Your dream career starts here. Click to learn more about becoming a life coach.

You wouldn’t believe how many companies message us asking for recommendations of coaches to hire.

They know that coaches certified through our program are always highly skilled, well-trained, and extremely effective.

Who chooses which coaches to recommend? That person happens to be one of our superstar employees whom I absolutely adore, Katie Pulsifer. Katie runs everything behind the scenes in Self Coaching Scholars including hiring coaches and referring coaches to external opportunities.

If you want to be a life coach but you’re not passionate about becoming an entrepreneur, we are so excited to share how many amazing opportunities there are waiting for you.

In this episode, Katie pulls back the curtain on how coaches get hired at The Life Coach School, what we’re looking for in applicants, and why you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to find high-quality clients. Katie shares some tips on applying for coaching positions and some advice to anyone who is struggling to land their dream job as a coach.

Interested in working at The Life Coach School? Click here!

Check out the video of our conversation below!

What you will discover

  • What Katie does in her position at The Life Coach School.
  • What people need to consider to get hired as a coach.
  • How to ensure your setup is ready for a virtual interview.
  • The mistakes Katie sees from people applying for coaching positions.
  • What the onboarding process is like at The Life Coach School.
  • Katie’s advice for anyone struggling to get hired as a life coach.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 373.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Brooke: I’m so excited, my friends. Today, I have Katie Pulsifer on the podcast. First of all, who is she? She’s amazing. She’s my favorite guest I’ve ever had on the show. I say that about all the people that I love the most. Katie is one of my employees. She’s like a superstar employee. She runs everything behind the scenes in Scholars for the coaches and the instructors and she does applied coaching and she’s a genius and I love her.

And she probably does more stuff that I don’t even know about in my own company. So, I’m going to let her introduce herself and talk a little bit about herself. And then what we’re going to talk about today is how to get hired as a life coach. Katie is someone who hires life coaches and she recommends and refers life coaches for other people to hire as well. I thought she’d be the perfect person to talk to us about if you’re someone out there that wants to work for someone else, what are some good tips and processes to be thinking about in order to get hired. So welcome to the podcast, Katie. I’m so happy you’re here. Tell us about yourself.

Katie: Oh, let’s see. Well, I found life coaching in 2021 actually, way back. I hired a coach after I went as far as I could with therapy, and loved everything about it so much so that I’m the person that left my corporate job and just started coaching people.

Brooke: I love it.

Katie: But of course, along the way I found you. I found the podcast. I signed up for certification back in 2016 and went along in my business doing all the things. I think I tried everything except a podcast. And I’m so grateful for the webinars I did and the workshops and the events I went to and the networking. And I’ll put a booth here and I’ll write a blog there. I mean, I tried everything and loved it.

And then I’ve told this story before, but I remember so distinctly you did a podcast in November of 2017. I was on a walk. You’re always with me on my walks. And you talked about coaches who have a servant’s heart that may not necessarily want to be entrepreneurs. And it was literally, like I stopped dead in my tracks and I looked around.

I mean, I thought you were right with me, making this podcast for me because I was, “I think this is what’s happening here.” I love coaching, but there’s all of this entrepreneurship and business and marketing. I don’t want to learn it. I don’t want to study it. I don’t want to get good at it. I just want to get really good at coaching.

So, I went from thinking maybe I’m not doing it right to, “Oh no, there’s a path for me. Brooke’s going to show the way.” And then fast forward a few months later and I got hired to coach full-time for the school. Dream come true.

Brooke: That is awesome. I hadn’t heard that story before. Amazing.

Katie: Yeah, so three years ago, I started coaching full-time and then moved over into working for the school in a different capacity hiring coaches two years ago…

Brooke: And helping them coach, yeah?

Katie: Yes.

Brooke: So, tell us what your job – I know your job is changing right now, but tell us what your job has been and what it is now.

