Blog » How to Guides » Finding Life Coach Jobs & Opportunities A Detailed Checklist
Finding Life Coach Jobs & Opportunities
A Detailed Checklist
This is a detailed checklist on finding life coach jobs and opportunities.
In this comprehensive guide, I will cover:
- How to look for life coach jobs and opportunities.
- How to build credibility online and offline.
- Creating a resume/CV/Cover Letter template and interview skills.
- How to start working on your coaching business.
So if you’re looking to switch careers and become a life coach, or just want to supplement your current salary, this guide will give you a complete understanding of how to go about finding life coach jobs and opportunities.
Keep a pen and paper handy for this detailed checklist.
Let’s jump right in!
Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?
Find Your Niche
If you’re a life coach who is just starting off, here’s a nugget of wisdom: it is estimated that over 90% of coaches fail because they do not have a niche.
A strong building needs a strong foundation. And just like that, if you want to build your coaching business to great heights, you need to lay a strong foundation for it.
An effective niche is that strong foundation.
What is the importance of a niche?
A strong niche is effectively the foundation upon which your entire career as a life coach will rest. This is why figuring out your niche is the first, and most important, step of your journey.
When you want to figure out your niche, you have to ask yourself two basic questions:
- WHO do you want to target?
- WHAT do you want to do for them?
When you combine the WHO and WHAT aspects, you will arrive at your niche.
For example, you want to coach women who are in the age bracket 20-25 and want to increase their salary by 25% in the next year. That’s your niche, right there.
We’re going to get into all the details of selecting a niche; before that, though, it’s important to judge the authenticity of your dedication and passion for life coaching.
Taking on the responsibilities of a life coach is a big decision to make.
So to start things off, we are going to be looking at how you can start this process. We firmly believe that it is only when you have clarity about your own goals, that you can truly add value as a life coach.
So the checklist for this first step is all about self-reflection and introspection.
1. Initial Questions to Ask Yourself
We understand that one might face trouble while initiating a shift in careers, or — specifically — in starting off in a new field.
So we’ve done you a solid, and compiled a short list of questions that should help you introspect, and judge your own authenticity and dedication towards the field of life coaching.
These are preliminary questions to ask yourself to understand your inclinations better; there are no right or wrong answers, only the answers that are right for you.
We suggest you jot down the answers to these questions, just for yourself:
- Why do you want to become a life coach?
- What do you love about coaching the most?
- What are your three favorite self-help books?
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your life? How would you help someone if they were in a similar situation?
- What would a successful life look like to you?
- What can you do that will bring more joy, happiness, and a sense of achievement in your life?
2. Conduct research and find clarity on the kind of work you want to do
Now that you’ve answered the WHO and WHAT questions and judged your authenticity and passion, I’d suggest you spend some time thinking about selecting your niche.
Here are some more questions to ask yourself:
- Is your target market large enough for your business to be sustainable?
- Is your target market easy enough to find? Can you market your services easily? What is the cost of acquiring a client from your niche?
- Is your target market comprising people who would passionately avail of your services?
- Will your target market have the ability to pay you?
Check out this video I made on the difference between a high-paying client and a low-paying client:
Now that you’re thinking more closely about the life coaching market, you must be wondering what types of niches exist already and which one you might be best suited to.
We’ve gone ahead and outlined the main niches that exist in the life coach market for you, with salaries to boot.
- Career Coaching
Career coaches help their clients identify goals, develop leadership skills, and plan career moves.
Salary: According to Indeed, the average salary for a Career Coach is $16.06 per hour in the United States.
- Executive Business Coaching
An executive business coach will guide a business owner in running their business by helping them gain clarity of their vision for the business, and will help them achieve their goals professionally while keeping in mind their personal goals as well.
Salary: According to Indeed, the average salary for a Business Coach is $21.19 per hour in the United States. This niche usually pays the highest.
- Health and Wellbeing Coaching
A health and wellbeing coach supports and guides clients in setting health-related goals — such as in deciding whether to lose weight, improve energy, how to better manage stress, and so on.
Salary: The average salary for a health coach is $15.36 per hour in the United States, based on data from Indeed.
- Personal Development Coaching
A personal development coach focuses on the client’s self-awareness, life goals, and personal challenges. This niche assesses the client’s strengths and weaknesses to improve certain areas of their life.
