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Discover The 5 Simple Steps to Get Credentialed As A "Professional Coach" So You Can Leave Your Corporate Job
I remember when I was running at lightning speed at my corporate J-O-B as an HR Leader for a large high-tech company from 8am to 6pm (if I was lucky) every. single. day. My days were full of transactions with little opportunity for substantive conversations and completely lacking real connections.
I would get home and be too exhausted to spend time with my husband or my daughter, who had significant medical challenges and needed her mommy.
No matter how many times I was promoted or how much money I was making, it just wasn’t enough. I wasn’t happy. I wanted a new role that allowed me to have a relational versus transactional day that would energize and enliven me every day.
My hunch is if you’re reading this, then you can relate. For whatever reason, you want more meaning in your career through a promotion that will make you feel happy and satisfied.
That’s why I’m happy to share with you the 5 Simple Steps to Get Credentialed as a Coach, Enjoy Upward Mobility and Have True Satisfaction at Work. These are the same 5 steps I used to sculpt a new role with a promotion that allowed me to coach leaders and other professionals in one-on-ones as well as provide group coaching to teams!
Now it’s your turn:
Step 1 Get Crystal Clear about your WHAT!
Ask yourself: how do I imagine serving my clients as a coach? In what ways am I already helping people to solve problems in my work or personal life? Write down the types of problems you are helping people tackle. List the names of colleagues, friends or family members who have benefited from your abilities. Categorize the types of people you most often seem to be assisting and with what kinds of challenges? Ask yourself: "how do these lists inform WHAT i want to offer as a Professional Coach?" Our work world is changing rapidly and more people than ever are seeking guidance and support with work and life transitions. Clarify the WHAT in your offering as a coach that will focus your business on the gifts, skills and talents you uniquely bring to the table. Get ready to play the note that is uniquely yours!!
Step 2 Identify Your BIG WHY
In launching any new endeavor, the old adage applies: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do, but you may end up in Abilene." In other words, if you don't have that deep bubbling well of motivation that fuels you from a powerful sense of purpose, you will probably take a wrong turn, spend unnecessary time and money and potentially derail your coaching career. Get in touch with your WHY for choosing to be a Professional Coach. Make a list of times when you have experienced being totally in the 'zone' in what you might call a 'flow' state — times when you were engaged in any activity or task and you were totally unaware of time passing or whether you had skipped a meal — these may have been times in either your work, leisure, school or hobby times — look for themes that emerge from the list. Ask yourself: "what motivated me during those moments? How can I bring the essence of those times into my professional coaching life? Why might coaching replicate those experiences of 'flow' and engagement? What personal values of mine are evidenced in those times? How will my coaching practice be imbued with those values? Write it all down! Make a mind map!
Step 3 Get An Accurate Picture of Your Current Reality
A study by Inc. magazine revealed why most new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures fail. What's your guess? When I pose the question to participants in my classes, 80-90% reply "lack of vision". In fact, it is the inability to get an accurate assessment of the current state of the business that derail most new ventures. It's essential to tell yourself the truth about your starting point without letting it throw you! Whenever there is a gap between our current reality and our vision there is energy that is seeking resolution, a bit like stretching a rubber band tight between two fingers. There is energy in that tension! But for many of us, the discrepancy between our starting point and our vision drops us into a state of anxiety or 'psychological' tension. When that happens, learn to refocus on your vision and listen for what that 'gremlin' voice, or inner critic is saying -— don't feed that gremlin voice! — take any small step toward your vision in that moment instead. A small step might be dashing off an email to connect with a mentor, or sketching out what you'd like your new business card to say. Be truthful with yourself about you current state so that your vision is built on a solid foundation, not on shifting sands — but don't get derailed by life in the gap!
Step 4 Map Out Your HOW
Build a clear process map, like a flow diagram, with the steps you will help clients move through when they work with you as a coach and are navigating their own gaps with your help! Mapping this out will build your confidence and what is often called a sense of 'conscious competence'. Many of us are 'unconsciously competent', in other words we intuitively know what to do in the moment to be of service to someone, but we haven't taken the time to articulate our process and so don't fully 'own' it in conversations that could naturally lead to a new client engagement.
Step 5 Get An Accurate Assessment of Your Skills
Mapping out your process may reveal a few holes. You may find there are a few steps where you feel uncertain of tools and practices that would best serve your clients. There are coaching assessments available to help you inventory your strengths and target areas for growth in competencies, skills and coaching 'presence'. A seasoned coach can also observe you in action, perhaps by coaching them, and give you some invaluable feedback on places to firm up your process! The live action approach with an experienced coach will especially help calibrate your 'coaching presence', namely, how well do you stay in the moment with the client, fully listening to their concerns, without jumping ahead to figure out what to say next.
With these steps, I was able to get the promotion I wanted and even eventually left corporate to start my own private coaching business with all that fabulous experience under my belt.
If you are simply not enlivened and empowered by the work you do, but are pressed for the time you think you need to develop a far more fulfilling work life, then make the first move and follow these steps. I’m here if you need help!