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Life Coaching

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching helps clients to determine and achieve their personal goals. It is usually a one on one approach and life coaches use a variety of methods to help clients determine their goals and how to reach them. For example, they may apply mentoring, values assessment, behaviour modification, behaviour modeling and goal setting techniques. A lot of these techniques are similar to those used in executive coaching or management and leadership training.

Note: coaching is not targeted at psychological illness, and coaches are not therapists, although some may have this training. Please check their qualifications and experience with the individual coach.

For more information, please read the following:

How to find the right coach

Personal experience

Example of the values assessment method for you to try.




How to find the right life coach:

There are two main options:

  • Face to face coaching

  • Remote (Online or telephone) coaching.

The former is more expensive, but more personal and you know exactly who you are working with. Online coaching will be a cheaper and maybe more practical option if you have children at home, but is definitely less personal.

To find a coach, you can look in the local yellow pages, or search online in your area.

The key things to consider are whether you can talk to the individual and if they are in the local area or easy to access. Costs also vary quite dramatically, depending on qualifications and experience and demand.

A lot of coaches will offer a free introductory session so you can see if you would be comfortable working with them, and vice versa. If there is no free session, I suggest a fairly detailed conversation before you commit yourself to determine whether you can talk to the coach and she or he can relate to your issues.

For example, when choosing a coach I wanted to talk to a woman with a reasonable amount of life experience i.e. not too young and someone who has children.

If you look at a web site for a life coach, or coaches, you will often find a description of their objectives. This will give you a basic idea of their areas of focus and expertise. For example, you might be looking at going back into the work force after your children go to school. You will find someone out there who focuses on returning to work and looks at the more 'professional' issues, as opposed to personal or relationship issues.


Personal experience

A few years back, before I was pregnant with number 1, I had a career crisis and finally decided I needed to do something about it. In the past when I became fed up or disillusioned with a job, I’d look for something else, generally a step up with more money, and a fresh start proved to provide fresh challenges and a burst in motivation. However, after my last move, to an IT Management role in the Property business at AMP Henderson, I found the feelings of disillusionment with the corporate world did not disappear. The new team I had were needy and miserable, they felt aggrieved and seemed to think the company owed them something. I personally did not need this. If I was going to deal with a bunch of children, why not go for the real thing?

At this point I started to see a life coach. She was young (in her late twenties), and my first thought was that she didn’t have enough life experience to coach me, but the process was very much a partnership and she worked with me to find the right approach that worked for me.

I stuck at my new job for about 5 months, but then, with the support of my partner, I decided that the only way to work out what I wanted to do with my work life, was to take some time out and try some options.

I resigned from my role and was honest with my boss. Surprisingly enough he seemed to understand, and actually offered to keep me on part time (3 day a week) to allow me to spend two days a week focused on other things. We worked together to find someone to ‘job share’ with me.

The Life Coach addressed personal issues like feelings of uncertainty, motivation and lack of self esteem, but also had a very practical approach. I went home from each session with a list of things to do, and she also spent time between sessions researching various options for me.

I started a Diploma in Event Management (and later gave myself permission to stop as it was not the right option for me), I set up some work experience for myself every Friday at the local pre-school, I joined the gym and every Thursday morning took two hours to myself. No need to try and squeeze it in in the lunch hour or after work.


A taste of coaching





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