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Enneagram of Personality

Part of the problem is that career counselors’ main tools, career inventories, poorly predict how successful and happy you’ll be in a given career. For example, the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, administered to over 2.5 million people each year, severely lacks reliability, let alone predictive validity. Penn-Wharton Professor of Psychology, Adam Grant, in a Huffington Post review of the Myers-Briggs, concluded, “we all need to recognize that four letters [the Myers-Briggs’ 16 categories each have four letters] don’t do justice to anyone’s identity. So leaders, consultants, counselors, coaches, and teachers, join me in delivering this message: MBTI, I’m breaking up with you.”

Now in my 30th year as a career counselor and coach, despite honors and praise from most clients, I wonder whether helping people pick a career is a cost- and time-effective use of people’s money and time. Do career counselors, especially paid ones, often-enough add sufficient value over what you might get by simply using software such as O*Net or Eureka, which inventory your skills and interests and then provide descriptions of matching careers, including training requirements, and supplementing that with some Googling and informational interviews?

Landing the job

Career counselors tend to be more effective in helping you land a job. They can teach the art of networking, how to create a good LinkedIn profile and how to write a good resume and cover letter. Indeed, some counselors cross the ethical line and write or so heavily edit your work that it more represents the counselor’s writing, thinking and organizational skills than yours. Career counselors can prep you for interviews, helping you craft ideal answers for likely interview questions and videoing you to show you when you don’t appear credible and winsome.