Career progress is a difficult endeavour. For example, less than half of new businesses in Canada will survive longer than 10 years (Government of Canada, 2018), and “Canadian employees report workplace stress as the primary cause of their mental health problems or illness” (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2018).
For those with a disability, achieving career goals and ambitions can be even more challenging, as work may be impacted by illness, doctor’s appointments, and difficulty commuting to and from work. In fact, employment itself can be a challenge for those living with a disability. In 2011, Statistics Canada found that “the employment rate of Canadians aged 25 to 64 with disabilities was 49%, compared with 79% for Canadians without a disability.” (Turcotte, 2015) Among those with a severe disability, only 42% were employed, and among those with a very severe disability, the figure was only 26% (Turcotte, 2015). University graduates with a disability are also “less likely to hold a management position and earned less than those without a disability, especially among men.” (Turcotte, 2015)
Stigma and discrimination can also affect those living with a disability. Indeed, “Among Canadians with a disability,” studies found that “12% reported having been refused a job in the previous five years as a result of their condition,” with the percentage climbing up to “33% among 25- to 34-year-olds with a severe or very severe disability.” (Turcotte, 2015) Those living with a hidden disability may also find that “the workplace can mean having to battleunique barriers, from being judged as workshy, because bosses and colleagues don’t believe they’re disabled, to the dilemma of whether to disclose their disability at all.” (Ryan, 2017)
How can a life coach help clients living with a disability achieve their ambitions? Continue reading to learn more.
Graduates of Life Coach School Can Help Clients Feel Confident as They Face Challenges
For many, a graduate of life coach school can serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment to overcome numerous barriers in life. The practice is meant to instill confidence in clients, as well as to help give them added support in reaching goals (Doyle, 2018). Furthermore, coaching can help clients find solutions that they already have within themselves (Dhanani, 2019).
Increased confidence can be especially beneficial to those living with a disability. According to one study, “women with disabilities had significantly lower self-cognition and self-esteem, and greater social isolation than the women without disabilities, as well as… lower rates of salaried employment.” (Nosek, Hughes, Swedlund, Taylor, & Swank, 2003) That same study also found that “self-esteem was significantly related to employment” (Nosek et al., 2003).
Lower self-esteem could prevent a talented individual from seeing how much they contribute to their workplace, or keep them from putting their best foot forward during a job interview. In some cases, low self-esteem may even result in imposter syndrome, where a person feels “chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” (Corkindale, 2008)
Fortunately, life coaching can help clients feel empowered and confident. A coach can help encourage clients to truly see their potential and all they have to offer, as well as minimize negative thoughts and persevere in the face of challenges (Life Coach Directory, n.d.). It can be helpful in reminding them that they have the resilience and strength of character necessary to attain goals despite challenges (Doyle, 2018).
How Graduates of Life Coach School Can Help with Goal Setting and Accountability
Students in life coaching school learn how to assess clients, as well as help them overcome challenges and achieve personal objectives. Part of this process means setting challenging but achievable goals, as well as celebrating progress along the way. Properly considering and articulating goals, as well as why they are important, helps clients determine exactly what it is they want and progress towards an outcome that will leave them feeling truly satisfied (Beck, n.d.). If a client’s ambition is to land a senior position at their company, what is it about that promotion that they want? Are they looking to feel valued? Are they searching for recognition? Often, articulating the reasons or intended outcomes of a goal can help to illuminate the parts of a client’s life that already bring them satisfaction (Beck, n.d.). This can help to focus goals in a constructive manner, so that clients can appreciate what they already have as they work towards what they want (Beck, n.d.).
Life coaches also know to hold their clients accountable. If a client commits to a goal, it’s imperative that they follow through. Whether that goal is to stop using negative self-talk, or express interest in a management position, clients are held accountable to their goals so that objectives do become reality.
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Beck, M. (n.d.) How Three Simple (But Powerful) Words Can Put You On the Path to Happiness. Retrieved from: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/goal-setting-strategies-from-life-coach-martha-beck/all
Corkindale, G. (2008) Overcoming Imposter Syndrome. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome
Dhanani, A. (2019, October 22). Positive Psychology and Life Coaching: How Do They Differ? Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/positive-psychology-life-coaching/.
Dobbin-Turner, L. (n.d.). Services for Persons with disabilities. Retrieved January 3, 2020, from https://www.trulyyoulifecoaching.com/services-for-persons-with-disabilities.html.
Doyle, M. (2018, January 1). Why coaching is massively beneficial for disabled people. Retrieved from http://disabilityhorizons.com/2018/01/why-coaching-is-massively-beneficial-for-disabled-people/.
Government of Canada (2018) Canadian New Firms: Birth and Survival Rates over the Period 2002–2014, May 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/h_03075.html#section-3
Life Coach Directory (n.d.) Confidence. Retrieved from: https://www.lifecoach-directory.org.uk/articles/confidence.html
Mental Health Commission of Canada (2018) Canadian employees report workplace stress as primary cause of mental health concerns. Retrieved from: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/news-article/13522/canadian-employees-report-workplace-stress-primary-cause-mental-health-concerns
Nosek, M. A., Hughes, R. B., Swedlund, N., Taylor, H. B., & Swank, P. (2003). Self-esteem and women with disabilities. Social Science & Medicine, 56(8), 1737–1747. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00169-7
Ryan, F. (2017) Hidden disabilities at work: ‘Every day I’m fatigued and in pain’. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2017/feb/21/hidden-disabilities-at-work-everyday-im-fatigued-and-in-pain
Turcotte, M. (2015) Persons with disabilities and employment. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2014001/article/14115-eng.htm