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Andrea Holyfield
Apr 30, 2012

A Case of Mistaken Identity – Top Myths of Career Counseling

I am a Career Counselor. I have a master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. I have successfully passed the NCC and completed years of supervision. Career Counseling is my specialty, but I have the same degree as a mental health counselor. Sometimes I’m a tad bit disappointment when my colleagues don’t understand or appreciate the intersections of our work. Please allow me to straighten up a few misconceptions.

•I’m not a placement agency. I am happy to assist your client with developing job search documents like resumes and cover letters, but please don’t refer your client to me telling them that I can “help them find a job.”

•I’m not a staffing agency. I’m not sitting on a list of jobs that I dispense per request. I don’t “know whose hiring,” but I will work with your client to teach them how to develop job leads, network productively and identify transferable skills that may uncover hidden job opportunities.

•I’m not afraid of tears, stress or anxiety and if I’m doing my job correctly, we’ll touch on at least two of the three in the counseling relationship. I’m a therapist. It is my job to help my client identify hidden, subconscious or internal barriers to success. It borders on unethical to tell your client that I will just help them with their career issue and working with me is “not like real counseling.”

•I’m not a magician. I don’t have a magic test you can take that tells you how to leave your job, move to France and open up your Green Tea Spa. There’s no magic here. Good old fashion talk therapy integrated with results-based career counseling interventions maybe, but no magic. Well there is a magic wand intervention…but I digress.
I love the little niche that I’ve carved out for myself as a career counselor. I enjoy helping people process decisions, uncover hidden barriers to success, explore never before considered options and forge ahead doing work that makes them happy. I welcome your referrals and look forward to referring clients to you.
If done right, career counseling is personal counseling and there are few things as personal as a person’s professional identity.

Andrea Holyfield is a counselor specializing in career counseling and womens' empowerment. For more information go to

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