Case Study

From Marketing and Events to Full Time Coach: Meet Laura C, Life and Career Fulfillment Coach

From overcoming personal challenges to building thriving businesses and making a profound impact on others, Laura's story will inspire you!

In our Case Study series, we're diving into the personal journeys, the real-life ups and downs, and the unique paths of Lumia graduates. Discover how real coaches found their way to coaching, built their businesses, and get clients!

Every interview is a window into the life of someone who has embraced coaching as a way to not only change their own lives, but also to impact others. These conversations are about connection, growth, and the diverse ways each coach brings their authentic self to this meaningful and important work. 

From Marketing and Events to Full Time Coach: Meet Laura, Life and Career Fulfillment Coach

Today’s interview is with Laura Criscione, ACC, a career and fulfillment coach dedicated to empowering women who feel stuck in unfulfilling 9-5 jobs to gain the confidence and clarity needed to embark on careers that excite them. 

With a diverse background that includes three distinct careers in five years, experience as a corporate recruiter, and a personal journey overcoming chronic pain, Laura brings a wealth of knowledge and empathy to her coaching. She is passionate about mental health and believes in the power of aligning one’s work with their personal identity to achieve career fulfillment.

Laura advocates for a life and career designed on one's own terms, supported by accountability and a supportive community. Today, Laura is fulfilled and aligned in her work, committed to guiding others to discover their career purpose and achieve their greatest potential.

You can connect with her here.

Please introduce yourself and describe your niche as a life coach.

My name is Laura Criscione and I am an ACC-credentialed coach. I am a life and career fulfillment coach in the mental health industry. 

What’s your professional background?

Before I found coaching I was in marketing and events and I was really not happy in that area. That job wasn't aligned with who I was, and I didn't realize this until a couple of years later when I started searching for something more.

During that time of unfulfillment, I found coaching. I never heard of coaching before, but I was so curious about it. As I experienced coaching, I was so fulfilled working on myself being in a community working towards these goals.

I knew after I finished that coaching program that I couldn't go back to the way it was. I'd already learned all these new things about myself and a new way of being and living. 

I was really scared to say that I wanted to be a coach, that was a different path that I had never considered.

Now, I am an ICF ACC Certified Coach. I do life and career fulfillment coaching with my own clients and then I work as a contracted coach through a mental health company called Spring Health. I really like that because I can have my own style of coaching that I've developed over the past couple of years and put that into practice, working with this company.

Can you share a personal success story since completing the program?

The fact that I'm still going. I started my business during the pandemic, literally March 2020, when everything was new and crazy. Continuing this journey, despite all the ebbs and the flows and the peaks and the valleys. There were so many times when I thought “I don't know if I can do this. This is hard.”

Now I'm coaching for a company as a contractor, which is what my goal was back in 2019. That's a success story – I made it, I achieved the goal that I had for myself.

How has the program improved your communication and relationships with friends, family or colleagues?

Immensely. My active listening skills are always on. It gives my friends the space to just talk, to get everything out when they're going through some challenges in life, and to not feel I have the answers, because I don't have the answers.

I've definitely been using my coaching skills in my everyday life. At work, in my old job, talking to coworkers, talking to my manager – it makes the other person feel more validated and safe to express what they need to, instead of giving advice all the time.

I use it across the board in all my relationships and it's helped a lot.

I've struggled with chronic pain and migraines for about 10 years. Using my coaching skills to reframe my mindset when it came to pain, or when it came to fears of getting sick.

Right now in my life I'm focusing on not being afraid of exercise anymore because in the past, I would get sick if I exercised too hard. It's really about a small incremental change and then evaluating, is that working for me? If it's not, what can I do differently? It's going back to that growth mindset, your perspective can be shifted and changed over time. I learned that from Lumia. 

How has your self-confidence as a person or professional improved since becoming a certified coach?

I hit all of my coaching goals since becoming a contracted coach through a company. And that just builds on your confidence – “I can do hard things. I can do really hard things that I just dreamt up a couple of years ago!”  

I realized the more you coach, the more confident you'll become. Practicing with people or working with your clients, your confidence goes right up. I've become more confident this year because I'm working with clients more regularly now than in the past years. It proves to me that I can do this. I'm much more confident now.

