Career Transition: Resolve to Improve Your Career in the New Year – Get a Guide!

Dave GallisonDave Gallison, MS, LPC

Dave specializes in a short term, action-oriented approach to providing career management solutions to clients seeking to choose, change or advance their careers and reach their professional and personal potential. His unique strength as a career counselor is preparing you for informational interviews and directly assisting you in gaining access to employed contacts within desired organizations.

Resolve to Improve Your Career in The New Year – Get a Guide!

help me find a job,

jobs and careers in Portland

looking for a job

I need a new career

career counselor Portland

Can you identify with these web queries? If so, you are in good company, as over 100,000 each month enter these and similar phrases into Google (according to Google AdWords).

No doubt the highest month for voicing career change needs occurs in January, in line with 2013 New Year’s resolutions. Beyond web searches and resolutions, however, taking the first step towards making a career change is often the most difficult.

Among multiple pathways to achieve job and career change, it may make sense to hire a results-oriented career professional to help you attain your career goals. After all, career counseling is the field that specializes in helping you identify talents and skills and in turn relate those to relevant fields, titles and employers. Yet why do so many tend to falter in seeking the help of a career counselor? To improve your chances of answering those Google pleas and reaching your New Year’s career goals this year, let’s first address the resistance many of us have toward seeking help.

Chances are you routinely pay for hairdressers, fitness trainers, accountants and lawyers, yet when it comes to their careers, many people seem to believe they are supposed to figure it out by themselves. Can you relate to some of the following common misperceptions about career counseling?

1. It won’t fix anything and I can’t afford to change jobs
2. I don’t need someone telling me what to do
3. You must be weak to seek help instead of strong enough to figure it out yourself
4. It’s expensive and insurance may not cover it

It won’t fix anything. This may be the voice of feeling down and downtrodden, and if followed, leads to in-action. Okay, career counseling is usually not a quick fix. But what a difference it makes to take responsibility for your employment situation and get started on the path to positive change by making that first phone call.

Simply by engaging a counselor, you become accountable to someone else whose sole function is to help you achieve your goals and remove obstacles. Also you receive the help of an experienced guide who can lead or accompany you into unexplored territory where you might find new and better options either with your current employer, with new employers or in new fields.

I don’t need someone telling me what to do. A graduate-trained career professional knows better, so you should probably run from any counselor or coach who tells you what to do! Instead, they will help you draw out your innate interests and preferences, encourage you to follow those to open new doors, and coach you in practical aspects like résumés and interviews that will optimize your chances for new employment.

You must be weak to seek help. This is often a very ingrained thinking pattern, and difficult to overcome. There may be any number of reasons from one’s upbringing or media stereotypes for this limiting belief (and a counselor can help uncover these), but without developing some insight and understanding about why you believe this, it will be almost impossible to improve your situation.

Consider the larger reality that we are social beings who need to cooperate and assist one another in order to thrive. In that way, seeking objective input from a career counselor and strategy on how to navigate one’s career can be a sign of self-understanding and strength.

It’s expensive and insurance may not cover it. Some individuals have health insurance with mental health benefits or access to Employee Assistance Programs through their employer, so you should check into these options. For those who opt to self-pay, career counseling may be a tax deductible expense. Many counselors offer a complimentary first session or phone consultation to help both parties determine if meaningful assistance can be provided. In the end, if you work diligently with a qualified career counselor, chances are that your investment can be “made back” through increased earnings and the intangible dividends of increased life satisfaction as well.

Resolving to improve your career in 2014. Resolutions for career enhancement take work! Are you more ready to seek professional assistance in reaching your goals? You might start by reading the bios and websites of the eight career counselors who author this blog and then commit to contacting one or two. And, by acting, there’s a good chance you will find your way into a more satisfying and rewarding job at the end of 2014 than you were in at the beginning.

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