Interested in Becoming a Coach?
Making the decision to become a Life Coach is one of the most exciting and rewarding things I have done in my life! For me, there is no greater honor than to partner with my clients to clarify what they want for their lives and how to make it happen!
I frequently receive inquiries from people who are interested in starting their own coaching practice. This page is designed to provide you with basic information and resources. Should you desire additional information or perspective from me, reach out via my contact page. Best wishes to you as you begin this adventure!
Sarah VanderMeiden, M.S.
Board Certified Coach and
CEO (Chief Effectiveness Officer)
I want to become a Life Coach but I don't know where to start
Congratulations! You are about to embark on an exciting journey of personal and professional growth! To get started, read "Coaching 101", an article I wrote to introduce people to coaching. Next, I encourage you to assess your educational background, professional experience and other insight gained through "the school of life." Once you have completed this assessment, look for areas where you could use some additional development.
Is it true that anyone can call themselves a Life Coach, regardless of experience or training?
Currently, there are no educational, legal or licensing requirements for Life Coaches. Though it is true that anyone can become a Life Coach, if you are serious about pursuing coaching as a profession, I encourage you to look at this issue from a long-term perspective. Many experts in the industry are predicting that eventually there will be licensing requirements for coaches. In addition, the coaching profession has embraced ethical guidelines, professional standards, core competencies, best practices and techniques for which it would be difficult to achieve competency without some sort of formal training. Finally, to be a successful coach, you need to provide excellent coaching. Is this something that you can do without training?
I definitely could use some training, how do I go about this?
Since there are no licensing requirements for Life Coaches, training programs run the gamut from taking a 5-hour course from another Life Coach to completing 120 hours or more of coach-specific training from international organizations that offer coaching certifications. I encourage you to do your homework and research a variety of programs before making a decision. Less isn't necessarily a bad thing and more isn't necessarily going to make you the most successful coach. It really depends on you, your background and what you feel you need to accomplish your goals.
What training program did you use?
I trained with the Institute for Life Coach Training, an established organization that provides training to satisfy both International Coaching Federation (ICF) and BCC requirements. The instructors are very experienced and established leaders in the field of coaching. I found their "Coach Approach" course was exactly what I needed to understand what coaching is all about and to gain the necessary competencies for certification. All of the Institute's courses are delivered via teleconference or online and I found this approach to be effective for me, particularly as most of my coaching is done over the phone.
What is "BCC"?
BCC stands for Board Certified Coach. You can read all about it here. I chose this certification as I already had a Master's Degree in Counseling and Human Development and therefore had the basic foundational skills any helping professional needs. BCC certification acknowledges the significance of advanced training in a helping profession so does not require as many hours of coach-specific training as the ICF.
Other than training, what else do I need to do to become a coach?
There are many things you need to do to successfully launch any new business venture: Develop a business plan, design your business practices, draw up a contact/agreement, plan your marketing strategy, set your rates and so on. I encourage you to not to take short cuts in this area!
Can you help me?
Of course! As a coach, I am available to help people explore coaching as a career possibility. I also can help you wade through the variety of tasks associated with starting your coaching practice. However, I do not provide training for coaching competency - I will leave that to the experts! Working with me as your coach will likely get you to your goals faster, without making the same mistakes I did that simply were time wasters!
Contact me to learn more.