Katie: Right now, I’m running the applied coaching program, and then I’m also doing all of the hiring for our instructors and all of the hiring for our contracted coaches. But then also onboarding them, managing them, and just ensuring that we deliver seamless coaching for all of our customers.

Brooke: I love it. So, a lot of people, I think, come into coaching and they want to coach full-time. And this is what I think happens. I think some people think entrepreneurship is easy. And so they want to be coaching full-time and they think, "Oh, I'll just put some posts on social media and then I’ll have tons of clients because I’m amazing.” And I mean, I know that’s what I thought…

Katie: Me too, and it didn’t work.

Brooke: And then you realize wait – well, when I first started to coach, we didn’t even have the social media. All we had was bloggers. And it was just really frustrating to me because I just wanted to coach. I was coaching people against their will. I was coaching people on the street. I was coaching anyone who would let me coach.

And so, I love that you can come through the school now in 2021, you can come through the school and get certified and not actually have to become an entrepreneur. There are tons of organizations now that want to hire coaches.

I would say, once a week someone says, “I need a coach that can come work for me.” I say talk to Katie. I don’t even know anymore, you have to talk to Katie. And we’re constantly hiring coaches. And so, I know that people that come through the school and people that are thinking about coming to the school who want to get hired would love to hear your perspective, since you’re in charge of the hiring of the coaches, on what are some things that they need to be considering and thinking about in order to get hired.

And then I’d love to have you talk a little bit about the training process, the onboarding process, that sort of thing. And then, what is it like to be a coach? And you can talk about what it’s like to be a coach at the school because you work with those coaches, but also how you’re referring coaches out as well when other CEOs are coming to us and saying, “We need coaches that are trained by this school.” How is that being handled? So, cover all of that. Go.

Katie: I’ll go. Okay. So, I mean, I think that knowing is the most important thing, and I knew it when you offered it on the podcast. It’s just that in-us knowing that there may be a path. And of course, that can change. But I think trusting your intuition, are you as jazzed and excited and motivated about marketing and entrepreneurship and coaching equally? Or is it more about coaching?

And you have to kind of resolve that for yourself to know which path to choose. And you can always change your mind and do both in your lifetime, but just trusting your gut there and not necessarily following what everyone else is doing and really believing in yourself.

Brooke: I want to talk about that just briefly. There are coaches, for sure this would have been me, who go through certification, get hired by the school, coach their faces off, and then go start their own businesses.

Katie: We have those, yes.

Brooke: I think it’s genius. That’s what I would have done, I think. Because in the beginning, just being able to coach that much all the time just hones your skills, you develop a level of mastery in your coaching that then you can shift to focus on building your business.

The other piece that I think – I’ll be curious what you think about this. Coaching other people makes you get your own life so dialed, your own thoughts so dialed.

Katie: Absolutely. And the breadth of experience that you can get here at the school with the variety of clients that we have just reinforces that. It’s so amazing. So, yes, getting as much coaching as you possibly can before you move on to start your business, I highly recommend, whether it’s just doing it in your own life as much as you can, or working for someone else. Because honing this skill is everything. You need the skill before you can build a business, to be able to coach yourself as well.

So it’s so amazing to review applications and just see what people put forth, and it’s so telling if they’re very certain about their path or if they’re sort of, “I’m not really sure and am maybe just going to come dabble over here and try this out and just see,” versus, “This is what I’m meant to do.” And it’s just so clear and you can just read it in the answers to their questions. You can see it in the way they complete the assignments that we give them for the application. It just really shines through. And then you know that’s probably going to be a good fit. It’s just someone that genuinely wants to be here or be in an organization and serve that organization.

Brooke: Yeah, I think a really good kind of tip for anyone considering applying, whether you’re applying to the school or to corporate coaching jobs or to one of our students who are hiring, I think it’s really important to understand, “I want to work for this organization because…” What is the reason why you want to be doing it?

