Finding a Career Counselor

How do I go about choosing a career counselor that has a proven track record in helping individuals change careers? I am really struggling with many questions such as: Who am I? What is my purpose in life? What are my passions, and how can I apply them to a new career? I've come to the conclusion that I can't make these decisions all on my own. I've tried reading books on career change, but at this point, I believe serious coaching and networking is the best way for me to proceed. Should I expect to pay for these services?


Working with a career counselor or career coach may indeed help you move forward in your career. But be careful of your expectations - it is a collaborative process. No one, proven or not, can answer the questions you have posed without a great deal of effort on your part. And some of the questions you raised may be beyond the scope of a career counselor's work. But there are many assessments, techniques and information available to help you navigate this territory.

There are many excellent career counselors and coaches in the Chicago area. You might contact ICDA (Illinois Career Development Association) for a referral, or an association of career coaches.

It can be a long, arduous process, but the steps it takes to move down the road can be enlightening, exciting and certainly rewarding. It is important that you feel comfortable with whomever you choose, so you might have to interview several until you find the one that will work best with you. And make sure that you are motivated and ready to engage in the process!

There are several excellent non profit agencies that only charge a small fee for service, and there are many private practitioners that charge fees that vary greatly. You might also contact the ACPI, Association for Career Professional International, they have a Chicago chapter. They will have a listing of private counselors.

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