Are You Ready?
Career counseling is sometimes imagined as a one or two session event where a career counselor listens to your career and life story and then suggests a career that you've never thought of that unites all of your interests and preferences. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
Realistic expectations are key to getting the most out of career counseling. If you expect too much too soon, you'll be disappointed and possibly quit with less confidence that you can change your situation.
Career change takes quite a bit of time and effort, just as it would if you were to go to a physical therapist for an injury or a psychotherapist for personal concerns. It would not be realistic to expect instant results for a complicated or long-standing problem. The same applies to career work.
Career counseling is a multi-step, multi-session process that is part art and part science. Outcomes are highly dependent on your temperament, career trajectory, comfort with risk and self-discipline. Whatever your situation, you will need to commit to a step-by-step process that requires action, courage, and patience.
The average job search takes 9 months; a career change can take up to 3 years. This doesn't mean you have to be in counseling the whole time. Sometimes all people need is a goal, refinement of their tools, and an action plan.
To determine your readiness for the journey ahead, you can take this quick assessment.