Career Counseling for Teens & Young Adults

Parent Q&A

Young adult “Job Coach”, experience with ADHD May 11, 2021 (2 responses below)
Can anyone recommend a career counselor? Dec 3, 2020 (3 responses below)
Career and Life Counselor for college student Aug 2, 2020 (4 responses below)
Floundering 23 year old son- help! Jan 7, 2019 (2 responses below)
Career Counselor for Recent Mech Engineering Grad Jul 29, 2018 (3 responses below)
Career Counselor or directions for New Grad May 20, 2018 (2 responses below)
Looking for CareerCounselor/Therapist for 23yr Nov 7, 2016 (2 responses below)
College/Technical School Counselor for a HS Junior Aug 3, 2016 (1 responses below)
Advisor/Counselor for recent College Grad Jul 3, 2016 (2 responses below)
Career Adviser for a new in college student Jun 22, 2016 (4 responses below)
  • Hi, can anyone recommend a coach for a young adult who is having some difficulty transitioning from college to career?  Ideally someone who would be able to work remotely, and has experience helping young adults with ADHD.  Someone sensitive and understanding as well as highly effective, who can help with not only the practical steps but also some of the fears or anxieties. Thank you so much for any recommendations you can provide. 

    I highly recommend Laura Francis! laurafranciscm [at] I work with young adults and have referred many of my students to her in recent years. She's in Oakland and works virtually with students in and after college, helping them with everything related to the college-to-career transition; resumes, job searches, interview skills, etc. For young adults that aren't sure of their path, she uses self-assessments, reflections and lots of talking/listening to help them discover their best fit career path. She also can build in support on executive functioning and general "adulting." She's a mom herself and has worked with young people for many years, she's fabulous and sensitive and connects wonderfully with all types of people. Best of luck to you and your young adult!

    I recommend Amy Cheifetz. Some years ago she helped my young adult daughter with just this and she was very skilled. She has an MSW and is super creative, flexible, and "gets it." Her number is 510-207-2995. acheifetzmsw [at]

  • Can anyone recommend a career counselor?

    (3 replies)

    Hi there.  My 22 year old son seems to be having a hard time settling on a career path.  He tried taking classes at a local junior college, lost interest...started trade school, lost interest and after working minimum wage jobs, is again considering college.  I am hoping to find someone to work with him to help him explore his interests, areas of aptitude and the emerging job market to help him find a good fit rather than randomly pursuing something new.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

    I was very happy with Casey McCarroll as a counselor for my son; unfortunately he moved away from the East Bay, but he left a referral list that would be worth checking out:  Also, you could try writing to him with details about your son's situation so he could help guide you in your choices on the referral list: caseymcc [at]

    good luck to you and your son


    Hi! I’m a huge fan of Toni Littlestone based in Albany. I’ve worked with her as a mid-career person to refine my skills/what I find meaningful/charting plans and interviewing. I believe she also does work with young adults. She uses a variety of tools to assess interests and skills that I found really compelling. She is not inexpensive but very worth it.

    Hi, I also found Toni Littlestone helpful.  I was just coming out of a very traumatic postdoc and felt very depressed and overwhelmed with the job hunt process.  She helped me break down the process into manageable pieces, helped me spruce up my resumes, gave me samples to look at.   I submit job applications to multiple places for a state job and got called back and job offers for three places.  Granted it was a lot of work and I asked everyone I knew to help me practice and read over my resumes and cover letters.  

  • My daughter is struggling with her college classes/career choices.  She's very starts off with enthusiasm, but then she she realizes it is not what she wants to do for the rest of her life, she gets discouraged and changes interests.  

    Can someone recommend a career counselor that is also like a therapist? She needs help with choosing a career path, but just as importantly with understanding herself and her decision making process better.  She is 21.

    Thanks for any insights. 

    You and your daughter might want to read 'The Defining Decade' by Meg Jay.  She's a therapist who works with people in their 20s who are struggling with such issues.  I've given it to my nieces who loved it.


