Should I Be a Life Coach? (5 Reasons To Pursue Life Coaching)

Updated May 30, 2023

Many people set goals to improve different areas of their lives, such as their health, finances, emotional well-being and careers. Life coaches specialize in helping people achieve these goals by implementing processes and holding their clients accountable. If you're passionate about self-development and enjoy helping others, you might consider a career as a life coach

In this article, we explain what a life coach is and help you decide if you should be a life coach by discussing reasons and signs that this might be the right career for you.

What is a life coach?

A life coach is a mentor who helps individuals navigate challenges and reach goals in various areas, like personal development and career. These mentors usually have some expertise in coaching, helping clients visualize their futures and maintain the motivation to see their plans through to completion. They may focus on improving happiness through mindfulness, confidence and stress management. Life coaches can work for coaching or career development companies, but many self-employed life coaches operate their own businesses. Some life coaches have certification, but it's typically optional.

Read more: What Is a Life Coach? (With FAQ)

Should you become a life coach? 13 signs

Here are 13 signs that being a life coach might be right for you:

1. You're a good listener

One of the main roles of a life coach is to listen attentively to their client's concerns, hopes, fears and goals to gain a deep understanding of their unique situation and needs. By doing so, a life coach can help clients develop a customized plan tailored to their circumstances and objectives. They help clients process challenging life events and develop effective relationships, so people who listen intently and respond compassionately may succeed in this role.

Related: 8 Strategies To Improve Your Listening Skills

2. You're a people person

Life coaches must earn their client's trust, so if you easily connect with others, you might be fit for this job. People who enjoy interacting with others and building meaningful relationships can become excellent life coaches.

3. You're a planner

Life coaches help people reach their goals by creating future-oriented action plans. You might appreciate this career if you enjoy making plans and taking action.

4. You understand the importance of habits

Many life coaches help people develop healthy, positive habits in their daily lives. These habits may bring them slowly toward their highest-priority goals.

Related: Research-Backed Ways To Make Habits Stick

5. You're good at motivating people

An important aspect of life coaching is helping people stay focused and motivated as they implement their plans. If you've found success motivating teammates in previous roles, consider leveraging this skill as a life coach.

6. You embrace cultural diversity

Life coaches may work with people from different backgrounds, including people from different cultures and socioeconomic groups. It's critical that you can appreciate people's varying needs and make every client feel comfortable and respected.

Related: What Is Cultural Competence and Why Is It Important? 

7. You reach your goals

Goal-setting and tracking progress are central functions for life coaches. If you're a goal-setter in your career and personal life, you might want to share your methods with others as a life coach.

8. You have sales and marketing skills

Life coaches are often responsible for advertising their services and reaching out to potential clients. Building a successful life coaching business can require relevant skills like negotiation, customer service and social media.

9. You're passionate about self-development

Life coaches specialize in helping individuals set and achieve personal goals, develop effective habits and improve their emotional well-being. You typically work one-on-one with clients to help them identify their strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement and then develop a personalized plan for achieving their goals and improving their overall quality of life.

10. You're patient

Working as a life coach requires patience and empathy as you help your clients navigate their unique challenges. Developing your life requires work and time, so it's essential that you practice patience and help your clients understand that self-development can be a life-long mission.

Read more: The Importance of Being Patient and How To Develop Patience

11. You can give targeted feedback

It's also essential that life coaches give their clients honest, supportive feedback. Coaching can require reviewing progress and adjusting plans that may work less efficiently than you hoped. You're also responsible for helping your clients stay accountable, so the ability to give constructive criticism can be beneficial.

12. You have a positive attitude

People may seek life coaching because they want to adopt a more optimistic outlook on life. Successful life coaches often view challenges as opportunities for growth and look for ways to practice gratitude. 

Related: 9 Effective Ways To Keep a Positive Attitude (Plus Benefits)

13. You have a lot of life experience

As a life coach, it's important that you can give reliable advice about a variety of situations your clients may be facing. While everyone has a unique personal history, and you may be different from some of your clients, having overcome plenty of obstacles in your own life may help you relate to your clients and increase your credibility.

What does a life coach do?

A life coach works with clients to develop personal development strategies to reach their goals and improve their lives. They often specialize in certain areas such as career development, relationships, emotional well-being, health and fitness or spirituality. While a life coach's daily tasks may vary depending on their clients, there are some basic job duties you can expect in this position, including:

  • Meeting with clients one-on-one to discuss goals and progress

  • Helping clients establish short-term and long-term goals

  • Developing actionable plans to improve each client's success

  • Using tools like personality assessments to help clients better understand themselves

  • Having discussions with clients about their thoughts, reactions, emotions and reactions to improve their introspection and self-awareness

  • Tracking each client's progress and holding them accountable for reaching their goals

  • Providing encouragement and support to clients as they work on improving their lives

Read more: Learn About Being a Life Coach

5 reasons to become a life coach

Here are five reasons to become a life coach:

1. Self-employment opportunities

While life coaches can work for a variety of organizations, including treatment and residential care facilities, many life coaches choose to pursue self-employment. If you're interested in running your own business, this position might be a good option for you. Self-employment comes with plenty of perks, including the ability to structure your work environment and run your practice how you see fit.

