Career coaching is on high demand as more individuals are entering the labour market in doves while jobs are getting scarcer in Nigeria.

The offering of professional insights to other individuals as they seek to grow their brand name, get a high paying job and increasing their career trajectory can be a rewarding business venture both personally and financially.

Career counsellors, also known as life coaches, career planner, career consultant, business coach or personal development coach help in assisting individuals in changing or establishing careers.

These career coach or career advisors make use of a variety of methods to obtain information about their client’s career choices. This helps them to assess the client's skill set, personality, goals and educational level.

Studies have suggested that over 150,000 career advisors or life coaches are needed to guide over 250 million people in the nearest future in Nigeria.

Therefore, it is safe to say that career coach and career advisors are one of the most sought-after professions of our time.

The coaching trend in Nigeria is now becoming fashionable for individual life and professional career goal.

This article will focus on the coaching professions in Nigeria and tips on how to start up as a life coach and ways to find your first client.

A Life Coach
Find a professional life coach in Abuja. Source: Ubuy Image

How To Start Professional Coaching And Find Students?

Changes as a result of globalization and industrialization have led to a drastic reduction in the number of jobs available presently. With automation and artificial intelligence, most individuals are either displaced from what they used to do before in the work setting or require a need for re-training.

These changes often tend to wear down the resilience of professionals and individuals leading to stress, frustration, lack of confidence, inability to step back and conflicts in the work environment.

People become life coaches because they’re driven to help others. But being a life coach or career advisor is much more than being a good listener and advisors – they’re entrepreneurs.

When you go into the field of the professional coaching business, you become a salesperson, a marketer, a networker and a leader.

Don't get intimidated with all these job descriptions because with the right tools, training and experience; one can easily set him/her self and the coaching business up for success.

To establish a business, the first thing that one will need is clients. The business will only take root when they are clients that want your services and are willing to listen and pay for the services that you are rendering.

To find your first client or student requires you to identify your ideal target audience and ascertain the right tools to make use of in relation to the client’s needs.

It is important also that you gain the necessary training, licenses and certifications that are needed to embellish your CV. These help your clients to trust your ability and the capability of you to help them achieve their personal goals.

To stand out in any business, you must learn the rules and training requirements for the occupation.

This training helps you to understand related career counselling theories, human behaviours, vocational counselling methods and assessment techniques.

Also, there is a need for specialization since a professional coach cannot teach everything. It is therefore important that you ascertain the area of which you want to specialize. These might be in the area of

  • Training in neurolinguistic programming (NLP)
  • Specialist in transactional analysis
  • A certified coach in non-violent communication
  • Specialist in systemic approaches
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Specialist in Resume and Interview processes

You also need to decide on your target market. Whether to become a personal life coach that speaks to individuals on a one-to-one basis. These might be upwardly mobile individuals or individuals who have recently been laid off from their position (Mid-level or higher position).

As a life coach, understanding where your target audiences are in their leadership lifecycle is essential to the nature of advice and support you would offer them.

You can also target larger organizations that hire career coaches and career advisors.

These organizations hire coaches that can offer support to high-level executives who are struggling with some issues such as communication skills, negotiation skills or dealing with difficult people.

These high-executive individuals may require a little push to help them become successful in their position.

You are also expected to choose how you will offer your coaching services. These could be coaching from an office, and that depends on your preference and your budget.

Having an office gives your services a professional look, especially if you plan on offering workshops or group coaching.

One drawback to this is that this route can add up real quick depending on your location.

You can also wish to work from home with the help of web connectivity. These provide a broader reach and is often more convenient for the coach and the clients.

Other things to keep in mind when starting up your coaching business and finding students includes

  • Performing market research which involves a competitive intelligence analysis, a demand-supply analysis and a price analysis
  • Define your methodological support units and the right tools
  • Design foolproof communication strategies such as setting up a social network, building responsive websites, entrepreneurial shows to showcase your ability, through word-of-mouth, referrer and partnership (Franchising)
A coaching session
A Coaching Session of Emotional Intelligence Training. Source: Neonshot Image

Must I Acquire Diplomas And Certifications As A Career Coach?

You are not expected to obtain any government-approved coach certification or diploma certification to become a career coach in Nigeria.

