So you want to become a coach or at you are at least wondering whether this is a path you should consider?
For many people coaching is a highly rewarding career option, one that is often taken up following one’s own positive experiences of being coached. For others, faced with fierce competition from an ever increasing number of coaches, it can be a tough way of earning a sustainable income often resulting in a return to alternative employment.
This section has been written to help you decide whether a career in coaching is right for you and to help you make the right decisions about training and marketing your business. Some of the questions we aim to help you answer are:
Should you decide that you want to start a career in coaching then it is highly recommended that you choose a training provider accredited by a professional coaching body. The profession is currently unregulated and thousands of coaches undertake training each year. Unfortunately many training courses fall short of the mark providing inadequate development for the coach. This often results in newly trained coaches operating outside of their expertise, leading to negative consequences for the client and ultimately the coach who will receive limited repeat business or satisfaction.
There are a number of recognised professional coaching bodies which are a good first port of call when searching for training providers. For example The International Coach Federation (ICF), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaches (AC). All of these organisations operate with the aim of raising the standards and professionalism of the industry, each of these providing similar ethical guidelines and competency frameworks, and have a list of approved accredited providers.
Of course with professionalism comes investment in time, commitment and money. For example the minimum requirement for a programme accredited by the ICF is 30 hours of contact time, with additional observed assessments. And those coaches taking their career seriously will continuously invest in further development, undertaking months of training, self study, supervision and a preparedness to develop oneself personally.
In particular coach supervision should be considered as a professional activity that all coaches should undertake. It provides a safe space to explore one's own practice as a coach ensuring coaches are adequately resourced, maintain ethical standards and have the emotional support they require in their work.
In addition, if you are contemplating running your own coaching practice then there is the hard work of starting your own business and all the decisions that come with it, the links below will help you understand more as you read about our experiences.
Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training - Patrick Williams (Hardcover)