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Career Counseling vs. Career Coaching Services

I offer both career counseling and career coaching. There is a good deal of overlap, but there are distinctions. Read the career counseling section if you are either (A) a young person interested in identifying a career direction (B) a person of any age thinking about a career change (new occupation). Refer to the career coaching section if you believe you are basically in the right occupation but are unhappy in your present situation.

Career Counseling

What do you like to do? What are you naturally good at? What kinds of tasks annoy or bore you? What kinds of projects excite and motivate you? Do you see yourself directing the work of others? Making big decisions? Making small decisions? Creating a product? Giving presentations? Managing a crisis? Helping those in need? Running your own business? Providing information to customers or clients?

Do you see yourself in a corporate environment? In a small business environment? In a medical environment? Wearing a business suit? Wearing a uniform? Working outdoors? Working from your spare bedroom? Strategizing? Calculating? Writing? Debating? Advising? Improvising? Instructing? What do you like to do?

These are some of the many things I discuss with my clients. Our first goal is to identify these “wants” along with your skills and abilities that have carryover into the workplace. In doing so, we create a picture of what your fantasy job might look like. The next step is for me to use my knowledge of careers and give you some real-life alternatives—some actual job titles that are close fits to the constellation of features you desire in a career.

You are a One-of-a-Kind Person and Your Career Plan Requires a Custom Fit!

Sometimes clients are on the cusp of figuring out their career direction themselves but need me as a sounding board to provide confirmation that the path is a good choice. If I think your career idea fits you and is attainable, these are relatively easy sessions. We tend to quickly wrap up the decision and move on to strategies such as résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn writing services.

Other clients, however, feel truly lost. This group is very diverse and includes individuals who do not have a good grasp of their marketable skills, individuals who have little knowledge of the variety of careers that exist, and individuals who are stuck because career decision making causes high levels of anxiety. Also in this group are individuals who thought they knew the right career but have been unsuccessful in attaining that employment or have been terminated from that employment and now need to reevaluate the original choice entirely.

In addition to the variety of career problems I tackle is the variety of people I see. I work with clients of all ages and life circumstances. This includes individuals in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. It includes clients heading off to college and not sure what to major in, clients emerging from college without a career plan, clients who have spent a few years in the work force and do not feel they are in the right place, clients who are reentering the workforce, clients who are in industries and occupations that have become a dead-end, clients closing their own businesses, and clients coming out of retirement.

The Process
My experience in more than 20 years of career counseling is that it is beneficial for some clients (about 50%) to complete several written career assessments in conjunction with in-person career counseling. When I say career “assessments” don’t get anxious. These are not tests. There are no grades, there are no wrong answers, and the questions are all about you! If any questions are difficult it will be because they force you to think about yourself deeply, which is a good thing. I can almost assure you that you will gain insight from these exercises and be glad you did them. Prior to making your appointment, in your free phone consultation, I will evaluate your situation and determine if you are in that 50% where written career assessments will be beneficial.

Plan A:
During our initial phone conversation, if I make the determination that written assessments are not necessary, we will make an appointment for your career counseling session with me. (Note: I will still be “assessing” your career situation as well as career options during our in-person meeting.) The fee for the 1.5 hour session is $250.

Plan B:
Plan B is career counseling with written career assessments. In advance of our session, I will email you eight assessments. They will be PDF documents that you will print out and complete. You will then send them back to me and I will evaluate your responses, thereby learning quite a bit about you in advance. The fee for the 1.5 hour career counseling session is $250. The fee for the assessments is $50, which is not a fee for the materials sent but is compensatory for my time in evaluating what you send back.

More Help:
Additional sessions, if needed, are typically shorter and are billed at the rate of $100/hour. Once you are a client in my practice at any point in the future you can take advantage of mini-sessions with me. Mini-sessions take place in person or on the telephone and are billed in 15 minute increments (15 minutes is $25). This is ideal in certain situations where you need a small amount of guidance/support from me.

Career Coaching

Things are not so great at your job these days. Maybe you’ve been passed over for a promotion…maybe you’re not part of the inner circle…maybe you’ve been handed some undesirable projects…maybe you’re being underpaid…maybe you’re getting buried in extra work that someone else is supposed to be doing…

If your present situation is causing you on-going stress, a professional evaluation can help enormously. My first goal is to help you determine whether your problems at work are fixable or whether you should move on.

If your job is worth saving, career coaching can help you improve the status quo and give you some concrete approaches to turn things around. These interventions may involve coaching you through a dialog you will then have with your boss. Or, we may decide to work on your prioritizing, time management, or delegating abilities, have you take on a high-profile project, or work on interpersonal strategies to restore relationships with key colleagues.

Alternatively, if it is time to find a new work environment, I can assist you with many transitional issues including the identification of employers to pursue as well as additional training or education that might be warranted.

Career coaching is similar to career counseling in that it involves one-on-one sessions, usually face-to-face in my Huntington, Long Island office. The first session is 1.5 hours and the fee is $250. Subsequent sessions are usually 1/2 hour to one-hour long with a fee of $50 or $100 respectively.

Final Words on Career Counseling and Coaching

Career decisions are one of the most important decisions a person ever makes because of the life-long implications related to income, personal fulfillment, and emotional happiness. Such an important decision deserves careful consideration and judgment. The money you spend on good career counseling or coaching is an investment you make in yourself and in your future.

For more information, or if you are ready to get started, contact MJ Feld at (631) 673-5432.

205 East Main Street, Suite 2-4 Huntington, NY 11743 | 631-673-5432 | mj@careersbychoice.com
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