How to work as a coach after qualification

A question that often arises when you’re thinking to train as a coach is what opportunities exist after qualification. It’s worth saying that coaching is essentially a skill, and a quality of being with someone, and as such it can be used in a wide range of contexts and with an almost endless range of clients.

However, in a nutshell, we see five key routes where people tend to take their coaching skills.

Become an independent coach

Many people who join Animas do so because they want to become an independent coach. In other words, they want to build a full or part-time practice that exists outside of their work or even replaces it.

As an independent coach, you get to choose when, where, with whom and how you work, and you create ways to find your own clients.

Many of our students want to become full-time, self-employed coaches but wisely start by creating a part-time practice around their current work, offering some stability as they gain experience, confidence and a sustainable way of securing clients. This is certainly our advice though we have also see our qualified coaches take a leap straight to full-time self-employment and, with the right tenacity, it can work.

What we see for sure is that, though not easy, the route to become an independent coach is one that inspires joy, meaning and fulfillment.

Internal coach

Many organisations either employ full-time coaches to work in-house or, more usually, allow individuals within their workforce to coach as part of their role. Typically, this is referred to as “internal coaching” and an excellent book on the subject is: Internal Coaching by Katherine St John-Brooks.

Internal coaches will need to gain excellent coaching skills as well as being able to navigate the difficult boundaries between possibly being coach, manager and colleague to the same person. Often, though, large organisations have devised ways to avoid such role clashes and internal coaching is become a truly professional space for development.

Typically internal coaches are developed from within a business and offered training such as the Animas Accredited Diploma in Transformational Coaching but such roles are becoming increasingly available through external recruitment. If you think this route might be for you, accreditation is likely to be vital.

Coach within your workplace role

Another way people use coaching is within their existing role to expand or improve the impact you have and the way you work.

Coaching often dovetails well with leadership roles, management, HR, learning and development, teaching, the caring professions and more. Many coaches starting out will combine coaching within their workplace with a small, independent practice built alongside.

The Animas course will certainly support such a use of coaching but we do believe that our course is more suited to those who want to use coaching as a standalone activity whether as an independent coach or internal coach, rather than as a layer over the top of everyday management skills.

Adding to an existing service or business

A significant trend in coaching nowadays is that of integration.

Coaching is becoming very popular as an addition to existing services and more and more practitioners from therapy, counselling, complementary health, consulting, fitness and body-mind approaches like yoga are training in coaching and integrating it in to their offering and approach.

Not only does it support their existing service but it adds a whole new standalone service and creates more opportunity to support their clients.

Associate coach

Lastly, you may wish to become part of an agency or consultancy as an associate coach.

Companies such as Penna offer management, coaching and HR services and manage a pool of associate coaches with whom they can match clients. The advantage of being an associate coach is that the agency will find your clients for you, however, it will be important that you come from the right professional background. Again, you’ll need to have undertaken accredited coach training to follow this route.

More experimentally, we’re seeing smaller organisations who have a similar set up but work in less-traditional contexts. For instance, one of our students on qualification was able to join an organisation that provided coaching alongside business support and skills to those from the creative fields. One of our partners, Dot Coach, aims to support both coaches and students coming out of university in a similar way.

The bonus pathway

Whichever route is right for you, you’ll also find a sixth path: Your life in general! We find that every coach who trains with us finds that their personal relationships, self-esteem and understanding, communication, patience and so much more is positively affected. Often, this is the surprise package that comes with coach training!