Millions of people were furloughed from their jobs in 2020, as the effects of Covid hit the global economy like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The years that followed became known as “The Great Resignation” period. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021.
Resignations peaked in April 2021 and have remained abnormally high for the last several months, with a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July.
It was as if our rose-tinted glasses were removed from our view and we had to make a conscious decision to adapt to the ‘new norm’. We were jolted out of our comfort zones, whether we liked it or not!
Some quit their jobs to seek a remote career, to be able to spend more valuable time with their family while others finally realized their worth after years of dedicating their lives to a company that was not treating them well.
The new norm gave everyone a chance to do some soul-searching and truly realize their value and worth in the world. It also provided the opportunity for people who were laid off to seek alternative careers and even to pursue a new life path altogether.
Chances are, you probably know or have heard of someone who followed their passion and quit their jobs to pursue their passion of running their own business. I personally know someone who left his company to set up his own business teaching deep-sea photography!
The Great Resignation period also provided companies, organizations and even governments with hiring and progression opportunities for their workforce.
They opened their doors to offer classes and workshops to allow employees and job seekers alike the opportunity to sharpen their skill sets for their next career move.
The large talent pool that became available for hire was a boon for corporations, especially those in the tech and e-commerce industry, that were on the lookout for talent.
What does all this mean for coaches?
Yes, behind every challenge and periods of uncertainty, opportunity knocks. The huge shift in life perspectives and momentous life changes that have been occurring present huge opportunities for the coaching industry.
As people seek help to navigate through personal challenges or to get clarity about their next steps, the services of a life or career coach will be very much in demand.
So too, when corporations embark on finding the right talent or coaching high potentials so that they remain engaged, the services of an executive coach will be much in demand.
Let’s delve into the coaching trends for 2022 and some proof points as to why the coaching industry as we see it, will continue to grow in the years to come.
TRENDS IN THE COACHING INDUSTRY FOR 2022
If you’re a coach or pivoting to pursue a career as a coach, there has never been a better time than this!
Here are 5 areas that coaches can take advantage of to flourish and propel their careers in the coaching industry.
1. Digital Transformation in Coaching
With the new norm, almost everything is performed online. Home-based learning, shopping, webinars, online training etc.
Coaching, too, has undergone a digital transformation in its own right. Online coaching through audio-visual means has overtaken face-to-face coaching at a rapid pace.
As you can see from the data charts provided above, which was collated during a survey to study the forecast and impact of the Covid pandemic by ICF, it shows an immense surge in virtual coaching conducted via tools like zoom, Facetime, Teams, etc.
In the above chart, it can be seen that the majority of coaches who participated in the survey agree that coaches will need to invest more in technology.
The widespread adoption of virtual coaching and technology has opened up even bigger opportunities for coaches to reach a wider selection of clients. That is, if you cultivate the right digital marketing skills and utilize the right channels.
This goes to show that the new ‘playing field’ for you to remain relevant is to create and build a strong infrastructure in the digital world. There has been a great migration from all things ‘traditional’ coaching to digital coaching.
The good news is that most of your tasks and workflows as a coach can be automated to a great extent by using the right tools to manage your business.
Essential business activities like signing contracts, sending forms and questionnaires, conducting courses, sharing files and documents, and conducting virtual coaching sessions are all possible with digital tools and coaching software.
2. Greater accountability in the coaching profession
The coaching profession is currently unregulated. This effectively means that anyone with a passion to help others with their knowledge and expertise (or otherwise!) can call themselves ‘coach’.
This lack of regulation, coupled with the subjective nature of coaching in itself, has caused skeptics to raise their eyebrows on the coaching profession as a whole.
It is not uncommon for corporations to seek out only qualified and credentialed coaches to coach their employees. They want assurance that they will be engaging the services of a suitably qualified and credentialed coach.
Typically, certifications by the ICF, iPEC, Sherpa Coaching, Health Coach Institute and other reputable coaching institutions are sought after by coaches and potential clients.
As evident from the above chart, coach practitioners have been ‘sharpening their saws’ by training more since the pandemic started. It is a strong proof point that in the near future, the coaching industry will see a rise in the pool of trained and certified coaches.