Salary: The average salary for a personal development coach is $14.36 per hour in the United States, based on data from Indeed.
- Relationship Coaching
Relationship coaches support couples in acquiring skills for healthier marriages and romantic relationships; they help with dealing with intimacy issues and resolving conflict.
Salary: The median salary for a relationship coach is $35.29 per hour, according to PayScale.com. The hourly rate ranges from $11.14 to $125.28.
Watch this video to know how to identify a powerful niche.
3. Talk to at least 10 people in your niche or in the online communities you’re a part of to understand the gaps
It’s important to get acquainted with the community around you.
One of the best ways to know whether a job will work for you, or how to pick out a niche based on your passions and skill-sets, is just to have a conversation!
We’ve outlined some questions you should ask in your next interaction with your target niche.
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the immediate problems around you, identify the gaps in solutions, and assess your skill-set based on that.
- Who is in your immediate niche? Look at various genders, races, classes, backgrounds, etc.
- What is your niche? What comprises the major work? What are the popular activities your community engages in? What do their physical movements, travel, art, and aesthetics reveal about them?
- What is your niche lacking? What does it have that other communities don’t?
Once you have defined your population, place, and the attitudes, you can move on to asking questions to your community.
Each situation requires a unique solution, and as an aspiring life coach, it’s important to prepare yourself for as many situations as possible.
- What are the gaps that need to be filled, when it comes to life coaching? Are people seeking more advice in health coaching, career coaching, or relationship coaching?
- How can you be a valuable asset?
- Who are the community leaders? How can you connect with them?
This type of data collection will be especially important when you get to the next few stages, especially the interview stage of our checklist.
So don’t skimp on your research!
Find the best way to collect the data. Listening to people is important, but don’t rely just on anecdotal evidence.
Take a 360-degree view of the niche.
This can be achieved with public forums, surveys, etc. It’s also important to look at existing resources like census data, health data, etc.
Once you have access to all that information, you can find unbiased and fully-formed answers to these sets of questions.
Now that you’ve recognized the gaps, let’s get started on filling them. But before we do that:
- How do your existing degrees help enhance your skills and niche? It’s important to use a psychology, anthropology, literature, or sociology degree in conjunction with a life coaching certificate.
- Have you been accredited through ICF? If so, where did you receive your training?
This brings us to our next section.
We’ll do you one better by comparing nine highly-regarded life coach certification programs accredited by the ICF, in our checklist for this step.
The Importance Of Certifications
Nearly all coach practitioners (99%) report that they have completed some coach-specific training.
Increasingly, training is through programs accredited/approved by a professional coaching organization (93% in the 2020 study, up from 89% in 2016).
93% of managers/leaders using coaching skills have received some coach-specific training, including 79% through programs accredited/approved by a professional coaching organization.
So certifications are important, yes — but how do you find the one that’s best suited to your career arc?
How To Find The Right Certification
The first step to choosing the best life coaching certification is to understand which qualification holds the most weight.
Here are the criteria that separate a great coaching program from a mediocre one —
All ICF coach training programs will help aspiring life coaches to develop a professional level of communication, active listening, trust-building and knowledge of human behaviour.
All of these training programs require you to gain hours of live coaching experience under the supervision of a mentor coach.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and reflect on.
1. Do you want to become a full-time life coach?
If yes, then gaining certification is your best bet for a successful professional life as a life coach.
The Coaching Training Alliance is the best ICF accredited course, but the spots fill up fast, and you’ll probably be on a waiting list if you don’t make your decision about enrolling quickly.
2. There Are Three Levels Of ICF Accreditations:
The latter accreditations are more advanced and may help you to stand out from your competition.
3. What is the length of the program you’re looking for?
Most coaching certificates are flexible with a specific number of CCE hours (or Continuing Coach Education hours) to complete.
It’s worth considering whether you prefer deadlines or flexibility. There are also many options for self-paced certificates.
While some are more strict about their deadlines, the length you choose can also be looked at in conjunction with whether you are taking online classes or face-to-face classes.
For instance, how often can you afford to go to your coaching institute?
4. How much are you willing to pay?
Can you only afford to pay through student loans? In that case, you will have to specifically look for options that allow for student loans as payments.
Many mid-range courses provide a great certificate without breaking the bank. You need to consult your needs before you set your budget.