    Your child is doing exactly what she should be as a college student at her age. As a former college professor, I had many students who felt they had to finish their BA with a clear career plan and a major that prepared them for it. If I probed, I often learned that it was their well-meaning parents who felt this way. 

    The problem: Studying a subject with plans to work in a related field doesn't tell you anything about the reality of working in that field. Imagine a student with an interest in medical research can get an entry level job with just a BA. Perhaps she is deeply introverted and likes the idea of being a lab tech: minimal interaction with just a few people. But when she starts work she discovers that her job is to explain consent forms to potential test subjects, call them to remind them to do X or Y, check them in on arrival, answer basic questions etc. This is not at all what she wanted, and now she has to figure out what job she might enjoy more, having never considered other fields.

    In reality, most undergrads know little about the work world other than job titles (manager, administrative assistant, programmer, lawyer, technician, doctor, etc.), and even less about the regular daily tasks for a given position. Because of this, I routinely made these three recommendations to students who came to me looking for post-graduation advice:

    1. Take the GRE at the end of, or immediately after, the end of your senior year. Your test-taking muscles are still in great shape, and your scores are good for five years. And if you think it is difficult to find the time now, I can assure them that it is much harder when you are working full-time.

    2. Declare as a Liberal Arts major. It doesn't prepare you for a specific career path; it teaches you how to think critically and problem solve in many different disciplines. Unless you are that person who has known they want to be a doctor since they were 5 years old, a Liberal Arts curriculum will expose you to a broad world of ideas you might not ever have encountered otherwise - and who knows, you might fall in love with one or more of them. 

    3. Absolutely do not go straight to graduate school from college. Parents often urge students to do this, but in my experience it is a terrible idea. For one thing, your kid has been in school for at least 16 straight years at this point - they need a break. Those who go straight through (excepting those kids who know what they want when they are 5) often hit a wall. Too much information poured in and regurgitated out, not enough opportunity to figure out how/why any of it matters to them, let alone in the real world. 

    Instead, plan on working for a few years. If there is a field you think you might enjoy, find a position in that field. You may discover you love it, or that it isn't anything like you had imagined. To figure out what jobs to look for, ignore job titles. Instead, imagine yourself going to work everyday, and make a three-column list: 

    1. Tasks I would enjoy so much I'd look forward to each day

    2. Tasks I probably won't love, but am willing to do, and

    3. Tasks I want to avoid

    (continued in next post)

    Now look for jobs emphasizing things you enjoy. Ask colleagues about their jobs: what do they do? What path got them to where they are now? Find a mentor. Don't worry about career changes; they are common. Expect to make a few. When something captures your imagination - and something will - you will willingly, even excitedly, do whatever you need to do to follow that path. It might be refreshing a foreign language skill, or finally taking biochemistry, or retaking communications classes, now that you understand how you will use the knowledge and skills.

    I know you only want the best for your daughter, and it is very, very hard to sit back and watch as she stumbles over and over again. And I get it not just in my (former) professional capacity, but as a parent. In their senior year my kid, who graduated this past May, veered sharply off what we all expected was their career path to do something for which they have very few innate skills. It absolutely isn't what I would have preferred, but it isn't my life. Maybe this is their forever love - or maybe not. But I'm proud of them for taking this leap into the unknown, and proud of them for doing something that they feel really matters in the world. And if their orientation changes, so what? The best life is one spent learning and growing, I believe.

    If your daughter is asking for a career counselor, then thank you for being such a supportive parent. If she isn't asking for one, thank you for being a supportive parent, and step back so that she can go through her process of finding herself and a career. It won't happen on your timetable, for sure, but then what do our children ever do that is?


  • Floundering 23 year old son- help!

    (2 replies)

    seeking recommendations for a career advisor/ counselor who can help my son find a career path that suits his alternative view and personality. He is very smart but would never last in a typical 9-5 gig.  He would not do well with someone too touchy feely but needs some therapeutic guidance along w the practical stuff. Thanks!

    You may want to consider Toni Littlestone. She is helpful and supportive.

    You could try Doctor Frank Davis (510) 529-4893

    He was key in our son's success at that age.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel...

