According to an article recently completed by Today’s Zaman, the number of self-proclaimed life coaches in Turkey is always increasing—growing quickly as a new profession. However, according to Esra Doyuk, a life coach herself, many of her clients don’t even really understand or know what it means to be a life coach. Doyuk is a graduate of Bilkent University, making her among the meager fifty to fifty five life coaches in the country with proper and official training for the profession of life coach; Doyuk acknowledges that, while the profession is steadily growing more popular, and demand for the service in the country is increasing, not many practicing the profession have adequate training to really embark on the career. This is changing, however, as the Official Gazette of Turkey declared life coaching as an official profession on the twenty ninth of June in 2013. The United Nations has also listed the job as one of the most promising professions of the next decade.
However, showing a mere interest in the profession does not equip one to tackle it; there are many misinterpretations of the career circulating in Turkey. Doyuk claims that her profession is often confused with the roles of mentors, therapists or consultants—various professionals who focus on past problems, as opposed to building bright futures. To Doyuk, it is the latter that is the focus of a life coach’s job; the coach is to help in calling forth their client’s own potential by asking focused questions. The proper life coach, to Doyuk, also believes that anyone can get what he or she wants; if one person can achieve a certain goal, it can be done again, by someone else. Fundamentally, life coaches help their clients answer their questions of “how?” Coaches never tell their clients what to do; instead, they focus in on the expressed wishes, and help the client find a way of making it become a reality.
Specifically to Doyuk’s practice, questions were asked as to how her religion plays a roll in her duties as a life coach; she is the only coach in turkey to wear her religious head scarf. Doyuk says coaching and religion fit well together—that coaching urges not to judge or force one’s own morality on a client, just as her religion preaches.