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Coaching Careers: Executive Coach vs. Life Coach

All coaches use the same skill sets to help people achieve their full potential, but specialized coaching careers allows you to select a path based on your own strengths and interests – either as an executive coach or life coach. An executive coach helps clients achieve professional goals and feel confident making bolder business moves. A life coach helps people achieve their goals, find happiness and improve their relationships.

Even within the two fields, there are multiple possibilities for specialization. You may choose to specifically be a relationship coach or a career transition coach. Regardless of your particular client base, all coaches use the same 11 core competencies, including ethics, client trust, powerful questioning and goal setting.

“One of the most exciting parts about coaching is that the core competencies, or core coaching skill set, is actually universal,” says Dr. Sheila Boysen, Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership at Lewis University. “So you have an opportunity to explore the types of clients you’re most passionate about working with and most passionate about making a difference for.”

Whatever field of coaching you’re interested in, an on-campus or online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership at Lewis University can prepare you for this career.

What is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching is helping people grow professionally. Clients’ professional development and aspirations are at the core of an executive coach’s job. Clients are often already in leadership roles, with either formal or informal influence over other people, and seek guidance to help them make good decisions. Other clients might seek out an executive coach to get professional feedback or for help with career advancement.

What is a Life Coach?

Life coaching is helping people achieve goals in their personal lives. Life coaches help clients identify and change things that are holding them back from the lives they want. Within this category, there are many specialized paths a life coach can take – for instance, as parent, marriage or working mom life coach.

“Maybe you personally struggled as a working mom and you find fulfillment in coaching others in that arena specifically,” said Dr. Boysen, adding that such a personal preference could help you choose your path.

Choosing a Coaching Career Path

A career in coaching starts by first deciding which path is right for you based on your interests. Is there a particular type of problem or goal you’re passionate about helping people with? You may also develop these interests as you progress in your coaching career.

Dr. Boysen notes that coaches tend to deal with most any issue that may arise in their clients’ lives, whether or not that problem is in your chosen field. You will need to be prepared for professional issues as a life coach and personal issues as an executive coach.

As a coach, you will be a part of a growing, in-demand profession regardless of which specialized path you may choose. Over time, the coaching field has gained increased awareness as the general public has become better versed in the benefits of having certified, professionally trained coaches.

Are You Considering a Career in Coaching?

Lewis University offers an M.A. in Organizational Leadership degree with a Professional and Executive Coaching Concentration, as well as an 18-credit hour Graduate Certificate in Professional and Executive Coaching. The programs allow you to gain the education and certification credentials to enter a people-oriented career helping others achieve their true potential.

Watch our recorded Virtual Open House to discover more about the Professional and Executive Coaching programs at Lewis University. Call (866) 967-7046 to speak with a Graduate Admission Counselor today or request for more information.