Are online job coaches exploiting the unemployed?

In the last decade, the online coaching industry has boomed. 

Figures from LinkedIn in 2020 show that there was a 153% increase in life coaches and a 115% increase in career and business coaches compared with the year before. 

According to Ibis World, the value of this sector is predicted to reach $11.6 billion this year. But, it’s also currently unregulated, which means that anyone can become an online coach. 

Online coaching services can be found on most social media platforms. They usually provide group or individual sessions with a coach in exchange for a membership fee. 

What are the concerns? 

In the pandemic, rising unemployment, as well as freelancers and business owners facing a reduction in work, has meant that more people have turned to online coaching services to try and improve their career prospects. 

Although there are reputable coaching services available, there are also concerns that some businesses are just taking advantage of high unemployment in the current situation. 

The CPD Standards Office, which is an accreditation service for training and learning, has reported that the number of complaints about courses sold on platforms like Instagram has soared over the last 18 months. 

The agency says that, at the moment, there’s no regulation for promoting educational courses or coaching on social media, which is worrying as many courses are poorly designed, overpriced, or delivered by individuals with no coaching experience. 

Where can people go for help? 

For people looking for genuine help and support, it’s important not to rely on social media ads and to check a company’s information carefully before signing up for coaching. 

Before paying for a course, you should always: 

  • Search for authentic testimonials and reviews 
  • Be extra careful of “lifestyle changing” courses 
  • Beware of coaches that are offering unrealistic results 
  • Research the coaches training qualifications 
  • Review the contract before signing up 

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