Career Counseling for Teens & Young Adults
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Career Counseling for Teens & Young Adults
My 20-year-old son would benefit from taking an aptitude test to suggest careers
based on his skill set and interests. Does anyone have any recommendations for
Dena Sneider, MA Career Consultant Bay Area Career Center 57 Post St., suite 804
San Francisco, CA 94104 (415)398-4881 (w) (925)286-3781 (c)
(Dena can also meet in Orinda)
Dena gave me a couple very enlightening tests to clarify my interests, strengths
and skills. Valuable for me is that she provides the direction to use that
information. She's a great career coach.
Myers-Briggs is a standard recognized test. A counselor at a local community
college, and/or university may be able to submit it to your son. Otherwise, I think
for a fee, he can find a proxy and take it.
It's a test that's often used in a business environment to help with interpersonal
relationships. However, in taking the test, the results also list career
possibilities for people of the same final code. This information basically tells
the test taker which careers have similar people, as your son, in which career.
Check it out. http://www.myersbriggs.org/
This isn't exactly what you asked for, but maybe it's another tactic to
consider. When my son was in a similar place, he found it very helpful to do a
few sessions with career advisor Toni Littlestone in Albany. She started out
with questionnaires that are similar to career tests, and then spent a lot of
time talking with him about what he enjoys doing, and what he's good at. She
then suggested a couple of specific career areas, advised him on the concrete
steps necessary to get there, and coached him on the details such as creating a
resume and investigating classes and licensing exams. He felt it was extremely
helpful, so much so that he extended the sessions beyond what I'd originally
proposed. Toni has a rapport with young people. The same advice I'd been giving
him that he brushed off as mom-nagging, was accepted from Toni as enlightening.
From my point of view, the sessions with Toni gave him a lot of confidence about
his capabilities. This was the jump-start he needed to begin the launch to
independence. It was not a silver bullet, but it had a very positive effect
over the long term.
Both my sons had useful experiences with the Johnson O'Connor Foundation in San
Francisco http://www.jocrf.org/ . There is two days of aptitude testing (actual
skill testing--not just what people think they might be interested in), then an
individual report out session to go over the test results, including specific career
possibilities, subject area and work settings to consider, and ways to compensate
for areas with challenges. I sat in on both report out sessions.
For my older son, the testing affirmed his skills and interest in engineering, which
was helpful after a long and discouraging post-college job search. He's now happily
employed as an engineer, although not in the Bay Area.
For my younger son, the testing was substantially more informative. He has
struggled with attention issues and learning challenges, especially clerical speed
and math calculation. The testing showed very high level performance in inductive
and deductive reasoning (normed against a mostly college attending group)as well as
off the charts musical skills. The suggestions for possible careers and courses of
study were helpful in considering a broader range of options. Still a work in
progress, but he did find the aptitude testing encouraging. Help for parenting....
My daughter is 15 and has not a clue what she is interested in pursuing for her
Could someone recommend a career counselor to give her/us some advice.
Thank you. L
I think it's OK if your 15-year-old daughter doesn't know what career to
choose. This is a great time of life for her to explore options and let her
imagination run free. There is plenty of time to think about careers later,
after high school. Most people nowadays change careers a couple of times in
their lives anyway.
To be honest, I fear that my 17-year-old has too much tunnel-vision about his
career plans! I'm a big advocate of keeping the field open through the teen
Mom who found a new career at age 50
I applaud your daughter for not committing to what she will ''do'' with her
future! High school is supposed to give a student deep foundations in a broad
range of essential subjects and critical thinking skills, as well as good
writing and communication skills. A liberal arts education is designed to
broaden that exposure to other fields and deepen grounding is a few, with the
goal of graduating a well-educated individual. Although it is increasingly the
practice to major in something ''practical'' as an undergraduate, the students
who do so are facile in one mode of thinking and problem solving, if that. It
doesn't give them the analytical skills to follow opportunity.
I have taught classes at UC Berkeley. When students come to me for advice I
tell them to take the GRE while their test-taking muscles are well-toned, then
file the scores - they are good for five years - and go out and be in the
world. Work, travel, explore. Find the thing(s) that fascinate you, and make
decisions about grad school based on those passions. You won't burn out on too
many consecutive years of school, you'll be more productive and get more out
of the program because you know why you are there, and you'll have some life
experience on which to ground a decision about 'what to be'.
This is my advice to college students. It applies doubly for high school
students. Let your daughter live a little! She is too young to know what she
wants her place in the world to be. You are fortunate that she is mature
enough to recognize that.
Just wanted to throw out there that it is perfectly normal for a 15 year old
to have ''no clue'' about what they want to do in the future. If this is
still an issue at 25 then maybe career counseling is in order. I would
consider it extremely premature to career counsel a child.
