Career Counseling

I support you as you define and pursue the work you want to do.

What is career counseling?

Career counseling has evolved significantly over the years. Originally, it was akin to your high school guidance counselor trying to help you pick a college. “What are your hopes and dreams?” conversations boiled down very quickly into “where can you get in” conversations. This reductive approach was focused on placing you in a place you could get into as efficiently as possible.

Not fun. And certainly not what I do.

Today, career counseling at it’s best takes a long term approach. We look at your (many) skills and talents, and identify what you enjoy doing. We look at the kind of contribution you’d like to make to the world with the one life you have to live. 

It’s heady stuff.

We might take a look at the life you want to have in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and maybe even your 90s. We look at milestones that you’d like to hit in each decade, and we build your life around it.

Then we build your career around your life.

path to success

As a career coach and life coach, I take a holistic, balanced coach approach with career counseling. Each practitioner has their own approach; this is mine. We design the life you want to live and a career that supports that life.

Career counselors, career advisors, and job transition specialists are not regulated by a standard or governing body. As I like to say, there are many ways up the mountain. So when you hire a professional, look for someone who has a process that resonates with you, and can point to a track record of effective client engagements. Career counseling is as much artistry as it is craftsmanship. A lot depends on the connection you have with your practitioner and whether he or she can help you create fresh possibilities.

After all, you want to find work, but you don’t want just any job. A job comes with benefits, and there may also be costs. I work with clients to create options (as I often say, “the only thing better than a job offer is multiple concurrent job offers”). We’re rarely linear. The career planning and counseling I do looks more like an adventurous obstacle course or a ninja warrior training facility, (ha - an opportunity course!) where you climb and grow and develop creative solutions to get from point to point.

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What happens in career counseling?

In our partnership, we work together over a finite and defined period of time toward a specific goal. Sample client scenarios include: 

  • Help me determine if I want to stay or leave my job in the next six months.
  • Determine how to balance my dream job with parenthood. 
  • Return to work after being a stay at home dad for 9 years.
  • At 60, decide if I want to continue this line of work or do something different.
  • I’m 27 and I hate my job. Help me change it up; I no longer want to do the job I was  trained for.
  • I’m a public accountant. This sucks. I want out and I don’t know where to go next.

In every session, we clarify your insights about where you are with your career and life and where alternative options for where you might want to go. In every session you create action items for yourself that you’ll be taking between sessions. Your actions are punctuated by strategy sessions that we have together. Plus, since we’re working as a team on this, I’m always available via email to help you reconnect with your focus, celebrate small wins, review emails you want to send, etc. 

Allison Task Career counseling workshop

Our pace is: insight, action action action, insight, action action action. The actions answer your questions and drive fresh insights. When you engage in career counseling with me, it’s a time of significant growth. Expect to spend five to ten hours between sessions taking action toward the future you want to have. 

You are the engine of change; I am your accountability partner. We plot your course, I help you zero in on your north star and you drive toward it with intentional action week by week.

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How effective is career counseling?

You get out what you put in.

If you’re not doing your homework between sessions, but you're pontificating about all the great things you’ll be doing some day...not much is going to happen. All talk, no action just creates a breeze. 

And you may have been creating this breeze for sometime -- you call it spinning your wheels -- and that’s exactly why you’re hiring me. You want a collaborator so that you can start moving forward, in fact you’re eager to put in the hours, you just don’t know what to do. In short order, I’ll have you conducting informational interviews with people you know (and people you want to know), researching (online and offline). Pretty soon, you’ll start to move this mountain. You’ll dissolve the barriers to your future that you created, and start designing options for your future that you didn’t realize were there.

Career path workshop

It’s as effective as you are committed to doing the work.

The good news is, I don’t like my career counseling clients to have a bad experience. So if this partnership isn’t working, I’ll bring it up pretty quickly, and you can choose to fish or cut bait. I want to work with clients who want significant impact and are willing to do the work to make it happen.

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What does a career counselor do?

As a career coach and career counselor, I have a couple of jobs: 

  1. Ask powerful questions that spur your thinking and help you to connect the dots in a new way.
  2. Identify the actions you need to take to move your objectives forward.
  3. Provide support and accountability so that you take action.
  4. Celebrate your wins, help you move past your losses.

