Becoming A Coach

The Changing Face of the Coaching Industry: What’s Setting the Next Generation of Life Coaches Apart

The tools of coaching apply across diverse industries. Find out why folks in law, dentistry, human resources, the clergy, and other fields are becoming coaches.

Where Are The Coaches of Tomorrow Coming From? The Answers Might Suprise You

Lumia Coaching CEO Noelle Cordeaux

By Noelle Cordeaux

In my role as CEO of Lumia, I have the privilege of hearing so many inspiring stories each week from people who are considering a career in coaching. I want to share what I’m witnessing in these conversations because it’s a herald of things to come for the entire industry.

More people than ever before are diving into the space of coaching. And it’s not just the usual suspects, either! People from diverse industries such as law, medicine, human resources, dentistry, and social work are finding their way to this work. 

They're enrolling in Lumia’s coach training program from all sectors and walks of life thanks to a steady rise in the credibility and impact of coaching. Word is getting out that becoming a coach is a legitimate career path, with broad application across industries and professions. 

For this blog post, I’d like to highlight just a few of the places folks are coming from, and how the tools of coaching translate in those contexts. 

  • Human Resources & Talent Management
  • Legal Field
  • Health Care & Dentistry
  • Clergy & Spiritual Counselors
  • Career “Second Acts” and Retirement Side-Hustles
  • Intersectional Identities

Let’s dive in!

Human Resources & Talent Management

This one isn’t necessarily new - in many organizations, the connection between coaching and human resources is well established. But what’s driving many people with backgrounds in human resources toward careers in coaching themselves is often personal. 

For many HR professionals, coaching provides a more psychologically pleasant option to layer onto a foundation of talent management. Coaching is often also a more generative tool for addressing organizational dynamics, company values, and employee retention.

The questions that are asked in the space of coaching are strength based, and rooted in a growth mindset. Unsuprisingly, coming from this framework just tends to be a much happier way for people to work.

One of our instructors in the Lumia life coach training program is a prime example of this. Karyn Edwards, Ph.D, PCC. Karyn’s background is in corporate Human Resources and Organizational Development, and her initial catalyst for becoming a coach was frustration with systems and processes that retain the status quo. 

She’d achieved career success but not fulfillment and certainly not to the level of her potential. So, she turned her attention to her strengths and talents toward having authentic generative conversations and helping people grow. (And we’re so glad she did!)

Want to hear more of Karyn’s story? If so, you can catch her recent interview on the Boxer Conversations with Coaches podcast.

Legal Field

Another area that’s caught my attention recently is the role of coaching in the legal profession. We’re seeing more lawyers coming into the space of coaching, listing their International Coaching Federation ACC or PCC credential right next to the J.D.

Coaching for lawyers is a rapidly growing area of specialization. We’re seeing these services being offered in several ways:

  • To help start, grow, market, and manage a successful law practice
  • Career advancement and work/life balance within the legal profession

Lawyers who have gotten credentialed are also applying the tools of coaching to their own practice, expanding their professional offerings to include services such as mediation.

Lumia graduate Charisse Williams is a great example of how people are combining their J.D. with the tools of coaching in fulfilling new ways. You can check out her story here: Midcareer Pivot: From Nonprofit Executive to Leadership Coach.

Health Care

I recently spoke to someone who is a pharmacist who didn't realize that diabetes coaching was a huge and viable field. And that’s not the only area in healthcare where coaching is on the rise!

Coaching to support lifestyle and behavioral changes that produce better health outcomes is an expanding area of practice, particularly in the pre-diagnosis stage. This is because in the time before a health diagnosis such as diabetes, there's often a lot of warning signs and indicators.

A patient is told they need to change XYZ behavior in order to prevent the onset of disease. And even if doing so is in their best interest, implementing and maintaining those changes can be difficult. It’s long been proven that pre-diagnosis coaching is the missing link between the medical model and behavioral health. Patients are more likely to adhere to a treatment plan when they have the assistance of a coach.  

