There are thought to be 100,000 professionals in the UK making a living from working as a life coach. If you’re passionate about helping people achieve their goals, then life coaching could be a fulfilling career as it will be your job to help people bridge the gap between where they are in their life now and where they want to be. To help them do this, you’ll be a real people person. Objectively-focussed, non-judgemental and possessing an enquiring, analytical mind, you’ll have superb interpersonal skills, especially when it comes to listening and understanding what motivates people.
If that sounds like you, do some research first to make sure life coaching is what you want to do. It’s not an easy career to break into – most life coaches are self-employed and it can take a lot of time to build up a successful business that enables you to make a living. If you’re already employed, it’s not a good idea to hand in your notice and jump in headfirst. Transitioning into a life coach will take time and should be done on a part-time basis until you are completely sure that you can make a living from it.
Getting the skills for life coaching
If you still have your heart set on life coaching, the next step is to get the necessary life coach training need to get a job or start your business. Officially, you don’t actually need any skills to call yourself a life coach: the profession is still unregulated in the UK, but, without any life coach training or qualifications, it will be very difficult to drum up any business. Most life coaches come with a third level education. While there are very few degrees in life coaching, a degree in a relevant subject such as psychology will be a good primer. Postgraduate courses in life coaching and mentoring are more widely available.
In addition, there are courses from accredited life coaching associations such as Association for Coaching (AC), British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), European Mentoring and Coaching Council UK (EMCC UK), the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring (IAPC&M). Once you’ve trained, you’ll need to look at how to differentiate yourself, especially if you’re starting your own business. For instance, will you be specialising in a particular area of life coaching?
If you opt to start your own business, initially, you will most likely be working from home. However, as a self-employed life coach, you will need other skills to be successful, certainly in terms of marketing your business, as well as general business administration and accounts. Jobs in life coaching can be hard to come by. Some opportunities exist in the NHS, as well as a community projects in schools, universities and rehabilitation facilities, but competition is fierce. For most life coach jobs, you will need experience, which is why most people start their own businesses.
The hourly wage for a life coach in the UK can vary hugely depending on experience, specialism and location. On average, an experienced coach earns around £50 per hour, but remember, you won’t get paid for every hour of work you do when running your own business.
For the latest permanent life coach opportunities, try a new job search on Zoek UK.
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