Professional Coaching

Should you become a coach? We asked a professional.

Michelle Payne is a Master Certified Coach (MCC), which places her in the top 1% of the coaching profession. She works with executives world-wide, and she is also an instructor in the Professional Coaching for Life and Work Certificate Program at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. This gives her a unique perspective on the coaching industry – a perspective she enjoys sharing with potential coaches.

Michelle’s first piece of advice for anyone considering a career in coaching is simple:

Career Outlook: Professional Coaching

Coaching as a profession has evolved and become a much more prevalent part of the personal and professional development landscape. Clients come to coaches for help addressing challenging situations, defining their goals and setting up plans to achieve them. Learn more about this career path and how to get started in the field.

Online Course Format Doesn’t Diminish Learning and Networking: One Student’s Perspective

Amy Shuman entered the Professional Coaching Certificate Program in February, excited to spend the next five months in a classroom, getting to know her peers and instructors. But that’s not exactly how things went for the students in the Winter 2020 program. After the group met in-person for a few classes in February, all face-to-face meetings were canceled, and Amy and her peers found themselves looking at each other through their computer screens.

Coaching Student Perspective, Post 5: Reflections


By Amy Shuman, ACC!

Two months have passed since the end of the coaching program and today I hosted a virtual reunion for our cohort.  I guess the desire we had to have a reunion after only a short time is a testament in itself, but I’d like to use this final blog post as a place to reflect on the gifts I have received from this experience.  I tend to think in lists, so here are my top ten (in no particular order).

Coaching Student Perspective, Post 4: Coaching and COVID

By Amy Shuman
UC Davis Professional Coaching Program Graduate

Editor's note -- This is part four of an ongoing blog series written by Amy Shuman, a graduate of our Professional Coaching program, about her experience as a student. 

Halfway through our program, the world changed in a big way.  In accordance with county and state guidelines our cozy face-to-face program was reassembled into little boxes on Zoom. The instructors did a great job adapting, but needless to say, things were different.

Coaching Student Perspective, Post 3: In-between Coaching

By Amy Shuman
UC Davis Professional Coaching Student

Editor's note -- This is part three of an ongoing blog series written by Amy Shuman, a current student in our Professional Coaching program. 

Weekend three was where the magic started to really spark for me.  We explored some new coaching models that incorporated positive psychology and appreciative inquiry (yes!).  We spent time trying to articulate who we are as coaches, and what matters most to us.  We reviewed sample coaching calls and practiced giving feedback. 

Coaching Student Perspective, Post 2: You’re already a coach

By Amy Shuman
UC Davis Professional Coaching Student

Editor's note -- This is part two of an ongoing blog series written by Amy Shuman, a current student in our Professional Coaching program. 

Going into weekend two after my full work week I was trying to mentally prepare myself to stay engaged for two more days. In short: I was tired.

Then a discussion started around whether or not we could call ourselves “coaches” yet.  I’ve been coaching people for two years but… am I a “coach?”  Like… a real coach?

Coaching Student Perspective, Post 1: Coaching is About Connection

For the next five months, we'll periodically feature a post by coaching student Amy Shuman, who is currently enrolled in our Coaching for Life and Work program. She will share her insights and offer readers a glimpse into what it's like to be a coaching student.

How to Feel Happy at Work – Find Your Purpose

In this post, we feature two of our coaching program alums, who write about making career choices that honor your personal values. Thanks to Danielle Collins and Senka Ljubojevic for sharing their wisdom!

How to Feel Happy at Work – Find Your Purpose

By Danielle Collins and Senka Holzer

Years ago, before I knew myself better, I accepted a promotion that I didn’t really want, but I sure liked the title. And salary.

"Why I Coach" ~ Reflections from Our Graduates

When our graduates reflect on what coaching means to them, the result is an outpouring of love and a desire to be of service to others. 

I coach because I care about leadership. I know the difference coaching can make to everyday discussions, as well as big decisions, and am inspired to help others see that too. - Jeff Lakuska

I coach because people who strive to make their lives better are the architects of a better world. It is a privilege and an honor to be part of helping them operationalize their vision of the possible. - Donna Justice

The Benefits of Gratitude in Coaching - and Beyond

As we enter the new year, it’s important to remember the significance and power of gratitude in the practice of coaching. To help strengthen your “gratitude muscle,” (and be a better resource for your clients) take a look below at some of the most prominent gratitude research.

On Being an Internal Professional Coach

There is a broad job market for coaches, both external (private practice coaches who own their businesses) and internal (coaches who work as part of a larger organization). In this post, UC Davis Extension Professional Coaching Instructor and Professional Certified Coach Carole Bennett shares her insights on what it means to be an internal coach.

How Brain-Based Coaching Drives Lasting Change

As a Leadership and Performance Coach, I’m known for two things: helping people embrace pivotal career moments and using a coaching approach rooted in contemporary neuroscience.

For me, coaching is a results-oriented process. Most of the clients I work with are highly strategic individuals, who are well versed in planning for and achieving their goals. Brain-based approaches allow my clients to accelerate and create lasting change, have clarity of execution and maximize their potential by getting to the “who” faster.

Coaching certification matters. Here's why.

Many career paths have accrediting organizations that support and vet members of the profession. As a coach, your certification offers peace of mind to your clients, by guaranteeing that you have demonstrated certain competencies and adhere to a high standard of quality. Think of the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), to name a few.

What is Coaching?

Welcome to the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Professional Coaching Blog! We've created this resource for anyone with an interest in becoming a professional coach or honing their existing coaching skills. You'll find information here about training as a coach, but we'll also post interviews with current coaches and great resources for helping you make the transition into professional coaching.