Guiding Career + Life Transition

Career Crossroads: Tips for Choosing a Career Counselor or Coach

By in Career Blog

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Wherever you may be on your life/work journey, an experienced career counselor or coach can provide you with the personalized guidance, expertise, information and support to identify and realize your goals.

Here are some tips for choosing a career counselor or coach:


 About You

  • What do you want to achieve in a counseling/coaching relationship?
  • What are the ways a counselor/coach can best work with you?
  • What specific needs do you have regarding your career exploration and planning?
  • What type of commitment are you prepared to make: Time? Financial? Willingness to do the reflection, action work necessary to move forward?

About the Counselor

Training and credentials

  •  What type of academic and formal counseling/coaching training and credentials do they have?
  • What training, specific to career guidance do they have?
  • Are they qualified to administer assessments? Which assessments?
  • What license and professional affiliations do they have specific to career counseling/coaching?
  • How do they stay up-to-date in the field? What on-going professional development do they participate in?


Area(s) of Specialization

  •  What types of clients do they prefer to work with?
  • What career realms/sectors have their clients worked in?
  • What career realms/sectors have they worked in themselves?
  • What phases of career counseling: assessment, exploration, planning, resumes, interview preparation, ongoing professional development, do they prefer?


Approach to practice

  • Do they have a framework for practice?
  • How do they work with clients? What is their process?
  • What resources do they use/recommend?


Ultimately, the counseling/coaching relationship is a combination of art and science and not every counselor or coach is a fit for every client.

It is up to you to determine if the experience, approach, personality and style of the professional you are considering is”right” for you and your career exploration and planning needs.

Posted by: Susan Jewkes Allen, MSW, GCDF

San Francisco Bay Area Career Counselor, Career Coach at Life + Work