Where are you at in life? Do you want to reach a new level of success, but don’t know how to proceed? Maybe you know you’re in need of a major change, but feel paralyzed by indecision. Working with a professional 1:1 coach can help. With a coach by your side, stay focused and accountable to the goals you set. Plus, get the proven strategies and tools you need to turn your dreams into reality. Is a Life Coach Worth the Cost? I once was a single Dad with three boys and to cats. Between the divorce and some other events in my life, I had become completely strapped financially. I was used to doing everything myself but at this point, I simply did not have the time to begin the search for a new career. And not being a master of social media, my job search skills were quite frankly outdated. I was not sure where to start and had a feeling I needed help. I considered hiring a career coach. But I had no idea what they did, how effective they were or how much they cost? When does anyone need a career coach? Well here are three situations in which you might want to hire a Life Coach:
1. You’re Flat-Out Stuck
The easiest thing for me to do right here would be to launch into the age old, “What’s the definition of crazy?” speech. If you’re feeling at an impasse and totally unsure about how to get yourself out of the muck and back rolling, stop right there and bring in a professional.
What type of pro should you engage? This is an important question, because not all coaches are alike, personality-wise, process-wise, or core area of focus-wise. If you’re stuck in terms of your direction, you’ll want to find a career coach who specializes in the exploratory work that would precede the actual job search. I call these the “What Color Is My Rainbow?” coaches. Often, this person will have you take some sort of talents or strengths assessment test (e.g., Birkman or Myers-Briggs) and then, together, you’ll work through the types of roles that may be most suitable and meaningful.
If you have a decent idea of what you want to do next, but simply aren’t making progress in your job search, consider someone who actually specializes in job search strategy. Coaches in this arena will typically take a look at what you’re doing (and what you’re not doing), review the “paperwork” you’re using to market yourself (resume, LinkedIn profile) and then help you build or fine-tune a game plan and revise your materials to line up with your desired direction.
Allowing yourself to remain in the stuck mode for too long can be damaging to your mental and physical health, and detrimental to your long-term career. If you can’t seem to get out of the sludge, hire someone to help excavate you.
2. You’re Attempting a Major Career Pivot
Making any sort of job transition can be challenging at best. Making a major career pivot? Lord have mercy. These sorts of moves can drive even the best of us to near lunacy.
Rather than flying by the seat of your pants through a big transition, sleuth out a coach with experience in these types of moves. You want to find someone who can help you talk through the rationale behind your desires, evaluate how realistic the move may be, and then construct a strategy, and (potentially) a new resume to support this new direction.
3. Your Relationships just aren’t working
Do you find yourself having difficulty with your spouse, kids or people you work with? Do you spend much of your time fighting with those people than enjoying life? If you prefer to spend more time enjoying your friends, family and colleagues and less time fighting with them, a Life Coach can really help you in this area.
Life coaching — or Results Coaching— can be an incredibly powerful tool for achieving your most important goals. For the best results, you need to be honest about your learning style, preferences and personality. The clearer you are on your needs, the better your experience will be. Here are some important qualities the best coaches should have, and what you should look for when finding a life coach that’s right for you.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A LIFE COACH?
All good coaches should embody certain qualities. These include, but are not limited to:
• Accountable: Your coach should feel responsible for your success. You should be able to trust your coach to follow up with you in regards to your progress and monitor how well you’ve applied what you learn during your sessions to your real life.
• Strategic thinker: You and your needs are unique, and your coach should be able to help plot a path that addresses your limiting beliefs and the outcomes that you seek to achieve. That’s why good coaches create a personalized plan that uniquely benefits you and your goals, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
• Good listener: Life coaching is about you, your goals or outcomes and your path toward making them a reality. Only a coach who is willing to listen can truly know and understand you.
• Goal-oriented: It goes without saying that the point of coaching is to achieve lasting change. How do you know whether you’ve accomplished this? The only way to measure your progress is to establish or out come sutcomes — so it’s important to have a coach who can help you set the right metrics for success.
• Has high expectations: You are capable of incredible things and your coach should recognize that, otherwise that person will not be able to maximize your potential and guide you towards a truly fulfilling life.
• Always up for a challenge: Achieving change and attaining a state that will allow you to do anything you dream of will put you out of your comfort zone. Your coach should always challenge you to change, to do things that you otherwise would not and to improve. They’ll also know how to provide you with necessary support when times get tough.
LIFE COACHING SYSTEMS AND EXPERIENCES
Different life coaches use different systems, or methods, to help you meet the outcomes that are most important to you. It’s important to see how successful that system has been and whether the coach is truly following it. For example, all of Platinum Method Coaching’ Results Coaches are certified by IPEC which is one of the only coaching schools certified by the IFC International Federation of Coaches). You should feel comfortable that the methods your coach uses will take you where you want to be.
There’s often an inclination pair up with a life coach that specializes in certain areas. Maybe you’re trying to revive the passion in your relationship with your partner or maybe you’re looking for help on improving your personal finances. Rather than looking for a coach who fits these specific traits, what’s more important are the experiences your coach has had and their expertise to get you in the right mindset for success. In fact, you want a coach who has a different perspective than you and who can help you see your life from a different point of view, one that could completely transform your life.
MEETING WITH YOUR POTENTIAL LIFE COACH
Most life coaches offer a free consultation, which allows for you to consider whether the match will work when finding a life coach. This initial session is the time to learn everything you can about your potential life coaching program and mentor. When you first meet, take note about how you feel when you’re talking with them. Observe how they respond to you, their communication style and think about the points they’re making. Are they helping you see things in a new perspective? Are they successfully identifying your strengths and helping you find your top priorities so you can get the results you’re after?
During this meeting, your prospective coach should be able to explain specifically how they work, what they do and what methods they employ in their work. If they’re unable to clearly describe their process or if you feel you’re being told what you want to hear, make sure to ask as many follow-up questions as needed until you feel comfortable. If you still feel uneasy, perhaps veer away from working with that individual. Your life coach should be able to answer your questions in a way that you understand and offer you a clear sense of what kind of progress you can expect over the time you spend working with them.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Finding a life coach who challenges and empowers you to take attention and care, but it’s worth the investment. The right life coach can help you reach and even exceed your biggest dreams and goals. When you consider it in that light, isn’t finding the best life coach for you the least you can do for yourself?