Do you feel “stuck” in your career? Maybe you’ve put 20 or more years into a career track that just isn’t satisfying anymore. Or maybe you’re one of the millions of Americans who are under- or unemployed as the economy struggles to regain its footing.
If you think it’s time for a change, consider working with a career counselor or a career coach. You can also take advantage of AARP’s free work resources at www.aarp.org/Work.
What Career Professionals Do
Career professionals help people get into the workforce, make career changes, deal with difficult workplace issues and more. The terms “counselor” and “coach” are often used interchangeably, but they are different.
- A career counselor helps their clients with the “big picture.” He or she can help you explore your skills and abilities and unearth what motivates you. They hold advanced degrees, typically in counseling, and certifications from professional associations.
- A career coach helps clients achieve a specific goal. People often turn to a career coach when they know what they want to accomplish, but need help doing it. The “it” could range from landing a job in a specific industry, to a résumé refresh, to improving communication skills.
You can work with a career professional by phone, email or in person. A typical arrangement is to have an in-depth conversation in person, and the remaining on a set schedule by phone. Career professionals typically charge by the hour or set a monthly fee. The average is about $160 an hour, but exact charges vary widely.