Career Coaches & Counselors
Berkeley Parents Network >
Working & Careers >
Career Coaches & Counselors
Head Hunter / Career or Job Finding Coach
Any recommendations on someone who can help with resume and
cover letter writing for their employment search. Thank you
Many online resources and books at library
on resume writing. Some libraries offer free workshops.
Rubicon at 1918 Bonita, near University.
http://www.rubiconprograms.org/ has a resume workshop. I
found them during the economic downturn when I was at my
wit's end to land a job. They have free computers, fax,
photocopying, and a process of orientations and workshops to
land a counselor. My personal biggest advice is research the
organization, tailor each resume to the job, echoing phrases
used in the job description. Evaluate ahead of time what
kinds of jobs you would or would not take, prioritize what
you want and visualize what you want. I wanted 'a nice,
padded cubicle' after being a teacher. A friend of a friend
alerted me that Social Security was hiring. The process took
about a year and a half, but I was hired and have been there
three years. Most federal hiring is frozen now but the
federal government, IMHO, is a great employer. I would be
happy to discuss federal employment if you want to email me.
It has many pluses and some minuses like anything. kathryn
Career counsellor for mid-life career change
I am contemplating a midlife career change. Does anyone
know of any good career counsellors? L.
I have worked over the years with three individuals and a
non-profit. Your least expensive (free!) option is Rubicon
at 1918 Bonita, near University.
http://www.rubiconprograms.org/ I found them during the
economic downturn when I was at my wit's end to land a job.
They have free computers, fax, photocopying, and a process
of orientations and workshops to land a counselor. They
have job fairs on site and leads to other fairs. I felt that
I was in a supportive atmosphere with other middle aged
people who were generally smart and experienced but having
trouble with the job search. I am now fully employed for
three years! Before that I worked with Toni Littlestone in
Albany (love her!), Louie Goeckel in Alameda who is a little
more touchy-feely in her approach, and Joel Garfinkle, who
is a top executive coach and author. Expensive and we
worked by phone and internet. Good luck on your search.
Toni Littlestone is amazing. I got her name off of BPN and
have had a great experience working with her. I have also
referred her to several friends, all of whom love her. Well
worth the cost. RS
Career Counselor for attorney seeking new career
I am an attorney and looking for someone who can try to help
me figure out a new career that I would love and be good at.
I have a small child and lots of bills to pay so in all
likelihood I don't think I will be able to make a career
shift any time soon. But I think it would be valuable for
me right now to work with someone objective who can give me
some guidance and get me excited for my future. I am
looking for someone who is experienced, realistic and
pragmatic. Also, if you have any sense of how much a career
counselor costs, that information would be very helpful too.
If you are a member of the State Bar, you are entitled to
1-2 hrs of free career counseling. Call Richard Carleton of
the lawyer counseling program. counseled
I know several people in various professions and situations
who have met with and enthusiastically recommended Toni
Littlestone, who is located in the North Berkeley/Albany
area. Each one of my friends has been dealing with a
different career problem, including making a major
transition to a new career, trouble with a boss, being
promoted to a manager position, interview role-playing, and
taking steps to improve a current career. I've also met with
Toni several times to talk about my own entrepreneurial
direction, and have always found our sessions to be very
grounding and inspiring. She has really encouraged me to
listen to my own authentic voice and wisdom, which has
helped me go in a direction that finally feels like the true
me. You can reach her at 510-528-2221. My friends have told
me that her help was invaluable, and that they still use the
information they learned in their meetings with her. They've
passed on some of her tips to other friends, who have also
really benefited. She also has a website that I have enjoyed
reading, tonilittlestone.com. Dorothy B
Career Coach for help with career change
Hi smart BPN folks. I need some advice/support on the career
front, someone who can help me move through a career change
and figuring out how to make fairly well-defined goals turn
into actual paid work. If you know of someone who is good at
helping esp with finding a new gig, could you post a
recommendation for me? Thank you! Ready to move
I can't suggest a single person but I have seen some awesome
working mom advice on http://www.maybrooks.com/. They also
feature 'returnship' jobs that are suited for someone
returning to the work force. In the forum area there was a
place for this specific type of request also.
I had a session with Jonathan Lewis (415-577-6322). He
developed a great technique with incredibly poignant
questions that helped me to uncover what I needed to do in
order to take the next steps in my career. He came to me
through personal recommendation. He works from the inside
out - he tries to uncover what you care about in order to
have educated decisions. Hope this helps and good luck!
Hi--I'm a huge fan of Toni Littlestone, who's the go-to
career counselor around here. She helped me, and my goals
weren't even well-defined, like yours! I'm not sure how big
a change you're considering or what field(s) you're
interested in, but I really trust her. She's helped a lot of
my friends, too. tonilittlestone.com
I was referred by a couple of friends to Toni Littlestone, a
local career counselor, who helped me in several ways with
my career search. I needed help with improving my job search
techniques, using LinkedIn more effectively, clarifying my
goals so that I could express them more powerfully to
others, gathering information, analyzing the fit between me
and new positions, networking, and especially at improving
my interview style. I thought I was good at interviews, but
then, I wasn't getting any offers, so how good was I really?
I found that although I have a relaxed, friendly style and
am at ease in conversations with strangers, I wasn't really
selling myself into the jobs. Toni and I worked on this a
lot, and I improved more than I thought possible. She taught
me so much about what's really going on in an interview, and
how to showcase my background and skills in a way that fit
what they were looking for and was also true and authentic
for me. I got a few offers that I turned down, because by
then I understood more clearly what I wanted, then landed a
job I am really excited about, with a solid company, good
boss, and challenging work. Toni also worked with me on
negotiating a salary that was significantly above the
initial offer. I couldn't have done it without the help I
got. She doesn't do any job placement or provide contacts or
leads, but if you want the other tools she offers, you can
contact Toni at 510-528-2221, or look at her website first,
Glad I got help
I have taken Ann McGinnis' Resistance workshop and found her
to be an insightful and intuitive business coach. Two
friends of mine took more extensive training from Ann and
found her to be excellent. You can check her out at
www.WildHeart-Enterprises.com. She works with people in
transition and is particularly good at illuminating and
transforming any self-limiting beliefs that might be keeping
you from seeing all your options. She does free sample
sessions so you can see if she is a good match for you.
