I have felt stuck in my career for a long time. Disregarding my better judgment, I took the advice of someone I trust and decided to see a career counselor. The experience went very poorly in my opinion and served only to reinforce my disbelief in the value of career counselors. But, I'm still feeling stuck, so I want to see what the hivemind's collective experience has been.
Background: 28 yro male in NYC.
The person I saw billed himself as a "career psychologist." He is a licensed psychologist but he is not a therapist. He used to work as head of the career services office of one of the better business schools in the city. He is very structured, selling his time in four-session packages.
I made an effort to put as much into things as I could. He assigned homework that I spent many hours completing. During our third session he reviewed the results of my Myers Briggs and Strong Interest Inventory exams.
The Myers Briggs revealed that I am an INTJ and the Strong Interest Inventory said that I'm basically only interested in technical subjects.
The Myers Briggs came with a list of suggested career fields based upon my personality. With only a few exceptions, they were all fields that, for me to enter, would require a great deal of additional schooling. Meanwhile, during my initial consultation with the counselor he had assured me that I wouldn't need to go back to school for more than a class or two.
It bears noting that the day of the third session, I was suffering from a depressive episode that had started a few days prior due to unrelated work matters (stress related). I told him that it would be a while until I went back for my fourth session as I needed to treat my depression and work issues are a trigger for me.
I recovered from the depressive episode and scheduled the next appointment. However, I was very distressed by the homework for that final session. (This homework assignment is provided at the end of this question for reference.)
It basically gave me a panic attack and made me really upset with the counselor. I was left with the feeling of having spent hours on homework for him, listing my values, skills, the books I like to read, etc. All of this work felt discarded. It felt like the first two or even three sessions I paid for didn't matter at all. Instead, all that really mattered was what came back on the Myers Briggs and meanwhile the careers listed on it were not practicable for switching into.
I am wondering whether my experience was typical, or if the person that I saw was a charlatan. I am also wondering whether people have had positive experiences, and if so what specifically those experiences were.
CAREER ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
1. List your six to eight strongest and most enjoyable skills:
2. List your six to eight most important career values:
3. What is your Life/Career Purpose now?
4. List your current career interest(s); you may list more than one, but, limit yourself to no more than six.
5. List careers you want to explore; you may list more than one, but, limit yourself to no more than six.
CURRENT CAREER FOCUS
6. List the career from your ‘career exploration’ that best ‘fits’ you.
7. Using your skills, values, interests, etc. list all the reasons why the career chosen in question 6 is the best fit for you.
8. What are your strongest and most threatening external and internal barriers to career change? External barriers may include: fierce competition, insufficient education, training and/or certification, finances, weak job market. Internal barriers may include: fear, confusion about how to strategize a career path, lack of confidence, perfectionistic, risk aversion. The key to dealing with career barriers is recognizing them and taking action.
CURRENT CAREER STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
9. How and when will you move towards actualizing your chosen career? List the specific activities and behaviors you will use to keep you motivated and focused on your career goal? Be as specific as possible. Include benchmarks. Think of yourself as an independent company called YOU Inc. Develop a personal ‘business plan’ to organize, fund, launch and market YOU Inc. Have fun!