If you’ve completed your Health and Wellness Coaching certification, and looking for work or clients, you’re looking for ways to boost your professional credibility. With credibility, it’s so much easier to find a job, secure a client, or built a solid reputation with your local allied health professionals.
There are several things that boost professional credibility, but one thing tops the list, and can 100x your ability to be seen and known as a professional.
What Is Professional Credibility – and Why Does It Matter?
Professional credibility can be simply defined as your education, experience, performance and demonstrated professional development in a particular field.
This definition gives some clues about what it takes to be a credible professional that is trusted and respected.
Why does professional credibility matter?
According to an article in the Organisational Behaviour in Health Care book series, “…professional credibility is a source of legitimacy.” The chapter says that when professional credibility is combined with leadership, you can create respect and trust by peers, and engagement with followers.
When people ask questions about your qualifications or professionalism, they are looking for evidence that you’re trustworthy, capable, and skilled.
This is definitely understandable in a healthcare setting, because you may be dealing with people in health critical or life critical situations, with complex medical or psychological conditions, and with other professionals who have significant experience in patient care and medical systems.
Somebody showing up with a coaching qualification may not fit into their paradigm. In Australia, Health and Wellness Coaching is a relatively young profession and people don’t understand what it is or how it fits with existing medical frameworks, or within health professions. It is also an unregulated industry.
Part of the challenge is the range of untrained and unexperienced people giving themselves coaching-related titles and offering services that are clearly not coaching related.
Another part of the challenge is the diversity of coaching professions around – you can be a life coach, a wellness coach, a health and wellness coach, a health coach, an executive coach….and so on. What’s the difference? Which is the appropriate setting for each one?
The upshot is, organisations will more likely hire you, and individual clients will more likely buy from you, if you can establish yourself as a credible professional.
One Thing to 100x Your Professional Credibility
There are obviously a lot of good reasons why professional credibility is important.
There are several things you can do to build your credibility and legitimacy, but one of the most powerful steps you can take is to join our peak industry body, Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand association (HCANZA), as a professional member.
Why is this so important? Because health professionals, clients and potential employers are looking for some sort of ‘stamp of approval’ to say that the training course you’ve completed is of an appropriate standard, is evidence based, and ideally has been recognised by some sort of governing body. In the absence of formal regulation of our industry, a peak industry body like HCANZA is the next best thing.
HCANZA provides professional credibility and so much more – and are fast becoming a recognised name at the highest levels of government, insurance and medical sector in Australia and New Zealand, due to the focus on advocacy work for our profession.
The Association is actively building the knowledge, understanding and reputation of health coaching in Australia and New Zealand, determining the standards for coach training and education, and creating opportunities to for professional coaching careers in different sectors.
It’s clear to see why being part of the association is good for your image!
Joining HCANZA as a Professional Member gives you access to the HCANZA membership logo, that you can use to help you promote yourself as a credible, legitimate coach. You also gain access to professional resources and how-to guides so you can more easily build credibility in your marketing.
One example is the 25-page booklet available to members called The Doctors Guide to Health Coaching, authored by Sandra Sheinbaum from the Institute of Functional Medicine and provided to HCANZA members for the purpose of awareness-building, advocacy and promotion of our profession with medical professionals.
Look for the Logo – A Visibility and Recognition Initiative
HCANZA is currently running a Look for the Logo campaign to educate the public and health professionals on how to choose an appropriately qualified health and wellness coach – by making sure that they are a HCANZA Professional member.
Now more than ever, and no matter how experienced you are, it’s a great time to join our peak industry body, HCANZA, and prove the legitimacy of your credentials and capabilities.