According to a survey by The National Center for Health Statistics, 36% of all consumers in the United States are using some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including wellness coaching services.
Breaking down some of the components of CAM would reveal more of the trends that consumers are revealing about their interests. This includes herbs and herbal medications, meditation, chiropractic care, yoga, massage, or diet-based therapies. All of these topics are also complementary to wellness coaching, for a wellness coach who has experience in these particular fields.
In addition to this trend, it is estimated that the US public spends more than $30 billion annually in out-of-pocket expenses for the services of professional CAM health care providers. Again, this includes chiropractic, acupuncture and massage/bodywork practitioners. In consideration of these trends, the career outlook for wellness coaches is very bright at this time and will be for a long time looking forward.
The rapidly expanding career opportunities available are due to a constellation of factors: a widening interest in stress management and preventative wellness; the public’s disillusionment with the high cost of prescriptions with traditional medical care; and a fast-growing population of baby boomers, age 55 and over, looking for ways to cope with the physical challenges and stress associated with aging.
Most wellness coaches truly love what they do when they are working. It is easy to see how a wellness coach would enjoy a career where the coach can help people to reduce their stress levels, improve their overall health, and to get in touch with themselves while feeling better so quickly.
But what’s not often mentioned is the high percentage of wellness coaches who fail to become successful in their careers. Although the causes are many most failures are rooted in a lack of business knowledge.
At first thought, it might seem that acquiring advanced technical skills and a high degree of expertise are sure ways to be successful as a wellness coach. But this is only one part of the equation in your success. Another factor in business settings is confidentiality. Without this solid foundation, your career and technical skills are not likely to flourish.
Fundamental interpersonal skills, including the ability to create rapport and build relationships, is vital for the coach, naturally. But it is also important to have the ability to develop a soothing and inspiring manner with clients and setting appropriate personal and professional boundaries. A professional wellness coach also creates a safe space for his or her clients. Develop an awareness of and adhere to high standards of professionalism. These skills will come to serve you well, whether you run your own business or work in the trade as part of a group.
Be sure that you have a very clear focus for your vision as a wellness coach — it is essential to your success. This means being able to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how?
Who do you want to work with? Or, who — that is, what type of client — do you want to work on? Younger people? Elderly people? Athletic people? This is your target market.
What do you want to provide to your client? What skills and qualifications do you have? What kind of strategies will you rely on? What kind of outcomes do you envision your client will desire? What kind of environment will you provide?
When do you want to work? Strictly 9-5? Do you want to have your weekends free? Do you have a preference or are you flexible?
Where do you want to work? Are you looking for a spa/resort setting? Clinical? On-site? Will you use an online coaching model or will you provide an office environment for sessions?
Why do you want to work in a certain area or focus? Is it to communicate more effectively? Do you want to build your referral network? Is your main goal to help people?
How do you want to care for your clients? How will you approach your clients? Will you approach the whole client or certain specialties or conditions? Will you actively work with them so they learn to care for themselves, or passively so that they’ll depend on you for future treatments?
Plotting a Career Track
There are two main career paths that are available for a wellness coach, and they would include to work for a company or to be self-employed. Within those two paths are a number of possibilities. Some people kickstart their careers by working at a spa or clinic, others take part-time jobs to augment their private practices; some choose a private practice right away, and there are those who prefer to only work for others.
Another consideration is the amount of time you want to work. Some people want to work full- time, while others choose to work in their field on a part-time basis (they either have another career, are raising a family, or want to pursue other interests).
As an Employee…
Working as an employee provides a lot of potential benefits, such as the possibility of coming into a full practice with little marketing or sales required; providing a larger scope of services for your clients well-being; starting out with a ready-made professional image; reduced paperwork (there’s usually an office manager); the ability to focus on hands-on work; access to better and more varied equipment and supplies; excellent built-in referral base; and office staff that does the scheduling, places confirmation calls and handle financial transactions.
Take a moment to reflect or think about yourself. Do you tend to enjoy it more when you are working as part of a team? Do you enjoy focusing mostly on client well-being? Do you prefer the convenience of an office support staff and less paperwork? Do you like the idea of someone else being able to handle the marketing, sales and business logistics?
How about your preferences to work within an established structure versus something newer? Working in certain settings also requires conforming to a set image, policies and procedures. You might need to alter your style and scope of practice to align yourself with the company’s vision and schedule. Take the necessary time to make the right decision for how you want to move forward with regard to your employment decisions
Taking Your First Steps
Achieving success in the business world while staying true to the principles of wellness coaching or being in service of coaching others, may at times seem like a paradox. At times, the business world is mostly portrayed as being heartless, as indeed it can be if you don’t know the rules. The exciting thing about corporate wellness coaching is that once you learn the rules, you can choose which rules you want to incorporate into your coaching practice and determine how to get around the rules that you don’t have as much need for.
Sometimes coaches who choose a career as a wellness practitioner don’t enjoy the business facets as much as the coaching process. This causes some wellness coaches to make the mistake of not taking the time to learn the rules for success in business. Unfortunately, that attitude rarely leads to success. On the other hand, those who take the time to master basic business knowledge and build solid career skills often enjoy a smooth road to success and prosperity in the field of wellness.
To do the work you love as a coach, it’s vital to develop the business skills that give you the knowledge, tools, and insights you need to make informed career choices — choices that help support your financial and professional growth or goals. Remember why you chose this profession and stay grounded in the experience of knowing the difference you make in the health and wellness of others.
Your Wellness Coaching Career
Becoming a Certified Wellness Coach is the perfect addition for the fitness professional who wants to offer more all-inclusive wellness services to clients. The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.
Already started your Wellness Coaching Career? Learn more about becoming a Certified Corporate Wellness Coach. This niche market is exploding with opportunity!
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.