Grateful business owner
Career Counselor for PhD in Humanities
I'm finishing up a Ph.D. in the humanities and I'd like to meet with someone
(a career counselor?) who can help me identify what my options are outside of
academia. The ideal person would be both familiar with the skill sets of
academics in the humanities and know how they apply to other careers,
especially in the technological realm. I'm thinking optimistically of a
situation like the one described here:
In terms of personality, I'm looking for someone who'll treat me pretty gently
(this is a terrifying step!) and will help me find out what I can do with the
skills I already have.
Want to Know All the Options
It is a pleasure to recommend Toni Littlestone (http://tonilittlestone.com/). She was
wonderful. Four separate people in entirely different parts of my life recommended her to
me when I wanted to see a career counselor, so I was curious about her. I was initially
worried because her website was a little touchy-feely, new-agey for me. She definitely is
someone who values authenticity and she is a little hippie-ish, BUT she's also sharp as a
tack, extraordinarily practical, and very helpful.
I saw her six times, and we covered basic things like trying to find a job that would be
a good fit for me, how to interview, how to write a cover letter (we revised it
together), how to manage things with my current boss as a part of the transition, and I
did get the job. One thing I really liked about her is that she was so good at her job
that I feel like the money I spent working with her (and it was pricey - $140 an hour)
was worth every penny; I think that now I know how to approach interviews and write CVs
and cover letters forever. She's that good. - So glad I did it.
I was an academic in the humanities, like you, and came to feel that higher ed
just was not for me. (Long story there!) I asked around for a career counselor,
and many people, both on and off campus, recommended Toni Littlestone, who's in
Albany (though I sometimes talked with her by phone, not in person).
It's interesting that you mention wanting someone gentle, because that's really
something that struck me about Toni: she is very warm and supportive, to the
point where I wondered after our first appt, "Will she also kick my butt, as
needed?" Interestingly, she absolutely got me going, even though she isn't a
hard-driving person. She had me explore non-academic possibilities in a very
realistic way - I stayed open to academia for awhile, but ultimately decided to
take the leap and leave, and that's been the right decision (for me).
Not to flood you with specifics, but she had me interview key people, build a
network, do some very pointed internet exploration, etc. We also developed a
less academic resume for me, and talked at length about how I would respond if
potential employers asked ''why aren't using your PhD?'' and ''how are you going to
handle challenges here in the real world?'' And the process actually worked!
In fact, I still talk to Toni periodically about my current job. I learned
academic politics/styles in my doctoral work, but I have struggled a bit with
non-academic workplace dynamics - how to relate to bosses, co-workers, clients,
etc. So it's been good to stay in touch with her: tonilittlestone.com,
--Happy outside academia
Career-change counseling for lawyers
Can anyone recommend a career counselor (doesn't have to be
local) who can offer creative, informed suggestions to a
career-switching lawyer? Specifically, someone who can give
advice about how to switch out of a high pressure law firm
job and into an equally satisfying but less intense
law-related job. (Have already tried talking to Toni
Littlestone, but the advice was not really law-specific
I highly recommend you contact Elena DuCharme
(www.elenaducharme.com) She is a former lawyer who now
coaches lawyers for a variety of purposes (and helps with
test anxiety). She is easy to talk to and always willing to
help or find the right help for you. I have known her since
we practiced together many years ago, but she helped me when
I was looking to leave law firm life and go in-house. While
not the same situation as yours, I am pretty certain she can
help you. (Don't be put off by her website that focuses on
helping lawyers enhance their performance. She can help in
a lot of areas.) Best of luck. Kate
Career Counselor for litigation consultant changing careers
I have been a litigation consultant for the past 15 years
and recently lost my job as the company I worked for went
bankrupt. I have two small children under the age of 2 and
do not want to continue in this line of work as it can be
quite demanding time wise. The problem is I have no idea
what I do want to do. I am looking for recommendations on
career counselors who can help assess my skill set and
strengths and who can help identify how I can transfer my
work experience in consulting to other types of work. I also
need advice on job hunting in general and resumes/cover
letters, etc. Really I need advice on the entire process
from beginning to end. Anon
Victoria Zenoff is wonderful. She is located in El Cerrito
(510) 526-5210. Her website is www.victoriazenoff.com. One
of the best decisions I've ever made! Good luck!
My adult daughter has a family and needed to change careers
for a better work-life balance. She worked with career
counselor Toni Littlestone in Albany (tonilittlestone.com)
and was able to make a great career change. They worked
together on identifying her strengths and favorite skills,
work environment needs, and how to present herself for new
paths. They also addressed networking, interviewing,
changing her resume, and other job search skills. The career
counseling sessions also gave her structure and motivation
during a process that my daughter had been finding
overwhelming. One of the most important things Toni helped
my daughter with was reaching out and connecting effectively
with others as she learned about career fields. Now they
meet occasionally for help with office dynamics. My daughter
has told me that she wishes she had met Toni years earlier,
and that she feels so much more confident now about her
Happy to have found help
Practical Career Counselor Needed
I am looking for a practical career counselor. There are
many great reviews for career counselors who help with
determining live/work balance and fulfilling your dreams,
but I am looking for someone who can give practical
assessments on career paths with concrete steps to maximize
one's path. Experience in high tech hardware/software
companies and clean tech would be ideal. We are looking for
someone who could potentially help with introductions and
networking opportunities and give solid advice about job
prospects in different high tech industries for someone who
has been working in those fields for the last two decades
but is looking to figure out next steps.
Your post made me wonder if you are really looking for a
counselor because your needs seem very specific. This is
especially true if you are looking for networking
opportunities in a specific area. Have you considered (or
tried) doing informational interviews in your industry of
interest? It seems you need guidance from someone who is
especially knowledgeable about the ins and outs of a
particular area. I have found informational interviews to
work really well as a tool to meet people and to just get a
different view of the my industry by talking shop. Finding
out what steps they took to obtain their success might give
you ideas and motivate you to move in that direction. It's
just a thought - best of luck in your career endeavors.
