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Finding a good career counselor

Posted by Pattie Hunt Sinacole  July 9, 2012 08:04 AM

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Q: Can you suggest a good career counselor in the Boston area? I need one who charges reasonable fees.
Many thanks!

A: Finding a good career counselor can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you navigate your search for a reputable career counselor:
- Before searching for a career counselor, think about what you want from that counselor. What are your goals and expectations? What do you hope to achieve after you have worked with a career counselor?
- Think about logistics. How far you are willing to travel? What times and dates are you available to meet with your career counselor? Are you willing to do some of your meetings and communication on-line or virtually?
- What is your budget?
- Word of mouth referrals are often a good place to begin. Ask around.
- Visit the Association of Career Professional International at There is a search function that might be helpful.
- If you attended college, you also may want to research options that might be available through the career services office.
- Visit the websites or the Linkedin pages of your possible career counselors. Ask for a few minutes on the phone with a few that seem promising. Share your expectations and goals and ask how they would best meet your expectations and goals. Ask about their experience in your industry or industries that most interest you. Ask about fees up front.
- Check references before you make a final decision.
- Ask for a complimentary in-person meeting before you sign any agreement. You want to ensure that a rapport can be built. You should treat this as if you are interviewing them for a job. You are!
- Read the fine print. Make sure you understand what you are buying and receiving.
- Lastly, be ready to invest the time. A career coach will most likely not place you in a job. They will instead make your job search skills more effective.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Meet the Jobs Docs

Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.

Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.

Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.

Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.

Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.

Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.