Designing Your Vision for Your Career Coaching PracticeNovember 22, 2021
Career Professionals… It’s Time to Practice What You Preach!December 9, 2021
What would life be like without friends and family to share in our accomplishments, build us up after setbacks and root us on as we seek to grow? Most of us would agree; not very rewarding. Sharing our lives with others makes life rich and worthwhile. These principles which guide our personal lives are also applicable in our professional life. Having a community to share triumphs and tribulations, ideas and inspiration, and all the experiences in-between, can make any journey more joyful and satisfying.
We routinely advise our clients who are thinking about a new career to network to learn more about it. So when we think about starting our own career practice, why do we think we need to figure it all out on our own? Likely because, just like our clients, the concept of networking conjures up negative connotations for us. So consider shifting your perspective on “networking” to “community building”. We build community when we relate our challenges and successes with those who share a common thread with us. This thread can be anything from blood relative to friend to fellow business owner. As we know from guiding our clients, the list of categories which bind us is as endless as our imaginations. Our communities help us with insurmountable odds and daunting challenges.
When we think of networking as community building, it comes as no surprise then, that during one of our most challenging endeavors; starting a professional career coaching business, community building can also be a game changer. Individuals everywhere are beginning to wake up to the old African adage “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” Whether it be Linkedin Groups, professional association virtual meetups or any variety of other platforms, the days of going it alone to start a career coaching practice can be viewed from where it belongs: the rearview mirror.
What are key elements one can expect out of a community building centered approach to opening a private practice?
For most of us motivation, particularly when it comes to difficult undertakings, is an issue. Motivation is the reason we have for taking action in a particular way. The success of programs from Alcoholics Anonymous to Weight Watchers comes from shared experiences, both good and bad. These shared experiences help provide motivation for individuals to behave in a more healthy, positive and constructive way.
The successful beginnings of a professional career coaching business can be built from these same strengths and insights. Asking a question about what or how to charge clients or sharing an overwhelming sense of feeling stuck in the business building process can open up opportunities for interconnectedness and give others an opening to relate, encourage or share expertise. This feedback can serve to further your motivation to keep going when you feel like giving up, and it makes the other person feel good when they know they have helped you. There is power in the giving and receiving when it comes to matters of motivation.
Effective networking has been shown to involve authentic, empowering relationships. Cultivating relationships in good times ensures that those relationships will be there in the challenging times as well. What could be more of a rollercoaster ride than starting your own business? Opportunity for the highs, lows, and everything in between, abound. Imagine having no one to share a good, or perhaps even more importantly, a small business victory with a group of like-minded peers?
Perhaps you strike up a relationship with a speaker at a conference or someone whose blog you have been following. One can ask this person for fifteen minutes of their time to learn more about things like what their start-up experiences have been, who they would recommend to help you with your website, what are the best certification training programs, or how to balance managing a business with doing the actual coaching work. Maybe you would like another set of eyes on your marketing approach. A person in a community of career professionals could be the ideal person to ask for feedback.
Brainstorming ideas are also among the highlights for a well-built community. The benefits of brainstorming are vast and varied. Sharing ideas for how to tap into your target audience or how to onboard your new clients can be stimulating and bountiful. Innovation and humor can be powerful allies and rewards for engaging in the open exchange of ideas.
Brainstorming builds participation, commitment, loyalty, and interest. It stimulates and unlocks people’s creative talents. Brainstorming also builds self-esteem because people are being asked for their involvement and their input. When brainstorming occurs, you encourage communication and cooperation and this helps relationships form and flourish. Another important payoff is that you will come up with lots of good ideas and they may change the course of strategy you use in building your career coaching practice.
Then there is the anti-depressant effect of connecting with others. At times more potent than a medication, the act of reaching out and connecting can release positive hormones, like endorphins, in the brain that act as a natural mood lifter. There is, after all, more to life than goal directed networking.
People are social creatures. We need one another in the good and not so good times. This has never been more self-evident than the times we are currently living through. The global pandemic has magnified and highlighted these needs. When we rely on each other we find we can manage situations and aspirations at a higher level than when we rely on ourselves alone.
Self-esteem and Confidence
Sharing expertise, feedback and advice, in and of themselves, can be empowering. The old saying “it is better to give than to receive” comes into play. It builds self-esteem and confidence to be helpful to others. We know those are important factors when it comes to starting a successful business, and in life, generally speaking. Confidence and belief in the mission and purpose of our business is key to hanging in there when things don’t go as planned or challenges that invariably arise seem insurmountable.
Fellow business owners supporting each other results in buoying each other up and increasing everyone’s odds of achieving their respective goals. Self-confident people positively influence others more easily with their ideas and direction which is monumentally important when landing a client for a business opportunity.
An Abundance of Career Coaching Opportunity
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to invest in community building when you are starting your own practice. There is an abundance of opportunity when it comes to career coaching. In fact, in this current pandemic climate, many people in the workforce are rethinking what work means to them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) in August 2021 alone, 4.3 million Americans — 2.9% of the entire workforce — quit their jobs. Now being called, “The Great Resignation“, this period in time has caused many to reflect on their careers and purpose which offers more than enough clientele for a large number of career coaches from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. By staying active in a community of like-minded coaches, you can receive and offer client referrals, filling everyone’s pipeline and increasing the chances of clients finding the right coaching fit.
Tapping into community-based groups
There are several community-based groups when it comes to career coaching. One such group has a specific career coaching community built into its program. This comprehensive course has all the tools you need to get started and it has a community building component as career professionals get an education on what they need to make a career coaching business successful.
The course is known as the Empowered Entrepreneur Program. It is an eight-week time investment of a limited number of hours per week, and covers everything from formulating your vision for your practice to information on how to market your services effectively. It is a tremendous “jumping off” point when navigating the challenges that come with starting your own practice.
Individuals taking this course interact directly with instructors who have successful career coaching practices and other like-minded career professionals seeking to start their own practice. You also receive a certification in a proven career coaching toolkit known as My Career Design Studio. Also included in the package are ten user licenses to get your clients motivated to achieve their goals through an assessment of their skills, personality preferences, knowledge and abilities as well as multiple exercises to inspire and clarify what they want in a career. With your guidance, the program is self-paced and results in a number of potential career matches for the clients who utilize it.
Seize the moment
The timing is perfect for career coaches right now. The reality of the global pandemic, and all the resulting employment shifts associated with it, has created a tremendous need for those who know how to guide others through career change. The opportunities of developing a community of important relationships with fellow business owners is ripe for the taking. In many ways the song McCartney and Lennon once wrote “With a little help from my friends” could not be truer today that when it was originally penned all those years ago. Developing connections and sharing your journey with others via community building brings that beautiful tribute to life.
Take this opportunity to register for the Kickstart Your Private Practice or click here to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our team members to determine whether or not this course and certification is a good fit for you.