Working with a Coach, Part I: Preparing for Your Coaching Journey

This week kicks off a three-part series called Working with a Coach that breaks down how to prepare for starting your coaching journey, finding the right coach, and some tips on working with your coach. I’m excited to share all the tips and things I’ve learned as a certified coach, being a client myself, and most of all being a person who is fiercely committed to living her wildest dreams. 

According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the demand for coaches has been predicted to grow from a 15 billion-dollar industry in 2019 to a $20 billion-dollar industry by 2022. This makes sense to me; while this prediction was pre-COVID-19, the pandemic compelled thousands of people to do some deep reflection on life, career, and what is truly important.  As many of us reshift priorities, we are searching for how to take the next life steps, and may seek out a coach to help us get there.  But what really is coaching? Why would you choose to work with a coach? And how do you know the right coach to select?  

Okay, you know you need a change in your life; maybe it’s your next career step, you’re ready to find love, or you’ve decided this is the right time to work towards a healthy lifestyle. For many of us, what brings us to coaching is when it feels like the current situation is no longer fulfilling and you are ready for a change — that gut feeling that something has to be different.

Before starting to look for the right coach, I want to be straightforward: coaching is an investment of time, money, and spirit. Often when I’m having an initial conversation with a potential client, I’m listening to not only what they are looking for in coaching, but also making assessments like, do they have time and emotional bandwidth to do the work? Because coaching is work — good work, but still work.  

Some questions to consider: 

  • Over the next 6-8 months, am I willing and able to make space to take bold steps in life? 
  • Am I ready to do both the inner and outer work it takes to step into my wildest dreams?

If the answer to either or both questions is NO, then ask yourself: what do I need to change in the next 6-8 months so I can do the work to take bold steps?  

Let’s be real. I know there are very few people who can stop everything they are doing and clear their calendar for 6-8 months, so that is not what I’m suggesting.  What I am suggesting is this: you are going to make an investment into living the life you want. This requires time and space, and you want to be clear on how you are going to create that space, as well as how much.

Next, coaching is a financial investment. Oftentimes people new to coaching have no idea what the costs will be and the price can create some sticker shock.  You’ll also find that the cost is vastly different from coach to coach; coaches could charge anywhere from $50-$10,000+ a session, depending on a wide range of factors. I encourage you to look at your budget, do research on prices, and determine what you’re comfortable paying for coaching. How do you find prices? Coaches often have their rates listed on their websites, and you can also check out the ICF Credential Coach Finder, which has a list of coaches, their qualifications, and their rates, giving you a point of reference.  The most important thing is to prepare yourself for the investment you are making. 

Lastly (and most importantly), coaching is an investment of your spirit. You don’t have to believe in anything ‘woo-woo; just consider that we can’t force growth and change. Sometimes we have to sit with discomfort, tend to the areas that need attention — and celebrate wins.  Whether you are looking for a life, career, or executive coach, working with a coach will be more than just one session a week. You will want to create space for the investment of both the doing (taking action) and the being (navigating the interpersonal most introspective parts of yourself).  I suggest you look at your life and start to protect time for not only your actual coaching sessions, but also for your time to process, reflect, rest, and rejuvenate.

This blog is part of a Three Part Series – Working with a Coach [Part I: Preparing for Your Coaching Journey, Part II: Working with Your Coach, & Part III: Working with Your Coach]

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