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Career Counseling for Initial Career Decisions & Career Change

Career counseling is ideal for young people who need to make a career decision. It is also ideal for a person of any age thinking about a career change. In my practice, I provide career counseling to clients in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. I assist students heading off to college who are not sure what to major in, young adults emerging from college without a career direction, clients of all ages who want to make a career change, and clients reentering the workforce. 

Customized Career Counseling Based on Your Situation

For some clients I am a sounding board, providing confirmation that a career direction tentatively chosen is a good choice. Other clients, however, feel truly lost. This group is very diverse and includes those who need information about the variety of careers that exist and those who are stuck because a career decision causes high levels of anxiety. Also in this group are individuals who thought they made a good career decision, but have been unsuccessful in attaining that employment or have been terminated from that employment and now need to reevaluate the original choice. In addition to those issues, there are even more, which are shared on the page, common career problems.

The Client’s Role 

An important factor in effective career counseling is what a client does after the session. My ideas, insight, and guidance, will produce a path—a way forward—but clients need to exert effort and take the steps needed. “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary,” is entirely true about launching a career or changing one. There are times when acquiring additional skills, a credential such as a certificate, or even additional education becomes necessary. 

I have developed a framework for tackling career problems. I call it the M-I-P Approach because there are three essentials in arriving at a career solution—Motivation + Information + Planning. 

Motivation is the drive to make something happen. Getting hired as well as managing the progression of a career requires a good amount of effort. Airplanes take off against the wind because it gives them lift. Careers take off against the wind too and motivation is the lift.

Information includes knowledge about the skills required for various jobs, an assessment of one’s skills against those requirements, and information about training and educational programs that can bridge a gap, if it exists.

Planning is about laying out the strategy to get to your goal. There should be a sense of urgency and a time frame for incremental steps. Goals should be written down and announced to others. It is often the only way to prevent slacking from tasks that are challenging and require lots of effort.

With regard to the three essentials above, the last two, information and planning, are items that are relatively easy to help clients with. Motivation, is more challenging. This is because motivation only comes from within. If you are not sure you are sufficiently motivated, I suggest waiting a bit before you start working with me. This motivation issue should also not be overlooked by parents and spouses. Suggesting career counseling to someone else is a wonderful idea, but don’t push it if it meets with ambivalence or resistance. As much as we care about others we are close to, people need to come around in their own time and we cannot transfer motivation to someone else. Plant the idea, encourage this person to read pages on this website, and let them take the lead by contacting me. 


Career Assessments-Useful for Some Clients

Some of my clients complete career assessments in conjunction with career counseling. Career assessments are not tests. The questions are all about you! If any questions are difficult it will be because they force you to think about yourself and your career deeply. Prior to making your appointment, in your free phone consultation, I will evaluate your situation and recommend career assessments if I think they will be beneficial. About 50% of my clients fall into that category. If we proceed with assessments, I will email them to you and you will complete them electronically. You will send them back to me so I can learn about your career interests, skills, and aspirations in advance.

Cost of Career Counseling  

The fee for a 1.5-hour career counseling session is $300. If assessments are warranted, there is an additional $175 fee. Additional sessions, if needed, are typically shorter and are billed at the rate of $150/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 are billed in 20-minute increments (20 minutes is $50). This is ideal in certain situations where you need a small amount of guidance/support from me.


Career Coaching

Consider career coaching, which I distinguish from career counseling (see above), if you are basically in the right occupation but are unhappy in your present situation. If your present job is causing you ongoing stress, 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 with concrete approaches to turn things around. These interventions may involve coaching you through a dialog you will 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’s time to find a new job, I can assist with resumes and cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and interview coaching. Career coaching sessions, like career counseling sessions take place via video-conferencing using Zoom. The first session is 1.5 hours and the fee is $300. Subsequent sessions are billed incrementally at the rate of $150/hour. 

Final Words on Career Help

The key to a successful career is to find something you enjoy doing and then learn to do it as well as it can be done. Career decisions have life-long implications related to income, personal fulfillment, and emotional happiness. Such an important decision deserves careful consideration. The money you spend on good career counseling or career coaching is an investment you make in yourself and your future.

For more information, or if you are ready to get started, use the contact us page to send me an introductory message about your career situation or contact me at (631) 673-5432.