  • My son is a recent Mechanical Engineering graduate and is struggling to find a MechE position in or near the Bay Area.  He went to college in St Louis but is not interested in going back to the midwest, so his college career counseling service is not much help as most of their posted jobs are in the midwest.  He keeps his LinkedIn profile updated but so far he's only gotten a few interviews and no offers. In the meantime he's done a few MechE gigs, tutored physics and calculus and he's got a job at a climbing gym, so he's keeping busy. He's been searching for over a year and is interested in working with a career counselor who specializes in MechE.  Any recommendations?  Thanks 

    If your son went to Washington University in St. Louis, there is a fairly big San Francisco alumnae association for Wash U. He could contact the alumnae association for some contacts or ways to network with area alumnae.

    The market’s quite hot these days so your son ought to be able to find work, although I can’t say for entry level work. If he’s a recent grad he might be eligible for any number of internships or entry level rotational programs  (tho I’m not sure how one finds out about them). 

    First, his school should have a career center that can help him. They usually can help map out a strategy and get him linked to various resources. Secondly his school may have alumni assn meet ups in the area. He should try to connect there and attend them. Better yet, volunteer for them. Great way to network. Another strategy: I think what I would do if I were he is identify a number of potential employers and using LinkedIn, look for people who seem to occupy positions that look interesting (and perhaps went to his alma mater) and cold call them for an informational interview. (Lots of guides online on what an info interview is if he needs it). Suppose he sets a goal of cold calling 5 people every day, and getting say 5 info interviews in a month... if he’s goal oriented like that. Each info interview can lead to others to call, and among them may be an opening, some of which haven’t been posted. 

    This might feel daunting, but most people like to give info interviews: you’re being asked to talk about yourself.  If you run into someone who doesn’t want to take 20 min to chat with a young person about their business you might not want to join their org anyhow. 

    Also remember that applying for a job is a way of solving the hiring org’s problem. Don’t think they’re doing you a favor to consider you for an opening; if it goes well, your hiring will have solved a big big problem for them. 

    There’s a lot of need for quant types who have analytical problem solving skills.  I think it’s as decent a time as any to be looking. 

    DM me w/ any questions. 

    Cal mech eng grad. 


    In the bay area, there are a lot more jobs for software engineers than mechanical engineers. I suggest he attend a programing bootcamp for a few months. Then a good job is almost a guarantee. 

  • Career Counselor or directions for New Grad

    (2 replies)

    Ok -- College is completed and grad is back home. I think they need someone besides their parents to help them organize their job search. Liberal arts major, interested in writing, some publishing experience, some library experience. Suggestions, either from your own (relatively recent) experience, or from your returned grad using a college counselor?

    Hi- I have a liberal arts grad, class of December 2016, who had little work experience upon graduation and is also interested in writing.  My grad has decided he'd rather not do commercial (paid) writing, and instead reserve that as a personal pursuit.  However, if your grad is interested in getting paid work writing, I'd suggest he/she develop a portfolio that includes samples appropriate for different commercial purposes, e.g. website content, blog posts, short service articles-- look at paid writing that appears in daily life and produce 'spec' pieces. is a good place for your grad to see what kinds of jobs are focused on writing skills, and what forms and styles are in demand.   Your grad should consider volunteering to create content for non profits to build out the portfolio and generate references.  

    A couple other examples of writing-related work are technical writing and grant writing. Grant writing has more to do with knowing how to position a grant application to appeal to the grantor than writing per se, but of course, one needs to be able to write clearly and concisely.  Technical writing is a specific field and your grad can probably find online courses in each of these fields. Caution, though-- writing for a living in these forms may not be appealing to your grad :-).  That being said, a friend's daughter (late 20s) started out writing online content for Food and Wine magazine in NYC (which she really enjoyed, but which also required $ subsidy from her parents to live in NYC) and recently was contacted by a headhunter for a job that I assume involves content creation for UnderArmour in SF- paying low six figures.

