How to Become a Career Coach? [2023 Edition]

Want to become a career coach?

Great! You are in the right place.

Today every second person you meet is struggling with his/her career.

Some people don’t realize what they are meant for. Others choose career paths that do not match with their skills. Insufficient guidance leads people to get stuck. Depression and anxiety kill them.

Every time the support of family and friends may not be enough.

That’s where the role of career coaching comes into play.

Career coaching helps you attain your ultimate career goals. You get the insights, direction, and assistance you need.

Career coaching educates both individuals and teams in an organization to achieve their career goals.

The career coaching industry is one which will always be in demand. It’s pervasive and ever-increasing.

By becoming a career coach you can lead a happy and satisfied life. It’s time to imbibe great qualities of a successful coach and get cracking!

This blog will help you to get meaningful insights on career coaching.

Let’s start!

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What is career coaching- Must know as a career coach

Career coaching is a personalized way of receiving support and guidance while making career decisions.

It provides you with strategies to decide confidently what steps to choose.

Finally, it tracks the customized plan to ensure the TRANSFORMATION.

Career coaching helps people to develop proficiencies. It helps them to realize their strengths and weakness.

Do you know why career coaching is important?

Many times people choose a career path in rush. May be out of their fantasies or in peer-pressure. Sometimes the will of their parents force them.

Whatever be the reason, a person who is not satisfied in the career will die each minute.

Career coaching helps people to identify the hurdles. Apart from that, it also highlights the reason behind.

It educates the client and provides much-needed assistance. It helps people to define, redefine and achieve professional objectives. With a career coach, it becomes easy to accomplish work-related goals.

Have a look at 10 things that you should know about career coaching.

Career coaching business models for a career coach

There are various coaching business models that you can choose from.

You can start independently after choosing your niche.

You can also engage in group programs.

After you get sufficient clients you can start online courses.

You might be thinking- “What would be the best coaching model?”

Well, this depends on two things.

  1. Your skills and comfortability
  2. The client’s perspective

For instance, if you consider one-to-one coaching sessions more helpful, choose it.

You might find that group coaching programmes benefit you more. They save time and provide you with a way to target a vast range of audience.

Why not have this as your business model?

On the other hand, the client’s wish play a major role. You may realize that most of your clients prefer personal sessions rather than group coaching model. In this case, you would have some adjustments and tweaks.

You can also have a hybrid model. Group coaching initially and personal sessions for the high-end paying clients.

There is no one best model. Nor you have to keep it constant. Keep experimenting and improving. After all, you are the boss!

What does a career coach do?

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Career coaches give career advice by following a solution-oriented approach.

For instance, they can help people to find a new career path. They can advise them on their current work situation. This can work irrespective of whether clients are freelancers, employees or executives.

A career coach can help people to develop their stress management skills. He/she may polish their interpersonal, leadership and conflict management skills.

A career coach may also help in staff training and development. They can be a great help to entrepreneurs.

Career coaches may provide career services to the employees. This may include workshops and other forms of corporate coaching.

What are the requirements for becoming a career coach?

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Well, you do not require any certifications to become a career coach.

There are no standard requirements.

You can help people to find their dream job, increase their salaries and live a fulfilling life without a certification too.

Still, it gives the prospects confidence in your coaching practice. This may add to your market value but ultimately everything rests upon your convincing power.

Even if you possess certification but your clients don’t find your reliable, you won’t go far.

So what’s important?

Experience! YES.

Not only to show it on paper but the real-life experience.

So, from where would you get this?

First of all, introspect. You may already have it.

Do you use to help people with these problems in your 9-5?

Maybe you have built a thriving coaching career yourself. You can employ this experience to become a career coach.

Now you may be thinking how much experience is required?

There is no said amount.

Do you think people will love to hear how you achieved milestones in your career?


That’s it! You are good to go 🙂

What skills do you require to become a career coach?

For becoming a career coach you require certain skills.

Analyzing skills

You must be able to analyse the situation of the client thoroughly. There can be multiple parameters affecting the same. You need to dig out what they are and what impact does each has.

Listening skills

This holds prime importance. You have to be a sharp listener. Along with that, you should have the ability to hear what remains unheard. You can develop the same by imbibing the art of questioning.

Asking questions

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Only by asking relevant questions you can get hold of the situation.

Your clients may not know or realize much about the situation. Your prime task is to bring out the real picture. For that, you need to ask questions so that your clients can find answers.

Take the help of great coaching questions that you must ask.

Reasoning skills

You cannot simply direct your clients. You will need to provide the reasons for the path taken.

Substantiate whatever action plan you have with proper reasoning. This will make your clients realize that you are actually understanding the situation well. When you bring forth certain elements which your clients couldn’t see, credibility is built.

You can develop the same by deepening your insights into the domain. By handling various clients’ problems this would become easier.


Look, you have got a client who is confused.

He /she has spent enough time, maybe money as well but is still stuck.

You cannot count his/her mistakes before him/her now.

Deal with compassion. The way you communicate will itself propagate your desires to help him/her. This will lay the foundation of a strong bond which would eventually get stronger.