There will be greater accountability within the coaching profession as more qualified and trained coaches become available. As the number of certified coaches grows, it will undoubtedly benefit the coaching industry as a whole.
The bar of coaching standards will be raised and where there are new standards of coaching and accountability, coaches must rise to them.
3. Emphasis on holistic wellness
According to a survey carried out by the CDC, in late June 2020, 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 13% reported having started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days. These numbers are nearly double the pre-pandemic figures.
With more people working remotely, the line between work and home has blurred. The place that we once regarded as a sanctuary, is now our office. If not careful, one can easily lose track of time, get so absorbed in working in the comfort of our own homes that we work through lunch, skip meals and forget about the importance of taking breaks.
Hence, holistic wellness is now beginning to have a measurable impact on companies across every industry. Holistic wellness covers 6 components: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and occupational.
Each of these facets is indeed vital for an individual to thrive, especially in the new norm. Employers, too, realize that for their employees to perform at their best in terms of productivity, creativity, and innovation, then each of these aspects require development.
The emphasis on holistic wellness, therefore, has a lot of potential growth in the life coaching industry.
4. Student and youth coaching
From middle school to university, our youth and students will need support as they steer through their educational and growth journey. With ever growing demands on our students today, coupled with increasing life stressors, we’ve witnessed an increasing trend of cyberbullying and gaming addiction.
Students need to juggle academics, find internships, seek out their career steps post-graduation, engage in extracurricular activities and so much more! They will need guidance to manage stress, relationships, seek employment, etc, as they transition to ‘adulting’.
If parents or family members aren’t able to connect with their teens and early adults (‘they just won’t listen to me!’), they will almost certainly turn towards coaches or counselors for help.
Starting early with a coach will provide a clearer pathway for them. A skilled coach can certainly help cultivate good discipline and healthy habits. Coaching students and youths is a niche in itself.
Activities like reflection will help them take a moment out of their crazy-busy schedule to set well-thought out plans for themselves. When their reflections are visible, the likelihood of them being accountable to ensure that their plans come to fruition will be higher.
This is just one example of how coaches can help our students and youths and we see this niche continuing to grow.
5. Coaching in the workplace
The pandemic was a reset for everyone - employees and employers alike. The strict ‘9-5, in the office’ regiment disappeared almost overnight, and the new catchphrase now is ‘work from anywhere’. It’s here to stay.
A new mindset and way of thinking among employers and human resource practitioners has emerged. The notion that employees are ‘more productive’ in the office has been put to rest. In fact, people were actually working more from home as they wanted to eagerly demonstrate to their bosses that they weren’t slacking off in the comfort of their homes!
Organizations are now focused on ensuring that company culture, effective teamwork, collaboration and employee engagement remain high in the workplace. Reduced facetime has resulted in fewer social interactions with co-workers, less face to face meetings and reduced company-organized events.
Furthermore, as job seekers now have more employment opportunities open to them with more flexible working arrangements, employers will need to do everything possible to ensure attraction and retention of high performers.
Their demands and expectations have grown and employers will need to do more to meet and exceed their expectations. As the economy and business climate recovers, People and Culture Heads now own KPIs to turn the Great Attrition to the Great Attraction to ensure that their organization isn’t left trailing.
Coaching in the workplace is not new. However, with the ever-growing demands of employees and the highly competitive race for talent acquisition and retention, we see this trend increasing at a fast pace.
The coaching industry is well poised to benefit from these trends. As a coach, you’ve also had to shift gears and adapt to the new norm amidst these profound changes and client expectations.
There is immense potential and a huge market of people who will find benefit in engaging your services as a coach. We’ve witnessed this especially in periods of great change and turbulence.
Digital tools such as zoom, Teams, online booking tools, coaching software, etc, are simply the medium for you to be more efficient and effective. Your skills and experience as a coach remain paramount to help your clients achieve their desired outcomes.
In the digital realm, it will become more important than ever before to provide your clients with a seamless and professional end-to-end experience, from enrollment to fulfillment.
CoachVantage is a coaching platform that can help you with the full end-to-end aspects of your coaching practice. From selling and onboarding clients, to sharing files and documents with your clients online, to integrating with tools like zoom for virtual coaching, we’ve got you covered.
Try CoachVantage for free by clicking the button below.