Sherry Berman is the best career counselor! She gave me
practical exercises to do to help me understand my
relationship to work and what sort of career choices would
fit 'my design', who I am and what I am good at and love to
do. She is incredibly insightful. It actually felt like
therapy to work with her...therapy that was very direct and
all related to figuring out the right job for me.
You can find her at http://www.switch-careers.com/index.html
Good luck on your transition!
A happy Sherry client
I used Sean Brennan and WordGuild Writing Services for
assistance with the written portion of my law school
application. While my writing skills are excellent, Sean
was invaluable in helping me further shape and polish the
material required for the admissions packet. His ability to
hone a clear voice and sharpen the focus of both short and
extended pieces of writing is excellent. We worked entirely
via e-mail, and his support and written feedback were clear
and focused. I strongly recommend his services. A.M.
Looking for Career consulting
I am a scientist (biologist) who is thinking on career
change. I am looking for a good Career consulting. Anyone
You may already have seen her name in the archives, but I
HIGHLY recommend Toni Littlestone. She's worked with a lot
of faculty at UCSF and Cal, and has a lot of wisdom (and
specific tips) about career transitions for academics,
scientists, etc. My friends and I have nothing but great
things to say about her!
(she works by phone or in person in Albany)
--Good luck with your transition
Need a recco for an amazing career coach
Hi BPNers, I'm looking for a special kind of career coach
who has their finger on the pulse of the current job market
*and* is willing to talk very personally with me about my
strengths and weaknesses - and what options might be a good
fit for me as a whole.
I'm done trying to shove myself into a mold that doesn't
fit. I am now okay with the fact that some things about me
are just here to stay. For almost two decades I have tried
to listen to criticism, emulate others, adjust the way I do
things, and, despite some great lessons, I always end up in
the same place.
Where can I fit that the way I am isn't a problem? Where can
I shine? I have so much to offer and I want to be seen.
I'm currently focusing on independent projects that are
rewarding, so I think I'm on the right path but I could
use a little sage advice and counseling from someone who's
going to be real about who I am and where I (as I am) can
When I read your posting, it reminded me of my own situation
for many years. It sounds as if you are a step or two ahead
of where I was back then. I used to try so hard to improve
my weaknesses, with very little to show for it. Then I
started working with East Bay career counselor Toni
Littlestone, who uses 'strengths based coaching,' (she
explained to me that it has become more of a growing trend)
which helped me focus on what I am naturally good at, or my
core flow of natural abilities. I learned how to make career
choices that focus on my best skills and the things I prefer
to do, to work around or avoid the things I am not good at,
and do really well in my career. Most importantly, she
helped me stop struggling to be someone I am not. You also
said 'sage advice and counseling,' and that is just how I
would describe the counseling relationship. Toni was able
to speak to me directly, with understanding and kindness,
and also really respected my own wisdom and helped me bring
out the part of me that knows what's best for myself. She
also works with many people in different careers, so has a
great sense of trends. You could visit her website,
tonilittlestone.com, or call her at 510-528-2221. Happier
Career Counselor Needed
My husband would like to work with a career counselor to
help him move out of his current situation and move to the
'next level' He has been in his line of business for near 20
years and would like a practical, no nonsense, kick in the
pants kind of counselor who will be able to push him and
provide very practical and usable advice. He did go to one
and heard a lot about get out and 'network' with no real
practical tools to do accomplish the goal. He really deals
much better with someone who could help provide a practical
outline for how to achieve his goals without it being too
vague. I did look through the current information, but did
not find any recommendations that seemed to be a good fit or
that were really recent. thanks in advance for any advice!
I wouldn't say that my career counselor, Toni Littlestone,
was really 'kick in the pants' - she has a very warm style.
But I have to say that her effect on me was totally 'kick in
the pants'! I'm introverted, so, like your husband, I needed
a serious push to get out and network after 16 years of
being stuck in my job, with my career world shrinking.
I didn't feel like she was rough on me at all, but she
definitely got me identifying who I needed to network with,
what order I should contact them in, what I should say, what
I should do afterward. And she shared with me her gigantic
network (I think she's been counseling for over 20 years
now). Then she got me out there connecting with people - some
in person, some by phone and email--and keeping track of
what everyone said and how I should follow up.
She doesn't often use words like accountability, discipline,
etc. - that's not really her style. But I've had coaches, and
I have to say that Toni's warmer way of pushing me worked
much better than the coaches' overt 'kick-butt' approach. I
actually found myself much more motivated in non-career
parts of my life, too. I started exercising again and playing
piano. I've sent a couple of friends to Toni, also, and we
all comment on how she's really warm, but somehow got us all
She's at 510-528-2221 or tonilittlestone.com.
Good luck to your husband!
My career coach, Toni Littlestone, had a practical,
down-to-earth approach that motivated me to move forward,
but not by her pushing me, more like me learning to push
myself. She got me to identify my priorities and set goals
that I could buy into, and helped me create a plan with
concrete, manageable steps. When I started, I had a lot of
resistance (fear!) and could only commit to 15 minutes a day
of work on my career, but then I worked up to two hours a
day. We also worked on interview skills and salary
negotiation, and for the first time in my life, with
coaching, I got better at networking. At first, I really,
really didn't want to network, but Toni persistently taught
me how, and step-by-step I learned to reach out effectively.
Now I have a great new job that I would not have gotten
without the combination of all the skills I learned
(especially networking). I found that I needed to find ways
to motivate myself, not have someone push me, and Toni was
perfect for that. Her website is tonilittlestone.com. much
I've worked with Carrie McKiernan both in figuring out how
to search, and in preparing for interviews - she was very
pragmatic and direct, while being very compassionate. She
even helped with the negotiation of salary once I had an
offer as well-- I'd highly recommend her, as now I have a
job. Her website is www.carriemckiernan.com. Good luck!
Career Counselor or Therapist?
I'm looking for a sensitive career counselor or possibly a therapist
that works with career issues. Basically I need to reenter the
workforce after staying home with my child, and have a whole lotta
career baggage from before then to deal with, and may need to make a
career change. And unfortunately, don't have much to spend on a
counselor/therapist. Has anyone ever worked with the Bay
Area Career Center? Or are there any sliding scale counselors or
therapists in the East Bay/SF to recommend? Many thanks.
