What is Life and Career Coaching?

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By Kirk McCarley

Some who read these articles might wonder what it is I do besides write articles. When I share, “I’m a Career and Life Coach,” a few comment, “that’s nice; good article.” If you haven’t used a coach, you may have some questions about how coaching works and what benefits you can expect. Here’s an overview.

Coaching is an ongoing professional relationship that can help to produce extraordinary results in your life, career and/or business.  It is not counseling or therapy; it is forward looking, geared towards achieving positive results.
“Life coaching makes a significant difference in one’s overall life satisfaction. The coaching experience helped clients be more effective by teaching them how to set concrete, measurable goals made up of specific and manageable steps…”  Master’s Thesis, Pepperdine University

How did I get in to Coaching?
I enjoyed 37 years in Human Resources (HR) or “Personnel.”  In the latter portion of that career I myself sought out a Life and Career Coach to explore my next vocational pursuit. As an HR Executive I was finding that my time was increasingly spent advising others about their own careers and decisions.  After contemplations with my coach, a transition to coaching appeared a natural fit for my knowledge, skills and abilities. In 2015, I returned to school and became a Certified Professional Coach. There are many benefits to be had from engaging in coaching:

Clarity
Knowing what you want can be half the battle in life. On an on-going basis, coaching will help you to get and stay clear about your goals and the direction you want to head in.
“Coaching has a 570% ROI.” Manchester Inc.

Accountability
Accountability is a powerful tool for creating change. When engaged in the life coaching process, you work with your coach to create goals to achieve between sessions. Coaching is very much a joint journey; coaches don’t give advice or tell you what to do; instead they work with you to create goals that will be achievable and most importantly, inspiring to you. The goals are the client’s. The simple act of telling someone else what they intend to do can make a huge difference in the desire to accomplish it. If someone finds they are putting something off week after week, it is much more obvious in the coaching scenario and is addressed promptly.

Unbiased Input
Friends and family are great sources of support, but unbiased input usually helps clients to see things differently.  We often hear things better from an outsider, than from people close to the situation. Though your best friend may always remind you of your strengths, hearing the same message from an independent observer can be of even greater help.

The Opportunity To Focus On You
Coaching is an opportunity to focus on a client’s dreams and aspirations. It’s sacred time. Often, being busy with family, friends, work and hobbies means the bigger “wants” get left to the side. Coaching can be truly life changing and enable you to carve the space in your life for your goals and what is important to you.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”  Stephen Covey

Personal Development
Coaching can be challenging and hard work, though also rewarding and fun. You will look at yourself honestly and be challenged to push beyond your comfort zone. It will enhance personal development and assist in taking the various areas of your life to the next level.