If you're contemplating what your next career could be, you're likely not alone. Choosing one career for the whole of your career is a thing of a past. So much so that it is estimated that people will have seven careers in their lifetime, rather than one lifetime career (Balik, 2020).
But the question is – what is your next career? Whilst we're likely spoilt for choice, there may be an underlying uncertainty as to which career may be a solid choice.
Coaching is one industry that has hit its stride. With only 53 300 credentialed coaches internationally and an industry that generates $2.3 billion annually, according to the 2016 International Coach Federation study, coaching is a profession on the up. It's a profession that is delivering growth year on year!
And if this isn't enough to convince you, here's ten more reasons why coaching might be a career to place on top of your list:
1. You can coach and build your business whilst you're working
And no, we're not suggesting that you use company-time for your own practice. Remember, ethics sits at the centre of coaching! What we are noting is that coaching sessions can be scheduled in the early mornings, evenings and even over weekends. There may even be an opportunity for your coaching skills to be employed within your existing organisation.
Consider that as a coach, you can coach individuals in different time zones from the comfort of your home or office. What is early morning for you may be working hours for another based in the East, and what is early evening may be mid-morning for a client based in the US.
2. The entry costs are low
Starting your own coaching practice doesn't require a huge financial outlay. All you need to get going is a laptop and an internet connection.
That does mean that there are some people who purport to be coaches who don't have the faintest clue what coaching really is.
Studying a coaching programme that offers accreditation to an organisation like the International Coach Federation is the best approach. This is a recognition by clients and organisations seeking to hire coaches that your coaching is to the required standard, and that you subscribe to the code of conduct and ethics of these institutions. The GIBS' Professional Business Coaching Programme is ICF accredited and thus not only links you to the prestigious GIBS brand, but equally enables you to obtain the coveted Professional Coach certification from the ICF.
3. You can coach anyone from anywhere
Coaching really is becoming part of the 'laptop lifestyle'. Provided you have an internet connection and access to your favourite online platform like Zoom, you can coach anyone in any country.
Of course, there will always be those who prefer a face to face interaction (which is a very South African preference), but for the rest, you can complete your coaching sessions whether you are at your home office or travelling somewhere amazing!
4. You can set your hours as you need
The beauty of having your own coaching practice is that you can schedule your coaching sessions around your life. Need to fetch your kids from school? Scheduling your coaching practice around this makes it possible. Some coaches coach for three weeks of the month and leave themselves a full week of rest and rejuvenation. Running your own coaching practice gives you remarkable flexibility with your schedule.
5. You get to choose your area of focus, or niche
Increasingly, coaches are specialising into niches. These include anything you can think of, but broadly includes executive coaching, business coaching, life coaching, career coaching, parental coaching, health coaching, amongst others. This means that you get to choose where you'd like your coaching practice to focus.
If you're a career Human Capital professional, perhaps career coaching is a great fit. If you've spent many years as a C-Suite, perhaps Executive Coaching is a choice niche.
Furthermore, through your coaching practice, you get to leverage your experience in addition to your coaching skills. We often see people make use of the skills they've obtained through previous experience and blending their coaching skills in unique offerings and portfolios. For example, a coach with previous Learning and Development experience may offer consulting, coaching and change management, blending an offering in 'change coaching'.
6. Coaching is relationship based, in a 'helping job'
If you're concerned about your relevance in a fourth industrial revolution world, consider that coaching is a helping job, something is likely to see increased growth, as people become increasingly and more frequently disrupted.
Just consider how many times during your life and career you have wanted to reach out to someone to help you make quality decisions and positive change. Now that people have identified that coaching is no longer remedial – but in reality an acceleration of results – it is likely to increasingly become the go-to solution for people in flux.
7. You deeply connect with your clients
And that's what makes their success so rewarding! And also what makes confidentiality and trust such key components of functioning coaching relationships. During your coaching journey, your client will share their fears and anxieties, and at times this may require you to hold the vision for your client when they are unable to see it for themselves. And when your client has a real breakthrough – a classic Ahaa moment – is when as a coach you recognise that it is a true blessing to be paid for doing something you love!
8. You get to make a difference
Whilst you can make a difference and positively impact another in the corporate and business spaces, the opportunity is so much greater in a coach/client relationship. Through an expert coaching process, such as the one you'll learn in the GIBS PBCP, you will help your client see their greater vision, set goals, move into action and achieve their desired state.
Many coaches report that they find their souls in the work they undertake as a practising coach.
9. You'll unlock potential in people, teams, organisations and perhaps even beyond
When people think of coaching, often the thought is focused on a one on one coaching relationship. Coaching extends far beyond these bounds. It is effective in assisting teams to form and perform, EXCOs to improve decision-making and accelerate business results, and practically any areas that people touch. Coaches can thus impact organisations and play a significant role in shaping our collective journeys.
10. Coaches have one of the warmest communities
Coaches are special people. They have an innate generosity within them that sees them contributing to the success of others, and the coaching community as a whole. When you join this alumni, you'll find within it coaches who are willing to share their resources, experience and best practices with you, with no expectation of anything in return. GIBS' PBCP graduates are welcomed into an Alumni community, where graduates are assisted and nurtured through their coaching journey.
Are you ready to take your next step, and qualify as a professional coach? If you are, then it's time for you to join the GIBS PBCP and be warmly welcomed into our community. Simply give us your contact information, and we'll be in touch shortly.
International Coach Federation, 2016 Survey, https://coachfederation.org/research/global-coaching-study
Bialik, C., (2020) Seven Careers in a Lifetime? Think Twice, Researchers Say, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704206804575468162805877990