And always thinking about, “How can I serve?” And this is true whether you’re an entrepreneur or whether you’re working for a corporation. Your customers change. So, if you’re working for an organization, your organization is your customer. And that’s an important difference between recognizing that as an entrepreneur your customers are your customer. And that’s a big difference.

So, you’ll be coaching my customers, my clients if you work for me, and I will be your customer. And so, understanding what it is about the organization and how you can serve that organization – now, if you work for me, serving me is all about serving my customers too. But you kind of have this middle person in there now that you have to consider when you’re thinking about applying.

So, I think that’s really good advice, is to think about why this organization, why the Life Coach School, or any other organization, be really clear about that.

Katie: Yeah, there’s so many places to go be a coach now. So, I love asking the question, why this school right now? The answers are fascinating and so telling for where the applicant is. Is it just to get a job? Or is it, “I had this experience in Scholars. Scholars changed my life. I want to gift this back to a Scholar in the future, I have to pay it forward. I’m meant to do this. I’m meant to be here.” The contrast is very strong.

Brooke: I love that. Okay, so you get an application. The clarity of why they want to work there and for any organization is super important. What else do you look for?

Katie: Well, I’m also looking for like urgency. It’s such a funny thing. Our applicants in a hurry, you know, because they’ve got some goals, which urgency, I just want to suss it out a bit, like what’s underneath that, what’s the driving force? Because I don’t know if it’s going to be a good fit if they’re in a hurry to get hired. So, that’s always something that I’m looking for. Their depth of knowledge of the programs we offer at the school is also, of course, very important.

And one thing that I think maybe some applicants are confused about, which is fine, is we’re not going to train you to be a coach, or a good coach. You have to come already skilled, confident in your coaching, and show up that way on day one because this isn’t a place to get trained.

Brooke: Well, we do train you.

Katie: We do train you, but not on the job as a contracted coach.

Brooke: Okay, so let’s clarify that because that’s important. So, what I think Katie is saying here, and this is important because we do train you as a coach, but just like anything else, when you come in, you can show up – this is during your training, out of five or out of 10. And if you go through your training at a two and your coaching skills aren’t there and then you apply to work for us, we’re not going to train you how to be a coach at that point. You need to be applying yourself all through your certification to be ready. Is that what you mean by that?

Katie: Absolutely, and beyond. So, yes, our certification qualifies our coaches for sure. And they’re ready to be hired, some of them right after certification, which is amazing.

So, the training is there. It’s the attitude. It’s mindset. It’s the belief in one’s self. It’s the confidence. And so…

Brooke: How much you’ve practiced during certification.

Katie: Exactly. And some of the questions that I field are, “Will I be getting lots of feedback?” And the answer is no. You’re going to evaluate yourself. You’re going to feedback on yourself. You are responsible for your own growth and development, so are you up to that task? And that’s what you want to come in thinking that you’re ready to do.

Brooke: I love that. Okay, so you get my application, you think I’m ready, I’ve really applied myself in certification, I’ve given you an example of my coaching, you’re like, “Yes, this is a great candidate.” And at that point, what happens?

Katie: So, great candidates who meet all of the criteria that we just talked about are invited to interview with me. And we have a conversation and I ask all the questions that I didn’t necessarily get answered in the application. And I just want to actually get to know the person, see if it’s a good fit energetically. I’m also looking at setup, right? Tech, polished presentation, lighting, sound, all of it matters because our standards are so high, so the visual of that.

Brooke: Okay, this is important. Let’s talk about this. When you go to your interview, whether it’s for the Life Coach School or any other corporation, you need to be presenting yourself as you will be presenting yourself to the customers. So, that’s such a good point. So, brush your hair, have some lighting, make sure your computer works beforehand. What else are you looking for?

Katie: Well, I’m just looking for, you know, there’s always a big of nervousness, which is totally fine. We can always work with that emotion. Never a problem. But how they’re articulating answers, Scholars knowledge, coaching experience, background experience is also fascinating to learn about, future goals, where they see themselves in a year. You know, so we just have a great conversation and then they coach me for 20 minutes.