5. Do you want specific training for setting up your own coaching business?
Perhaps you already have a business degree and now all you want is a coaching certificate. So how flexible do you want your program to be?
Some courses connect you with existing communities and even give you marketing lessons, while others just leave you to your own devices. Which option would you prefer?
Here’s a primer video to start you off:
6. Most courses require you to spend a specific number of hours coaching others under the supervision of a certified coach
These are often referred to as Continuing Coach Education (CCE) hours.
My suggestion is — don’t skip out on the CCE hours.
Most highly rated coaching certificates are well known because of their number of CCE hours. There’s nothing like learning from an established person in your field.
How many of these hours are you willing to put in?
7. Are you looking for additional support such as a Facebook community for your course or online webinars?
I’ve looked at some of the most popular courses available for life coaches that are also ICF accredited.
Let’s take a look at the program length and flexibility, the CCE hours, the price, and what types of additional support the courses provide.
While some courses allow you to get the certification, others go the extra mile to provide you support in setting up a business by teaching you marketing or connecting you with communities.
You should do extensive research on courses before picking the one that aligns best with your goals.
|Name of Course||Program Length||CCE Hours||Price||Additional Support|
|Coaching Training Alliance||6 Months||50||$3,645-3,843||Includes a textbook, group-mentoring, private FB group for support, added emphasis on business building|
|iNLP Center||Self-paced (usually 6 months)||60||$2,520||25+ group coaching sessions per week, free marketing course included after you qualify, private FB group.|
|iPEC Coaching||90 hours split over 7-8 months||64||$11,950|
(student loans applicable)
|Weekly coaching seminars, 25+ group coaching session, private FB group, free marketing course upon qualification, app to assess your performance.|
|CoachU||Self-paced work of 77 hours|
(usually finished within 6-12 months)
|20||$3,555||Free PDFs, teaches you how to set up your business, you can retake classes for free for six months after graduation.|
|Life Purpose Institute||60 hours, set over either 3 days, 3 months, of 6 months.||10||$2,500 (negotiable) Option for in-person and online classes||One-on-one support from coaches outside of class hours, business resources, life-long marketing support|
|Erickson International||70-154 hours depending on your choice of certification||10||$5,250 for Qualification certification$10,050 for Diploma|
(option of in-person training)
|Group mentoring, one-on-one feedback from professional life coaches|
|The Institute for Life Coaching||88 hours compulsory + 42 hours optional||130||$7,700||Mentor coaching hours and peer coaching hours are included, flexible self-paced programs divided into convenient modules.|
|Certified Life Coach Institute||65.8 hours||N/A||$1,995 (virtual training over a few days)||Discounts available on booking L1 and L2 together, handbook and Zoom masterclass.|
First impressions last. And that holds true every time, everywhere — even online.
On social media, you see thousands of social media profile pictures.
And every time you see someone’s profile picture, you form an impression of that person. In a split second, you decide if they are likable, trustworthy, smart… or not.
Why is This Important?
On Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and everywhere else, your followers too are mentally swiping right or left, connecting or dismissing, engaging with your content, or ignoring your connection request.
Your social media persona is perhaps the most accessible way for a client or business to get to know your identity.
It’s important to have a professional image for your social media because many HR departments investigate your online presence with a fine-toothed comb.
Let’s take a cue from the PR executive who posted a racist tweet before taking off on a flight to Africa, and upon landing, found out that she was fired from her job.
Quickest lesson delivered, ever.
If you insist on holding views that are socially-frowned upon, definitely don’t post about it on social media.
1. Has Your LinkedIn Profile Been Updated With A Good Profile Photo, A Clear Summary Of Your Skills, Credentials And What And How Much You Can Offer?
First off, let’s get you a great profile picture. Here’s how to do it:
(A) Show Your Face
(B) Frame Yourself
Not too far, not too close. Let them see your face but don’t crowd the camera.
(C) Turn Up Your Smile Setting
Big smiles in profile pictures correlate with good social relationships. See below:
Notice the openness in four and five.
(D) Use Contrasting Colors
Which of the profile pictures below stand out?
Social streams move fast, so color is a great way to stand out. When colors contrast with the colors around them, they stand out.
This is simple and obvious when you think about it.
- What color are most social media websites? Blue (a cool color)
- What color is the complement of blue? Orange (a warm color)
Since LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter use a lot of blue, putting on an orange shirt (or any top with warm colors) will make you immediately more visible. These are also less common colors for clothing.
