When I first discovered professional Coaching, the heavens parted and a choir of angels started up a rousing rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Well, not literally, but that’s what it felt like.
I had worked in “helping” professions for years: teaching, Human Resources, career counseling—but nothing ever felt like I was truly making a difference in the world until I discovered coaching. I had no clue what to do with my newfound love, but I knew it was the right path for me.
Years later, as a Business Coach and Curriculum Developer for my coaching alma mater, I now know how incredibly powerful that moment of curiosity can be when you’re interested in all that Coaching has to offer as a career. As an industry, Coaching is quickly growing and gaining even more credibility and attention.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a life, health, or corporate coach, here are 10 ways to tell if the Coaching world is really for you.
#1 People always seem to come to you with their problems.
Do people seem to gravitate toward you when they’re struggling? In professional Coaching, you’re more than just a sounding board or listening ear, you’re actually a partner who helps facilitate client growth and self awareness.
#2 You like helping people find their own answers rather than being the expert.
One of the biggest things that holds people back from exploring Coaching as a career is the fear that they aren’t an expert in any one thing, but that’s actually a powerful place to be as a newbie coach! In other helping professions, like counseling, mentoring, and consulting, the professional is the expert with the answers, and the client soaks up their knowledge. In Coaching, the coach simply facilitates the client’s process of finding their own answers.
#3 You’ve thought about being a therapist, but it didn’t seem like the right fit.
Many coaches flirt with Counseling and Consulting before settling down with Coaching because they are sister disciplines. In therapy, you’re helping a client go from past to present; while in coaching, you’re helping the client go from present to future. While a coach may occasionally touch on the past for context, they don’t stay there.
#4 Your life journey has given you gifts or lessons that you want to share with others.
Most coaches have a deep desire to impact the lives of others as a result of some personal journey or awakening they’ve experienced, and it’s common to see “after pictures” gravitate toward Coaching to help clients reach their goals in a similar way. What personal journeys would you share with your clients?
#5 You see the opportunity in a growing industry.
Coaching is a relatively unregulated industry, which means there’s a higher potential for fakes and charlatans in the mix, but there are also tons of opportunities to hop in and make your mark! The International Coach Federation includes a list of Accredited Coach Training Programs on their website so you can make sure you’re surrounding yourself with coaches who take the profession as seriously as you do.
#6 You believe a certain magic takes place when people work together as a team.
At its core, coaching is simply a partnership that helps people grow and achieve their goals. If you’ve ever experienced the incredible synergy that happens on a great team, or been swept up in the collective joy of a sports team winning the big game, then you know just how powerful teamwork can be.
#7 You’ve experienced the power of being coached.
When bright-eyed Coaching hopefuls ask me how to get started in the industry, the first thing I tell them to do is simple: get a coach! While it’s possible to learn the ins-and-outs of Coaching from a theoretical perspective, nothing beats the power of watching your own life transform as a result of powerful coaching.
#8 Growth is one of your top values.
In Coaching, we help our clients go from functional to optimal in any aspect of life: communication, leadership, health, relationships, career—you name it! Your clients will never run out of out of things to be coached on because there’s always room to grow to the next level!
#9 You love helping people live better lives.
Pause for a moment and think what would change about our world if every one in it were relatively happy, healthy, and satisfied. Coaching gives you an opportunity to help clients create that “higher self,” and that growth has a ripple effect on everyone they meet.
#10 You’re passionate about creating a more conscious, aware, connected world.
My personal favorite thing about Coaching is that it doesn’t fix things. It simply creates room for consciousness, awareness, and connection to thrive in a world that lacks these qualities. When consciousness is allowed to thrive in one person, their entire circle of influence changes. In this way, Coaching directly gives us the opportunity to be the change we want to see in the world.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Okay, this is definitely me! But what do I do about it?”
Easy! Start by getting a coach and observing and enjoying the process. Maybe even try out a few coaches to see what styles and niches you resonate with. Then, make a list of any questions you have about turning your passion for Coaching into a career, and do research on the International Coach Federation’s website. Finally, decide which coach training program is for you, and get ready for magic to unfold!
Whatever you do, take action! Don’t let your passion, enthusiasm, and enormous ability to make an impact go to waste.