Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ VocationVillageHow specifically do you help clients reach their career and life goals?
I assess a client’s situation, help to develop specific strategies for change, support a client through the execution of a plan, problem-solve when the inevitable obstacles and challenges arise and re-evaluate once a goal has been met.

What is your background specific to career development and coaching?
While I spent many years as a generalist mental health counselor and psychologist, my specialization is career development. I use my generalist background to inform my career development work because work and personal life are intertwined. I am certified as a Personal and Executive Coach through the College of Executive Coaching. I maintain a current psychologist licensure ((TX # 34252), which means I complete all the annual continuing education requirements for it and I follow the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association.

How do you help a client who wants to find a job?
– Critique and fine-tuning of your job search focus, resume, cover letter, and your LinkedIn profile (We will help you to find a professional writer if you need personal marketing materials created from scratch)
– Strategizing about how to connect with employers and how to respond to interview questions.
– Interview coaching.
– Emotional support during the job search so that you can stay persistent and resilient.
– Brainstorming ways to earn survivor income.
– Assistance with negotiations.
– Help with choosing between multiple job offers.

How do you help a client who wants to choose a career or change careers?
– Collaboration about whether career assessment will accelerate the decision-making process, and if so, assistance in deciding which assessments to use.
– Exploration of a client’s interests, strengths, values, and personality.
– Design of a step-by-step career development strategy.
– Support and problem-solving during the implementation of the career development plan.

How do you help a client who wants to advance his/her career?
– Evaluation of career history and assistance with planning next steps.
– Assessment of emotional intelligence and suggestions for emotional skills development.
– Coaching to improve interpersonal effectiveness (this might include assistance with areas such as stress management, work-life integration, managing difficult interactions with bosses/co-workers/employees/customers, job-shaping, etc.).
– Assistance with creating and implementing a strategic plan to ensure career and personal decisions and actions are congruent with individual goals, values, and preferences.

How do you help a client who wants to launch or grow a business?
– Identification, assessment, and clarification of business direction and strategy.
– Support in taking action steps toward launch or growth.
– Help with decision-making about which business tasks to complete yourself and which ones to outsource.
– Emotional support for the challenges of entrepreneurship.
– Coaching for greater effectiveness in the interpersonal realm of business.
– Assistance with work/life integration for stress reduction and increased quality of life.

How does the process work?
I offer coaching services via telephone or email.

Whether via telephone or e-coaching, I use inquiry, assessment, reflection, dialogue, and specific assignments to build your level of self-awareness, skill, responsibility, and sustained momentum. I provide structure, focus, feedback, and support as together we develop and implement concrete steps to assist you in attaining your desired vision and accomplishments.

Because e-coaching is less well-known to clients, I wrote this article about the benefits of e-coaching.

If you have questions about whether this way of working is right for you, let’s explore whether this approach is a good fit for you.

What are your fees for services?
$250 per hour for telephone-based coaching; $299 per month for email coaching. There are a limited number of reduced fee sessions available for people experiencing financial hardship. Please inquire about availability.

Unless previously arranged, prepayment is required to reserve time on my calendar.

Email coaching is billed monthly on a month-to-month basis. There is no contract and you can stop at any time.

What forms of payment do you accept?
Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover, or PayPal.

How often may I email you?
If you are an e-coaching client, as often as you like. I aim to respond within 48 hours. If you are a telephone-based client, you may still email me as often as you like. I respond to quick questions within 48 hours and for more complex questions, I will respond during scheduled sessions.

Are career coaching and consulting fees tax-deductible?
Sometimes they are. Please consult with your financial advisor or review the IRS guidelines on topics such as job search and/or career development.

Does health insurance cover career development services?
No. To receive mental health insurance benefits, there must be a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, which is not the case when working toward career happiness and success rather than treating a disorder.

Since you are a licensed psychologist, do you provide psychotherapy for DSM-diagnosed disorders?
No. My work is now specialized in career development and I no longer practice psychotherapy. Many of my clients also work with mental health therapists for diagnosable conditions, either simultaneously or sequentially with the type of coaching that I do.

How long does the process take?
It depends on what you want to achieve.  For a very specific and time-limited goal such as choosing between multiple job offers or making an urgent career decision, one month may be sufficient. For more complex goals such as making a career change, changing long-established patterns of behavior, or getting support in a highly challenging work environment, coaching may take 3-12 months or longer.

Do you use a bunch of tests to tell clients what careers they should choose?
I recommend assessments when I believe that doing so will accelerate progress. When I believe assessments will be helpful, I propose them to a client and it will always be clear the cost and purpose in advance so that a client can decide whether to purchase the assessment(s).

If I am looking for a job, will you introduce me to a recruiter or to your network of connections?
No. I am not a recruiter who places individuals with organizations, nor am I a personal agent who markets individuals for job opportunities. Those are different jobs than what I do.

Can you provide me with names of hiring managers so that I can contact them?
No. If your primary goal is to obtain competitive intelligence about organizations, there are research professionals who specialize in helping with that, but doing so is not my expertise.

Will you write my resume or LinkedIn profile for me?
I am happy to critique your resume and/or LinkedIn profile for you and to make suggestions about how to improve it to increase the chances of landing interviews. I can also teach you exactly how to write an effective cover letter. If you need someone to write your resume and/or LinkedIn profile from scratch, I will help you to find a professional writer.

Are services confidential?
Yes. I will keep your information confidential except for rare circumstances dictated by laws (for example, any threat of harm to self or others). I also encourage you to be careful about what you send via email stored on work computers as many employers monitor employee communications.

Can you provide references?
Please visit my references page to read samples of what clients have written about me.

Does your business offer a guarantee?
I guarantee the quality of my services to you. The outcome is dependent on your motivation, effort, persistence, and also circumstances outside of my control (such as the economy or internal changes within an employing organization). I view my role as helping you to become as well-equipped as possible to make good career decisions, create a strategic career plan, implement the plan, and solve challenges as they arise. Good coaching outcomes are dependent on sustained action on your part. If you do not have the time or ability to take sustained action at this time, I recommend waiting until the timing is better for you to start.

Do you work with clients outside the U.S.?
My primary expertise is U.S. specific so if your goals require knowledge of another country’s employment norms and culture, please inquire about services and together we will decide if I have the expertise you are seeking.

What are the next steps if I want to work with you?
1. Email me with a description of what you would like to accomplish via coaching.
2. I will respond within two business days to continue the conversation to see if I am a good fit to help you.