As you navigate your career, you may consider hiring a knowledgeable career development professional to help guide you, and provide an unbiased opinion. I often get asked, what the main differences are between a Career Coach, Consultant, and Counselor.
Here is the simple breakdown:
Career Consultant – a consultant is usually hired to give you answers in the area of their specific expertise. A consultant will give you direct advice and tell you exactly what you need to do in order to get where you want to go. Working with a consultant will be more action based than coaching or counseling.
Career Counselor – a counselor will have a Masters degree (or higher) in counseling or a related field, and tends to focus more on emotions and feelings. They may delve into your past to help you choose a career or navigate a difficult work situation. Many Career Counselors work in higher education, and can be found at University Career Centers. Outside of higher ed, a Career Counselor may be a therapist, licensed clinical social worker, or psychologist.
Career Coach – a coach will help guide and motivate you as you work to create new outcomes. A coach will lead you to discover your strengths and develop a career strategy by providing different tools and assessments. They tend to focus on self-assessment, goal setting, and self-improvement.
After you figure out what type of career professional will be best suited to help you, you will have to find someone who is “good fit” for you. Similar to finding a therapist, you want to find a career professional that you are comfortable with, can connect with, and trust.