October 11, 2013
Life Coaching using Social Work Skills
Have you ever thought about a career in life coaching using your social work skills?
Life Coaching definition:
life coach n(Business / Professions) a person whose job is to improve
the quality of his or her client’s life, by offering advice on professional and personal matters, such as career, health, personal relationships, etc.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
I am a wife and mom of a toddler and a teen. I am a social worker that specialized in clinical social work and research for the past 15 years. I provided therapy for children, adolescents, and families; worked with adults with substance abuse issues; taught and trained graduate social work students; was a motivational speaker for college students and provided clinical consultation and training to public school staff in two states. I also did research on adolescents, their support networks, exposure to community violence, and the psychological consequences of the exposure. I presented my research at the local, regional, and national levels.
I had a pretty good run in my career until a few years ago. My job changed direction, laid off about half of my colleagues, and my commute became longer and more expensive. There was also no room for advancement.
Things started getting worse.
I recently lost my job and decided to start my own business. Having a toddler prompted me into starting a day care center. Meeting with a business coach and doing my research made me realize that owning a day care center was not for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I love children. I had experience teaching in a day care center and I spent a good part of my social work career working with children but the ground work for running a center was not something I wanted to do at this point in my career. I didn’t mind owning the center. I just didn’t want to be the one taking care of all the children myself. My home was too small to take care of the children and I learned that there was too much competition in my area with other centers.
My career in life coaching happened rather suddenly.
I took a break for a few days from the day care research and just thought about what I was passionate about. I also thought about my personal circumstances. Then I met with my business coach again and talked to him about trying life coaching using my social work skills. He thought it was a great idea. He advised me to look into certification programs. I did and learned that I already had the qualifications from all of my years working on a Master’s and PhD in social work. About two weeks later I had my website. You may be wondering why I didn’t just go into private practice as a therapist. Well, there is still a lot of stigma attached to getting therapy. As a social worker I often times met with people when they were at their lowest point. While I have that option as a life coach, it doesn’t always have to be the case.
Working with a life coach does not require receiving a diagnosis. I also have the ability of working with people before they are in a crisis. I can work with someone who just needs some help organizing their life or improving their health or learning how to communicate better with a partner.
Life coaching helped me find my purpose.
I wanted to coach women like me. I was in a situation where I relocated to another state and left my family and friends behind. I needed a new job and had no connections. I didn’t know anyone in my town to talk to about recommendations for babysitters. I wanted someone to go exercise with. I was looking for friendship. I wanted to take my experience and help other women going through their own transitions so I started The SWEET Network, LLC. Now I am doing what I was meant to do and I am living rather than just surviving! To learn more about life coaching visit Life Coaches all the rage.