If you decide to go the therapy route you may want to check out The
Women's Therapy Center as a sliding fee option www.womenstherapy.org
Best of luck.
My career counselor, Toni Littlestone, has been recommended
here a million times, and with good reason! She's wise,
experienced, and practical, as well as sensitive,
empathetic, and insightful. Like you, I had baggage to deal
with, and, at the same time, I needed really practical
guidance going forward. I feel like she has a lot of the
strengths of a therapist, while being grounded in
I went to her first when I was looking for a job after a
break from work, and she was incredibly helpful with finding
my direction and getting my job. (I LOVED interview
practice with her!) And I've actually gone on seeing her
over the years because she isn't ''just'' about going back to
work or finding a new job--she's really helped me with
on-the-job political issues, succeeding at work (including
not getting in my own way), requesting-a-raise practice,
life balance, etc.
Toni is at 510-528-2221, and you can visit her website to
get a feel for her style, tonilittlestone.com. --Good luck!
Can you recommend a career counselor for my 50ish
technically oriented husband?
I enthusiastically recommend Dan Quinn as an outstanding
career counselor. Dan is a skilled therapist who has
extensive experience in the corporate arena. He has
advanced training in cognitive-behavioral psychology and is
also a certified Positive Psychology coach. He was the CEO
of a very successful technology consulting firm. All these
experiences give Dan a great perspective when working on
career issues, and he is also very funny (a sense of humor
really helps!), insightful and compassionate. I can't
recommend him highly enough. Check out his website for more
info: Www.DanQuinn.Info heidi
Career counselor for nonprofit worker?
My sister-in-law is a 45-year old program manager at a
nonprofit. She's looking for a career counselor that can
help sort through new career options including grad school,
law school, and other possibilities, as well as skills to
write resumes and do interviews and conduct a job search
after 12 years at the same job. Understanding the work life
of a progressive doing social change work a plus but not
I've already sent her the names of the people on the BPN
website, but, with the exception of Toni Littlestone,
they're quite dated. Does anyone have any recent experience
with a career counselor?
I recommend Lisa Rothman for resume writing, career
counseling, and someone to help you with your cover letters.
Lisa also does job interview coaching and coaching for
anyone who has to do any type of public speaking such as
speaking for fundraisers, speaking to the media, or speaking
to your board members. Lisa helped me re-organize my resume.
Even though we are experiencing tough times in the job
market; about one third of my resumes that I sent out after
having Lisa do her magic received a request for a phone
interview. She is also a very nice person. Her website is
http://www.lisarothman.com has her pricing information.
Contact Lisa Rothman at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone: 510-387-7524. Joy
I would like to recommend Lisa Rothman. She definitely
understands the work life of a progressive doing social
change work - as well as general career counseling and
resume re-working. I was really pleased with the dynamic
ideas she had for my resume, as well as her flexibility with
whether I do the re-writing, or she do the re-writing. She
has great knowledge of the non-profit world as well.
Working with her was inspiring... Her email is
email@example.com I'm still in my same position, but
feel ready to search should it become necessary. Good luck!
In addition to myself, I have a few friends who have
transitioned into or out of the nonprofit work world, or
needed on-the-job advice, and worked very effectively and
happily with Toni Littlestone. I know that you already
mentioned her, but thought I would chime in about my
experience and the feedback I've gotten. Toni was
supportive, knowledgeable, an empathetic coach and wise
guide for me as well as others. I've also gone back to her
from time to time when I needed additional help, for
example, about communications at work or interview practice.
My career has continued to thrive, partly because of access
to a coach who has come to understand my career path and my
career style. You can reach Toni at tonilittlestone.com or
Best wishes on your path
I recently worked with Lisa Rothman (who I also received a
referral from Berkeley Parent's network). I've been involved
in non-profit for several years, Lisa helped me rethink and
rework my resume. She was very professional and easy to
work with. I would highly recommend her. You can reach her
at lisa rothman firstname.lastname@example.org. She also has a
I have a suggestion and the service is either no cost or
limited cost. Jewish Vocational Services (JVC) in San
Francisco provides free career counseling and help with
resumes, job searches, and other necessary skills. They have
a person who specializes in nonprofit employees.
I cannot say enough good about them, having used myself and
sent others to them. cs
It sounds like Lisa Rothman would be a great fit to help
your sister (www.lisarothman.com). I also work for a non-
profit and she recently helped me update my resume and
prepare cover letters for some new opportunities after 5
years in the same job. Lisa was amazing to work with. She is
very energetic and I found she hit the perfect balance
between providing concrete help and advice and building my
confidence by emphasizing my strengths without being over-
the-top. She is also very efficient and producive which I
really appreciated because it enabled us to get the maximum
output from our time together which was important to my
limited budget. Last week I was offered one of the great
jobs she helped me apply for : ) Best of luck to your
Was glad to see all of the recommendations last week for
Lisa Rothman - I've worked with her, and she's terrific!
Efficient, energetic, enthusiastic, and inspiring. Lisa has
assisted me in a a variety of capacities -- networking
advice, resume revision, website editing, elevator pitch
preparation -- and I have found her to be an excellent
collaborator both in person and on the phone. I particularly
appreciate her availability and responsiveness. There were a
few situations where an opportunity arose but I had to act
quickly: Lisa provided phone coaching and helped edit my
cover letter over a very tight time-frame, which was a huge
support in maintaining my momentum and optimism. She also
gave me some excellent advice when I was invited to join a
non-profit board: she accurately identified some potential
problems and pitfalls, while at the same time helping me see
how this opportunity fit in with my overall life goals,
practical concerns and financial needs. Her website is
http://www.lisarothman.com and has her pricing information.
Contact Lisa Rothman at her email: email@example.com or
phone: 510-387-7524. Glad to have her as part of my team!
Career counselor for lawyer
I am a lawyer who has the feeling (as so many lawyers do)
that this may not be the career for me. I need someone to
help me discover what I really like doing with my work day,
offer concrete suggestions about possible other careers (or
other options that would be a better fit for me within the
law), and be realistic about my chances of getting other
jobs. Any recommendations for me? Thanks everyone. Making
If you are a current, active member of the California Bar,
contact the Lawyer's Assistance Program through the Bar.
