Resource Guides

2022 Life Coaching Industry Trends

Lumia CEO Noelle Cordeaux discusses emerging industry trends, and how to make the most of these opportunities for your coaching business.

March 17, 2022

The Business of Life Coaching

Lumia CEO Noelle Cordeaux

You’re not imagining it. As a society, we have been living through the greatest disruption to life as we know it in a generation. 

Now here’s the good news: the coaching profession is poised to emerge as a hope based change agent in a time of immense global need. And as a coach, you’re located directly inside this center of possibility. 

So let’s take a look at what’s possible for 2022!

In this update, I'll cover thirteen trends that you'll want to be aware of, with some ideas around how to incorporate this knowledge into your coaching business.

Trends for 2022

1) Wellness is shifting from a “feel-good” luxury to a survival essential as people seek tools for resilience 

As we emerge from the backdrop of the pandemic, individuals will increasingly be focusing on services that help them connect to peace, health, and meaning. This trend heralds a busy future for all different types of transformational coaches: from relationships, to fitness, to career. 

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

2) Wellness is the newest metric that organizations use to measure, retain, and entice employees 

A 2020 Gartner survey found that 94% of companies made significant recent investments in their wellness programs. For coaches, this means an influx of new opportunities at the organizational level. 

Wellness isn’t just about how you feel anymore. In order to more accurately predict employee performance and retention, organizations are now seeking new tracking measures to capture the financial health, mental health, and physical health of their employees. Coaching in these key areas spells big business.

Source: Kropp and McRae

3) Partnerships and collaboration signal a shift in the way that values are aligned with consumerism. This offers big opportunities for the entrepreneurial coach

Brands and practitioners are teaming up to show their audiences that they care, are committed to certain values, and represent new ideals. From on-demand meditation apps collaborating with airlines for a wellbeing-oriented inflight experience, to major shoe and apparel companies teaming up to create sustainable products for consumers, the power of collaboration is infinite and visible. 

For coaches everywhere, this can be mirrored on the local scale. Look to connect with others in your community who share your values or could offer services to your niche population. Creative partnerships and collaborations increase visibility for everyone involved.

Source: WellToDo  

4) Coaching is beginning to reach historically underserved populations 

Now more than ever before, very specific populations are looking for the right fit with a coach to support them in overcoming systemic barriers. Some examples of what this looks like in the coaching marketplace include:

  • BIPOC focused service providers
  • Coaches who work exclusively with female executives
  • Sexuality coaches: kink, poly, pleasure
  • End of life coaching
  • Coaches who serve seniors looking to start a third, forth, or fifth career

As a coach, you can expect that these and other niche populations will be more actively seeking out visible and trusted voices to help them reach their goals. 

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

5) Credentialing counts

What this means for coaches is that folks with legitimate credentials in evidence-based models are highly in demand. Those with visible and recognizable credentials are on the forefront of elevating the field of coaching, and will see a surge of job openings, especially as insurance is starting to cover coaching as a validated modality that bookends other health interventions.

Coaches trained in the art and science of motivating people … have been the missing link in both healthcare and wellness. Change is here: Training programs and standards are growing fast, new medical models are making the coach as central as the doctor, an explosion of digital health platforms are putting behavioral coaching at the center, and the wellness world may be slowly waking up to their power.” - Global Wellness Summit 2022

If you’re a coach who hasn’t completed ICF accredited training and credentialing, now’s the time to consider making that investment. Doing so now is likely to pay dividends, opening up even more career opportunities in the years to come.

6) Renewal through nature remains a hot topic

Coaches can expect clients to be looking for retreats and experiences where they can learn a new land-based skill, or immerse themselves in the natural world. If you’re offering retreats, take note that the regenerative farm is becoming more important to many consumers than a spa/resort experience.

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

7) People want to manage their finances with more intention 

Across all age groups, financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19 created both hardship and awareness around individual financial wellness. As a result, people are exploring how they can take greater control over their finances. Financial literacy and financial fitness coaching is a service that is growing, particularly with niche populations such as women and BIPOC folks. Financial management is also becoming a focus for corporate offerings to employees.

Source: WellToDo  

8) Mindfulness is more than a trend

Meditation and mindfulness have shown staying power for coach practitioners as an in-demand service. Enterprising coaches can look for inroads into the multi-billion-dollar meditation and mindfulness niche. A proliferation of apps, studios, and new technology are swarming the market to cater to anxiety-ridden, burnt out, and overworked humans.

Source: WellToDo  

9) People want a lot more joy in their lives

“Cultivating Creativity” is emerging as a trend for coaches to take note of. Coming out of the pandemic, people increasingly want to sing, write, and make art. Many don’t know where to begin, and coaches can help these individuals overcome beginner’s imposter syndrome to fully embrace joyful self expression.

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

10) Empathy and relationship building are becoming must-have management skills

As managerial tasks continue to become more automated, space is emerging for managers and HR professionals to focus more capacity on developing relationships with employees. Not only that, but the disruption of the past several years has made it clear that organizations must do a better job of meeting employees in their full humanity if they want to sustain a high performing workforce.

We know that the employee-supervisor relationship has a huge impact on overall satisfaction at work, and yet most managers say that they have never been trained on the human elements of communication and empathy required for trust building and employee engagement. Skilled trainers and coaches will be in high demand as businesses struggle to close the gap between organizational cohesion and the skill sets required for effective management.

Source: Kropp and McRae

11) Men need support in learning how to embody the healthy masculine

Toxic masculinity is now being seen and understood as a threat to the physical and mental health of men and boys. Recent trends in men’s health towards positive body image and diverse gender expression, along with building empathy and relational skills, offer the opportunity for men’s coaches to take up valuable space in this important conversation.

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

12) Integrative health is becoming part of how (and where!) we live

Wellness real estate is booming, and with it the need for coach practitioners who can provide insight into how to design and build communities that serve the whole person. 

“Wellness lifestyle real estate is a nascent industry that recognizes, and has the potential to meet, today’s immense health challenges. It represents a shift that explicitly puts people’s wellness at the center of the conception, design, creation and redevelopment of our homes and neighborhoods.” - Global Wellness Institute

In terms of immediate opportunities, there’s an increasing call for staffing and programming within existing communities (such as senior centers, condo complexes, and other shared living environments) for lifelong learning, exercise, health education and disease management, food and nutrition education and preparation, along with intergenerational programs linking youth and older adults.  

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

13) We aren’t done shaking things up

Social indicators such as the “Great Resignation,” record retirements, and global nomadism reveal profound commitments to work/life balance and personal growth and happiness. As the global search for meaning continues to expand, coaches who are able to serve as socio-emotional guides have a space to fill.

Source: Global Wellness Summit 2022

Want to learn more about the $4.5 trillion wellness industry, and how your work as a coach fits within it? Check out our resource guide: The Wellness Economy: What Life Coaches Need to Know

Works Cited in this article:

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