The role of a Life Coach is in many ways similar to that of a Career Coach. They provide counseling and assistance to their clients in order to help them solve their problems. The main difference is that while a Career Coach focuses mostly on vocational issues, a Life Coach takes a wider approach and tackles several different aspects of their clients’ lives. Life Coaches advise their customers on issues regarding health, finances, work, relationships, and social life.
Life Coaches use a variety of tools and methods to help their customers learn and develop the skills they need in order to function as independent members of society. A common misconception about Life Coaches is that people think they usually work with people suffering from mental or physical disabilities. The grand majority of Life Coaches work with people that, for any reason, lack the necessary skills to function in the best way possible: people who are looking for a way to put their lives in order, get a sense of discipline, or simply pull their lives together. They also help people identify and fight obstacles that prevent them from achieving personal growth.
Depending on each case and the time they have available, some Life Coaches work with one or several customers at the same time. Most Life Coaches work independently: they get hired by the people that need their services directly. However, numerous groups of Life Coaches have gathered and created Life Coaching agencies providing clients with a better way to find and hire one.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Life Coaches are required to complete.
- Interviewing customers to assess their backgrounds, needs, and goals:
- Analyzing customers’ backgrounds, as well as assessing their needs and skills;
- establishing a strategy and a plan to help them achieve their goals; and
- making realistic recommendations and adjustments when necessary.
- Helping clients identify obstacles and come up with realistic solutions.
- Helping their clients create a personal space where they are able to face problems and difficulties.
- Providing customers with health-related counseling and information regarding hygiene, diet, and exercising:
- Liaising with licensed Dietitians and Physicians;
- developing and establishing healthy habits;
- creating a weekly exercising routine; and
- reinforcing and promoting healthy and hygienic habits.
- Analyzing customers’ financial records and incomes to assess their current situations:
- Establishing a monthly budget prioritizing the essentials (e.g. food and utilities);
- explaining basic financial management tips; and
- providing assistance in handling finances and keeping records.
- Interviewing clients to obtain employment history, educational background, and career goals:
- Identifying clients’ skills, needs, difficulties, and opportunities;
- administering and interpreting tests designed to determine interests, aptitudes, and abilities;
- identifying career opportunities by collecting labor market information; and
- providing information and strategies aimed at maintaining a job or moving upwards within an organization, dealing with job dissatisfaction, making mid-career changes, and adjusting to workplace transitions.
- Offering tips and strategies to have and maintain a healthy social life and interpersonal relationships, romantic and otherwise.
- Helping clients identify their hobbies and passions.
- Keeping records of each client, their needs, goals, and progress:
- Evaluating customers’ progress and providing constant encouragement; and
- adjusting strategies and goals as needed.
- Meeting with clients and assessing their needs and goals.
- Creating strategies and setting goals to improve their social, health, and financial skills.
- Adjusting strategies and goals as needed.
- Providing constant encouragement.
- Meeting with customers on a regular basis to monitor their progress.
- Correcting inappropriate or unhealthy habits.
- Evaluating customers’ overall progress.
The average Life Coach salary in USA is $30,435 per year or $16 per hour. This is the same as the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $21,000 while most experienced workers make up to $43,000. These results are based on 99 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Strong interpersonal, communication, and assessment skills:
- Communicating in a clear, strategic, honest, transparent, and confident manner with customers;
- expressing genuine interest in another person’s thoughts, opinions, and background;
- being an active listener and displaying a strong sense of motivation, empathy, and compassion; and
- displaying strong rapport building and customer service skills, as well as the inherent ability to make others feel cared about.
- Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills:
- Identifying issues and presenting possible solutions; and
- being able to translate ideas into practical goals.
- Great intuition and decision-making skills.
- Ability to remain objective while assisting and listening to a client’s issues.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Strategically structuring and customizing client approach;
- prioritizing and planning daily life activities as to use time efficiently while managing a high volume, diverse workload; and
- multitasking; being able to work with several customers at the same time.
- Exceptional professionalism and strong work ethic:
- Being able to deal with people from different cultural backgrounds;
- avoiding being critical and judgmental; and
- being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive/confidential information.
- Optimistic, can-do attitude, and a strong ability to motivate others.
Life Coaching is a rather new profession and is, therefore, currently unregulated. Job opportunities as a Life Coach are becoming more and more available as the position becomes more popular and an increasing number of people are looking to make use of these services. Due to the lack of regulations regarding this position, there are no standard educational requirements to become a Life Coach. However, they are expected to possess a bachelor’s degree or a special training in areas such as Psychology, Human or Social Services, Business Administration, Counseling, or Education.
Training programs for this profession focus on communication and interpersonal skills. Several workshops, as well as coach training schools, offer training techniques to become a Life Coach.
The most important factors necessary to find a job as a Life Coach are credibility and experience. The former can be obtained by completing special training programs and certifications offered by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the International Association of Coaching (IAC).
Becoming an ICF member means completing at least 60 hours of coach-specific training. Besides the training, Life Coaches must also achieve a designated number of coaching experience hours; partner with a mentor coach; and demonstrate appropriate understanding and mastery of the ICF definition of coaching, Code of Ethics, and Core Competencies.
On the other hand, in order to get the IAC certification, applicants need to pass written and oral examinations; the oral section includes recording of Coaching sessions to evaluate professional knowledge.
Life Coaches need to have a deep understanding of health issues, consulting with licensed Physicians and Dietitians to be able to give the appropriate recommendations to their clients. They also must be proficient in financial matters, bookkeeping, balancing accounts, and creating and handling budgets.