You are entitled to two or three free hours of career
counseling as part of your bar dues. There are a number of
counselors on contract with the Bar, one near you! I've
heard great things about the woman in Walnut Creek, not so
good about the woman in North Berkeley (Linda?) lawyer
Seeking career counselor for divorcing SAHM
I am a stay-at-home mom, soon to be divorced. I have an old
career that doesn't fit me any more and that I've barely
been doing for the last 5 years, so I have almost no
connections left even if it were what I wanted to keep on
doing. I don't know what kind of career would be right for me.
I'm looking for someone in between a career counselor and
life coach who can help me with the intense emotions
surrounding this huge life transition; help me think about
what kind of career could make me happy and give my life
more meaning, purpose and community; and help me take
concrete steps towards moving into such a career. I'd like
to find someone affordable, if possible, since I don't
really know what my money situation is going to be, going
forward. At the same time, I don't want to cut corners on
what could be the most important counseling I ever get.
I'd appreciate any recommendations of people who might fit
what I'm looking for, as well as advice about what kind of
work I could do on my own ahead of time to make the
counseling sessions as productive as possible. I'm curious
whether anyone out there has used the public career
counseling services offered by Cal, and whether they are a
good fit for me or are more narrowly focused.
Trying to find my path
I took a career exploration class at the College of Alameda
during the spring semester of 2009 and found it *very*
helpful. I, too, am a sahm and needed to figure out what my
next act/career would be. The class was taught by one of
the career counselors from the college and she was very
good. There were a variety of people in the class (some
looking for new ideas after being laid off; some considering
a change but not knowing what it should be; some thinking
they were already in a position that was a good fit but
wanting some validation of that; sahm's that needed to start
over; etc.) It met once a week in the evenings. And you
couldn't beat the price. It don't know if it's still
offered but the Peralta catalogs are all online.
I am in a similar situation--looking for full time work after ten
years of grad school, children and self-employment--so I hired a
career coach to help me focus my job search, assist me with preparing
resumes and most of all, coaching me through the interview process.
I hired Joel Garfinkle at http://www.dreamjobcoaching.com/
and he's been great. You hire him by the month for unlimited email
access and three consulting sessions. He has provided me with
invaluable practical information, interview techniques and
compassionate support throughout. Good luck!
I went through a break-up several years ago, and received so
much support and help from Toni Littlestone, a career and
life coach who has worked with many women in this situation
(including a couple of my friends). I needed more than a
career coach, and Toni was a combination career coach and
empathetic, wise counselor - she helped me weather the storm.
In addition to her warm encouragement and practical,
knowledgeable guidance, she was great about suggesting free
or low-cost resources, which enabled me to get enough
support as I went through my transition. I'm happy to say
that I am now a working mom who still has time for my
kids - I'm thriving! You can reach Toni at 510-528-2221, or
check her website, tonilittlestone.com.
--Best wishes for your transition
Career Counselor-works w/ Artist/Creative types
I am trying to reinvent my career after being a stay at home
mom for the last 6 years. I use to be a Art Director but am
not at all interested in returning to that type of job. I
need help thinking about a career that would plug into my
creative side but keep me gainfully employed. If you know a
career counselor that works with artists and creative types
I would love to have their name and contact info. I need
someone with proven experience and strong tools to help me
focus and help me find a new career path.
Victoria Zenoff is amazing. Drop everything and go see her.
If you are willing to do the work (she will give you
assignments between sessions) it will pay off for you. You
will learn more about yourself and untapped strengths. Had I
not gone to her, I would not be doing the kind of work I am
today. http://www.victoriazenoff.com/ VZ Fan
Academic Career Coach
I am looking for references for a career counselor or life
coach who focuses on the academic profession, ideally with
knowledge of the social sciences and/or public health. I
have completed postdoctoral training, and am considering the
kinds of options available to me in academia, honing in on
my own professional goals, and weighing these factors with
my desire to keep my family here in the bay area, as well as
increasing hopes for overall life balance that seems hard to
realize given the cost of living here. I would really
appreciate suggestions for someone who is familiar with
academic career paths; who pushes clients toward their
vision through concrete and realizable goals; who asks
difficult questions (ie is very engaged in approach); who
brings an appreciation for work/family balance for women in
academia, and understands the necessity of both; and who
considers their role as discrete as opposed to long-term.
Hoping for balance in academia
I highly recommend Omega Coaching/Helene Dublisky. I
believe she can provide you with exactly what you are
looking for. She is phenomenal. Her experience includes
having worked with individuals in Public Health/Academia.
Her number is 444.5211.
Good luck in your search!
Juliet Saxe, Ph.D. is a career and executive coach and has an
office in North Berkeley on Solano Avenue. She has a lot of
experience across many industries and works with academicians.
She has a number of private and corporate clients in the Bay
Area. Her number is 510.375.2957 and email is
firstname.lastname@example.org. throughout my experience with
her, she has been very easy to work with, very clear,
insightful and helpful. i would definately recommend her.
New mom looking for career counseling
I'm hoping someone can recommend a career counselor. I am a new mom
and I have been out of the work force for 9 months now. I was a print
(graphic)designer and I'm not sure if it's best that I go back to it
because of the long hours. I'm looking for someone who is
knowledgeable about what types of jobs are in demand now. Sliding
scale would be best. I don't want to spend a year in therapy,
personality tests would be fine. I'd like to create a career
plan/strategy quickly. Thanks!
My next-door neighbor who has now moved back East got great help at this
stage from a few sources. She formed a group of three moms in the same
situation and met for coffee and brainstorming once a week. She also
met every two weeks with career coach Toni Littlestone in Albany for
one-on-one focused help. She said that Toni helped her especially with
confidence and how to present herself positively, as well as thinking
very concretely about life balance with her family. She also took some
classes to update her computer skills at Piedmont Adult School, and
joined Toastmasters to learn presentation skills.
My husband has found himself in the job market at age 55 and in
his field he is competing with 30 year olds. We need to
''re-package'' him (maximize his strengths and minimize his
deficits) and are seeking the advice of a career coach for this
purpose. He is not entrepreneurial but instead wishes to be
employed at a stable company. We know about Marty Nemko, and would
like other recommendations from this group.
has been recommended here many times for
career counseling/coaching, but I have to chime in and say
that she really is wonderful. I'm in midlife myself, and,
based on my experience with her, I think she'd be very helpful
in the situation your husband is facing.