--Take a deep breath and big step back
When my daughter was a senior in high school, I set up several career
counseling sessions for her with local career coach Toni Littlestone. She was
warm and down to earth, and my daughter liked working with her. She helped her
understand her career personality style, skills, and interests. They explored
lots of different career ideas and she came away with five or six ideas that
she was quite excited about. Those ideas helped her decide to try out various
college courses in order to explore them. Eventually, she chose one of the
directions. She told me that she was really glad that she had gotten a head
start on understanding herself and getting career ideas, and that she was not
lost like a lot of her friends in college. In her junior year, she met with
Toni again to plan the next stage, and right after graduating, they met to
start practicing for interviews and creating a resume. My daughter said it was
all really helpful. Try Toni LIttlestone, 510-528-2221, or
I'm looking for recommendations for therapists who can
provide both career counseling and emotional support for my
22 year old who has dropped out of college and seems
overwhelmed about what to do next.
I have had experience with an excellent career counselor, Toni
Littestone. I know she is already in the BPN recommendations, but in
case you didn't come across her name, here's her contact info:
email@example.com. She has been around a long time and would be
a good match for your young adult.
local BPN parent
Although I understand your desire to find someone who does career
counseling and therapy, I don't think there are many qualified people
who do both. Most therapists don't do career counseling. By this, I
mean, the use of assessments and other tools to help someone discover
their interests, skills, values, personality type, and preferred work
environment, and how these might translate into possible jobs and career
paths. Career counselors are specifically trained in these areas and are
knowledgeable about a variety of resources to help someone explore
careers and ultimately, make good career choices. Sometimes career
counselors refer someone to a therapist when issues such as anxiety,
depression, low self-esteem, alcohol/drug abuse or other issues get in
the way of making progress with career counseling. So, whomever you
decide to go with, make sure they have the qualifications and experience
to do what your son needs.
A Career Counselor with over 20 years experience
I paid for my 24-year-old to have a few sessions with Toni Littlestone,
who you can find reviews for on the BPN website. It was very helpful
in helping identify what he likes to do and what he would be good at.
It's not a magic bullet. but it got him thinking about his future, which
was worth it.
My daughter, who is a sophomore in college, has figured out
that she is not good at interviews. With medical school
interviews looming in the future, she would like to work one
on one with an interview coach/career counselor. We are
located in Contra Costa County, so someone near us would be
preferred, but we are somewhat flexible. Anon
I would like to recommend Lisa Rothman. She coached me
through a series of interviews and was great! One of her
greatest gifts is that she listens extremely well. She can
quickly help sift out what are your blocks and what are your
strengths and give you a very workable game plan. She can
be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck! Laurie
I have been a recruiter for 15 years, working with
entry-level up to executive level positions. During that
time, I have literally interviewed thousands of candidates,
so I am confident in my ability to coach your daughter on
her interview technique - from physical presentation to
relaying her desired message to appropriate interview
Your daughter should be familiar with and prepared for
various interview techniques, including behavioral
questions, typical 'strength/weakness' questions,
illegal/inappropriate questions, and curveballs.
Kudos to you for seeking help for her. Many candidates I
have met would have benefitted from a few coaching sessions.
I recommend Lisa Rothman as a great interview coach. She
helped me prepare for a job interview last year. Lisa was
very helpful in terms of helping me articulate my concerns,
frame my expectations, and keep a positive attitude. She
also gave me practical advice about what questions to expect
and how negotiations work. We rehearsed how the interview
might go and she gave me useful feedback. Thanks to her
coaching, the interview went well and I got the job. You can
find her contact info on her website:
Disclosure: Lisa Rothman is a good friend of mine.
My son just graduated from college and is certainly feeling a bit
lost. He could use a bit of focus and direction and I would love to
have him see a career counselor or life coach. Has anyone had any
experience with a life coach who works with college grads?
As my son was finishing college, he, too was uncertain about his
direction. We sent him to see Toni Littlestone, a career
counselor/coach in Albany, near Solano Avenue. My son found her to be
warm, supportive, and extremely helpful. She helped him understand
himself, what he might be good at, and the world of work. He now has a
career direction that he loves. Toni has a college-age son herself and
seems very comfortable and at ease with this age and stage of life. I
also have a friend whose daughter was floundering after college and
met with Toni for a few months. Toni helped her define a direction,
and also helped her a lot with her resume and interview practice.
She's now in a good job and has a career path. My friend told me that
her daughter felt very happy with the help she received, and that she
herself was relieved to have another person who could advise and guide
her daughter rather than trying to do it herself. Toni's website is
tonilittlestone.com, and her phone is 510.528.2221.
Has anyone had a really good experience with a career and/or grad
school counselor for an adult child who has finished college and is
not sure what to do next? This seems like such a difficult time in
life. High school was straightforward, with the goal of college
clarly in mind. College wasn't that difficult to get into with so
many choices for college education in this country. But when kids
finish college they have to face the big world and it is scary and
competitive and there is no one to guide them as in the past. Typical
career counselors give interest inventories and then tell the clinet
to go and research the results. I am looking for a more personalized
approach for a 24 year old. Thanks. Lydia
I had a similar problem after I graduated from college -- some call it the
'quarter-life crisis'. I saw Dr. Elayne Chou,
licensed psychologist at the Tang
Center (UC Berkeley); she also has a private practice on Shattuck in Berkeley
I know of a psychologist who is also a career counselor who may
be able to help out a senior (she does work at CAL). I've posted
her name a couple of times before- Dr. Elayne Chou
this page was last updated: Sep 30, 2013
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