In this example, someone with a background in pharmacology can get a certification in diabetes. It's a beautiful segue for a career, and one that can make a meaningful impact in the lives of others.

And just like the legal field, there’s a space for coaches to serve health care professionals and clinics directly.

One such example is Lumia graduate, Sierra Gonnella. Over the course of her 24 year career in the dental industry, Sierra had sat in every chair you can imagine... except, perhaps, the dentists! She worked her way from entry level sterilization-tech to office manager of a large surgical team before shifting into corporate sales and business consulting to the industry. 

Over the course of those experiences, Sierra acquired a master’s degree worth of insights into what it takes to run a successful dental practice. But she wasn't sure she wanted to stay in it another decade. When Sierra started her training at Lumia, she thought she’d be retiring from dentistry to reinvent herself as a life coach. 

What she found instead was a renewed passion and vigor to serve the dental industry. With her coaching toolkit in hand, she authored her second act. Sierra now coaches and consults for dental practices, helping their teams become more productive, fulfilled, and profitable. 

Clergy & Spiritual Counselors

I had a wonderful conversation recently with a pastor who was concerned about the economic strain that the cost of his salary was putting on his church. With several decades of experience counseling and affirming others, he was considering ways to reframe his relationship with what his ministry could look like going forward. 

Clergy and spiritual counselors from all faiths and traditions are really primed for the work of coaching. Coach training adds a new set of skills to help them walk alongside those they serve. It offers tools and strategies for facilitating generative, positive, strength based conversations that help people explore purpose, meaning, and what it looks like to live in alignment with their highest values.

Coaching is also a natural transition for clergy who are thinking about making a big change in professional direction themselves. One such example comes from Lumia graduate Emily Hedrick. You can explore her story here: From Pastor to Life Coach: How I Reclaimed My Spiritual Identity.

Career 2nd Acts and Retirement Side Hustles

In Lumia’s life coach training program, we see a lot of career 2nd and 3rd acts! We’re also serving more people who are approaching retirement - or are already there - who want to develop a rewarding side hustle. 

These career changers are taking decades of experience and pairing those skills with the tools of coaching. What’s so impactful about this is that many professional backgrounds and disciplines provide a strong foundation to overlay coaching methodology. By adding in coaching, people are able to breath new life into their work while continuing to have an impact in a space that they are already familiar with.

A very common example of this is someone with a corporate leadership background who goes on to become an executive coache. But it’s not limited to the business professions! As one example, Lumia graduate Jen Ammenti transitioned from a career in education to coaching in both educational and non-profit spaces. She mentors instructional coaches; and consults with and coaches school and district administration in systems change with a lens of equity and inclusion. 

For more examples of career-changers and how they did it, explore the blog post Second Act: Making A Mid-Career Transition into Life Coaching.

Intersectional Identities 

Recently, I've been talking to a lot of people interested in coaching who are immigrants to the United States. Their experiences are powerful, and there are two women in particular whose stories captured my heart and soul.

I spoke to one woman from Nicaragua who's been in the US for six years. The other hails from Mexico. Both are single mothers with incredible life stories. Each possessed a deep spirituality, connection to humanity, wisdom, and resiliency. 

When I was talking to these women, it struck me how powerful they are going to be as coaches. Their ability to walk at the intersection of culture and identity is exactly what’s needed in the coaching industry today. 

Those who have left their country of origin, transplanted to another culture, and made it happen possess a worldview and experience that cannot be taught. These women have had to work many times harder just to arrive at a place of saying “I choose coaching. I choose myself, and I choose this professional certification as the path for stability in my life.”

It's been a privilege to be in these conversations, and to serve as a champion of emerging professionals across so many fields and areas of specialization. As a discipline, the opportunity that coaching holds is that it is accessible to people from all walks of life. It is one of the few professional certifications outside of the technology industry where you don't need a high school diploma, a bachelor's degree, or an advanced degree to reach absolute mastery in your field.

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