Most career counseling clients I meet are in present pain. Specifically, something is bad enough to prompt them to contact a career counselor. Much like seeing a doctor when one is sick, the client wants to have their discomfort to end immediately. I understand and do whatever I can to figure out how to do so.

But most always career fixes require a period of transition that is not instantaneous. I am always thinking 5 years ahead when planning a career strategy. I want our meetings to be the pivot point in the client’s careers such that they look back 5-10 years from meeting and delight in knowing that they took control of their career.

The challenge I face is metaphorical to the holistic healthcare practitioner or  medical professional who suggests ways to shift for long term health. She’s thinking of the patient’s long term health.  The patient might be so focused on the near term that he’s just thinking “give me some pills so I feel better.”  The caring medical professional will give the pills but will also take the time to counsel the patient on how to be healthy in the future.

For that reason, I am particularly happy when a new career counseling client comes in who is not in current misery. He simply is looking to create a future career vision. Taking such an affirmative step makes an enormous difference.