Brooke: Oh gosh, that’s insane, I love it. That’s so good. So, what are some of the mistakes you’ve seen? Have you seen any glaring mistakes that we could kind of apply to anyone applying for any job that are deal breakers?

Katie: Well, I think people weed themselves out along the way if there are those mistakes. So, if the application assignments are incomplete, they don’t get to advance right away. If the tech isn’t dialed when I see them on the interview, it just gets canceled immediately.

Brooke: Wow, alright.

Katie: I know, high standards around here.

Brooke: Noted. Wow, okay.

Katie: Yeah, so anything just kind of human and being a little bit nervous, it’s totally fine. We have a great conversation and a great time together. And I just want to get to know the people that want to work for the school. They may not get an offer after that first interview, but I always say, the door never closes here. There’s just some things that you need to go work on, I’m going to tell you exactly what they are, and then you come back when you’re ready and we’ll talk again.

Brooke: that’s amazing, we’re an amazing company. I didn’t even know that. I mean, what kind of company do you go, you get an interview, you don’t get an offer, but they’re like, “Come back, here’s what you need to work on…”

I applied for so many jobs in my life and they’re like, “You just didn’t get it.” You don’t know why and you don’t know what happened. So, that’s amazing. So, I get hired. What is my onboarding experience? What is that like?

Katie: Well, onboarding, we give you a very detailed document. We expect you to read it, know it inside and out, answer your own questions at all times, detailed instructions of how to get yourself set up on Zoom and where we meet in Slack and how to access our scheduler where you can put your availability. It’s all detailed there. Applicants usually turn all of that around in less than 24 hours. It’s amazing. The ones that it’s like a dream come true to get hired, so it’s like whatever it takes to start coaching as soon as possible. It’s so fun.

Brooke: Okay, so I give you my availability. I’m going to be coaching in Scholars so I give you my availability. I say I’m open during these hours. You put that in a scheduler and then Scholars start booking with us.

Katie: Yes, and you create your own schedule, whatever is best for you. If you want to work days, evenings, weekends, coach’s choice, self-managing on your schedule and your time.

Brooke: I love it. Okay. There’s a certain amount of hours that I need to schedule that I’ve committed to, whether I’m part-time versus full-time. And then my first appointment comes. I get on Zoom and I start coaching. And I coach back-to-back, or however I set it up, I’m coaching, and I could be coaching all day. And what is that like?

Katie: Well, it’s amazing. So, this is usually the month-one journey. And I just spoke to three of our coaches who just had their one-month mark today, so I know this really intimately and it’s the same story. So, they’re so excited, dream come true for many of them, impossible goal is not to be working for the school. They’re so excited. They have an amazing first couple of days coaching, adrenaline rush, and then they take a break and then they start to wonder, do I belong here? Am I good enough? Oh my god, all the doubt surfaces.

Which we say is totally normal, totally part of the process, get coached. So, all of our coaches have to get coached every single week so that they have exceptional mind management in order to serve at the highest level.

Brooke: That is genius. I’m so smart for hiring you. I will take full credit for everything you do.

Katie: I’ll give you all the credit.

Brooke: But that makes sense. That’s actually such great advice for anyone. If you’re working for a corporation that doesn’t require that, you should require that of yourself, getting your own mind cleaned out, overcoming your own doubts. That’s beautiful.

Katie: Yes, so there’s some mentoring in that month-one, just how’s it going, checking in. We review some sessions as well just to make sure we made a good decision and it’s a good fit for the coach. Is it everything they thought it would be? And we watch them just get better and better and better.

And then they meet with my 30 days in and we sit down and I say, “How’s it going? What do you think? This is what we’re seeing.” And 10 times out of 10, I hear, “Thank you so much, dream come true, privilege, honor, I can’t believe how good it is. I love our Scholars so much.” It’s just like chills.

