Before you start as a coach | uExcelerate | Leadership Development Platform

Before you start as a coach

Contributed by: Deepak Swahney, Executive Coach

Mr Mahesh Sharma, 56, was a professor living in North India, with three children at home. He wanted to find a new career. Mrs Sharma wanted to pursue a new challenge. So, both decided to become life coaches.

A L&D corporate professional went on to take up a coaching certification program in 2010 with a view to enrich and grow his career. That skill came handy when he decided to quite corporate world in 2013. The coach certification acted as a parachute and helped him land safely and running on the ground.

Between 2015 and 2019, the female shares of coach practitioners rose across all regions except the Middle East and Africa. The largest increase was in Asia, up by seven percentage points from 52% in 2015 to 59% in 2019.

The global annual average revenue earned by coaches is USD 47,100. Almost three in four coach practitioners (74%) currently hold a credential or certification from a professional coaching organization, up from 70% in the 2016 study.

The non-profit International Coach Federation, which is considered the main accrediting and credentialing body for both training programs and coaches, estimated in its 2020 Global Coaching Study that there were 71,000 coaches worldwide.

The numbers have no doubt increased, said Magdalena Mook, executive director of the federation. “Every year we’re looking for signs of levelling, but it keeps growing in different parts of the world,” Ms. Mook said. “Asia is booming now.”

So, what is fuelling the boom? It is plain and simple – demand and supply.

India is still underserved market that needs qualified and certified coaches. At the last count (Aug 2020) globally there were 42,786 credentialed coaches in 147 countries. Of these Asia had 9% while North Americas had 47%.

India has only about 766 credentialed coaches (ACC-PCC-MCC) for a population of 1.34 billion while North Americas (Bermuda, US Canada & Greenland) had 20,188 coach. Singapore has more than 700 coaches. The figures tell us the potential of growth as mentioned by Ms Mook. Pre- Pandemic the coaching was virtual to the extent of 60-65%. Now it is almost 100%. That means that coaches can potentially market themselves and acquire clients globally.

In India there may be at least 30-40% coaches who are inside the companies (HR / L& D professionals). It means that potential to have many more coaches operating independently / freelancing is huge domestically.

If this career option is worth exploring and exciting for you, the way is to get the training and get certified. To be accredited by the International Coach Federation, a training program must meet a number of criteria. Those desirous of understanding more, exploring an alternative career, adding to the competencies to enhance career growth prospects may reach out to the author Deepak Swahney.

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