Compassionate and caring? Become a life coach

The job of life coach rocketed into prominence in the USA during the latter part of the last century in response to a wave of dissatisfaction with modern, commercialised lifestyles. Since then, it’s become an essential tool for those attempting to take control of their own lives and gain fulfilment through a sense of purpose. Clients with chronic illnesses often find life coaching brings major improvements in day-to-day living and those suffering from negativity and a consequent lack of success also benefit.

The life coach works with the client’s mind, body and spirit, using techniques from self-empowerment through ancient wisdom, meditation, stress management, metaphysics, science, philosophy and wellness therapies such as Reiki and other healing techniques. The aim is to give awareness of an individual’s potential and role in life, to help them identify their strengths, nullify their weaknesses and make the most of their daily life experiences. Having the client understanding the effects of the emotional self on the physical being is another important task for the life coach.

become a life coach
Life coaches are not therapists or counsellors in the traditional sense, as they don’t deal with clients who aren’t ready to move on and live their dreams, rather working with people who are basically emotionally healthy but somehow ‘stuck’ in the various ruts life presents. Most clients are between 30 and 40 years of age and relatively successful in their careers, but have lost any sense of fulfilment in their lives and may be reluctant to accept changes aimed at catapulting them back on track. The process is a partnership between the life coach and the client, with both working together for the desired result.

Nowadays, life coaches are being increasingly employed by organisations working with disabled and other disadvantaged groups to improve the lives of those in their care and encourage them to establish and realise personal goals such as employment and independent living. Good career and job life coaching is also becoming an important sector in the field. Often, life coaches will work in tandem with the client’s doctor, family members and other significant professionals to determine the best way forward without looking to the past.

Although no formal educational qualifications are necessary, the life coach must be familiar with all conventional and alternative practices and skills applicable to his or her clients’ needs. Courses in life coaching are available online, although few are regulated. Obviously, excellent verbal and written communications skills are essential, as is an instinct for the client’s needs. Innovative, out-of-the-box thinking is a great help, as are qualifications in psychology, counselling and related fields. The ability to read a client’s body language is a useful attribute, and registration with a professional body gives client confidence in this developing sector.

Most life coaches work independently and set their own session or course rates, normally anything from $30 (£20) to $90 (£60) an hour. For those working with public service employers, annual salaries are lower but benefits will include pension provision and other perks.

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