Career Counseling: On the value of the outside expert

Career expert help can change your iife

“How did you know what to do in an hour? I’ve been wrapping my head around what to do for the last year.”  Denice exclaimed.  She then went on to say that she was initially hesitant about career counseling and that it was only because her friend and a former career counseling client of Career Counseling Connecticut had urged her to see me that she made an appointment.

I thought she was asking rhetorically but she pressed on: “seriously, how were you able to do that?”

Think about any problem where you get outside assistance be it a plumber or a doctor.  You don’t know what to do to solve your problem.  You see the expert.  They quickly and effectively solve your problem.

Why?  The expert has thousands of past patterns (every possible way a sink gets clogged or every possible source of a sore throat) and the better ones have native ability and passion of their field of expertise.

So, it is with career counseling.  The problem, however, is that the more technical a field (i.e. fixing a computer) the more likely that consumers have confidence in the expert.  The more human (i.e. a marriage counselor), the less likely that consumers have confidence in the expert.  That makes sense.  Humans are complicated.

But true experts have a deep reservoir of experience from which to draw from and that makes their ability fairly technical.  I have seen thousands of different career patterns.  While each career counseling client has different values and life situations, I know how certain stories are likely to play out.  So, while occasionally, clients think I have done something magical, the “trick” is simply drawing from the deep experience of coaching clients at Career Counseling Connecticut.

I thought of this as I watching The Imposter on NetFlix.  In dozens of “what to watch” reviews, I saw this documentary.  As a father, I avoided watching it because the subject matter is grim.  But I finally did and was mesmerized.  The relevant connection – no, spoiler alert because the title of the film informs the viewer that the imposter obviously was discovered – relates to how he was caught.  Here, simply to avoid creating a spoiler, I won’t be specific.  Just observe the brilliance of two experts involved in the story.

There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well.

Many of you have likely heard this old story.  But it is a good one to highlight the point.

A boilermaker was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well.

After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of the escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve one time. Immediately, the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home.

When the steamship owner received a bill for one thousand dollars, he became outraged and complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes and requested an itemized bill. So the boilermaker sent him a bill that reads as follows:
For tapping the valve: $.50
For knowing where to tap: $999.50
TOTAL: $1,000.00”