Our guide to life coaching

Our guide to life coaching

First published date February 05 2014 Amended date February 06 2014

Do you get a kick out of helping people? Are you a people’s person? Perhaps you want to start a fresh career and run your own business? Then why not start a new career as a life coach. Our list of life coaching courses can prepare you for a long and rewarding career path.


What does a life coach do?

The job of a life coach is to offer support and inspire people to have a fulfilled life. This can include offering them support in areas such as finance, relationship, careers, fitness, confidence and work-life balance. You will be using your good people skills to communicate and listen to people’s problems, inspiring them to improve their situation and setting them in a fresh direction. You may even be asked to do corporate work which will involve speaking in front of a big audience; using the methods you have learnt during your course, to inspire them to meet their office demands.

It’s important to bear in mind that even though you are there to earn a living, your patient’s well-being comes first. Life coaches should be ethical and willing to acknowledge and tell their patient when someone may be more qualified to help them.


Do I need qualifications?

Life coaching isn’t regulated in the UK and anyone who believes they have the required skills can become a life coach. However, as the numbers of life coaches grow, clients are starting to favour those who have qualifications and a membership with professional organisations. Taking a course in life coaching will give you the qualifications to become a credible life coach.

Life coaching courses can offer a variety of different qualifications which will all aid you in becoming a credible life coach. Course difficulty varies, with the complexity increasing as the level increases. Each level course will teach you more in depth coaching techniques that will increase your credibility and reputation for your clients. You will be taught everything from gaining a base of clients, learning how to communicate clearly and inspire your clients, all the way to respecting private information and ethical practices.


Get stuck in

Unlike many other career paths there is no way to gain on-the-job experience as a life coach. It’s impossible to get things such as work experience or internships as existing life coaches are against training those who will eventually become their competitors. This makes a life coaching course all the more important but it also means you will have to throw yourself into the deep end.

Once you begin to establish yourself as a credible life coach, finding a unique selling point can help to create a customer base interested in a specific industry. You could have a history in creative writing and combine both your writing and life coaching skills to coach those who have aspirations of becoming creative writers.



Almost all life coaches are self-employed, so if you are looking to run your own business then this could be the perfect opportunity for you. The development of your business will be entirely down to you, methods such as network, reputation and marketing will all make an impact on how many customers you’re capable of having. Having a membership with a coaching organisation, such as the Association of Coaching, would be beneficial as they would help you with these networking and marketing methods. Enrolling on business and finance courses or business administration courses could help teach you the basics to get your life coaching business up and running.


Hints and tips

Get insured: Personal Liability Insurance will provide security for the life coach and their client in case anything goes wrong. It will provide financial cover for legal expenses, however all sensible steps should be taken by life coaches to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Plan: Before you meet with client make sure you plan the session extensively around what outcome they want and what techniques you can use to help them achieve that.

Make a difference: Don’t work for financial gain. To work as a life coach it should be your ambition to make a real difference to those you are giving guidance to.

Ethical: Always bear in mind the ethical restraints you will be taught during your course. Minimise health and safety risks of coaching and always keep private information confidential.

Interesting fact:  Coaching comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘carriage’, a means of transporting something from one place to another.