Frequently Asked Questions on Career Counseling and Coaching


Q: What’s the difference between career coaching and career counseling?

A: Career counselors and career coaches have similar roles, and the titles are often used interchangeably.

Career counselors are trained in career theory and therapy, and are skilled at assessing how emotions and thoughts affect behavior. To call oneself a counselor, one must have a master’s degree in Counseling and, depending on the scope and jurisdiction of practice, appropriate licensure.

Career coaches, on the other hand, are not therapists. Career coaching is usually more goal-oriented than career counseling. A coach is going to spend more time focusing on your goals than the emotions and underlying reasons for seeking professional assistance. Anyone can call him/herself a “coach”, as there is no formal training required; however, many are certified.

Be aware that no career counselor or coach will tell you what to do. Rather, through collaboration with your career counselor or coach, you will be empowered to make that decision for yourself.

Q: How should I choose a career counselor or coach?

A: There are thousands of qualified career counselors and coaches from whom to choose. You may begin by asking for recommendations from colleagues, friends, or family members who have successfully worked with career counselors or coaches in the past.

See also The National Career Development Association’s (NCDA) Guidelines for Choosing a Counselor.

See my recommended checklist for selecting your career counselor or coach.

Q: How can you help me?

A: I begin by building clarity. When you love what you do, it shows. As a result, talking to people (networking, interviewing) comes easily and naturally. You have more confidence in yourself and clarity in your decisions.

Q: What is your approach?

A: I tailor my process to your individual needs. At the beginning, I want to get to know you and what brought you to me. What has gone on in your life up to this point? I may ask you to share your family history, culture, education, and individual experiences related to your career development, as this is often helpful to the process. Together, we will then determine a time frame and discuss how we can help you, the area(s) of focus during our time together, and how to make your objectives a reality. I’ll provide guidance in setting goals, identifying barriers, and celebrating successes.

See a visual summary of my process

Most often, sessions will focus on either choosing a career path or landing a job. I realize, however, that integrating other resources is often a part of this process. I have great success in teaching and tutoring, as well as conquering issues related to moving up the career ladder (improving communication, perfecting writing and speaking, the tendency to procrastinate, and other obstacles to your success). Therefore, I often integrate communication skills into my scope of services.

As a member of the National Career Development Association (NCDA), I always practice within an ethical framework.

Q. How are you different from other career counselors and coaches?

A: I “get” people very quickly, and I genuinely care about each and every person I’ve worked with.  I have formed sincere, long-term relationships with many of my clients, and I love hearing about their successes.

My background in mental-health counseling has helped me understand the importance of uncovering and acknowledging the underlying obstacles to one’s goals. After working with the unemployed, I know that lengthy counseling sessions are rarely the focus of the job seeker. At the same time, it is impossible to conduct an effective job search in today’s competitive market without a strategic focus.

My aim is to help you find meaningful employment as quickly and efficiently as possible, while compassionately addressing the barriers you may be facing.

Q: How long will it take?

A: That depends you and your needs.  Most of my clients commit to working with me for 2 months, but many continue to work with me on an “as-needed” basis for years.

Q: How much will it cost?

A: Prices vary, depending on your individual needs, your experience in the career development process, and the number of sessions you choose to purchase.  Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation.

Q: What types of clients do you work with?

A: I work with all types of people, including executives, immigrants, military, students, recent graduates, and seniors. I also work with clients with significant employment barriers.

Some career professionals specialize in working with veterans, others with students, and still others with specific populations. I specialize in working with these and with those who fall into no special category.