LESLIE YALOF GARFIELD, 54, a professor at Pace Law School, faced an empty nest as her last child headed off to college. Ilona Shinkar, 42, is a former French teacher living in Larchmont, N.Y., with three children at home.
Ms. Shinkar wanted to find a new career. Ms. Garfield wanted to pursue a new challenge. So both decided to become life coaches.
Cue eye rolls. The term life coach has evolved over the last few decades from a curiosity to a punch line. Nine years ago on “The Daily Show,” Demetri Martin called a life coach “a really expensive friend with limited credentials.” And the jokes haven’t stopped since.
But they also haven’t stopped people from becoming coaches. (The word “life” is fading somewhat, as many prefer to identify themselves by specialty — executive coach, health coach or leadership coach, for example.)