Can a Life Coach Put You on the Right Career Path in D.C.?
Life coach in D.C.
Career worries? Are things not going well in your personal life? Does achieving your goals seem an insurmountable task? You may need the help of a Washington-area life coach.
Lisa Carey of Carey Coaching in Springfield, Virginia, has seen her profession expand during the last decade, as life coaching has gained popularity among those living in the high-stress and overworked capital region.
“People were a bit confused at first, thinking I was actually a sports coach,” says Carey, who started life coaching back in 2001 after retiring from the Navy. “That’s not really the case anymore.”
It helps that Washington is home to one of the largest international conferences for life coaches held each year and sponsored by the International Coach Federation, a governing body that certifies coaches and works to advance the profession.
So, what does a life coach actually do?
Holding you accountable
Carey sees her job as being an accountability partner. “We hold you to your goals without judging,” she says.
Just as important for successful life coaches is knowing what they shouldn't do for their customers.
“[Certified] coaches know the difference between coaching and therapy,” Carey says. “There’s a clear distinction. I don’t do therapy.”
In the simplest terms, Carey describes a coach as someone who’s going to help you change your future. On theb other hand, a therapist works on deeper issues and focuses much more on your past.
That’s why Carey says having a certified life coach is essential. “It’s a problem when people just say they are a life coach and start working because it’s so easy to cross the line between coaching and therapy,” she says. “Trained coaches know that line.”
Career woes are a top concern for many clients, whether it’s difficulties with a job itself or dealing with the boss or co-workers.
“In the Washington area, we also have a lot people concerned that they are not spending enough time with their family,” she says.
Carey has clients of all ages, but she says most often life coaching clients tend to be in their 30s and 40s. “They are finding that they’re just not happy with what’s happening at this point in their lives,” she says.
Another facet of life coaching that many may find surprising is that sessions don't always have to be conducted in person. About 60 percent of Carey’s current clients, for instance, use her services exclusively over the phone.
“People, I find, are more apt to share over the phone,” she says. “It can be much more freeing because, if I walked by them on the street, I wouldn’t know them.”
Carey charges about $500 a month for life coaching services, which includes a weekly session.
Most clients stay with Carey, on average, for about three to six months. “I tell my clients that my goal is to work myself out of a job.”