How would you describe the start of your coaching journey?
My journey as a coach started way back in 2017, but what I realized once I actually started Zero2ICF was that what I was doing was more facilitation and mentoring than actually coaching. I was running my facilitation business as a side gig for a few years before I actually decided to go to coaching training and become a certified coach. Reason I did it was getting the coaching knowledge but also for the credibility, especially when working with corporations.
It seems as if the program Zero2ICF was perfect for you?
Zero2ICF was offering exactly what I was needing at that time - step by step program to show me what coaching is, provide me with proper education, mentoring and practice and, most importantly, prepare me to take my ICF credentialing exam (what was formerly known as CKA - coach knowledge assessment).
What are your key insights and learnings from the process of enrolling to training to gaining a credential?
First and foremost, this is a marathon, not a sprint. From the beginning of the process till you get your first accreditation it takes you at least two, two and a half years. I had no idea this would be such a long journey. On the other hand, it is extremely rewarding knowing that you managed to pass all the study hours, log in enough hours with clients and finally pass the exam. I read somewhere that there are only around 50 000 active ICF coaches around the world and the certification does make a difference in the way you approach this business but it also plays a part in your own confidence as a coach.
What would be your message for all people considering starting their own coaching journey?
Just promise to yourself you will actually stick till the end. I know life gets in the way and sometimes it can be tiring (and stressful) to attend lessons after a full day of work or log in coaching hours, or prepare for the work with your mentor. But it is very well worth it. Don't do it for the accreditation only, otherwise you will quit mid-way. I talked to many people that started this journey only for the accreditation purposes and stopped along the way. Make sure you have the right mentors and the right program (like Zero2ICF) supporting you on the way. We are a community but preparing for this exam can be a lonely experience. This is why you need great mentors along the way.
Can you share something about the exam itself from your own experience?
Credentialing exam itself is no joke. I took the exam online and it was one of the toughest experiences I had so far when it comes to testing. They are serious when they say - nothing on the desk, make sure the whole room is clear and everything else. You will have one designated break mid way and you can use this to go to toilet but make sure you are back in front of the camera before 5 min pass, otherwise you fail the exam. There are some good resources online to prepare for the test, so make sure you prepare enough to feel confident in yourself and your knowledge. But most importantly, follow the advice of your mentors. They have been there and they know what they are talking about.Tell us more about your future steps in coaching and further development.I am still coaching several private clients but in the meantime I am finishing my new mentoring framework called G.R.O.W. I am officially rolling it out in September on three different events and I am looking forward to presenting it to a few new companies I will be working with. And in November I am also presenting it to the new generations of students as an alumna of SDA Bocconi, where I did my masters. Fun times ahead!
Thank you Ana Stevanović, ACC for this small but useful interview! Good luck with your future work as an ICF ACC.