals, fitness, work-life balance or self-confidence. Life Coaching is often associated with business, but in fact my clients come from all walks of life.”
Sarah Welch, Life Coach
Working as a life coach involves four main stages:
“Change is central to life coaching, and for me as a coach perhaps the most rewarding part of the process. Positive change is an exciting and life-enhancing process, but it can be daunting and hard work too. It’s a privilege to work with clients as they undertake this journey.”
Rick Spencer, Life Coaching Student.
“Skill areas that I might work on with a client include building motivation, problem-solving, managing emotion, and dealing with barriers to change, whether internal or external.”
Life coaching helps people to tackle ‘blocks’ that are stopping them moving towards the sort of life they want. It is not about giving advice or telling clients what to do. It is about removing the obstructions that stop clients making changes, reaching their goals, and achieving a more balanced life. Coaching helps clients to tackle dissatisfaction and disappointment in their life, and may also help them to tackle issues of self-esteem and lack of confidence.
Clients may range from individuals to small groups, or in some cases even an entire business. Coaches may offer a general service or specialise in a particular area, such as life changes, executive coaching, or career progression.
Life coaching is sometimes confused with teaching, mentoring and counselling. It is none of these things, although in practice, all of these approaches share some common elements and a coach may draw on aspects from each one. There is often a degree of education involved in the coaching process, and the coach may sometimes act as a mentor. In addition, coaches will sometimes draw on techniques originally developed for use in counselling situations.
“One of the things I love about my work as a life coach is that it is so flexible. I can work from any location, as long as it is relatively private, and the hours can be adapted to suit both my schedule and that of my client. This is something I really value because I’m juggling my career with my role as a mother to three young children.”
In practice, coaches will often work with a client for 3 – 6 months, meeting once a week or once a fortnight throughout that period. Self-employed coaches will typically work with a minimum of 5 clients per week, or a maximum of about 20 clients per week. Most life coaches work with their clients face-to-face, but an increasing number of coaches are offering instant chat or internet coaching. This is a particularly good option for coaches who live in remote areas, as it means they can work with clients from anywhere in the world.
At the heart of successful life coaching is the relationship between coach and client. When training as a life coach, you will learn how to establish and strengthen this relationship to ensure that your clients reach their goals in a positive and constructive way.
A successful relationship requires commitment from both coach and client, and this is often expressed in the form of a contract. A coach commits to helping the client to become more self- reliant, develop key skills and make life changes by using their skills, knowledge and experience to allow them to guide the client. The client undertakes to listen, learn and act in order to achieve goals agreed with their coach, building their self-reliance and making the life changes they are looking for.
“It’s also important for new coaches to develop good self-awareness and strong self-care skills. Life coaches may find themselves working with very challenging situations or difficult emotions. Good training should show them how to do that effectively, providing full support for the client without taking the client’s issues on as their own or risking burnout.”
Laura Cable, Life Coaching Tutor
Most life coaches are self-employed, though some are employed by large public or private institutions.
If employed by an organisation salary usually ranges from £40,000 – £85,000 per annum.
As a self-employed life coach, fees can range from £65 to £500 per hour depending on your individual contract with the client, your location, and your reputation as a coach.
Training as a life coach involves bringing together your full range of skills and life experiences, as well as developing a wide range of new skills, so that you are able to develop your own unique approach to coaching. Ideally, however, you will have previous experience of working with people in a supportive relationship, for example in business, nursing, education or counselling, before you begin your life coach training.
As awareness of the value of life coaching grows, more and more employers are seeking to hire coaches within their organisations. Large public sector and private sector organisations tend to hire internal coaches or coaching directors, who work with staff from all departments as their clients.
However, the majority of coaches are self-employed. Borders UK’s Diploma in Life Coaching course looks in depth at how to establish, build and market a life coaching service, including where and how to find clients.
Find out more about our Life Coaching diploma course.