Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

Highlights

Open

Real Possibilities

You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad
Introducing RealPad by AARP
Auto mechanics in repair shop. Small Business Resource Center

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Winter Escapes Sweepstakes

Beat the cold and cozy up to a chance of winning $10,000! See official rules.

AARP-iPad-ePub-app
AARP Auto Buying Program

PROGRAMS & RESOURCES

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Your Own Business

Information for business owners, entrepreneurs and the self-employed.

Back to Work 50+

Connecting employers and unemployed workers 50+.

Most Popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

How to Choose and Use a Career Counselor or Coach

Career counselors and coaches are professionals who charge fees to help clients make their job searches or career changes more successful.  

See also: Tips for successful networking.

There are small but significant differences between counselors and coaches.

Career counselors hold advanced degrees, such as a master’s in counseling. Generally, these professionals specialize in helping their clients determine appropriate career paths or overall strategies. Consider a counselor if you’re at a crossroads, or if you want to understand your career goals better.

Career coaches focus more on concrete steps to achieve a goal or to improve a certain skill, such as networking, interviewing, or communication. Coaches are more goal-oriented than career counselors. Together, you would look for solutions and strategies with a coach.

How to Select a Career Professional

  • Seek personal referrals from friends, relatives, and colleagues.
  • Search the Web sites of the professional associations listed at the end of this tip sheet.
  • Request free initial consultations with several professionals.
  • Check out the credentials of the people you’re considering.
  • Request referrals from other clients.
  • Decide if you are more comfortable conferring by phone, by e-mail, or in person.
  • Walk away if you’re promised a higher-paying job, a dream job, or a better lifestyle. No one can guarantee success.

Match a Professional to Your Needs

  • Know what you want. Would you like help with the entire job-search process or with a specific skill? Signs of a good match:
  • The career adviser helps you identify your unique skills and maximize your assets in finding a job.
  • The professional has experience in working with people 50 and older.
  • You and the career consultant are partners in mapping out steps to reach your goals.
  • The contract between you and the professional specifies the outcome of your counseling, the time frame, and tools and materials that will be provided.  

Next: How much will it cost? >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services, 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Mujer en la parte de afuera de so negocio

Free quotes for members from the AARP® Small Business Insurance Program.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Explore Your Learning Possiblities