Encouraging skills

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This is a must for a career coach. You may know the right way out but if it’s done inappropriately, you lose.

Your words, body language, communication way – everything should motivate your clients.

They should see hope in their lives because of you.

Don’t shout. Don’t be stern. If your client gets stubborn, endure for some time. Even if he/she is wrong, tell this, but politely.

Keep motivating. Not just in the beginning but throughout the process. Your client should get rejuvenated by your energy. This would keep him /her committed to reaching the destination.

What are the primary responsibilities of a career coach?

Career coaching is a vast field. Coaches can work within, outside or for an organization.

The responsibilities will vary accordingly. However, the core coaching process remains the same.

1. Meeting and Research

As a career coach, you will meet your clients to understand their academic and professional background.

You will have to identify clients’ needs, skills and interests. You can employ specialised tools such as vocational tests for the same.

Market research will play an important role.

You need to advise your client for a career opportunity.

How would you do that without yourself not knowing it?

Thus you should effectively research the market to find the best match for your client.

2. Providing tips

Career coaches provide tips on how to keep a job. They assist people to climb the career ladder.

3. Optimizing efficiency

As a career coach, you will guide clients on how to optimize efficiency and profitability. This would include setting measurable goals, tracking performance and creating reports.

4. Helping clients in the job-seeking process

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This will include resume building and enhancing cover letters. A career coach also helps in interview preparation including mock interviews.

5. Discussing strategies for personal development

This includes improving interpersonal, communication and leadership skills. Apart from that, the coach also guides on stress management, confidence-building and conflict management skills.

6. Conducting workshops and/or webinars

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How much does a career coach earn?

Most career coaches in the USA charge around $100-500.

Some coaches also charge up to $10,000 for 3-month coaching. These are relatively experienced ones.

You should know how to price and package your coaching services the best.

In the beginning, you can start at a low price. This will help you to hone your skills and get the experience.

Once you are confident that your sessions are adding immense value, adjust the rates accordingly.

Never underestimate your worth!

How to get your first coaching clients?

This is where most of the career coaches get stuck!

You may know your business. You may have a great website but suddenly it getting clients may feel too hard.

It doesn’t have to be. It is indeed simple.

The below steps will guide you to get your initial clients fast.

Define your niche

By now you know what does a career coach do. You also know whether you are qualified to do it.

Now it’s time to figure out your niche and define it.

Career coaching is a huge umbrella. You must first decide what type of career coach you want to be.

What are you passionate for?

Whom do you want to work with?

Individuals: You may decide to work with individuals to help them achieve their career goals. If you have a passion to help people finding their dream careers. This model can be the best for you.

Companies: Do you want to build skills and team culture in the employees?

Then this model is meant for you.

You can work with a company to help its employees.

Once you know what type of client you want to work with the next step is to decide your target audience.

You may choose any section- Millennials, women, minorities etc.

Just keep the following in mind while choosing:

“Does my target audience has the capability and willingness to pay?”

For instance,

A fresh unemployed graduate may not have the ability to pay.

Some people do have money but they lack the willingness to pay.

Avoid this BIG mistake

Don’t talk about your coaching program as a product.

This is the most common mistake that the majority of the career coaches make.

Don’t explain the process and the features straight away.

You aren’t a salesman!

Your clients are interested to hear something else.

And that is- “What TRANSFORMATION will they achieve by choosing you?”

This is what they are paying you for.

As soon as a client approaches you, you have to focus on their SPECIFIC problems.

Understand what the client is going through. What are the probable reasons behind the situation?

Are most of it because of the client’s own behavioural psychology?

Are there external factors which have a role to play?

Ask many questions, so that the client realizes that you are understanding.

After that bring the solution on the table.

Exhibit the client how your skills and expertise can take the client out of the problem. How your coaching program, methodology and guidance can pull him/her out of the trap.

You see, this should be a process, not a product sale.

Never start directly by explaining about your coaching program. Don’t sound pushy. Let it flow gradually.

Does it sound difficult?

No, it isn’t!

All you got to do is just think about your client’s interests over yours.

Build a solid marketing plan

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Do you want to get your coaching clients fast?

YES! Of course.

So, how do you do that?

You might be thinking about whether people will hire you or not.

Look, there are indeed waiting for someone like you. Now it’s your job to find them.

Not only this, you also need to make them realize why should they choose you.

In this digital era, if you aren’t leveraging the online platforms, you would lose.

Not only this, offline marketing too is inevitable.

Your efforts should be directed both offline and online. Make a marketing plan which lets you track and measure the same.

  1. Let your network know about your business
  2. Leverage platform like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Reddit by posting great content.
  3. Offer free webinars. Produce great educational content. Try to build thought leadership through your resources. Exhibit your proficiency through your blogs.

Is it enough?

Probably not.

What else can you do?

Why not provide a free coaching session to attract prospects? A 20 or 30 mins session, probably on a call.

At the end just ask your prospect – “how was the call?”

If all goes good, gently press to become a paid client. Show the prospect if the call was so fruitful what great transformation he/she can achieve in an x-month engagement.

Welcome the prospect to discuss more your coaching program.