Brooke: I get chills just thinking about it because I’ve talked to so many coaches and they’re so in love with all of our Scholars, which is so amazing because we love our coaches, our coaches love our Scholars, our Scholars love our coaches and they love us. And we just did a retreat here at the house and I only had eight people here. They were all Scholars. And every single one of them literally was in tears at how much Scholars has changed their life.

And these were women and men that I had never met before. And I had such a profound moment. I was talking to Rahul, my boyfriend about this. I was like, it’s so profound to know that there are people that we have trained in our training that are now coaching our clients and their lives are changing, and I’ve never even met them before. It used to be just me and my clients. And now it’s like, what is happening? It’s so amazing. And the opportunity to be able to be a coach and not have to be an entrepreneur if you don’t want to and have such high-quality clients, is the other piece.

Katie: Well, and Scholars are so passionate about this work and they come to their sessions so prepared and so eager. And if they’re not prepared, it’s also fine because we have them, we know exactly what to do if they don’t have a topic. But it’s just the perfect want match. The perfect want match because Scholars love the coaching and coaches love Scholars. And so, the magic in those 20-minute sessions is incredible.

Brooke: So, we have a lot of people that come to us and say, “Hey, we want a Life Coach School trained coach, who do you recommend?” How do you handle that situation now? Because I know it’s gotten out of hand.

Katie: Well, I mean, in the beginning, there was a lot of that and it was just easier to recommend based on people I had interviewed or things like that. And now, often the applications get forwarded to me and then I pass them along. I might share a few names, things like that. So yeah, it’s so reciprocal and so wonderful. And now, there are so many coaches working for former students of yours that those coaches share the applications in our community as well. So, there’s a lot of opportunity out there.

Brooke: Yeah, so initially I had this idea, I remember I was in a mastermind. I was working in this. And there was a lot of kind of disbelief in our industry, back when I first started, because people didn’t even know what life coaching was. And there was, like, life coaching is more of a hobby than a real career. And it kind of was. We were still getting our footing, you know, 20 years ago.

And I remember thinking, like, I want to employ life coaches. I don’t just want to help create them in the world. I want to employ them. I want it to be like this constant feedback mechanism. And so, the idea that someone could come and become a Scholar and then become a certified coach and then I hire them and pay them to be a certified coach, which then pays for their certification, but also helps another Scholar who then maybe became a certified coach, that whole ecosystem that we’ve created there, it’s so magical to me.

And many people go on and start their own business. And of course, you know me, I love entrepreneurship. I’m all in for both. But being able to create this kind of idea in our industry – and I was going to say, the first time I had one of my students who had built her business big enough to come to me to say, “I need to hire three coaches that are trained by the school,” my head exploded. I was like, “What is happening? It’s happening.”

It’s so good. And so, I always love to see the different things that are happening in our industry now and to see coaches who don’t want to be entrepreneurs becoming, you know, really important parts of other coach’s organizations, it brings so much joy to my heart. And they don’t want to go anywhere. They want to work. They want to coach. That’s their life. They’re super happy.

And then also, to have coaches that have come through the school and coached with us for a couple of years and now are very successful entrepreneurs now.

Katie: Exactly. The idea that there’s no one path anymore, you know, there’s so many ways to do this. And it brings us full-circle. It’s like only you know what that path is for you and the options are now endless, which is incredible.

Brooke: Okay, so let’s talk briefly to a coach who may be discouraged. Maybe someone’s gotten certified and they’ve been trying to get a job as a coach with an organization and they’re struggling. What would be your advice to them?

Katie: Yeah, so of course, get coaching on your thoughts first and foremost. But also, I think if you have been given any feedback – I remember learning this very, very early on, is just how could this feedback be true? What is here that’s true?

Like, if I was open and receptive to what’s been offered and areas where I could improve and I was willing to embrace all of it, how might I grow as a coach and am I willing to put in the work and keep going? We have so many people on our team that applied four times.

