What Is Life Coaching and Is It Your Next Career Move?

happy woman having consultation with life coach

You've no doubt heard the term "life coach" at some point in the last five years. The personal coaching industry hit the $1 billion marker back in 2016 and continues to grow.

But exactly what is life coaching? Let's take a look at what a personal life coach does so you can decide whether helping others achieve their dreams is the next step in your career.

What a Life Coach Isn't

But before that, let's clear up a few things.

As with anything that leans towards the self-improvement side of things, there is an increased risk of charlatanry. It's important to know what a life coach isn't to make sure you don't end up joining the more questionable side of the "become the best version of yourself" brigade.

A Life Coach Is Not a Therapist

Generally speaking, a therapist's job is to help an individual better understand (and take control of) how events of the past have played a part in creating their present.

While making progress in areas of our lives can certainly help us feel better about ourselves, even loosening the grip that our pasts might have on us, a life coach should never try and do the work of a professional therapist. 

A Life Coach Is Not a Consultant

Consultancy has a tendency to be very matter of fact. They perform an analysis of the current state of events, establish where it should be forecasted in the future, and then prescribe a course of action to bridge that gap. And that's where the consultant's role often ends.

There are aspects of consultancy within life coaching, but the focus is on working with the individual to perform their own analysis, and then to help them reach goals they set themselves. 

A Life Coach Is Not a Best Friend

Best friends seldom manage to consistently attain likeness to an objective professional. A life coach is someone who can be trusted to offer honest advice, not worrying about sparing feelings.

Once you become certified as a life coach, it's important to have a close relationship with your clients. But it's equally important to have professional boundaries.

What Is Life Coaching?

The exact definition of your role as a life coach will inevitably vary from client to client. But a life coach should always act to encourage and counsel their clients through a range of professional and personal issues.

Someone might hire a life coach to help with very specific personal projects or transitions. Other people might feel that they're generally stuck in a rut.

A good life coach should be able to help assess the client's current situation. This will include identifying obstacles, limiting beliefs, and any other potential challenges they face.

From here, a life coach should work with their client to devise a tailored action plan designed to help them achieve specific outcomes.

Always by Your Clients' Side

If you're a competitive athlete or looking to move forward in business, it's quite easy to measure your progress. You win more medals or earn more money. When it comes to "winning at life," it's not always easy to measure how well you're doing.

When it comes to "what is life coaching," it's important to remember that a good life coach provides that feedback. 

If you're looking to take the next step towards a fulfilling career, be sure to check out our site for more information.


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