Presently, no law in Nigeria regulates the influx of life coaches and career coaches in the industry. It is an all-comers affair. Anyone who is of working age and believes that he has the necessary skills and knowledge to become a personal coach can come into the business.

All you need to do is to just declare yourself as a life or career coach on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or any other platform and Viola you are on It.

Is that simple, isn’t it!

But in reality, things are not as simple as it seems to be.

To be employed as a life coach or career coach by any coaching firm, it is often required that you show some certification to prove that you are capable and recognized.

Even when you need to work solo or self-employed, most clients wish to know your academic qualification or what professional certifications that you have acquired - except if you have made a name in the industry ab initio.

These could be that you have specific training or coaching training experience in a particular business. It gives you a comparative advantage that can help you to stand-out among other competitors.

With this, you can seduce prospects and convert them into future customers.

While it is not compulsory to acquire any certification or degree in the field of professional coaching, some schools or organizations in Nigeria offers certain certification and diploma programs through private training.

Examples include the International Coach Federation (ICF), Master Coach University, The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), Spencer Institute etc.

A Nigeria Institute
Chartered Institute of Corporate Mentoring and Coaching, Nigeria. Source: Coachcampus Image

What To Charge For Your Professional Coaching Lessons?

Charging a fee is a thorny issue when it comes to the art of coaching. It is quite difficult to estimate an exact figure to charge when it comes to clients, especially when you are new to the business.

How much you're to charge your clients depend on your level of expertise, experience and the needs of your target client.

While starting out, you may want to discount your price to build your brand name and business.

Another factor that determines the price to charge is the basis of your work with the clients. Some may wish to work with you on an hourly basis, weekly or monthly basics while others may prefer to work with you on a project-by-project basis.

Depending on your skills, experience and speciality as well as the nature of the individual that you are coaching or company hiring you, you can expect to charge between 5000 to 150,000 per hour.

The charge rate also differs based on your location.

A professional coach in Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt may charge 100 000 per hour while another of his counterpart in Ibadan or Kano State might charge a much lower price.

Another factor to consider is the type of coaching you are into.

An executive coach may charge 350 000 per hour, while a business coach might take around 100 000 to 150 000. A general career coach or life coach might charge around 5000 to 25 000 per session

It is necessary to identify the monetary value of your work while aligning it to the prices charged by your competitors. This will enable you to determine a relative market price for your services.

Note that the bigger the company, the higher the bill will be.

Always remember that each professional coaching practitioner is free to fix their own rate according to what they consider fair and their training courses.

Don’t forget that on Superprof, there are thousands of professional coaches in all major cities in Nigeria.

A Coaching and Mentoring Session
The Life Coach Association Of Nigeria Mentoring Session. Source: Glazia Image

How To Prepare A Professional Coaching Course?

Preparing your coaching courses and coaching plans ahead of time is essential. To do this, one needs to map out the steps to follow in discussing, brainstorming and advising the clients.

Here is how a training and professional coaching plan is prepared

  1. Interview session: This involves the first meeting with the client. As a professional career or business coach, you are expected to carry out an evaluation session, also known as the exploratory session. Here, everything is put out, the worries, frustration and the challenges of the present situation.
  2. Identify the reasons why the client set-up a meeting with you while he is talking. What motivated the client to request for your services, change their jobs, or issues faced. Find out what skills and knowledge that the client is expected to learn or unlearn, and reason for the change in management style, managing stress with investors, negotiation impasse etc.
  3. Now the coach needs to find or bring up a set of answers to the examination of their client.
  4. Recommends a solution to the issues raised using a proposed technique. This is to ascertain if the outcome was the desired one.

Remember that a training plan or coaching course can be more detailed depending on the nature of the coaching session. The first sessions are usually aimed at gauging the capacity of the client to progress fast or not.

This is why the methodology used in a coaching session is meant to be a guide and not a micromanagement plan.

If you still need more help or wish to practise your profession as a life coach, career coach or business coach, you can register on our platform on Superprof NG.

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I am a professional Freelance Content writer with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Strategic Management. I am a member of several international organizations, including ISMN and NIM. I have a strong flair for writing as a lecturer. I utilize these skills to ensure my contents meet the global standard.