(E) Use A Simple Background
The focus of the image should be your face. Busy backgrounds can take the focus off of you, which isn’t ideal.
Best practices are to use a simple or flat-colored background.
Here’s an example to take a cue from:
(F) Test Your Profile Picture With A Focus Group
You can gather a group of your most reliable and trusted family, friends, and colleagues whom you know will give unbiased answers, to give you their thoughts on several photos you wish to use. Make sure to include headshots with you in different smile settings, angles, backgrounds, and attire.
Or if you want real unbiased answers, you may also get some data from a focus group by uploading some options to PhotoFeeler. For less than $20, you can get 100 people to vote on your photo on three criteria.
Upload several pictures to see how they do against each other.
(G) Get A Bit Of Brand Into Your Photo
Branding should always be on your mind. Your brand should speak through visuals, and hence, your profile photo does as well. Try and incorporate some visual imagery discretely whenever possible.
Here are five ways to sneak elements of your brand into your profile pic:
- Wear your brand colors: wear a shirt with a splash of the company colors.
- Put the brand color in the background: Put a tiny bit of your office in the background.
- Add a mini-logo: It’s hard to make it fit, but if there’s room — do it.
- Add a big logo to your background image: Much easier to make it fit in there.
- Live the brand: George LeClaire is a photographer, and it’s obvious from his profile picture. He’s holding a camera.
Here are examples of how brand elements can fit into a profile picture:
Pro Tip: Warning! Avoid the logo profile pic.
As we said in tip #1, faces are powerful imagery. Using a logo as a profile picture is a missed opportunity to be human and personable.
If you’re a mega-brand, of course, you’ll use your logo in your social accounts. But for most companies, avoid posting from behind a logo if at all possible. It just isn’t as social. Instead, use the face of someone on the social media team.
(H) Use The Same Headshot On All Your Professional Profiles
This is especially important for people with common names. If someone sees you in one place and wants to connect in another, make it easy for them by using the same picture on all of your professional social media profiles.
If you do this, it will be extremely helpful for people to reach out to you because, like a name, it has a “recall”. There was a time I was emailing someone named Brian and decided to reach out on LinkedIn. But there are 430 Brians with his last name. And his profile picture wasn’t helpful.
If you look me up on Facebook or LinkedIn, you will see the same headshot used on my profile photos. I use the same photo across all my online content. I’d say my name is not at all that common, but I still make sure people can look me up quite easily.
ProTip: It’s easier to become recognisable if you don’t change it too often. Be consistent and keep the same profile picture for a year or two at least. These pictures are identifiable because they were used for years.
(I) Use A Professional Photographer
If you’re serious about social media marketing, consider hiring a pro. The difference in quality between professional and amateur work is huge.
2. Check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram thoroughly
If you’ve been using the same social media accounts from when you created them in middle school, chances are there’s a bunch of embarrassing stuff there.
When in doubt, choose to delete.
Scroll down for at least a year’s worth of feed.
Are your personal photos too provocative or barely even passing the community guidelines of the social media in question? What about when you scroll down further?
Excessive PDA, risqué images, posts about alcohol/drug consumption, etc. can look very unprofessional.
The guide above should be helpful enough for photos. But the same kind of thorough clean-up is required of all the content you share.
Too many political posts, personal opinions, etc. can be seen as spamming or trolling. The content you put up on social media needs to be managed and suited to your brand image.
3. Are you certain there is a clear differentiation between your personal and professional social media?
Have a dedicated professional account that employers might check before hiring you.
Make a Finsta account if you want, something only for close friends. If you do not have two different accounts, then have you made sure your social media profiles align with what you are offering professionally?
Now that we’ve covered your online base, let’s move on to using the base to connect to communities.
As in any budding career, the most important step in finding jobs and establishing your name is to build your credibility.
This happens with a clean social media, but also with the strategic use of your online and offline presence.
Build Credibility — Online and Offline
We are in the age of social media, and there’s no denying that building a professional social media presence can make or break a good career.
Most clients are likely to check your social media to see what kind of posts you put up, and what kind of communities you’re acquainted with.
Your social media presence needs to be strategically amplified. Most modern-day networking too takes place online. This leads to wider reach with more diverse communities.
All you need to understand is how to get your foot in the door — and I’ll be guiding you through exactly this.