Gail Nicholson, MA, LPC, Personal and Career Counseling


Career Counseling

Career counseling has come a long way since you were in high school, and so have your expectations of what work life can be. Today, even though we are grateful to have any job, people long for work that will bring meaning, balance, creativity, and health to their lives as well as pay the bills. It seems to be harder than it once was to work a job that’s in conflict with our values and does not allow us to give and be our best. The state of our job market isn’t helping and presents potential barriers to achieving what makes sense for you to do with your life.

People are often surprised to find how personal career counseling can be, particularly during an in-depth career assessment, designed to put you in touch with core values, interests and character traits. People feel affirmed, clearer about who they are and what’s important. Career assessment builds self-confidence as key strengths are identified and potential job matches are highlighted.

Finding a Direction that is Right for You

As your career counselor, I guide you through the initial assessment, then coach you as you research and explore your list of career and training ideas, in a hands-on way that works for you. Exploration is the missing piece for many people and lowers the risk of going down the wrong path. I provide ongoing support throughout the process to help you stay motivated and reach your goals. Together we can work on:

In-Depth Assessment: The career assessment provides you with a clearer sense of your unique interests, values, transferable skills, strengths, personality, preferred work settings, and financial and other requirements. From these criteria we build a short list of matching career and educational options to explore further.

Positive Mindset for Networking and Job Search: Learn how to talk about your strengths and objectives while maintaining integrity. Gain skill and confidence interviewing professionals and collect valuable information. If you’ve been unemployed for a length of time, strategies such as informational interviews and volunteering help you connect with the right people.

Job Search: Identify the right jobs and companies that are a match for you. Learn to network in ways you actually enjoy and find interesting. Write targeted resumes and cover letters to maximize results. Prepare for job interviews to enhance confidence and success. Utilize community resources and the Internet to explore and target specific opportunities.

Educational Planning: Examine needs for further education and training. Check out local programs that offer the value you are looking for. Consider graduate school, research options and navigate the application process with support.

Help with Personal Concerns: Resolve questions and doubts about your ability to pursue a direction. Focus on improving time management, organization and self-discipline. Add structure to your life and thin commitments that are holding you back.

Job Stress: Talk through job stress and workplace communications. Find a way to relieve the pressure and build effective partnerships.

Alternative Careers: Coaching to research and incubate a small business or patchwork career. Help connecting with community support and resources.

The Process

We begin by talking over your situation and developing a mutual understanding of what you’d like to work on. We can focus on defining purpose and direction, handling existing job stress, or, if you have a new career idea in mind, tackling career exploration and job search.

We’ll map out a plan, incorporating your priorities and identified personal concerns such as a difficult lay-off experience and how to talk about it in interviews, re-entering the workforce after time away, divorce, going back to school, or relationship and family issues that you need to resolve as a part of moving forward.

I’ll teach you a step-by-step approach, which helps manage expectations and typical frustrations with the process of career transition and job search.