If the prospect seems confused, give him/her time to think. Ask whether it will be OK if you follow up. Ensure that you won’t trouble him/her with repeated triggers.

See it’s so simple!

Three must-have coaching tools


A scheduling tool is a must for your initial coaching calls. This would save a lot of time which you can invest elsewhere. Calendly is relatively easy to use. The basic version is free. You can simply schedule an event and link it with people you want to book a call with.

Zoom or Skype

You need to talk with people right?

How do you do that?

Both Zoom and Skype are the best tools for the same. They have intuitive interfaces. These also allow you to share files and media. With Zoom, you can even record the meetings.

Also, you can share the appointment with multiple clients.


Finally, it’s time to get paid!

I recommend using Paypal. It lets you send invoices and set up recurring payments.

Can I kick-start my career coaching along with a 9-5 job?

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Obviously you can!

In fact, I won’t recommend leaving your job till you double your income (until you have enough savings).

I know that a 9-5 job sucks. You are passionate to kick-start your own business but you have to be practical.

Afterall your business will have expenses. You will also need to account for taxes.

So, what’s the secret to managing your career coaching with a 9-5 job?

Schedule everything properly

Schedule all your business-related tasks. Everything should be written in your calendar.

Understand that you have limited time. You have to make the best use of it.

Get creative. Snatch time from where you can.

Use lunch breaks, get up early, work extra on weekends.

Focus on things that would bring immediate results

You have so much to do.

Setting up your website, going live on Instagram, networking, posting rich-content etc.

You can not do all.

So how should you proceed?


You should focus on tasks that will fetch you paying clients.

How will you figure that out?

That really differs from one aspiring coach to other.

I recommend doing market research and analyzing the same.

You might not get many results(conversions) from your website but directly connecting on LinkedIn might be more fruitful.

Whatever takes you closer to your target audience should be your priority.

How a stay-at-home mom with an 18-month old son made $20k in 4 months

Anna cosic is a career and leadership coach. Her target audience is busy and ambitious women who want to earn and achieve more.

After spending 10 years in her career ladder she finally started her business.

How did she manage?

When she started she has an 18-month old baby. This couldn’t stop her from making $20k in the first months. She worked two hours daily and four evenings a week. She made most us of Sundays too to grow her business.

Courses and programs offered

Currently, Anna offers one-to-one coaching programs. She tried online coaching program initially. She also considers webinar coaching program effective for building her sales funnel. She is looking for a group coaching program in the near future.

How did Anna figure out she wanted to become a career coach?

Want to know why Anna became a career coach?

Simply because she had been through what her clients are currently undergoing.

No one ever questioned Anna about her certifications.

This justifies that a successful career coaching isn’t built on certifications.

Anna’s way to get her first paying clients

Anna could get her first coaching clients through her Linkedin Network.

With regular posts and questions, she could analyze the exact needs and demands.

This helped her to set her methodology and process targeting the pain points of the clients.

From there she contacted them offering low rates initially.

Anna recites how the website didn’t drove her first clients.

So what is the takeaway?

To drive clients, focus on platforms where your clients dwell instead of your own website.

Next steps

I am confident that you have created enough knowledge base.

Now it’s time for action.

No matter whether you have a job or not. No matter what your current situation is.

Just ask yourself one question:

“Are you REALLY passionate about becoming a career coach?”

If the answer is “YES”, you will manage it all. Trust me!

Career coaching is an industry which will never fade. You just need to build right coaching habits, skills and process.

Keep yourself abreast with the recent coaching trends.

Start working on your niche and analyze your target audience. Build a logical workflow and proper schedule.

If you possess a determined heart, the universe will make things fall in place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is a career coach?

A career coach is someone who helps people figure out their next steps in their careers. They help clients assess their skills, interests and experience to see what kinds of jobs or careers might be a good fit for them. They also help clients develop the skills they need to reach their goals.

What is career coaching?

Career coaching is a relatively new profession, where coaches help their client decide and embark on the journey of their dream career.

What qualification do you need to be a career coach?

No specific qualifications are required to become a career coach. However, many career coaches have a background in psychology, counseling or human resources. Some coaches also have certification from programs such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) as well.

Can you make a living as a career coach?

Yes, you can make a living as a career coach. A career coach can make a great deal of money, depending on their level of experience and the size of their client base.This is a lucrative career field, and with the right skills and qualifications, you could find success as a career coach.

How to become a career coach?

To become a career coach, you do not need to undertake any mandatory training course. However, coaching certifications is an excellent way to get yourself certified as a lifestyle coach. Many career coaches start their own businesses, so it’s important to have good marketing and networking skills.

How do I start a career in coaching?

To start a career in coaching, go through the following steps –
-Research the industry and what it takes to be a successful career coach.
-Develop your coaching skills through training or self-study.
-Start building your client base by networking and marketing your services.
-Create a pricing model that works for you.
-Establish your business as a credible and reliable source of information and support.

How much do career coaches make?

The amount of money a career coach can make depends on a number of factors, including their experience, the size of their client base and the type of services they offer. Generally, career coaches earn between $50 and $200 per hour.


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