Be the Change Careers

New Year, New Career Coaching Practice for You?

A new year brings with it another chance to write a new chapter in this book called life. The last few years have been challenging but it seems as though the worst of the pandemic is behind us and we have a more hopeful future on the horizon. Maybe this is the year you make big changes in your personal or professional life. 

Perhaps you are a career development professional working for an organization and have been thinking about opening up a private career coaching practice. Imagine being your own boss, setting a schedule that works for your lifestyle, encouraging and guiding individuals to realize their professional dreams.

What does it take to set and keep a New Year’s resolution of building a career coaching practice? In many aspects, it’s not so different from making other significant life changes based on a resolution.

New year’s resolutions are popular, even when they tend to fizzle after a couple of months (or weeks), because our brains are easily programmed for “new beginnings”. When the calendar page signals a new year, we see possibilities anew and get a clean slate to try something fresh.

How do you keep yourself on track and from fizzling out? Let’s take a few tips from motivation research.

Share your resolution with others

Research shows whether you’re trying to stick to a new budget or embark on a new career making a statement publicly is significant. For new careers, the positive effect of sharing your resolution is two-fold. Not only are you more likely to stick to it if you’ve made a public declaration, you also will letting your support network know about your plans and they are likely to start sending client referrals your way.  Spreading the word can lead to new opportunities.

See obstacles as opportunities

Ronda Ansted, creator of KYPP and MCDS, states “that as many as 70% of people worldwide are in jobs where they are burned out, disengaged, bored and not using their talents and skills to their full potential.” Think of all the human potential that is wasted by this reality. This is your opportunity to change that!

Starting any new endeavor is an exercise in overcoming a certain amount of futility and staying motivated to stay on course. Make sure to keep your goals exciting and realistic at the same time.

Research by Gabriele Oettingen suggests that achieving goals is a four-part process: 

Break down your resolution into achievable steps

One of the keys to mastering change is to set small goals. Even setting aside 15 minutes a day to plan can add up when it comes to taking on a new challenge like starting a career coaching practice.

Think and plan strategically

Be strategic in your approach. Research and learn from the experts what the best practices are toward achieving your desired outcome. Working with smaller goals and continually taking small discreet steps will make your progress more effective than trying to make an extreme overhaul of your objective. Be intentional with your time. Schedule your new activities and keep those commitments.

Track your progress

Short term goals are easier to accomplish and reaching them will help you to stay motivated. Consider creating a system to track your goals. Tracking new habits can assist in creating and keeping new behavioral patterns that will lead to your success.

Be forgiving of your pitfalls

Mistakes and shortcomings are a fact of life. However, when we pounce on ourselves for not living up to our expectations, we can inadvertently make things worse. Instead, try to practice self-compassion in the same way you would be compassionate with a friend and take a moment to learn from what happens. Seek to turn your obstacles into opportunities for growth.

Celebrate your wins

Take stock and time to celebrate your cumulative goals as well. If you had a week where you met your daily objectives, get excited and plan a reward for yourself. Maybe it’s something as simple as a relaxing hot bath, getting a pedicure or making time to call a loved one. Keep it interesting and meaningful to your life.

Practice this on a regular basis and find what methods work for you. Did you spend fifteen minutes today on an online forum for career coaches? Celebrate your achievement! Even a small victory can bring about a big change.

Positive psychology and neuroscience research indicate that if you take a moment to raise your hands up and shout woohoo that can be a big boost to keep you motivated and having ownership of your achievements at the same time.

Keep moving towards your goals

Making a career transition to starting your own private practice is not as straightforward as going to the gym every day. You may have to frequently adjust your strategy or your goals as you build your practice and make the shift toward a new professional life.

So, if you find yourself running out of gas, do whatever it takes to keep moving in a positive direction. Whether it’s practicing self-compassion or taking a break, be sure to move from burnout to a positive stance and try again! You may need some additional support. Find a way to give that to yourself. Ask for help or partner with a mentor in the career coaching field.

This could be the year you begin your dream of working for yourself and starting your own career coaching practice. How exciting! Step outside your comfort zone and give some of these suggestions a shot. If you’re wondering how to take the first small step, you might want to check out our Kickstart Your Private Practice (KYPP) program where you can learn from our successful career coaches on the most effective ways to start your practice. A new completely self-paced online format of the KYPP will be rolling out later this year. It features instructional videos, articles, templates, and thought exercises that will take you step-by-step through the private career coaching practice development process. Take the reins in 2023 and discover the meaningful journey of embracing a new professional life as a career coach. 

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