    Yes, the college should continue to provide career services for recent grads. That said, s/he basically just needs to set reasonable expectations for what an entry level job looks like, and start applying. Unemployment is at 4% right now (lower in many fields) - you can get an entry level job in many fields with a BA. It may not be a "dream job" but will be a great way to learn about the working world and gain qualifications.

  • Looking for rec. for a career counselor/ therapist who can help a bright, personable  23 yr old  w depression who has left college and is trying figure out what to do with his life.  

    Thank you

    I really recommend Toni Littlestone (, a career counselor who's been seeing East Bay people for a long time. I have a 25-year-old son, and she REALLY helped him when we (and he) were feeling pretty hopeless. (The job market is tough, he was depressed, he was really clue-free about career possibilities, etc.) She did wonderful work with our son, who ended up with a much stronger sense of what he likes and is good at, plus more confidence about himself work-wise--he actually ended up getting a job that feels right for him and should open up other opportunities for him. She also sees older folks--friends of mine with work issues have really liked her--but we found that she was great with younger people, too. Good luck to your son!  

    I recommend Laura Paradise, a Certified Career Coach, who worked with my daughter a couple of years ago. She helped get my daughter out of angst and indecision and come up with a plan and a direction that felt good to her. While I was not privy to the details of the coaching conversations, each time they met my daughter would emerge motivated and inspired and able to take action. And Laura helped my daughter think beyond traditional "categories" and explore things that were truly interesting and meaningful to her. Careers are Laura's specialty.

    Her website is:

  • Hi -- I have a 16 year old son who will be a high school junior this fall and is very interested in digital visual effects, animation and video game design.  He wants to pursue a career in digital effects/video game design.  I'm looking for a college/career counselor who can help him determine appropriate trade/technical programs and/or colleges as well as help him with the necessary application requirements - i.e., putting together a game plan/schedule, what he needs to do as it relates to test-taking, portfolio preparation, applications, etc.  He has ADHD and is a high functioning spectrum kid.  Any advice on who would be good at working with him?  Thanks so much in advance.

    Hi mom-in-training, 

    I'm the teen librarian at Berkeley Public Library North Branch (1170 The Alameda, Berkeley), and on Saturday, August 27th, 3-4pm, we will have a Community College Workshop with Rebecca LaCocque from Peralta Colleges. She will be talking about opportunities at community colleges and I believe that some of our local community colleges have classes in digital visual effects, animation, and video game design (a coworker of mine is taking some of these courses!). 

    What is neat is that it is possible for high school (and even middle school!) students to take courses now for free (up to 11 units per semester). Or just knowing that these programs are available might be motivating for when your son has graduated college. I know from experience there are some wonderful programs at community college that can help students manage a variety of scheduling and educational needs. I expect that Rebecca LaCocque will be able to let you know about a variety of resources and options for your son. 

    As someone who needed motivation when I was in high school, once I learned about opportunities, my academic drive kicked in! 

    Please let me know if you have any questions. 

    Kirstin Mandalay

    kmandalay [at]

  • Graduation was such a high but need some help now,  advisor and/or counselor, for recent college grad who worked so hard for her degree but can't find a decent job and is pretty discouraged (low wage/pt job now) and getting unmotivated.  It's part confidence and part just continuing to find the determination to get out there and keep trying to make connections.   As her mom I feel I'm getting too much into the role of reminding and reminding and it's becoming too stressful.  Could use a good counselor who could help her do a plan and stick with it while helping her build her confidence and find her way.  Thanks for your recommendations.  

    My recent college graduate son met with Barbara Chan to plan out his next steps, and she met with me as well to talk about how I could support his plans.  I thought she was terrific.  We didn't end up working with her beyond the first meeting because he lucked into a good job and moved out of town, but I am keeping her information for the future.   inspired [at]

    Laura Paradise is a great coach who is awesome with people all ages and varying life/work experience, especially women.  I highly recommend her!  510-207-2552

  • Career Adviser for a new in college student

    (4 replies)

    Would you know a Career Adviser that feels passionate about listening and guiding a soon to go to College young man? I am a single mom not familiar with this system. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to guide my son on what to study, because I believe it's only on him. I understand well that is not something easy to know anyway. However, I know there are ways, based on his skills, that will help him to learn more about that. I am looking for advice on this.

