You wouldn’t be on this site unless you are interested in coaching. Maybe you, yourself, are a recipient of coaching and are enjoying its benefits? Have you ever considered passing those benefits onto others? Has it ever crossed your mind to become a professional coach someday? If so, maybe it’s time you get to know more about this profession, and consider if you are a perfect fit?
If you are interested in human psychology, love building and cultivating relationships, and are good at supporting others, becoming an accredited professional coach may be for you. Coaching as a profession enables people to discover their inner capacity to manage their lives well so that they can be successful in everything they do. Coaching affords people the life they thought they could not have, as they are ushered into a positive disposition and enabled to believe in themselves.
Through the efforts of the International Coach Federation (ICF), coaching now has a set of standardised practices and a Code of Conduct for coaching professionals to subscribe to. According to a survey it commissioned and which was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2015, there are approximately 53,300 professional coach practitioners worldwide. An estimated 10,900 of these are managers/leaders using coaching skills. According to their report:
Three out of four coach practitioners with active clients (75%) said they expect their number of coaching clients to increase over the next 12 months. A similar proportion (75%) said they anticipate an increase in annual revenue from coaching. More than six in 10 (63%) said they expect their number of coaching sessions to increase.
The same survey also revealed that the estimated global total revenue from coaching in 2015 was $2.356 billion USD, representing a 19% increase over the 2011 estimate.
What these numbers are saying is that coaching is now a widely recognised profession and hiring of credentialled professional coaches by organisations has been increasing and is expected to continue to rise in the future. Since coaching revenue is on an upward trend, coach practitioners can confidently look forward to productive years ahead.
Getting more interested? Here are the basic steps to becoming an accredited Life, Business, Leadership or Executive Coach:
The first step is to put your life in order.
It would be advantageous to experience being coached yourself. You can never coach others effectively if you, yourself, have not come to terms with your own issues. Having a firsthand experience of being coached will enable you to walk the talk. A coach can cheer you on as you work through any personal or work issues and achieve your goals. And if you enjoyed the process then coaching will not only be your profession but also your passion; but if you did not, don’t bother reading through this article.
The next step is to get into a coach training course.
Although it is an advantage to have some knowledge of psychology or related fields, it is not a prerequisite to studying to become a professional coach. The first thing a company or an organisation looks for when they hire a Coach are credentials that have been issued by a reputable coach- training company in a recognised program. Coaching is not yet regulated by any country or state but going through an ICF-certified, coach-specific training program will give you that credibility as a professional. As a requirement for ICF membership and credentialing, this training will help you build and broaden your professional network. The 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study came up with the following data that reflects the value of studying in a certified coach-specific training program:
77% of coach practitioners agreed that clients expect them to be certified or credentialed.
83% of consumers who experienced a coaching relationship reported that it was important for coaches to hold a credential. (Consumers are more likely to recommend a coach who holds a credential than a coach who does not.)
The third step is to stack up on experience.
Your newly-acquired credentials won’t get you that far in the industry without experience to back it up. As a neophyte you might feel discouraged that those with experience are preferred but there is no way to get around this except to strive to stack up on experience. You can add to your pile, your coaching experience during your training. You can also partner with someone more senior in the profession— someone who already has many contacts. You may receive a lower fee but dig in – every experience counts. Doing so can actually save you time and even some expenses instead of marketing and establishing contacts yourself. If you currently have a job, don’t quit yet. You still need the additional revenue. There are many ways to get coaching experience. Just wise up, be practical and be patient. Don’t snub smalltime offers or opportunities— they are your stepping stones to bigger ones.
The fourth is to expose yourself to the community of professional coaches.
It’s easy to belong to a community of people who share the same passion. This will give you the opportunity to be inspired by success stories and learn from others’ failures. An organisation of coaches is also the ideal place to look for potential business connections and employers. Don’t be wary about competition. You are rubbing elbows with those who have dealt with the issues that you may currently be facing.
The last is to prepare to sell yourself to your potential client or employer.
Prepare like you would prepare yourself for a new job interview. Do your research. Find out more about the company or organisation to know which area in their operations your coaching credential would best fit. Dress up like a professional. Arrive with a stance of confidence. Use your coaching skills to listen effectively and to answer appropriately.
Being a professional coach can earn you a living and at the same time be of service to the living. Modern-day life has become too complex for so many people. As a professional coach you can play a significant role in bringing positive changes to people’s lives as they live through this complexity. Coaching is a job that can address not only your economic needs but also your need for fulfilment and significance.
To learn more about coaching contact the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches on 1300 309 360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you soon.