This is a question that is pondered by most coaches before starting their career in the field, and even after pursuing it for a while. I remember when I decided to become a coach, the first question that was thrown at me was “what’s the scope of that as a career choice?”. My father had asked me that question and to be honest, I would be concerned if he didn’t. Because living in India for 24 years, I had never stumbled upon the term Life Coaching.
I did not have an answer for him as it was a novel concept for me too. I somehow skirted away from the conversation by saying “It’s a growing market and can be very popular in the future”. I did not have enough data to back that statement, but my father did not ask me further questions either. My passion to become a coach was enough validation for him I guess. What a supportive father!
But now what? I have completed three internationally verified coaching certifications in adherence to the International Coach Federation (ICF), I have coached clients from nine different countries, I am continuously engaging in almost every opportunity related to coaching such as writing this article, and yet I can’t say I have a stable career in the field. But I also know that this isn’t the end.
So let’s change the question from “What is the future of coaching” to “Who is the future of coaching”, and the answer is… WE ARE!
How do I create the future?
Coaching is not something we do, it is something we become. As coaches, we are aware of the founding principles that allow us to navigate through different walks of life, ups or downs. Self-coaching can really be useful to create the future we wish to see. Personally, if I were to choose between eating better or sleeping better, I would choose sleeping better. And coaching allows me to do that because I am aware of the difference I am making in the world.
Coaches get to interact with and get to know so many people, it’s a great advantage for us to make some very strong connections. Once a client has opened up to you, the probability of them coming back and referring you increases immensely.
We know that the term ‘Life Coaching’ is also abused a lot. Anybody with significant experience in a field is calling themselves coaches, resulting in creating some very inaccurate misconceptions around it. No wonder the majority is still unaware of what is the true essence of life coaching.
Some countries (like India), are still not very open to seeking professional support. I am not sure if it is a fear or embarrassment around hiring life coaches that is keeping our clients away. But these traditional norms are certainly limiting the growth of coaches, as businesses are only scalable if there is enough demand for them.
It is not all that bad, the industry seems to be getting recognized in the past few years. According to ICF, there has been a 33% increase in the number of life coaches from the year 2015 – 2019. Everything happens for a reason, we know the coronavirus has caused unprecedented challenges for the entire world. However, people are more aware of mental health than ever and have started understanding how imperative it is to take care of it.
We have seen significant growth and recognition of credible organisations like the ICF that allow clients to feel safe to hire a coach. Furthermore, we all can leverage the current trends of the economy to innovate coaching and attract better prospects. Coaching does not have to be limited to just sessions, it can also be extrapolated to fun apps, interesting websites, and even coaching products. I have talked more about coaching products in another article called “Tangible Products From Intangible Coaching”, feel free to use it for your inspiration.