Read more: 11 Benefits of Self-Employment

2. Flexible schedule

As a self-employed life coach, you can set your hours and schedule sessions with clients during times that work well for you. You may work part-time to balance your career as a life coach and other responsibilities. Many successful life coaches also set aside certain days of the week to focus on administrative tasks, such as invoicing and marketing, to create a routine supporting their business objectives.

Related: Guide to Flexible Work Schedules

3. Remote work opportunities

Technology makes it possible to work with clients virtually. Some clients may prefer to meet with you in person, while others may feel more comfortable scheduling a phone or video call. Offering these options can help you increase the number of clients you can work with and allow you to work from home or other remote locations. This can reduce the time and money you spend commuting to work.

Related: 23 Jobs You Can Do From Anywhere in the World

4. High earning potential

The national average salary for life coaches is $61,676 per year. Your salary may vary depending on the types of services you offer and the number of clients you have. The cost of living in your area and the amount you choose to spend on business expenses, such as marketing materials, may also impact how much you earn in this profession. As life coaches can grow their businesses and pursue new clients, you have some control over your earning potential.

5. Meaningful work

Having a positive impact on your clients' lives can be rewarding. Often, life coaches work with the same clients over several years to help them reach various goals. Taking the time to reflect on their progress can be a fulfilling experience. Hearing about the meaningful impact these changes have on your clients and their family members, friends and colleagues can make working as a life coach a positive and gratifying experience.

Related: 40 of the Most Meaningful Jobs to Pursue

Life coaching skills

Life coaches rely on hard skills, such as knowledge of personality assessments, and soft skills, such as compassion and organization, to work with their clients. Understanding what skills are important in this career field can help you develop them. Here are some additional skills that can help you become a successful life coach:

  • Active listening: Actively listening to your clients can help you establish a personal connection with them and create personalized plans based on their past experiences, current situations, behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and goals.

  • Strategic thinking: Life coaches work with their clients to develop customized plans and strategic objectives to help them reach their goals.

  • Accountability: As a life coach, it's important to track each client's progress and hold them accountable for their actions to ensure they do the necessary work to achieve their objectives.

  • Motivational skills: Having excellent motivational skills can help you encourage clients to overcome challenges and continue working toward their goals.

  • Marketing: The ability to market life coaching services can help self-employed coaches attract new clients and generate revenue.

  • Communication: Honing your communication skills can help you interact with a wide range of clients and use language that resonates with them.

  • Business knowledge: Being self-employed requires some business knowledge to ensure you meet all the necessary regulations to practice as a life coach, file the correct tax forms and maintain the proper documentation.

Related: Essential Coaching Skills for Strong Leadership

Training, education and work experience

Learning about the types of training, education and work experience opportunities available for life coaches can help you prepare for a career in this field:


While you can become a life coach with a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) equivalent, earning an advanced degree can help you develop your skill set. It can also help you foster trust with potential clients. A few suitable majors for a bachelor's degree include psychology, communication, health science or counseling. Some academic institutions even offer psychology programs that specialize in life coaching. A few of the courses you can take to prepare for a career as a life coach include:

  • Developmental psychology

  • Behavioral change techniques

  • Cognitive psychology

  • Statistics

  • Physiological psychology

Taking business management, accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship courses can also be beneficial. These may help you prepare to be a self-employed life coach.


Life coaching is currently an unregulated career field, but there are several certifications you can pursue to differentiate yourself from other life coaches who may offer similar services. Earning credentials is also a great way to establish yourself as a professional, garner respect from colleagues and build trust with clients. When reviewing certification programs, look for accredited and well-respected organizations. The International Coach Federation (ICF) offers several certification options, including:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC): To obtain this certification, you complete 60 hours of coach-specific training, 100 hours of client work, and 10 hours of supervised coaching with a mentor. Candidates also pass the Coaching Knowledge Assessment (CKA) and submit a portfolio documenting their coaching sessions.

  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC): Earning this certification requires you to complete 125 hours of coach-specific training, 10 hours of supervised coaching with a mentor and 500 hours of client work. You also pass the CKA and submit a portfolio documenting your coaching sessions.

  • Master Certified Coach (MCC): To earn this certification, you must complete 200 hours of coach-specific training, 10 hours of supervised coaching with a mentor and 2,500 coaching hours. Before you can apply for the MCC, it's a requirement that you earn your PCC and pass the CKA.

Please note that the companies mentioned in this article are not affiliated with Indeed.

Read more: 6 Types of Life Coach Certifications (Plus What Life Coaches Do)

Work experience

Having previous work experience in a role related to the services you offer as a life coach can help you relate to your clients and provide accurate advice. For example, if you plan to offer leadership, career or business coaching, having experience working in a management role may be beneficial. Other career fields you might explore to gain experience include psychology, health and wellness and therapy. Consider what topics you're passionate about and look for internships or entry-level opportunities in related career fields to get started.

You can also attend coaching seminars to learn new skills and techniques. These events provide an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry who may provide referrals and support in the future.

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6 Types of Life Coach Certifications (Plus What Life Coaches Do)

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