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What to expect from your first career counseling appointment

Maybe you are considering a career change, or are looking for a job that offers you better work-life balance, opportunity for advancement, or flexibility. Perhaps you are looking for some clarification for your academic, career, and life goals. Regardless of your reasons for coming to career counseling, you may be a bit nervous about your first appointment. Here is what you can expect:

We will get to know each other

During your first career counseling appointment, we will review your background, goals, interests, skills, and more! This information allows us to develop a good understanding of your situation. Making plans for the future takes time; there is no pressure to make a decision after one appointment. Your counselor will ask questions to stimulate your thinking, provide encouragement, and suggest follow-up appointments and activities based on your goals. We'll also review some housekeeping items including fee structure and agree to confidentiality terms.

We'll explore your career story

Career choices are complex, and can impact several areas of our lives. Our conversation may include family relationships, stress, finances, mental health, sleep, physical health, discrimination and harassment, and more. If we need to, we will take time to unpack these issues before deciding on next steps.

I won’t decide for you!

Career counseling will help you learn more about yourself and relevant information on careers of interest. Career counseling can also help you formulate action plans and goals and provide valuable feedback, but the responsibility for career decisions lies with you.

You might leave with (a little) homework

After your first appointment, you may leave with suggestions career options to research, career assessments to complete, or instructions to conduct networking outreach. Being active and productive outside of your session will help you make the most of your subsequent appointments.

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