Brooke: Wow, that’s amazing. So, don’t give up, my friends.

Katie: Never, never, never. If it is the dream, then those are just the steppingstones along the way. And the best part is you become a better coach in the process. There’s no downside if you’re practicing and getting coached.

Brooke: I love so many things about what you said. The first thing that I’m thinking is like, I love that it’s so hard to get hired at the school because it means our coaches are amazing. I love that it’s hard to get hired at the school – I mean, for some people it is because it requires you to coach yourself and never give up and apply all the tools that you’ve learned by going through the school.

And the other piece of that is just remembering, if you haven’t gotten hired yet, it’s like you haven’t made a sale yet as an entrepreneur. You haven’t considered what is an irresistible offer to your customer. And if you want to get hired at the Life Coach School, we’re your customer. If you want to get hired at someone else’s organization, they’re your customer. What are they looking for? What do they most need?

And I think that every single person that works at the school as a contractor, as an employee, has to be impeccable. And I just want to kind of end with this because I think it’s great advice and code of conduct for anyone working as an entrepreneur or as an employee at any organization.

So, can you just briefly go through some of those expectations that we have that may seem obvious but aren’t?

Katie: Yeah, well of course it’s the tech piece that we’ve already covered and talked about. But it’s also the way I think you hold yourself, conduct yourself, treat yourself. It’s the way you articulate concepts and the way you’re able to coach, of course, has to be impeccable. But it’s also being in emotional adulthood as well. It’s receiving feedback and implementing it, like I just said, looking for what’s true here and how I can learn.

And also, I think what’s now made this particular team, 55 coaches we have now, so successful and so strong is that they’re always thinking, “How can we do better tomorrow? How can we serve Scholars even better tomorrow?” So, the ideas, the suggestions, the process improvements, they’re just always thinking about the customer they’re serving.

Brooke: I love, love, love this. And I think it all comes down to self-responsibility, taking responsibility for yourself, not blaming but owning the result that you want to create for yourself and your own life and showing up in a way that demonstrates that. I think whether you want to be a coach or whether you’re applying to be a coach or you’re running your own business, or even if you’re working in corporate as a coach with another portion of your job and you’re getting a certification to help you with that, I think how you show up in your life, I think it includes how you dress, how you take care of your appearance, do you show up on time? Do you take responsibility?? Do you ask this question that you’re saying, “How can I make this better and how can I serve my customer more?” Those are all things that are going to serve you in your life overall, for everything.

And so many people that come and work at the school, whether they’re working as a coach or an employee, it’s so crazy, like sometimes we have to let people go and they’ll send me thank you notes, like, “Thank you so much for teaching me how to be professional, for teaching me how to be impeccable, for teaching me how to show up and take responsibility for myself.”

And so, that’s nice that you learn that on the job with us. But I feel like that’s something you should bring to every position that you have as well.

Katie: Absolutely.

Brooke: So good. So, thank you so much, Katie, for coming on and for talking about the tips on how to get hired as a life coach and the opportunities that are out there. I think we have lots of coaching opportunities at the Life Coach School, a lot of our students are hiring. But there are more and more corporations that are hiring coaches to come in and coach their staff and their customers.

So, I want to, just as a tip at the end to recommend, if that is something that appeals to you, we’ve had a lot of coaches that are pitching their coaching services to corporations that don’t even know they need it, and getting hired. It’s a beautiful thing. There’s tons of opportunities out there. If someone wants to apply to work at the school, what do they do, Katie? Tell them.

Katie: Well, if they are one of our certified coaches, they go to the certified site and find the application there. So, it’s easy to fill out, then I will be in touch with next steps.

Brooke: Okay, sounds great. So, if you want to work for us, go ahead and go there. If you aren’t certified yet and you’re interested in looking into certification for maybe eventually working for us, go to thelifecoachschool.com/certification. Thanks again, Katie, for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it. And we’ll talk to you all next week. Take care. Bye.

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