Career Counselor in DC?
October 19, 2011 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a good career counselor in the Washington, DC area?

And what, exactly, could one expect from a visit to a career counselor?

How would one assess whether it's a good fit?
How much should one expect to pay?
What are reasonable goals to have working with a career counselor?
posted by OmieWise to Work & Money (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't speak to your area, but I did undergo career counseling as a benefit of my last job. I thought it was wonderful, though it came with a certain amount of jargon and used some probably less-scientific feely-goody approaches.

It functioned best in two ways: as a sort of focused mentorship, and as a way of getting some unbiased, extrernal, honest evaluation of my skills and weak areas that wasn't in any way related to my current job function. It yielded a kind of feedback I've never quite found anywhere else. My experience was as follows:

1. Initial meeting to discuss current state of affairs, hopes for counseling, and process. My goals at the time were to develop leadership ability and refine my sense of the skill niche or ("critical difference area") I should best be seeking to fill in cultural organizations.
2. Battery of testing - Meyers-Briggs, interest inventory, and some other values instruments
3. Parsing of results with contextualization from counselor about value/rarity of skills and directions to which they pointed
4. Writing/journaling and reading assignments
5. Additional sessions, about 3 I think, to develop threads of inquiry and do some 1:1 leadership training
6. A handful of setups for informational interviews and networking, with closing sessions to discuss, identify next steps, and release me into the wild.
7. Invites to company events and networking things the company was somehow involved in (you are sort of 'in the fold' after going the counseling, and might end up being a target for informational interviews for others).

Because this was through work I didn't pay the fee, but the fee for private clients for this package was $1000. This is in Northern New England so there might be some inflation that happens in a city environment. There were additional packages that stepped up from this base level, and those included things like resume critique, peer training, executive coaching, etc.

My sense from friends who have done career counseling with others is also that the quality and utility of career counseling varies very, very widely. It's probably a good idea to treat the search just as you would any other kind of counselor, and ask all these questions to evaluate how helpful you think they'll be. You can also ask for references.
posted by Miko at 12:50 PM on October 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

This doesn't exactly answer your question, but public universities often offer career counseling services to the local community. I would search and then call to the closest big public university's career counseling service. In the off-chance that they don't offer those services, you can ask for a referral from them
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 1:37 PM on October 19, 2011

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