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Are You Thinking About Becoming a Professional Coach? 8 questions to ask yourself to determine it’s for you

Jun 12, 2023

If you are considering transitioning into the transformational and inspiring world of professional coaching to support yourself and others to achieve dreams, goals and aspirations, there are some important questions to consider to ensure you set yourself up for success and fulfilment. These include:

1. What qualifications and training do I need to ensure I attract clients?
Coaching is a profession that requires the learning of new ways to support people to unlock their potential and ignite their brilliance. Coaching is not mentoring, advising or consulting, which relies upon the professional to provide the answers: their expertise. Coaching supports clients to find their own answers - to tap into their own wisdom - and the process of coaching requires a very different skill set from giving advice.

At the heart of coaching, there is a belief the client is the expert in their life, and the coach supports the client to identify their way forward by utilising skills such as deep listening, asking thought-provoking questions, tapping into intuition, deep presence, curiosity and so much more.

Professional credentialed coaches who have been trained are recognised by organisations and individual clients who want to work with trained professionals who are experts at bringing out the best in people versus giving advice. This often means challenging and stretching their clients and supporting them to identify ways of being and doing which are different from their old patterns of behaviour.

So, if you are thinking about becoming a professional coach, consider who you are going to train with. Pursue a coach training provider who is a recognised reputable coaching organisation approved by a coach accrediting body. Check that the programme aligns with the highest standards in the industry as well as provides you with the necessary skills, knowledge, and credibility to become a successful and highly effective coach. Ensure you meet with the trainers and facilitators who deliver the programmes. Get curious about their credentials and ask questions to discover whether they are also reputable, highly successful coaches themselves.

2. Does coaching align with what is important to me and inspires me to get out of bed in the morning?

Reflect on your own personal values, strengths, skills, areas of expertise and passion to determine whether coaching compliments what you are passionate about and whom you want to serve and support. If you recognise that coaching - which is about supporting people and bringing out their best to achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations and making a positive difference in the world - aligns with what is truly important to you: then coaching is highly likely for you.

3. Am I open to networking and building relationships?

Networking, connecting and building relationships are key skills in coaching to support yourself and others. Connecting with your clients and with other coaches, joining coaching associations, and attending industry events can provide opportunities to build relationships and gain insights. Networking can also lead to collaboration opportunities, referrals and ongoing development opportunities which are essential for coaches to remain relevant, keep their credentials up-to-date and support them to grow.

4. Do I possess the appropriate commercial skills, and if not, am I willing to learn?

For coaches who want to start their own practice, this involves running a business. So having an entrepreneurial mindset, acquiring business and marketing skills to promote your coaching services, attract clients, and manage the administrative aspects of your practice is all part of the process of creating a successful coaching business. For coaches who join organisations as contractors or internal organisational coaches, administrative, organisational and relationship skills will also be essential. You don't need to be qualified in these areas, and of course, it's possible to outsource some of these functions - which many coaches do.

5. Am I ready to continue my education?

Commitment to ongoing learning and professional development in coaching is essential as part of your credentialing renewal requirements in a field that continually evolves and develops, and staying updated with the latest research, methodologies, and best practices. Professional coaches develop themselves by attending workshops, seminars, conferences and professional courses recognised by credentialing bodies associated with the skills of coaching. They also pursue ongoing mentoring and supervision to ensure they are supported in many ways: skillset and who they are as a coach and human beings.

6. What ethical considerations do I need to be familiar with?

Coaching is a highly ethical profession; it is important to understand and put into practice the ethical guidelines and standards of the coaching profession. Adhering to a code of ethics which outlines the responsibilities and boundaries of a coach, which upholds ethical practices crucial for maintaining client trust and professional integrity. Coaches are required to adhere to a code of ethics which provides the foundation of psychological safety for the client and supports the coach to understand their own boundaries of practice.

7. What financial considerations do I need to be aware of?

Understanding the financial implications of transitioning into coaching and determining your own financial goals and potential income sources is highly recommended. There are many ways coaches choose to earn income, for example, working with individual clients, group coaching, corporate clients, workshops, training etc, or in other professional roles in which coaching skills are required, such as leadership, marketing, personal training, helping professions etc.

Developing a desired financial vision and plan will support your transition and give you clarity on some of the streams of income it will be useful to work on. As with all new businesses, it may take time to build a sustainable coaching practice, so before you move from a paid job to developing your own business, consider if there are ways to develop your practice alongside your current work. Having an additional income stream to supplement your coaching income in the beginning stages can provide a welcome financial cushion during the transition period.

8. Do I want to go on a deep personal development journey?

Coaching is a profession that requires self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and ongoing personal development. The coaching profession encourages coaches to “embody a coaching mindset” and to consistently be prepared to engage in personal growth and self-reflection to continuously improve coaching skills and effectiveness.

Ask yourself if you are willing to put in the work and get to know yourself, challenge your thinking, and continue to stretch out of your own comfort zone. And ask yourself if you are open to hiring your own coaches, mentors and supervisors to ensure you stay at the top of your profession and through your own continued growth, positively impact the work you do with your clients. If you are, it sounds like you are truly committed to the lifelong journey of self-mastery and potentially a coaching career, or a career that includes coaching skills.

As with anything new, transitioning into coaching may require patience, time, effort, and perseverance. It is important to approach the career change with a growth mindset and a commitment to your own professional development in support of the people whom you serve and support.

And the world needs more amazing people to support people going through their personal challenges at this time more than ever!

Below are five ways we can support you to make a difference:

(1) Set up a Discovery Call, to find out what you can do to make empowering change

(2) Download our "How Coaching Can Change Your Life"
(3) Sign up for our offers
(4) Connect with us on LinkedIn
(5) Forward this email to someone you believe would benefit from coaching, learn to coach, develop leadership skills and so much more

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