I went through something like this, and got a tremendous
assist on the interview practice/self-presentation part from
Career Coach, Toni Littlestone.
many interviews, and just about everything we covered helped
me present myself much more powerfully in interviews. ...
I had a great experience with Toni Littlestone,
She is incredibly
knowledgable about many environments and executive skills. ...
I am looking into the possibility of using a Career Coach for
my husband who was unexpectedly laid off from his biotech job
earlier this year. Does anyone have any recent experiences and
recommendations? I understand that these individuals have to
be jack-of-all-trades but if anyone knows of a career coach
that has some experience with biotech in particular that would
be great (my husband was a PhD level research scientist).
I work in biotechnology and have been in the field for ten years.
Over this entire time, I have worked on and off with Toni
Littlestone, career coach in Albany, about all my job changes,
office politics, interviews, resume tune-ups, dissatisfactions,
promotions--really, everything. ...
I have a B.F.A. and have been animating for fifteen years. I am dissatisfied
w/my job and need to rethink my career. Looking for a career counselor who
understands visual artists. Thanks.
I can recommend Louise Goeckel, career consultant and coach. I am a
professional visual artist and a master teacher. Louise has been very easy
to work with and has been very valuable as I grow my business. ...
Hello, I am looking for a crackerjack, gifted career counselor,
who might specialize in creative blending of skills and
interests as well as narrowing in on a field and work style.
Experience in education, business, entrepreneurship, mid-life
changes and women returning to workforce preferred. Any ideas
you have would be much appreciated! Thanks!!
Over the past few years, I and several
of my friends have had excellent experiences with local Albany
career counselor Toni Littlestone, who helped each
of us with very different questions. ...
I would like to recommend Louise Goeckel.
has a broad background and she is able to help us discover our
own style of working and our own creativity, strengths,
interests, passion and share it with the world....
I have a recommendation for a dynamic career counselor,
Louise Goeckel of ''Let's Go Forward.''
After a session with her I know more about myself and my
career path, and have a fresh, positive perspective....
I have a recommendation for a great career counselor,
Louise Goeckel of Let's Move Forward.
is good at helping you get to your heart wishes and acting on
them. Louise is amazing ...and in a very fun, supportive and
My husband has been unhappy with his job for some time, and is
motivated to get some professional help in finding something new.
He is currently in education administration, but is willing to
move to other related fields that would value his great people
skills and management style and compensate him better.
Several months ago, he met with a ccouselor who he felt was
not what he's looking for--that she was more of a life coach,
almost therapist type of counselor. I guess he is looking for
something more straightforward. He says he would like to meet
with a knowledgeable person who could say, ''Based on your
strengths and experience in A, B, and C, you could get a great
job doing, X, Y, or Z.'' Also, we wants this person to be
well-informed in the various pay ranges for different jobs. His
field is pretty low-paying right now, and he does not want to get
into another area that will max out pretty quickly.
Partner hoping to help
... after [working with a number of other] career counselors I met
with, I did end up working with Toni Littlestone,
who acted in my
case not as a ''life coach'' or ''therapist'' type of counselor but
as a good, solid guide who helped me keep on track and keep
researching my options....
My husband has *the best* things to say about Andrea Bauer (650-802-8936). A while back he was
contemplating a career change, but he didn't know to what (or even if he should change at all,
given the economy). She helped him figure out what he enjoyed doing, what he was good at, and
how it fit us financially....
Susan Urquhart-Brown is a career counselor with Career Steps in
Oakland. To find out more about her and her services, visit:
http://www.careersteps123.com. I've attended one of her business
success groups (for those of us who have our own business) and
got a lot out of it. 510 531-2071
A few years ago, I decided to leave academia and felt overwhelmed by options and unprepared to
make career choices. I met with Sepha Schiffman,
a career counselor in Albany, (510-558-3458)
and was extremely happy with her....
my husband had been complaining about his field and job, so i took him to see
who did exactly what you're saying. very knowledgeable, pragmatic and
no-nonsense. we met with him for about an hour and he taped the session so we could refer to it
I went to a career consultant in San Francisco ... I did some networking on my own and started landing interviews.
At first, I did not do well
in interviews. My wife had been getting ongoing very helpful
coaching on politics at work from Toni Littlestone, so I decided
to go in for interview coaching. It really worked....
JFK University in Pleasant Hill has a Career Counseling center and their rates are
discounted. I think it's primarily staffed by Master's Students who are working on related
degrees. I'm thinking $25 - $50/ session. Professional Career Counselors charge anywhere from
$125 - $250 per hour.
I'm unhappy with my job, which I've had for many years; it
involves writing software for biomedical applications. The
problem I'm having is that I can't even imagine what sort of job,
or career, would make me happy. I'm thinking I might need a
career counselor, but it'd have to be someone who understood
software. I need someone who could understand something like,
''I've done plenty of perl CGI web forms, but only a little PHP
and no ASP, so what kind of web jobs could I get?'' Maybe there's
a career counselor out there who used to be a software/biotech
Burned out techie
Hello. I have the perfect solution for you: Bay Area Career
Center. It is offering two key components -
career counselors and workshops. In paticular they offer one
specific workshop called Self Assessment. It was PHENOMENAL!! ...
I am currently a Physician Assistant looking to switch careers
slightly into more Health Education/Public Health focus and away
from clinical work. I have some health ed. work experience but no
formal education beyond my PA degree. I am interested in seeing a
career counsellor to figure out how to best make this change. My
questions are 1) does anyone know of a career counsellor with an
emphasis on the health professions? 2) what exactly does a career
counsellor do? Can I expect help with auctual leads to people or
organizations or is it more like traditional conselling except
talking about work? 3) Does my situation sound like one in which
career counselling would help or is there something else I should
be doing? I already read What Color Is Your Parachute and did the
suggestions (ie informational interviewing) there, which was
really helpful but has not landed me a job.
Thanks so much.
I am in a medical career
and have used a career counselor over quite a few years to help me
navigate. My career counselor,
does not specialize in health care careers, but has been
incredibly helpful in thinking through options, strategizing my next
moves, interview practice, and dealing with all the workplace politics in
the biotech field....
