Transitions Coaching – 9 Facts Checklist (2021)

7 min read

You’re about to discover what transitions coaching is and why so many people would find it useful.

As an experienced life coach, I’m well aware of how helpful a transitions coaching program can be.  

So, let’s find out how it works. 

Let’s dive right into it

#1. What Is Life Transition Coaching?

Life is full of transitions, both internal and external.

External transitions are the most noticeable. Graduating from college. Changing careers. Moving cities. Getting married. Having kids.  

Internal transitions are just as common, although typically more subtle. Many of us will experience a change in our personal and professional goals as we get older, for example.

Whether they are internal or external, the way we deal with these transitions are very similar. We also face similar hurdles as we make these transitions.

At a core biological level, our brain just wants to keep us alive and comfortable. Yet, a life transition often involves stepping into the unknown, and that can be highly uncomfortable. 

That’s why we’ll often feel resistance to big life changes, even if we logically know it’ll be great for us. 

Before and during any life transition, it is normal to feel scared, unsure or overwhelmed. However, we shouldn’t let these feelings prevent us from making progress in our life. 

Although this may help you feel relaxed and relieved in the short-term, it will ultimately leave you unfulfilled.

People invest in transitions coaching in order to understand and ultimately overcome their emotions as they prepare to make a big change in their life.   

The end result is: a smoother, stress-free and successful transition into a more fulfilling reality. 

#2. What Is A Transitions Coach?

A transitions coach is an individual who is qualified to guide you through these emotions.

Typically, they have undergone vigorous training in human psychology and communications. Often, they have a deep understanding of business and careers too.

Although they may not dive as deep into your psychology as a traditional therapist, they will certainly be able to communicate with you in a manner that unties your worries, fears and confusion. 

In doing so, they can help you to understand what type of transition you are truly desiring, while offering crucial guidance to help you get where you want to be.

A transitions coach gives you the support you need to make your dream life a reality. They act as your mentor, accountability partner and cheerleader.  

This makes the transitional process far less intimidating.  

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#3. What Does A Transitions Coach Do?

Your coach’s goal will be to establish a relationship with you and understand your desires for the future. They will explore why you want to make this transition. 

A lot of your ongoing coaching will revolve around your why. Self-awareness is key to a successful transition.

Once your why has been established, you’ll work together to create a roadmap for a smooth transition into your new phase of life. 

From there, your coach will deliver ongoing support to help you remain on this path, as well as helping you to overcome any hurdles (either internal or external) that block your way.  

#4. Transition Coaching Tools

I wanted to share a couple of the popular processes that transition coaches like to use. This will give you a clearer idea of how you’ll spend your time within a transitions coaching program. 

Seasons Of Change

This nature-inspired metaphor is used by plenty of transition coaches to help clients make sense of life’s inevitable ups and downs.

It’s a great way to help them understand the natural cycle of where they have been, where they are now and where they’re heading. 

In most cases, they’ll identify themselves as transitioning from summer to autumn. Perhaps, everything was bright and wonderful, only to eventually turn darker and uglier. Their first meeting with the coach can be identified as Winter Solstice – a low point where things first started to change. 

From there, things slowly but surely tend to brighten up, perhaps even to be more beautiful than the previous summer. 

Four-Step Revolution Process

A basic explanation of the steps on a typical transition coaching program. 

These are:

  • Explore the client’s mind. What are their goals and hopes for the future? Why do they want this? What do they believe is holding them back? 
  • Plan a route to getting there. Ensure it’s an achievable plan that fits with the client’s values. 
  • Implement the plan. Help the clients overcome any stumbling blocks they encounter. 
  • Celebrate their progress. Once the client’s goals are met, celebrate their hard work, evaluate what has worked well for them and how they can keep this new-found fulfilment. 

Most coaches will demonstrate their process to new clients before they get to work. This way, the client knows exactly what to expect. 