Can you describe any changes in your work-life balance since completing the Lumia program? If so, what changed?

My struggles with migraines and chronic pain – that was honestly probably half of the reason I wanted to become a coach because I knew long term I need to take care of my body. The standard 9 to 5 was not working for me. 

My health has always been top priority for me because my body would literally tell me when I've done too much. Work-life balance is super important to me. I started putting myself and my health first in a lot of different aspects.

Going through this process, becoming a coach – it just reinforced to myself that it's okay to carve your life the way you need to for yourself. 

What life change are you the most proud of as a result of implementing your coach training skills?

Becoming an entrepreneur and doing this not knowing where it can go, what it will look like in the future, and being okay with that.

It goes against the grain of what we're used to in that sense. The biggest thing I realized was a couple of times when I've been looking for jobs and coaching, a lot of the jobs where you can coach, sometimes you can't coach in your own business if you want to coach full time for a company. 

I've had to make the decision a couple of times of what's most important to me. And it's always led to my business, which I did not realize was so important to me.

The life change was that I never saw myself as an entrepreneur when I was younger. Now it's something that's really important to me. 

Can you share a client success story?

One of my favorite clients overcame some major challenges through coaching, and recently landed a director-level role making $30,0000 more – all within a few months of working together. She was so, so happy, so excited, she said, “I didn't think that this transformation was possible.” I was so excited to work with her and to witness her growth.

What coaching roles are you seeing in the workplace?

Companies are definitely more interested in people who have their ICF credentials. That opens up a lot more interviews and opportunities there. 

I’m seeing more coaching roles focusing on mental health in the corporate setting for employees. A lot of these companies want you to be certified. They want to know that you have the training, you have the credentials, you know what you're doing and you know how to support a client.

There’s a lot of opportunity to pitch yourself to companies, to colleges. Focusing on personal development, career purpose and maybe you wouldn't have been able to without that certification or credentialing.

Where do you find coaching jobs?

Everywhere, all over LinkedIn. There's so many career coaching roles. I see that a lot. I also see some life coaching and relationship coaching roles. I've seen really big companies that are hiring full-time life and career coaches. And some smaller companies who are doing wellness coaching, emotional coaching, and relationship coaching.

I see the most roles on LinkedIn and then some on Indeed. So they are out there, so set an alert so you see them!

How have your coaching skills impacted your workplace, team or organization?

I was a recruiter and I loved to use my coaching skills in my recruiter role. I would do a lot of interviews with candidates, and I would integrate my own coaching questions into the interviews, which would make them think in new ways. It helped me as a recruiter to see if this is a good role for the candidate, but also helped them to see if it was a good role for them. 

How have you helped others grow as a result of implementing coaching skills?

The biggest one is more confidence in themselves, which translates into so many other areas of life. I still follow some of my clients on social media and see them making changes even after we've finished coaching that are really impactful!

What aspects of the Lumia coaching training program do you find most valuable?

The classes and how diverse they were. The community – I can talk about that forever. I'm still close friends with people that I met. It's so nice to have friends all over the country that we can still catch up, even if it's been months.  If I needed to reach out to anybody, it's not even a question. You connect with these people on such a deep level. We are all just rooting for each other, for each other's happiness, for each other's success. That's such a wonderful environment to be in.

It can be really hard for people to find that type of environment. How can you not grow, honestly, in an environment where everybody is supportive of your growth? It's telling, the people that Lumia attracts. I got so lucky with my cohort, I loved every single person in there. If you want to become an entrepreneur, and create your own business, you need people to support you and to have that support not only when you're in the coach training, but after, when things start getting real. 

I feel so much better when I have catch-up calls with my friends through Lumia because it really grounds me. I have somebody who knows what I'm going through.

How would you describe the quality of the instructors and curriculum?

They are diverse in all senses. People of all different levels of expertise, in teaching styles, in backgrounds. Every coach has their own style and flair and knowledge, and it gives you a really well-rounded foundation. They hit on every single possible point of where you could go in your coaching business.

What sets Lumia apart from other coach training programs you may have considered? Which programs?

Usually, I am the person who likes to see all my options and the pros and cons, which one is best. 

