New Jersey Baby Boomers Katherine Poehnert and Marc Weiner, like so many in their age group, can't imagine retiring. They are entrepreneurs who have found a profession that is perfectly suited to their values and passions.
Poehnert and Weiner are certified professional coaches.
It seems the aspirations of Baby Boomers are changing from ones of retirement to those of entrepreneurship. Over the past decade, Americans in the 55-64 age bracket have sparked the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity ... especially since the traditional business model and large corporations no longer provide the job security they used to.
With Baby Boomers living healthier and longer lives, they are no longer following traditional retirement paths and instead are seeking second and third careers, according to a study conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which predicts that despite the bleak economic outlook, America is on the cusp of an entrepreneurial boom.One of the most popular endeavors for those in this age bracket is that of a certified professional business or life coach. Boomers are well suited to this professional calling based on their vast business and life experience. Coaching is the practice of focusing existing talents and channeling them to create true significance and empowering change in the lives of others.
Even before the entrepreneurial boomers took to the profession, the coaching industry has seen tremendous growth with revenues topping $1 billion in 2008. The International Coach Federation (ICF), because of the demand for coaches, has seen an explosion in its membership since its creation in 1995. Membership has grown from under 1,000 members to over 14,000 members. Additionally, between 25 to 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches, as reported in a recent survey by The Hay Group, an International Human Resources consultancy.
On average, experienced life coaches are earning an average of $77,000 per year, and experienced corporate/business coaches are earning an average of $134,800 per year (Source: 2009 Sherpa Executive Coaching Study).
"Baby Boomers comprise the largest segment of our student and graduate base," commented D. Luke Iorio, President of Coach Training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. iPEC is based in Shrewsbury, and is one of the few coaching institutes accredited by the International Coach Federation.
"The Baby Boom generation brings with it the experience, skills, contacts, drive and other resources to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities such as coaching," adds Iorio. "They reached a point in their career where they want to capitalize on their experience and often give back to others. Coaching has provided them an outlet to help others while also earning substantial incomes."
Two Baby Boomer Coaches from New Jersey
Katherine L. Poehnert, owner of InSight Services Coaching and Training, is a resident of Ocean Grove and is a professionally certified executive/life coach, focusing her individual client market on helping leaders, particularly women, gain success by supporting them in clarifying goals, aligning values with decisions, following instincts, and fostering real conversations.
The 58-year-old Baby Boomer's unique approach to coaching emphasizes ownership and control of personal and professional growth through self-understanding, perceptual awareness, intuitive and right brain thinking, and a strong belief in the power of the human spirit.
"I have always been a bit of a rebel – not always following the traditional career path. Having left a successful career as a school psychologist, I stayed home to raise my son, and during that time established a small business called FamilyWorks, offering parenting seminars and courses based on very Democratic and somewhat non-traditional principles," says Poehnert.
"I began to hear about coaching around 2001, but it was really not very mainstream at the time, so, of course it appealed to me," she adds. "Experiencing adolescence in the turbulent sixties influenced me to do a lot of questioning, but also to try and find the positive in life's situations - you know, peace, love, etc."
Ms. Poehnert was drawn to the coaching field by two things: seeing opportunity rather than problems, and being able to use her natural curiosity in a meaningful and purposeful fashion.
"Working with Kathy for the past few years has truly been priceless. As an executive coach she is a true professional," commented Margaret Maclay, who is president of Maclay Associates, LLC and a former VP for Liz Claiborne.
"Our work together has spanned my corporate role transition, career transition, marital transition and initiation into the world of business coaching. Kathy has provided guidance, support, friendship – along with methods and approaches that have led me to accepting accountability for my actions, confidence in my judgment – my gut – respect for the value of my experiences and to listen. I am a happier, more confident, creative and effective leader as a result of my coaching relationship with Kathy."
Marc Weiner, Managing Director & CEO of Empowerment Associates LLC (www.EmpowermentAssociates.com) offers customer service coaching, business consulting and advisory services to CEOs, boards of directors, business owners, entrepreneurs, sales managers, sales professionals, life and business coaches, speakers and consultants in the areas of strategic planning, business growth and development, sales coaching/training, complex business challenges, turnarounds and senior executive career/life transition.
Weiner, who resides in Oakland, became a coach because of his desire to guide and inspire.
"My coach training taught me how to help a client use difficult, unexpected life transitions to their advantage and how to apply goal achievement strategies as the key to success for individuals and businesses as they move forward into their future.
"I thoroughly enjoy being a coach, mentor, and "thinking partner" with my clients," says Weiner. I am very passionate about what I do and why I do it and I care deeply about my clients achieving not only success, but fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives. My intention is to be a masterful coach – one who guides and inspires others to not only achieve their goals and dreams, but thoroughly enjoy themselves in the process."
Brian Mason, CEO says, "Marc's creative thinking partner approach is very interactive, goal-oriented and inspiring. He is clearly interested in really improving, encouraging and helping our organization."
Founded in 1999 by Bruce D Schneider, MCC and Ph D., the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) is an Accredited Coach Training and Certification Program - meaning, the Institute graduates Certified Professional Coaches in the specialties of life, career/transition, health and wellness, relationships, sales, business and executive coaching.
The coach-training program is approximately nine months. The 350+ hour program ends in written and oral examinations for certification.
The program is accredited by the International Coach Federation, and exceeds their standards for certification of coaches.
Six ways to know if a coaching career is for you:
- People usually come to you for advice and you have a positive impact on them;
- You value personal growth and seek a career that will utilize your strengths;
- You see great potential in people and are frustrated when they don't exercise that potential;
- You emphasize strong relationships and a balanced life with many interests, including vitality in health and career;
- You're not afraid of hard work to create more personal and financial freedom.
- You know you have a gift – and you want to share it to help yourself and others live a more powerful and fulfilling life.