    Thanks, E.

    Hi E!

    I highly recommend Wendy Morrison for your son.  She is a energetic, positive, and enthusiastic listener, counselor, and confidence-booster for every individual student.  My daughter worked with her for college selection and applications, but you can see many happy parents in the BPN archives talking about the other coaching and career advice she has provided over the years.  You can email her at wendy [at] .

    Our community colleges do this for free.  Have your son talk to a counselor or ask to take one of the Personality Profile exams.  Exam is the wrong word as there are no right or wrong answers.  Your son will be asked a series of questions.  His answers will then be compared to others who answered the same way your son did and then your son will be told what profession they are in.  (It's profiling.)  It's guaranteed to  work 50% of the time.  It's free and it's someplace to start.

    I would strongly recommend Sean Brennan (wordguild [at] for college counseling. He helped both my daughters (they are two years apart) and provided expertise that they felt was critical to their success in getting accepted to Harvard. He was always timely when it came to returning essay edits and helped guide them in directions that elevated their essays. These edits allowed them to focus on bringing out the crux of their essay while providing a needed outside check. He never took away from their voice but rather added to it.  Furthermore he was always willing to share advice when it came to narrowing down a list of where to apply and giving a unique voice of expertise when it came to certain schools with specialized programs. Additionally he was a calm and informative voice along every step of the way. We would highly recommend him and would use him again if we could. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Career Aptitude Test for 20-year-old

May 2013

My 20-year-old son would benefit from taking an aptitude test to suggest careers based on his skill set and interests. Does anyone have any recommendations for a test? Anon

Call: Dena Sneider, MA Career Consultant Bay Area Career Center 57 Post St., suite 804 San Francisco, CA 94104 (415)398-4881 (w) (925)286-3781 (c) (Dena can also meet in Orinda) Dena gave me a couple very enlightening tests to clarify my interests, strengths and skills. Valuable for me is that she provides the direction to use that information. She's a great career coach. Jessica

Myers-Briggs is a standard recognized test. A counselor at a local community college, and/or university may be able to submit it to your son. Otherwise, I think for a fee, he can find a proxy and take it. It's a test that's often used in a business environment to help with interpersonal relationships. However, in taking the test, the results also list career possibilities for people of the same final code. This information basically tells the test taker which careers have similar people, as your son, in which career. Check it out. anon

This isn't exactly what you asked for, but maybe it's another tactic to consider. When my son was in a similar place, he found it very helpful to do a few sessions with career advisor Toni Littlestone in Albany. She started out with questionnaires that are similar to career tests, and then spent a lot of time talking with him about what he enjoys doing, and what he's good at. She then suggested a couple of specific career areas, advised him on the concrete steps necessary to get there, and coached him on the details such as creating a resume and investigating classes and licensing exams. He felt it was extremely helpful, so much so that he extended the sessions beyond what I'd originally proposed. Toni has a rapport with young people. The same advice I'd been giving him that he brushed off as mom-nagging, was accepted from Toni as enlightening. From my point of view, the sessions with Toni gave him a lot of confidence about his capabilities. This was the jump-start he needed to begin the launch to independence. It was not a silver bullet, but it had a very positive effect over the long term. local mom

Both my sons had useful experiences with the Johnson O'Connor Foundation in San Francisco . There is two days of aptitude testing (actual skill testing--not just what people think they might be interested in), then an individual report out session to go over the test results, including specific career possibilities, subject area and work settings to consider, and ways to compensate for areas with challenges. I sat in on both report out sessions.

For my older son, the testing affirmed his skills and interest in engineering, which was helpful after a long and discouraging post-college job search. He's now happily employed as an engineer, although not in the Bay Area.

For my younger son, the testing was substantially more informative. He has struggled with attention issues and learning challenges, especially clerical speed and math calculation. The testing showed very high level performance in inductive and deductive reasoning (normed against a mostly college attending group)as well as off the charts musical skills. The suggestions for possible careers and courses of study were helpful in considering a broader range of options. