From the 1970s to the 1990s, life coaching was an important part of life; it has made a comeback as an industry and might have you asking, how do you become a life coach? If you're just starting out or you're making a career shift, this is a great industry to become a part of. All you need is to follow the steps below and you'll be well on your way to becoming a coach.
Find Your Niche
Like many other industries, there are niches in coaching. Before starting any program to become a life coach, think about who you want to help and at what point in their life you want to help. There are a variety of niches, including arts and entertainment, business, blogging, YouTube, real estate, time management, health, fitness, and more. If there is a part of your life you thought would be a great niche for a coach, there probably is. By choosing a niche, you're closing yourself off to some opportunities but setting yourself up to become a valuable coach for your particular niche.
Coach Training Program
You can get coaching training from just about anywhere: the internet, private companies, and schools. To be taken seriously as a coach, you're going to need to take part in a program that focuses on the competencies considered important by the International Coach Federation. There are 150 programs that do exactly this and are accredited by the ICF for their requirements which includes: 125 hours of coach skills training, a final exam, and practicum sessions under the supervision of a certified and experienced coach. Accredited programs are more accepted than non-accredited programs, so do your research to ensure you understand which schools offer the program you need.
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Prepare for the Costs
While there are cheap programs that can claim to get you a certificate in as little as a weekend, beware: a certification by the International Coach Federation, the most prestigious of certification bodies for this industry, will take a few months at most. It's best to attend a well-regarded school that can cost between $6,000 to $12,000 for the entire program. You'll also want to prepare for the small business start-up costs you'll inevitably be responsible for. You must choose what kind of small business you want, including a sole proprietorship, cooperative, or S Corporation, and be aware of the taxation obligations you'll have the first couple of years. Once you've budgeted for school and start-up costs, you're ready to complete your training.
Get Your Certification
The ICF certifies coaches on three levels: associate, professional, and master. These certifications will add weight to your growing business and can give you access to a network that may build your business faster than if you have not been certified by this association. Becoming a member of the ICF as a certified coach also gives you access to conferences, continuing education, and industry events; all of this can provide you the support and guidance you need in order to become the best coach possible.
Life coaching is a critical profession, especially as more people make the decision to jump to a different career or need help getting through life's biggest struggles. By learning the best way for you to become a life coach, you're helping others in need move forward in their lives; that is a beautiful and rewarding challenge in and of itself.