As your career counselor, I serve as the scaffolding for this massive growth period you're engaging in. I ask powerful questions that foster fresh thinking and ultimately help you determine what direction you want your career (and life) to take. As you consider these questions you’ll have insights, and I help you boil down those insights into clear frameworks which lead to necessary actions. I help you identify the kinds of actions you want to take that ultimately lead to, well, I never know when we get started. I don’t know how your story ends and neither do you. We’re in this discovery process together, and just like you don’t know how the baseball or football game will end, we’re not sure where our process will lead, but you know you want to win. As long as you’re committed to making your best effort, you will.

florist career

While you’re chipping away at this, I help you continue to return to YOUR values, YOUR integrity, and help you build the career that supports the life that you want to have. I work on behalf of the future you, guiding you toward this place that you want to be. We’re paving the road as we go. And ultimately, you end up in a pretty great space that perhaps we didn’t see at the start.

I help you clarify YOUR vision then support you as you give birth to this new life and new career. Kind of like a doula. I support you as you conceive and create the life and career you want to have, identifying the contribution you want to make in the world.

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How much does career counseling cost?

I’m one of the few career coaches / career counselors who posts her fees online. I’ve heard of coaches giving freebee intro sessions and then telling clients “if you have to ask, you can’t afford me” after delivering a mind-blowing intro session. Really, it happened to my husband once. 

I hate that.

I’m upfront about my fees; in fact, here they are. My fees are in the middle of what career coaches, career consultants, career advisors, executive coaches and career counselors charge. My colleagues charge anywhere from $50 per session to $1M per year. 

New clients always start with an introductory session that allows you to share your situation, create a framework for the opportunity, and allows us to sketch out a short term (2-6 month) coaching goal. At that point, you can choose to move forward with a career counseling or career coaching program, or not.

Some people find that that intro session is life changing and sufficient (really!) and some realize this is the thing they want / need and start a coaching program. My average career counseling / career coaching program lasts six months. That said, I’ve had clients that have seen me for two years and are still creating new goals to continue their personal development and achievement.

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Why career counseling is important

You don’t need a career counselor. You also don’t need regular doctor check up or dental visit; you could just wait to see the doctors when something terrible happens. But wouldn’t you like to avoid the big pains if possible, and be thoughtful and intentional about your career and life? 

I know I would. I am a career coach and I’ve seen a career coach. I will continue to seek coaching and counseling at important junctures in my career and professional development. It helps to have a sounding board, someone to help you structure your own thinking, develop and implement a strategy. Someone who can hear you, and more importantly, help you hear yourself.  

This isn’t therapy; we’re not talking week after week for years. We have a clear and specific end date to our program. By starting with the end in mind, you have a specific goal and focus for the duration of our work together. And if you want to check in here and there over the years, by all means do so. Consider me a lifelong resource. 

When you choose to work with a career coach, you’re being proactive and intentional. Let a career counselor amplify your voice and help you listen to it so that you can make a meaningful contribution with the life you have.

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What is the purpose of career counseling

I believe that there is a difference between working a job, developing a career, and answering a calling. In your life, I think there’s room for each at different times. You calling may be being a parent, or an active member of your church. Your job may be volunteering with the school PTA, and you may have a career as a teacher. Or feel free to scramble that, perhaps calling is teaching and your career is working at your church. 

There’s no one right way to do it. There’s what works for you, and please know that what works for you in your 20s will likely be very different from what works in your 50s. Work isn’t linear, life is rarely linear.

As a career counselor, I help you map a course then pivot as your life evolves. I help you think forward into your life, so that you can clarify your values and needs in this moment and anticipate your needs over time. We build tomorrow, with great affection and appreciation for what you accomplished yesterday.

As a career counselor, I help you generate momentum for the kind of life you want to have. I help you imagine it, build it and ultimately, live it.

 Want to give it a try? Sign up for an intro session. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Ready To Get Started?

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If you'd like to set up an introductory session, please complete the form and tell me your best times.

Times available (ET): Daytime: Monday-Friday: 7AM, 8:15AM, 9:30AM, 10:45AM, noon and 1:15PM. Evening: Monday-Wednesday: 6:30PM and 7:40PM.

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The introductory session is $395 and lasts 60 minutes.

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