With the housing, manufacturing and retail sectors being hit especially hard, hundreds of thousands of newly-unemployed workers were searching for work and new skills which would allow them to enter other industries. According to Bureau of Labor Studies report, two of the fast growing industries are individual and family services and vocational rehabilitation services.
A rapidly growing industry which can easily fall into either of the two categories is Life Coaching.
One does not wake up and become a life coach overnight however. As with any career, an individual must have the natural ability and skills to be an effective life coach. Of equal importance is specialized training to become a life coach. This training enables the individual to not only be successful in their new career, but provides them with the additional skills needed to help others be successful.
Life Coaching can be defined as a process of training or development that assists an individual obtain the skills and knowledge needed to achieve specific personal or professional goals. A recent Huffington Post article points out that life coaching differs from traditional physiological therapy in that it focuses on moving the individual forward and developing opportunities, as opposed to looking back at past issues that have resulted problems that need to be fixed.
According to a USA Today report, life coaches are particularly popular with men, who perhaps saw the greatest need for guidance and skill development due to the decline of traditionally male dominated jobs in construction and manufacturing. Patrick Williams, founder of Life Coach Training, says men make up approximately 60 percent of all those who receive life coaching.
Life coaching is also popular with many entrepreneurs. Ali Riaz, president of a search technology company purchased by Google, turned to a life coach to help him better organizational and time management skills. He told the New York Times:
“Anybody looking from the outside at me, they would say, ‘This guy has no pressure. He’s so happy.’ Guys would say, ‘I want your life.’ I’d say: ‘No, bro, you don’t.’ Life was hard. It took all of my time to make it all work.”
Although Riaz was nervous that the process would somehow minimize the personality traits and skills that has made him successful, he believes the process has helped him develop additional skills that has enhanced his natural talents. The ability to admit he does not know something and to be a better listener has creates a different dynamic he believes has enhanced his success.
Life coaching has become a popular career for retired individuals as well. Many retirees enjoy sharing the life lessons they have learned, which enables them to not only serve others, but also allow them to continue their own personal growth. Fifty-four-year-old Linda Garneau likes the idea of being able to make a difference in people’s lives, saying:
“Being a coach at this stage of my life allows me to live with a clear purpose and make the difference I did not make in my younger years, but am certainly going to make now.”