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#5. Benefits From Transitions Coaching

In our younger years, we all tend to harbor highly ambitious dreams for what we want to do with our lives. 

Yet, as we age, our ambition often becomes stifled. For whatever reason, we begin to fear change, rather than seek improvements.  

Instead of aiming to live the best life possible, we often feel forced to stick with what we have, even if we’re not happy with it. 

We all have an inner voice telling us we can’t change. It tells us that change is scary. It convinces us we’re not good enough to aim for more. This voice can be so difficult to ignore.  

With transitions coaching, we learn how to deal with these feelings of not being enough. We work to gain the mental strength needed to change our current situation, and move towards a new fulfilling reality.  

#6. Transitions Coaching Vs. Career Coaching

A ‘transitions coach’ and a ‘career coach’ are essentially both life coaches who have chosen to specialise. 

In the case of a ‘transitions coach’, they chose to focus only on helping people make big changes.  

A ‘careers coach’ chose to specialise even deeper and only help people make advancements in their professional life.

While as a ‘transitions coach’ could certainly help people progress in their career, a ‘careers coach’ may have more practical knowledge to share. Perhaps they know more about the corporate world, interview techniques, CV writing etc. 

What Is A Senior Transitions Life Coach? 

A senior transitions coach aims to help older people transition into retirement. Indeed, many older people have no idea what they want to do with themselves upon leaving the professional world. 

This can be as overwhelming and confusing as any other transition. That’s why there is a high demand for coaches who specialise in this rite of passage.

#7. Best Transitions Coaches

I wanted to highlight the work of some great life coaches who chose to specialise in transitions coaching.

If you’d like a deeper understanding of how transitions coaching can help you, make some time to read the books and blog posts written by these individuals. 

  • Gary Slyman. Gary founded Great Transitions Strategies. He leads a team of coaches, as well as helping individuals, small teams and even entire corporations to effectively transition to a new mission. 
  • Allison Task. Allison is a former television personality, who successfully transitioned into a life coaching career back in 2005. She labels herself as a career and life coach, but offers transitions coaching services too. 
  • Kathy Caprino. Kathy specialises in professional transitions and I really like her approach to it. In her coaching program, she’ll always initially focus on building the confidence needed to make big steps in the professional world. Only after this has been achieved will she introduce more practical tips to help her clients make it happen. 

#8. How To Become A Transitions Coach

Life coaching is an unregulated field, so there’s technically nothing stopping you from setting up a website and charging people to work with you today. 

Realistically though, in order to attract a steady flow of clients, you’re going to need a life coaching certification. 

You should use this certification as proof that you have the training needed to create positive change in people’s lives. Show it off on your website and within all your marketing materials.    .

If you take the time to gain a reputable coaching certification and use an effective marketing strategy, this should be enough to kick-start your new career as a transitions coach. 

Best Coaching Certifications

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is by far the most reputable organisation that accredits life coaching training.

It’s highly recommended to gain a certification from an ICF-accredited training program.

By doing so, you essentially guarantee yourself a high-quality training experience. The certification itself will hold more weight in the eyes of potential customers too. 

I have created a list of 6 highly-recommended ICF-accredited life coach certifications,  so feel free to use this as a guide. 

If your heart is set on specialising as a transitions coach, you’d do well to choose a training program which places extra focus on helping people through change.  

#9. Transition Coach Salary

It’s difficult to estimate an average salary for transition coaches

As a self-employed individual, you’ll be free to charge as much as you wish for a transitions coaching program.

Still, the amount people are willing to pay will depend on the type of coaching you offer, how much experience you have and the demand for your services, among other things. 

With that said, research suggests that an average transitions coach can expect to earn between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. 

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Any more questions about how a transitions coaching program works? 

Hopefully, this has served as a useful guide into how a transition coaching program can help you.

Still, if you’d like to leave a question about how a transition coach will work to change your life, feel free to do so. 

It would be great to hear from you.

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