Are you so skeptical that you stop yourself from getting help?

skepticMost people who call me know me through their own sources. Those who find me through a web search for career counselors in Connecticut usually read my articles or watch me in media appearances or read my books. Each type eagerly seeks out help.  While many naturally wonder if I can help them, they enter with the view that I will try my best to help them.

Some people call with such a skeptical mindset that I wonder if they will ever be able to get the help they need. At one level, I fully understand.  I was cultivated in a scientifically minded household and culture.  I was trained and practiced as a attorney.  For those who are understandably leery about the ethics of some attorneys, let me be clear: I was a criminal prosecutor in Philadelphia and for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC.  Deep background checks were required for each job and, despite some movies to the contrary, prosecutors are almost always ethical, usually rigidly so. I also add with only some levity that I was raised in New Jersey  – the land of cynicism – so I fully get the notion that there are all sorts of unhelpful advisors trying to separate you from your money and time.

Nonetheless, calling someone who is in a helping profession and treating them like a used car salesman won’t be helpful… for you. If the professional is a highly in demand, then they will likely tell you that they wish you well but they have a long list of people who want to see them (and get help) and they have no interest in convincing you to see them. Then you won’t be able to get the help that you need because the in-demand professional can choose their clientele.

With that said, I will address a question that is reasonable to consider but, if you think about it, has an obvious way to analyze:

Is career counseling “worth it”?

This broad based question starts with a reasonable premise. “My time and money are valuable and I will only part with either if the general process makes sense.”  Think the question through for a moment in relation to any service.

It depends on:

(1) the type of problem you are addressing.  A housecleaner may be worth getting if your fastidious and critical in-laws are visiting tomorrow and you are at work all day today.  A housecleaner might not be worth paying for when you are house is fairly clean, you have the time and energy to clean it, and there is no event that heightens the need for cleaning

(2) the skill of the service provider.  I can effectively do my company’s taxes; law school’s dreaded tax law did yield some benefits.  But I have a great accountant.  He makes the process so headache free that it is “worth it”.   If he wasn’t so skillful, I would save the money and do it myself.

(3) your options.  If you have a clogged sink, getting a plumber is “worth it”.  But if you have a good friend who can fix it and you don’t mind asking, then you have no need.

In relation to career counseling:

(1) If you are on this site, then you have a LARGE challenge.  Other than health and relationship problems, work/career issues are the biggest challenges for most people. Unlike most people, though, if you are here, you intend to do something about it.  Most people simply suffer through having a miserable career (and life)

(2) the skill of the service provider – look around!  Make a sensible judgment about who might be able to help you.  Hiring “an accountant” to do my taxes might not be worth it but hiring Andrew Baloise, a top notch accountant in Old Saybrook, is to me.

(3) options – unfortunately, as far as I can tell, most people have limited options related to effective career help.  Most people having career issues are “stuck” in their head.  They need someone to speak with and their spouses, parents, friends etc. are just not the right people.  This is a different, and large issue, to address. But after a decade of providing advice, I can say with certainty that most everyone does not have a family member or close friend who can effectively serve as their career counselor.

Whether you come to Career Counseling Connecticut or go elsewhere, don’t let your skepticism prevent you from getting help.