The economy's continuing downward spin is putting many people on new career paths and the need for career coaches to help people identify their employment goals and strategies on how to get there is greater than ever. Here are some tips on how to become a career coach.
Because motivating people and helping them promote themselves as a candidate for a new job are essential talents of a career coach, getting a degree in psychology, business, human resources or marketing can be very helpful. Your own on the job expertise in a particular area, such as personal job experience in career venues ranging from restaurants and food service to health care and banking, is also essential to being a successful career coach.
Professional trade associations such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the World Association of Business Coaches (WABC) can be a valuable resource on training to receive coaching credentials which will give you more credibility with your clients.
It is important to enjoy interacting with other people on a one-to-one basis to be a successful career coach, as most interaction with clients is in person and by phone. A career coach must know how to communicate ideas and strategies effectively, and to promote your coaching business, it is also important to learn how to speak well before large groups of people with confidence and persuasion. Do you want to work in an office where people make appointments to meet with you for counseling, or do you want to offer advice by phone or online exclusively so that you can virtually counsel anyone anywhere in the world regarding a career change?
Career coaching is very much a referral business that relies on the strength of your professional network of contacts. Even before opening your doors as a career coach, you should be frequenting local chambers of commerce meetings and visiting professional trade shows and business fairs in your area of expertise in order to meet as many new people as comfortable and to start talking about your career coaching skills.
Career coaching is not a one size fits all career. It's best to specialize in a particular industry that you know well or have an affinity for, and to target a particular audience who can best use your services, such as those over 50, mothers looking to re-enter the workforce, or that segment of the population seeking to switch to a totally new field.
Career coaches can earn upwards of $75 per hour counseling session, with experienced coaches charging several hundred dollars for their expertise which translates into a successful career change for their clients.