Getting Ready for the Journey
In our journey through life we now and then find ourselves at a crossroad. Each crossroad affords us the opportunity to choose which direction our life will take. We all have the capacity to choose but there are times when we need extra guidance and to help us get in touch with ourselves and to choose wisely. This is why people seek the help of a professional coach, and you should as well. As professionals who understand the basic principles to success, coaches help others apply these principles as they define their life’s vision.
How about you? Have you already taken the decision to make coaching your career in 2018? If you have, then it’s probably best to see what’s ahead for you on the road you’ve decided to take:
Coaching as a profession is about enabling people to discover their inner capacity to manage their lives well as they work their way to success. So, you will be helping your clients identify opportunities for growth— personally and professionally— as you keep track of their progress towards their goals. In this way, you afford people the life they thought they could not have as they are lifted to higher levels of life and love, and enabled to believe in themselves.
What kind of workplace will this road traverse?
A coaching career may take you into corporations, organisations or universities. Or you may be hired by a handful of established coaching firms. However, most professional coaches find themselves establishing their own coaching practice. Since you’re still a newcomer in the field, experts would warn you not to give up your daytime job just yet — that is, not until you have an established clientele — and this might take some time. A better option may be to team up with one or even more professional coaches who have different areas of expertise to broaden your scope. With the advances in technology strengthening the influence of social media, working from home is now, also, an option.
As in any career, it is best to identify your field of expertise and what you are most passionate about so you can focus on that area to coach around. Stopping along the way in your career journey to take a side trip in order to view other landscapes can definitely slow you down, but may be worthwhile as you discover new opportunities for growth. Your choices for niche coaching practice may include:
- Life coaching
- Leadership coaching
- Career coaching
- Business coaching
- Executive coaching
- Retirement coaching
- Spiritual and Christian coaching
- Weight and body image coaching
- Work/life balance coaching
- Relationship coaching
Since you will be dealing with individuals with different personalities and experiences in life, the road will definitely not be straight and smooth. Rocks and boulders will be strewn along the way as you walk with them through the challenges they face— personally and professionally— while protecting your credibility as a coach. Going through this kind of road will require you to bring along your coaching tool kit which should include the following:
- your passion, energy, inspiration, and motivation,
- sharpened skills in listening, communication, goal-setting and progress management,
- emotional intelligence competencies such as empathy, self-awareness, adaptability, developing others, influence, and positive optimism,
- credentials from having trained with a proper coach training company in a recognised program. (Coaching is not yet regulated by any country or state but going through an ICF-accredited, coach-specific training program will give you that credibility and a definite advantage in any industry as a professional.),
- your coaching experiences including those coaching hours you acquired during your training.
Before going down the road with your clients, get to know them deeply first. Coaching is a very individualised process. The approach that works for one may not work for another. You need to identify clearly what issues needs to be addressed. The coaching plan should factor in your client’s current values, status in life, character (e.g. strengths and weaknesses), skills and abilities, needs and aspirations. You also have to make clear that though you are there to encourage and inspire them, you will also require your clients to be accountable.
Finally, this road you’re taking to become a certified coach is not yet complete when you finish your training. The truth of the matter is – the rest of the road is still ahead of you as a framework that you will build on as you become more experienced as a coach — expanding, lengthening and fortifying what you already know and gaining insights into other ways of doing things and different perspectives. Pursuing further education will give you good materials for the construction, development and enhancement of your career. Actually, you will need at least 40 hours of ICF-approved continuing education for your certification renewal every three years. Enrolling in further coach-approved training will enhance your skills and marketability.
So, is anything still holding you back? Take time to ponder on the journey you may be deciding to take – to become a professional coach in 2018. Consider what type of coach you would like to be, and what that might entail. And when your mind says you are ready and your heart is in rhythm with your passion, go ahead — one step at a time. Call us on 1300 309 360 to find out more about how becoming an accredited coach with the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches can change your life in 2018. Contact us on 1300 309 360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you soon.