I'm wondering if anyone out there in BPN land is a career
counselor for either high school or college students. I'm
considering graduate school in counseling - specifically career
counseling. I have a background in Human Resources and I think
my skills would fit nicely in career counseling but I wanted to
hear from people who are in field to learn more about it. What
are the pros and cons? Do you like what you do? What would you
change? Are jobs in this area tough to come by?
I just worked with the Bay Area Career Center
in SF and the woman there was wonderful. There was a huge difference between using her and using my alma mater. However, I have yet to read ''Bait and Switch'' which is Barbarba Ehrenreich's new book, which sounds like it deals with this topic, and whether you are just a clearinghouse of information and the client really does all the work, or whether you can be truly helpful to people.
Maybe you can help the people who could actually help themselves but are unsure?
Newly single mom looking for career counselor who is skilled in
getting stay-at-home moms out in the working world again.
I recommend Toni Littlestone,
who works out of her home office. ...
I know she has been recommended many times on this site, but as a
single mother myself, I just need to say how much I was helped by
I am currenty a SAHM with 2 kids under 4 - I am thinking about
getting back into the workforce in another 6 mos. or so but what
I find is that I'm pretty stumped about what I really want to
do, and how to combine my interests with something that actually
makes money and fits in with being the primary caretaker in the
family. I'm considering seeing a career counselor but don't want
to spend the money just to have someone run me through a bunch
of personality tests (I've taken them already - not a big
help)... can anyone recommend a pragmatic effective counselor?
Or even a useful book that might help me focus my interests?
searching for inspiration
I saw Sepha Schiffman
(510-558-3458) for help with a mid-life
career change. It was the best thing I could have done....
I would wholeheartedly recommend
Toni Littlestone 528-2221 as a
wonderful and understanding person and a very effective career
I went to Toni Littlestone
in Albany, as did a couple of my friends who
were transitioning from being at home with kids. We all found her to be
sensitive, responsive, intuitive and practical.
My husband is quite unhappy and stressed in his current job, but
due to the rise and fall of the tech industry, is hesitant to
leave his current position, feels that his resume/career may have
''holes,'' and is uncertain about what job or career changes he
should make next.
Does anyone have personal experience with this kind of situation?
Any advice? Also, I was thinking he might benefit from a career
counselor and am looking for a recommendation.
My husband recently met with Toni Littlestone,
a career counselor and
she was great. He just took a job
that he feels he successfully negotiated salary for ....
Has anyone used the university's CDOP Career Counselling
program? If so, would you recommend the counselling service you
used? Please share names of specific counsellors and any general
comments. Thank you!
Re CDOP Counseling at UC Berkeley.
I had a very good Consultant, Janet Morimoto at Right Management
in San Francisco. Feel free to email or call me at x34722 to
Can anyone recommend a career counselor or a life coach
who helps individuals figure out the answer to the
question ''what do I want to be when I grow up?''. I am
a 30-something SAHM who has been in career transition mode for a
few years now. I've done all the career assessment tests, now I
need to get to the next level. I live in Oakland, so local
recommendations are best, but I appreciate all suggestions.
I was a SAHM who was very busy with kids and volunteer activities
but feeling adrift. I couldn't figure out how and where to return
to work. I went to Nina Ham, who was recommended by a friend who
was in a similar boat. I found sessions with her to be quite
helpful - going beyond the career counseling stuff and into
thinking about what I wanted my Life to look like. That was about
2-1/2 years ago, and though I didn't go right out and shake up my
life right away, I recently realized that all of the changes and
directions that I was able to begin to imagine and articulate
with Nina have now come to pass. I have the makings of a new
career and identity that feels right and is rewarding, a ''room of
my own'' to work from, a better balance of home, paid work,
volunteer work, and family, as well as bringing other aspects of
my life into balance (spiritually, creatively, physically). Nina
didn't wave her magic wand - but she was a key piece of what it
took for me to recognize what I needed and begin to move toward
it. Her number is 524-8647 and email is NinaHam@aol.com. Her
office is on Solano.
I worked with a personal coach for about six months, which was
a very positive experience (except that my life was too chaotic
to really make the most of it at that time...so I hope to get
back to working with her some time down the road). The only
real downside is that she is up in Grass Valley, CA, so the
only time we met face-to-face was to do the first session --
sort of an intake/get to know you session. All other sessions
were by phone. Worked fine, but some people might need/want
the face-to-face relationship. Certainly worth calling this
woman, to see if you ''click'' (that's the most important thing,
really): Janice Knight, KnightLine Consulting, 530-273-0700,
or at klcbest AT gv.net
I can heartily recommend Susan Van Horn, who runs Real Coach 4U.
She can help you turn your life around. First sesion is free,
and you would be wise to give it a try. If it doesn't seem like
the right fit, you can walk away, but I think her style might
suite you very well. Susan runs a retreat center in La Selva
Beach ( very close to Santa Cruz) and I believe she can either
hold the sessions there or over the phone. Susan can be reached
at 831-684-1003. Good luck in your search!
I first started working with Andrea Bauer
a few years ago when I was evaluating a
career change. I couldn't really figure out what to change or why (or if) a
change was even necessary at all. I found answers to my questions
through meetings, phone conversations, and ''homework'' after about 5
sessions (not including intake or the ''trial'' call). ...
For 3 years now, I've been trying to patch a career together
after being laid off from my job as a instructional designer and
technical writer. I've done all sorts of short term freelance
jobs while looking for something permanent, but I don't seem to
be able to get a job. I have applied for hundreds of jobs, and
am very discouraged, not to mention close to broke.
Does anybody know a job coach or mentor I could work with to get
some guidance? I've checked the names on the website, but the last posting
is about 2 years old. Also, are people still using headhunters
to find them jobs?
Both my husband and I (and another close friend) have used
in Albany. I am sure her name is in the phone book.
She is really great. Very upbeat, lots of good ideas.
I recommend Toni Littlestone. She has an office in her
house on Curtis St in Albany near Solano. She is warm,
open, and non-judgemental. And helpful, of course! Her
number is 528-2221.
