Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens in Career Counseling?

This really depends on your unique situation, where you are in your career planning and job search. For all clients, we start by having one session in which we discuss your previous work and school experiences, what has worked for you and what hasn’t, your interests, career ideas you might already be considering, difficulties you might be facing in your career or job search, and any other information that will be helpful in working together to help you move forward in your career planning and job search. “Work” can mean many things to different people. It is important that to consider how you value work in your life. Based on your first session, I tailor the process to your needs.

For many clients, we continue with a career testing program. It is important to know yourself well. Much of the testing can be done online on your own schedule. Testing assessment instruments can quickly pull together information about your interests, personality, values and abilities and suggest a number of careers that you might want to consider. On return visits, we review the testing results and discuss your thoughts about the possible career options. Our discussions will generate new ideas, but also start to narrow down the possibilities. Clients receive copies of the all the testing reports, as well as handouts for some of the careers which, through our discussions, seem to be a possible choice moving forward. I will also offer suggestions to further investigate some careers.

For clients focused on their job search, we work to identify the best strategies to optimize your efforts in your job search. Working together, a client can often reduce the time spent job searching, leading them to their career goals more quickly.

Some clients choose to continue counseling on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to help work through obstacles. Clients may be given assignments of things to be worked on between sessions. For clients who have invested many years of education and experience in their current career, making a change can initially seem very difficult.

If a client has already been through a career testing program elsewhere, it might be possible to work together on an hourly basis without doing any additional testing. All really depends on each client’s unique situation. Starting with a free Confidential Phone Consultation, we can better identify a plan for career counseling that will work best for your needs.

What Can I Expect in a Counseling Session?

A regular counseling session lasts 50 minutes. This time has been reserved for just one client. Unlike a doctor’s office that might schedule overlapping appointment times and may need to delay your appointment for a patient with a more urgent need, this time is reserved just for you, so it is important that you be on time, so that you do not lose out on your scheduled time.

The process of counseling involves the counselor asking the client many questions that will help the client to think through their own ideas and formulate their own decisions. If you have completed any career assessments, we discuss the information presented from those to see how that might play into your decisions. The time spent in a session should help you to see your ideas more clearly and consider new ideas. At the end of each session, we discuss your next step in the process. I may suggest things for you to read, or other ways to research specific careers - things that can be done on your own to help you move forward in your career planning. At the start of the next session, we will review what you have worked on and any thoughts you are having since our previous discussions.

Is Counseling Confidential?

As a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia, and a Nationally Certified Counselor I follow state and national guidelines to provide confidentiality. Your privacy and confidentiality are very important to me and I work at provide a safe environment where you can feel free to discuss your situation and we can work together to help you move forward in your career planning. With few exceptions, information cannot be disclosed without your written permission. These exceptions include situations of suspected child or elder abuse; if I determine you are a danger to yourself or others; or if I am ordered by a court to disclose information, at which time I am required by law to report the necessary information to the appropriate authorities.

For clients under the age of 18 who are still under the care of their parents or legal guardian, you should be aware that the law allows parents to examine their child’s records. When working with a teenage client for career counseling, I generally encourage the client to share with their parents the information they are comfortable sharing such as the testing results and possible career areas they are considering. Parents often have a vast amount of life and work experiences that can benefit their children and it is helpful for parents and their children to keep an open dialog about work and career choices starting as early as grade school.

While counseling sessions may occur in a private office, some of our communication, such as appointment times, and follow-up information may occur by phone or e-mail. Prior to your first counseling session, you will be asked to notify me which methods of communications are preferred. Clients should be aware that while I treat their communication with confidentiality, the actual transmission of email, cell phone calls and other internet-based forms of communication are not necessarily private.

How Does This Career Counseling Compare To Other Career Testing Programs on the Internet?

The internet brings us many things, good and bad. Just as it is a good idea to talk with someone you are considering working with for career counseling, you should carefully review what services are being offered through an online testing program. There are a number of internet sites that will allow you take various career assessments online. Some of the assessments are more like the self-scoring quizzes of a magazine, and some are the real deal. One thing to consider is whether or not someone will actually review the results with you, answer your questions, and help you process the information in a meaningful way so that you can make your own decisions and move forward with your career planning.

The real benefit of the career counseling that I offer is the personalized focus on your unique circumstances. Working one-on-one, we will review your results, discuss various options and work together to help you get the information you need to move forward in your career planning. Any career assessment instruments you complete are just a small part of the process. It is what we do with that information that really matters.

Won't High School Kids Get This Type of Program Through School?

In most instances, high school counselors are doing the best they can with a great deal of responsibilities. Depending on location, a high school counselor can sometimes have more then 500 students assigned to them. The limited time they can give to each student is primarily focused on course selection, college applications and other issues that might be obstacles to the student’s completion of high school. The career guidance they can usually offer tends to be in the form of report print-outs from assessment instruments and a group summary about how to interpret the results.

The career assessment & counseling I provide to high school students goes much beyond what is typically offered in high school. It is personalized, allows students to clearly understand their results, ask questions, and, even in the case of a small group program, students can continue counseling to work through any difficulties they face in moving forward with a career plan.

What Are Some Good Questions To Ask a Career Counselor?

People seeking help with their career planning have many choices. There are psychologists, counselors, coaches, and consultants who all offer their services to assist people in career planning and job searches. Before you spend any money and time, be sure to ask questions that will help you decide if the services offered will be helpful to you.