Career Counseling, Development and Transition

 I offer the unique benefit of helping you solve your issue from four different perspectives: As a career coach I know the techniques to keep you focused and motivated. Career Counseling is a process that will help you to know and understand yourself and the world of work in order to make career, educational, and life decisions.

As a marketing expert I know how to position and "sell" yourself.  As a psychotherapist, I can help you uncover obstacles and/or interests that are much more likely to surface through precision questioning and ensuing dialogue than in static personality or career testing.

Before we get started, pause for a second and ask your self these questions:

  • Are you feeling unchallenged at work?  
  • Are you burned out with your current career choice?  
  • Worried about losing your job?
  • Are you searching for greater meaning in what you do with your life or current career path?  
  • Have you been “downsized” by your company?  
  • Should you go back to school to learn job new skills?  

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may need  career counseling. These are some of the questions I have helped so many of my clients living in the Washington DC area answer, by providing them with career counseling sessions. 

Finally, as a businessman I bring a very practical "What steps need to be taken to make this happen?" approach.  

Think of our work together as an investment in yourself and your future, in the same way that you might hire an investment advisor to help you get maximum value from your personal financial assets. As a career counselor I can provide the same value. 

I bring to this process my substantial “real world” experience in the business and non-profit fields, as well as my professional credentials as a therapist and the knowledge I’ve gained through coaching hundreds of clients in fields as diverse as finance, law, the arts, IT, entrepreneurship, real estate, hospitality, education, health care, not-for-profit, and of course government.

Career choice is often made with less deliberation than one would imagine. Certainly that’s true of initial career choice. Twenty somethings’ are very much swayed by the opinions of family, peers, and popular culture, and their career choices often reflect (I would say excessively) those influences. 

A vitally important step in narrowing down a career path is to make an effort to filter out the "noise" of these outside influences.

As one can expect, trying to make a career transition is a highly emotional and somewhat stressful experience as it requires a certain level of honesty, self-reflection and hard work. I reached out to a number of career coaches in the DC area when I began to contemplate a change but no one I spoke with had the quite the same intelligent, calm demeanor as Jim. Jim supported my growth, both professionally and personally, by providing me with thoughtful direction, insight, and feedback...

Grace Robinson

I decided to meet with Jim when I was contemplating making a big career change. I found my meetings with him to be supportive, helpful and constructive. Throughout the process he challenged me and helped me see what I could not see before. I was lost and scared in my previous job and Jim helped me by walking me through the process of change...

Michael Lilintahl

I have known Jim professionally for almost 15 years. His intelligence, experience, and background are all exceptional, which has led me to send numerous patients of mine to him when they are in need of career guidance (I am a Jungian psychoanalyst). The feedback I've gotten from them has been uniformly positive - he's made a real difference in their lives.

Robert Sheavly , Jungian Psychoanalyst

I have known Jim for ten years. We all have career stuff, whether it's self-inflicted or termination beyond one's control. I've experienced both. Jim can help you through whatever your circumstances may be. He creates a connection where it's safe to share what is really going on. If you need a new job immediately or if you are contemplating a career change going forward, I'd call Jim.

Doug Witt

Jim was recommended to me by a mutual friend because I was at a major crossroads in my life and needed compassionate, insightful yet impartial readings of my options. I was especially impressed with Jim's business credentials as well as his counseling background. I continue to consult with Jim and highly recommend him to anyone in need of business counseling.

Gail Friedman

I chose to work with Jim after speaking with several other coaches. I was very impressed with his credentials, particularly his repeated success in several different career fields, and I found him very easy to talk with. Jim helped me discover what would be a fulfilling career path for me, gave me the confidence to pursue my passion, and provided invaluable guidance on the best way to do that. I can't recommend him highly enough.

Brian Smith

Career Search Resources 

I know what employers are looking for, and I know how to create outstanding "marketing" materials that can help you find a new career:

  • Resume & Cover letter review
  • Interview Prep
  • LinkedIn profile review 
  • Business card  - "elevator pitch" 
  • How to launch your own personal “marketing campaign”
  •  How the job market has changed.

 I will place special emphasis on keeping you motivated and productive while looking for a new career. I look forward to working closely with you on this oftentimes scary, but ultimately manageable journey.

An excellent source of basic information on hundreds of jobs/occupations is O*Net. Developed under the auspices of the Department of Labor it is somewhat bureaucratically displayed and organized, but gives valuable insights into the skills and requirements of hundreds of job titles.

Career Search Books

Many valuable books have been written about the process of career development and career transition, but far and away my favorites are "The Start-up of YOU" by Linkedin chairman Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnoc, "Designing Your Life" by Bill Burnett, and "Roadmap" by Roadtrip Nation (a group authorship). 

I can also enthusiastically recommend: "Strategies for Successful Career Change" by Martha Mangelsdorf (although it is missing the essential role LinkedIn can play in the process), "One Person, Multiple Careers" by Marci Alboher, "Let Your Life Speak" by Parker Palmer (a spiritually oriented career book); "The Renaissance Soul" by Margaret Lobenstine, and "Working Identity" by Herminia Ibarra (geared mainly to upper level executives, but with valuable process tips).  Finally, the classic "What Color Is Your Parachute" by Richard N. Bolles is definitely worth checking out. Feel free to contact me about which of these might be most appropriate for you.

For those actively looking for new employment (rather than those at the contemplation stage), a comprehensive listing of the ten best job sites (from PC magazine)

Two books with valuable job hunting strategies and tips are: "How to Land Your Dream Job" by Jeffrey J. Fox; and "The Brazen Careerist" by Penelope Trunk (which also covers career choice and tips for success at your job). 

You should also definitely check out Career Coach Forum on LinkedIn periodically, as there are frequent posts on all kinds of career related issues, most of them smart and insightful.

Finally, there is a relatively new internet site that is worth checking out: The Muse. It's chock full of little (and not so little) tips about all kinds of career subjects, ranging from reasons why you didn't get a job offer to tricky interview questions to how to ask for a raise to ways to make your current job more enjoyable. The Daily Muse posts new suggestions and ideas every day.