I looked at Lumia and I looked at one or two others – I just had this gut feeling that stood out to me and I said this is it. 

I just felt so aligned with what Lumia stood for, their values, what they wanted to do, how they wanted to help people, how they wanted to help coaches help people. 

How has the ongoing support of Lumia contributed to your success as a coach?

The continued education and support after graduating has been huge. Being connected in the online group, and connecting with people that I wouldn't have before if we were in different cohorts, having friends that work through the program with me has been huge.

I got a client referral from the online group because everyone is giving each other referrals – it happens literally all the time. I've had people tag me in those posts saying, “Hey, this is your niche, would you be interested in something like this?” 

Would you recommend Lumia to others?

Lumia changed my life, and I don't say that lightly. It was a pivotal moment for me to find a career and a program that I felt so aligned with. I'm so thankful for the people that I met during the process. 

Lumia can change your life in ways that you wouldn't expect. 

If you're looking for a supportive coach training program that gives you all the foundational knowledge, that will help you become a certified coach, that will help you expand your career in new ways and future-proof your career, while also building up a community and support system to help you get there, then please look no further.

Having people supporting you on your own timeline of growth and just being there for you was amazing.

You have to work at it and spend time and effort to learn this stuff. But Lumia helped you every step of the way. The program was laid out beautifully. I still have my notes and I'm still going through them over and over and over again because there's so much supportive knowledge there. 

If this is what you want to do long term, whether you want to coach in your own business, or you want to coach for a company, ICF credentialing is the way to go. There are so many more opportunities out there!

How do you get coaching clients?

From referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, which is great for people who don't like social media and don't want to do that whole side of marketing of their business. 

I asked my previous clients for referrals if they knew anybody. Through Lumia, I've gotten a couple of clients through the online student group. And then just from previous clients, they work with me and they introduce me to other people who could use my services.

What was unexpected about becoming a coach?

When we start this coaching journey, we have a lot of ideas and maybe dreams of what this will look like and If it doesn't go that way we can get really derailed and get really scared and back off.

If your goal is to become a coach and you want to build a business just know that you will make mistakes along the way. That's just part of the process. Don’t let that hinder you.

Building my business was a one-way ticket to facing all of my fears and the limiting beliefs that I didn't know were there. I will always be working through them, but I found new ways to maneuver around them. That stuff is going to come up a lot and that is 100% okay.

Rely on your friends that you met in your coaching program because they will help you navigate those hiccups and those little bumps along the road. 

What recommendations would you make to someone who wants to be a successful coach?

The biggest thing that you really need during this process is support. We all know we can't do things alone. And having people in your corner during this process is huge. People that you meet during coaching programs or through other communities that you have and are on the same journey as you, I would say it's really important to have one to three strong connections that you continually build and to work with them as you build your business.

In my personal friend group, I'm the only person who's building a business. So it can feel very lonely and very confusing, but if you have people who are also doing the same things that you are doing, it is incredibly, incredibly, incredibly helpful. Start to build those relationships and see who you just vibe with and who you want to continue to talk with after maybe this program or after the community has ended to help each other on this journey.

Get a coach yourself because there are going to be hiccups and there's going to be challenges along the way and having more support on this journey is always better. I've had coaches along the way through different times in my life, through my business, and it's been incredibly helpful. 

Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, because challenges are going to arise and coaching and building a business are two different things. That took me a while to learn that, and that's fine, but taking these one step at a time and knowing that you're learning maybe two different skill sets at the same time – is amazing and should be celebrated, but it takes time and energy to figure out exactly what you want this to look like. I'm still figuring out exactly what I want my coaching business to look like.

What would you tell someone who wanted to become a coach?

I wanted to become a coach, because I always wanted to learn. If you always want to learn and you're one of those people, then this is the career path for you. 

It's not just something where you just stop learning and you coast. There’s always more learning, personal development and growth.

Thinking of Pivoting Your Career to Become a Coach?

Take Laura as an example – a lot of talented people like you dream of having a coaching business, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. At Lumia, we train and certify adventurous coaches, making sure you’ve got all you need to build a business you love and transform lives, on your terms. If you're ready to learn more, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training!

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