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Help Choosing a Career

Help Choosing a Career

So You Need Help Choosing a Career?

I if it was yesterday...the day I had my first visit with this career specialist who was to assist me in one of the most important decisions of my life.  Choosing a career, a new one, an unexpected path for me. I wasn't completely leaving my former field of work, but I was very aware it needed to be adjusted implementing a fresh approach.

Back in the fall of 1999, I knew who I had been, but really didn't know who I would become, where I would end up or how I would get there. I was both afraid and excited at the same time. 

So...Who are you?

Whether you are at the beginning of your journey or you have worked for a while and need to make a shift, you need to know where you ahve been and who you are before choosing a career. Are you...

  1.    A student looking at career and university options
  2.    A frustrated employee needing a career shift
  3.    A person who has gone through the devastation of job loss for one of many reasons
  4.    I can't state everyone's situation so you fill in the blank here

Who Should I Go To For Help?

There are a few names for people who can help you through the process of choosing a career and each name determines the approach that will be taken. The three main titles are Career Counselor, Career Consultant and Career Coach. The all do the same thing but each one has a stronger focus that the other two in three necessary elements in the process

  • The Career Counselor would be the strongest dealing with the emotional factors, the "heart or values" of your career concerns
  • The Career Consultant would be the strongest dealing with the rational factors, the "mind or logic" of your career process
  • The Career Coach would be the strongest dealing with the motivational factors, the "action aspect" of your career shift

If you search the internet you will find all three but reality is that anyone helping you in your career path should be able to move fluidly between each one as your personal need arises, even though they may be stronger on one area more than another. Which approach is needed depends on your personal situation.

Some Examples to Help You Decide

If for example you have gone through job loss through downsizing, you will probably need to deal with some of the anger or sorrow factors before you can move forward with the rest of the process. More of the counselor would be required here. To try to take a logical or motivational path here would probably prove futile.

If on the other hand there is no emotional attachment to your current career situation, but you have no idea where to begin, then objective analysis of your position by assessing your skills, abilities, drivers, interests, core needs, resumes, interviews, market research, etc. would be in order. The objectivity of the consultant would be required here. To focus on emotional or motivational path here would be a waste of time.

Perhaps you are either over or have no emotional issues but all the objective work has been completed but you are having a hard time getting the drive to move forward to the next step of career discovery or transition, you would be in need of a cheer leader and accountability partner. This is where the Coach steps up to the plate and helps you with motivation. To try to move forward when there is emotional baggage or a lack of functional and process understanding would be futile here.

Before You Even Begin Choosing A Career

If you are dealing with introductory or transitional career issues, where should you go from here?

  1.    Take time to reflect...have a look inside
  2.    Take an inventory, and document it
  3.    Get feedback from those close to you

When you are sitting down in front of the one you have chosen to work you through the process, you can tell them exactly where you are and a good Career Counselor, Consultant or Coach will know exactly where to begin.

So, what is your story? What has been your experience with a Career "Guru" of some sort? Do you really understand the role of such a person in your life?

I'd love to hear from you!



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