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An executive coach is an individual who observes behaviors within an organization, recognizes individual talents, and then mentors employees on better ways to conduct business. A person may become an executive coach for a number of reasons. This career can be fairly financially lucrative, plus many coaches feel that a career in helping people succeed is extremely rewarding. With a little self-motivation and willingness to learn, it is not hard to become an executive coach.
A person who wants to become a coach should consider a number of factors. An executive coach must be willing to go through continuous training. This career also requires you to have the patience and drive to spend a year or more selling yourself and actively pursuing new clients. It also requires the commitment to making the client the primary focus of your coaching.
There are many companies that offer comprehensive training to the person wanting to become an executive coach. These programs not only teach their clients how to coach, but also how to develop business and marketing plans, build up organizational capacity, and learn a variety of new skills related to self-employment. The new coach will then begin ongoing training, which he will draw upon during the course of mentoring. Although they are not necessary, there are certification programs available.
The challenge for a person wanting to become an executive coach is choosing the training and marketing programs that are right for him. When choosing a program, be sure to ask about the median income for coaches who graduate from the program, what business-building skills they teach, and what continued ongoing support is available after the training program. It is important to find a program that addresses all aspects of coaching and has available testimonials from previous students.
Once you have completed training, the next step is marketing yourself and obtaining clients. This is the biggest challenge in the first few years of being an executive coach. Obtaining clients can be a challenge, and early customers often do not pay the full rate. Being an expert in a field is one thing, but getting paid what you are worth is another.
Marketing, contact management, and visibility relations can all be helpful when beginning as an executive coach. Internet marketing can be an inexpensive and effective tool. Writing articles, involvement in social media, blogging, and forum posting can all help the new coach to gain exposure and bring in new clients.
@ BabaB - I have to agree with you on some points. Careers in executive coaching are fairly new, and were not too well accepted. But in the last few years, executive coaches have become better trained. They have learned how to market successfully to clients and have discovered how to coach using new and better techniques.
A friend of mine told me her story. She quit her job with a large corporation and found an excellent course in executive coaching. After getting her certification, she tried hard to get clients, with little success.
Then her former company hired her to work part time as an executive coach. She was fairly happy with what she accomplished. But she decided she needed to do more research to figure out how to help her clients.
After devoting five years to learning how to be an executive coach, she finally became established and started making good money.
It's a long and challenging journey, but with persistence, it can reap big rewards in wages and job satisfaction.
It seems to me that becoming an executive coach would be a long road. The training part and getting a certification is probably the easier part. But I would think it would be quite a challenge to find clients who will keep you employed for the long haul.
I'm not sure how a coach from the outside could work with employees in companies without being concerned about stepping on the toes of managers.
I know that life coaches working with individuals to groom them in various way, can be pretty successful. But I'm not so sure about helping employees in companies.