How Helpful is Career Counseling Online

Author: Dick Bolles

You're reading the book (Parachute, of course),  and you're thinking that maybe in addition to the book,  you could profit from a little personal help.  Your instinct is to turn to the Internet.  The question is, what do you hope to find there?  

Well,  you'd hope to be able to find four career counseling tools on the Internet:
  1. Some decent interactive tests to give you a quick idea about a possible new career direction you might take; plus
  2. some articles dealing with various career issues, to further brush the cobwebs away from your thinking; plus
  3. longer career manuals for you to read when you have more time; plus
  4. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) dealing with common problems in the job-hunt. And each answer would be written by someone who really knows what they're talking about.
Ok, so what do you find?  Well,  Bingo! With career counseling online you enter an arena where the Internet comes close to giving you what you'd hope for. True, the Internet still cannot replace the value of a live career counselor – even if the Internet does have e-mail and chat rooms. But, in so far as generic career counseling without a human body is concerned, you can indeed find much of what you'd hope to find on the Internet – as outlined in the hopes above – except for "detailed answers to common job-hunting problems."

In that department, I must admit that I'm stupefied at some of the superficial (and 'dead wrong') advice that I sometimes read online about job-hunting, resumes and the like. Of course, this defect would be cured real fast if these so-called "experts" had to go out and find a job themselves tomorrow. But, that teeny-tiny objection aside, all the rest you'd hope for is here: Tests, articles, manuals FAQs The whole works.

HOW EFFECTIVE: Well, there's only so much that impersonal online career counseling can do. Hence, my estimate of the effectiveness of career counseling sites on the Internet in getting you a job: 10 percent. That is, out of every 100 readers of Parachute who seek out career counseling on the Internet, 10 of them will find a job thereby, with the aid of the coaching that they pick up there. I think 90 will need more help or can do it without any help.

The key to successful job-hunting lies not in how much you know about the job-market, but how much you know about yourself,  your gifts,  your priorities, the things you most love to do.

WORDS TO REMEMBER  (With apologies to Alexander Pope) : "Know then thyself; try not the Web to scan, until you know what you love to do, and have evolved a plan."