I've had an interesting discussion recently with another professional helper, actually, a group of us, on the subject of authenticity, value and credibility.  Because I've come from a background that is pretty different to the ones most of them have come from, I've naturally got different views than some of them.  Between myself and some of the others, the points of view are so similar as to be almost convergent.

During the conversation I said that I've been working quite hard lately to build my qualifications in order to increase my credibiliy.  I was quickly told that my credibility is something that I decide and is not dependant on other peoples' credentials.

My response to that was, and still is, that I agree entirely and that I was simply trying to make things easier.  To clarify, make things easier for myself.  By that, I mean a couple of things.  The study has paid enormous dividends in giving me skills, as a professional helper that I didn't possess prior to doing the study.  Having that skill in itself helps to boost credibility.

The other thing, though, as a professional helper who works with real human beings, those people, my clients, want to know that I have some sort of qualification.  They want to see a piece of paper.  For some reason, seeing a piece of paper sets peoples' minds at ease.  That's why I've worked to get the qualifications.  I can't work with somebody if they don't think I'm qualified to do what they're paying me to do.

My point is, personally and professionally, I'm a believer in ongoing education and training.  And the great thing is that we now live in a time when it's never been easier to do it affordably.  All you need to do if you don't have a lot of money to spend is to subscribe to a few e-newsletters, sit back and wait.  Eventually, you'll be offered a course that you want to do at a substantially discounted price.  I did.  And there are an enormous number of internationally recognized qualifications that you can do online.  Again, I did.  The only drag is that you might not be getting the qualification from inside your own country, but does it really matter?

As an example, in my own country of Australia, the helping professions that work in industries that are regulated by the governments (federal and state) are, doctors, nurses, teachers, disability workers and social workers.  I can set to work as a counsellor, life coach or therapist without a qualification, and the only regulation within those industries, are by the industries themselves.  No government regulation at all.

It's actually harder to be able to work as a security guard or bouncer, or as a traffic controller (the guy at the roadworks who holds the stop sign).  I know that because I've done both of those jobs too. 

And having spent almost ten years working with people with disabilities actually gives me a wealth of experience and credibility as a Life Coach.  Believe it or not, the jobs are very similar.  They're both about education and life skills.  The difference is that Life Coaching pays much better and I'm the one who's in charge of how I work.  Way less politics too.

So my point is that you should never be afraid to invest in yourself, especially if you want to manufacture change in your life.  And the great news is that you don't have to invest an enormous amount of money that you don't have if you're happy to do the course online.  That's what I did and I'm really happy that I did.  And I'm not finished yet either.  But that's for another day.
10/23/2012 23:57:04

Interesting read.

10/13/2013 16:29:56

First time reading this blog, just wanted to say hi.


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    G'day everyone.  I'm an Aussie Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotist (www.americanallianceofhypnotists.org)  and author with a passion for making every relationship in our lives the best it can be.   I work at local, state, national and international levels.  I am also a Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy practitioner trained by Eugene Piccinotti TFT - dx, and I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner Level (MNLP) under Steve G Jones at the American University of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
    (http://www.aunlp.org).  In other words, as a coach, I'll use whatever I have to use to help you to make the changes you want to make.