Teaches life skills to high school students
Teaches life skills to high school students
Name: John Williams
Job: Life coach
Salary: $108,000
Age: 31
Hometown: Portland, Ore.

I work as a life coach for high school students, so I'm basically a mix between a career coach and therapist.

After graduating from Brown University, I started out as a Latin teacher for a small high school. As a teacher, I realized there were lots of skills that I wished I had learned in high school but didn't, so I started meeting with students on the side -- helping them with everything from leadership, beliefs, communication and learning styles.

We would talk about what they wanted to get out of high school, and make goals. For example, I worked with a very, very shy 9th grader, who had really poor self esteem and incidents where he was bullied pretty badly. So I helped him to change his perspective and focus on his strengths, and a year later he started getting involved in a band and being a lot more confident in himself.

I worked with students like that on the side for four years, and then decided I wanted to do it as a full-time job instead. I now meet with three to four students a day, and I have quite a few clients in other states who I talk with over the phone or on Skype.

I save money by meeting them at coffee shops instead of paying rent for an office. Each 50-minute session costs $135, so it works out to be about $108,000 a year -- compared to the $36,500 salary I made as a teacher.

Last updated September 01 2011: 6:28 PM ET
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