Counsel me on career counselors
October 19, 2020 6:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of making a career change in the near-ish future, but I need help figuring out what that change might be. I think I need to talk to a career counselor, however I've never worked with one before, so I don't know how to choose one. What should I be looking for? What should I be wary of? Difficulty level: Melbourne, Australia.
posted by threecheesetrees to Work & Money (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I worked with a career coach about a year ago. I interviewed 3 prior to settling on the one I selected. Some of the questions I asked them:
- can you help me with my situation? (describe what you are looking for)
- what does a usual engagement look like?
- how long do you usually work with your clients?
- when are you available? (does that work with your schedule and needs)
- are you working in person? over the phone? Zoom?
- what types of clients do you normally work with? (early/mid-career, tech sector, etc.)
- do you include any assessments (MBTI, DISC, Rockport, etc.)? how do you use them in your coaching?

Definitely get a schedule of costs, and have a rate in mind before you start. Of the three I interviewed, one was super-high-end (works with executives, mostly), one was mid-high end (works with professionals, mostly), and one was on the lower end (worked with professionals).

You can also check for certification, which may or may not be important. Ask for references, which can help assure you it will be productive, especially if you are laying out a bunch of money.

I was looking for someone who would push me a bit, and hold me to doing the work, as well as challenging the assumptions I have about my work and career direction, so I asked questions around that as well.

Feel free to MeMail me if you have any questions. I've worked with coaches in other venues to, and am happy to answer more general questions around that process.
posted by chiefthe at 9:57 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]

I know of a superb career counsellor in Melbourne, who supported me during a time of transition, and also has glowing testimonials from others on her website. Email if you would like her details. She’s wise, calm, approachable and patient, with many years’ experience backed up by qualifications.

Be cautious of people described as a ‘life coach’ (or similar title) - it won’t necessarily mean that they have the appropriate skills and experience, or have an officially recognised qualification. Ask about professional memberships/affiliations. Trust your instincts during an initial phone call or session - rapport and trust are key.
posted by The Patron Saint of Spices at 1:44 AM on October 20 [3 favorites]

Thanks to both of you for the advice. The questions are super helpful, and I'll be wary of 'life coaches'. Am I right CDAA looks like the legit accreditation in Australia?

@The Patron Saint of Spices, I'd like to know about your recommendation in Melbourne, can't see contact details on your profile though - maybe you could MeMail me?
posted by threecheesetrees at 5:02 PM on October 20

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