I am seeking a recommendation for a job counselor who
brings a social change persepctive to her/ his practice. I'm
a single mom looking to make a career transition and would
like the guidance and support of a job counselor who has
worked with folks who have a history of doing work that is
somewhat aligned with their political/ social values. This
economy is very challenging for those of us who are raising
kids in the extremely expensive Bay Area and who need to
both pay the bills and do meaningful work. I have checked
the website but have not found this resource. I'd appreciate
I know of a place that provides the type of career counseling you are
seeking. It is called the Life's Work Center, and it is based in San
Francisco, with easy access to BART. I have been in their counseling
program since April and have
found it to be the most wholistic approach to my career quandries I have
ever participated in. The founder and Executive Director, Tom Finnegan, is
wise, enthusiastic and very adept at what he does. The groups meet once
weekly for 2 hours, the cost is very affordable and you have the
opportunity to meet up with all kinds of different people who are searching
for work that is aligned with their personal values.
Tom would be more than happy to speak with you about the program. He can be
reached at 415-821-0930. I too would be happy to tell you in more detail
about my experience.
I strongly recommend Toni Littlestone
in Albany. She is a
single mom who has lots of clients working for social change
organizations. Her number is: 528-2221. If you would like to
talk with me about Toni or my own stuggle with similar issues,
email me. Good luck!
Seeking job counselor for long-term change
I am looking for a job/career counselor. I'm tired of looking for,
and occasionally finding, low-paying short-term jobs, and it's clear
that at my age, without additional graduate work (which I will almost
certainly not be able to do) I won't be able to get the kind of job I
think I want. So I need advice . I've looked at the UCB Parents web site,
and I'm not interested in Alumni Resources, although I know they do good
work. Does anyone have experience with a competent and sympathetic counselor
of this type? I'd prefer Berkeley or Oakland or a location near BART.
In the past, I have recommended my friend Sepha Schiffman
to the the UCB
Parents newsletter. Since that time, I have actually used her services to
help me make an important decision about my own career. I have always known
her to be warm and compassionate but working with her, I found that she
also had many insights about the Bay Area job market and was knowledgeable
about my fairly specialized profession. Give her a call at 510-525-8553.
She works in Berkeley.
I used jewish vocational service (jvs) in sf (very near bart) & was quite
I forgot the name of the counselor i used - i think Jane was her name.
are pretty reasonable, and i'm happily pursuing a graduate degree in my new
A career counselor who has been extremely helpful to the several people I
have referred to her is Linda Artel. Her office is in Berkeley. Her phone
is 510-599-9244. She has worked at Alumni Resources as well as privately
Time to move on - seeking career counselor
I am looking for recommendation for a Career Counselor - specifically
one who deals with individuals who are currently stuck in their professions
and need to move on, yet they are scared and unwilling to do the work to
find a new, rewarding job. It would also be helpful if this counselor
specialized in careers for scientists trying to break out into the high-tech
market. I am hopeful that my spouse could find something else that would
him more reward, money and security. It is just that I need someone who can
convince him of that as well as find him resources to also have him believe
he can change jobs AND have happiness, wealth and security. Thanks
I'd like to put in a plug for a friend who is warm, sensitive and funny.
She has helped many people in your husband's situation. Call Sepha
Schiffman, Career Counseling & Personal Development: 510-558-3458.
I suggest the services of Debra Condren at www.superiorcareer.com. I went
and she led me
through a wide battery of tests. I am on the path to a new career, and have
a much better
understanding of my potential and desires for the future. She is not cheap,
it an investment.
For career counseling, try Alumni Resources in the City. Web site:
Can anyone recommend a career counselor outside the UC career
is for my husband, who is already a successful Silicon Valley
who is longing for a career that will make him happier, so any
recommendations for counselors who have helped people make the switch
from a standard professional career would be particularly
I highly recommend Alumni Resources in San Francisco. Despite
the name, you don't really have to be an alumnus of anything, and
they're not affiliated with any university. I spent 3 months working
career issues about 10 years ago, and it was one of the best
I ever made.
Job Counselor for Ph.D. leaving academia
I am an experienced (tenured) faculty person in the Humanities at UCB.
Recently I have been plotting an escape from 1) the Bay Area and 2)
possibly academics. It seems to me that I have heard of job
counselors who help people with mid-life career changes, and I wonder if
anyone out there has heard of such a person who works with errant PhDs.
Any suggestions would be most welcome.
Alumnae Resources, 120 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. 417/
There are other orgs too, including New Ways to Work and Forty Plus.
But by calling AR, you can get a lead to the others.
Dr. Andrew Green at the Career Center on Campus (Banway Building on
Bancroft b/n Oxford and Shattuck) works with and for Ph.D. students
and presumably for people who have gotten their Ph.D.s too. Dr. Green
himself was a former professor. His web site is:
http://career.berkeley.edu. Good luck.
I've been working with a career management firm in the City called
Bernard Haldane and Associates (415 391-8087). I am very pleased with the
quality of help I have received, thus far. Clients work one-on-one with an
advisor to identify skills, accomplishments, and to determine a work
objective. The campaign (as they call it) is rather labor intensive,
though. I was told the first 4 assignments would entail 20 hours of
work at home, but I clocked far more. As part of the program, you are taught
how to market yourself, conduct information intervals, and even
negotiate salary once a job offer is on the table. I feel very confident that
I will soon be able to make my own escape from UC very soon! Oh, I should
mention, though, the program is not cheap. The cost is determined by
your current salary. Though, as part of a salary negotiation, you might be
able to recoup your cost. An added advantage is the contract with them
is good for 3 years from the date you sign. So, if you find a position and
a year later you decide your new career is not going in the right
direction, you can go back to Haldane without further cost. If you want
to discuss my experience in detail, please contact the moderator for my
Though I never used her myself, I spoke on the phone
with Victoria Zenoff several years ago when I was
considering a major career shift. It would be worth
giving her a call and chatting with her to get a sense
of whether she would be a good counselor for you. Her
number (as of 4 years ago) is 510.526.5210.
Call Sepha Schiffman. She's a career counselor and a former academic
herself and particularly enjoys working with people considering a
mid-career transition. 510-558-3458.
this page was last updated: Sep 30, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network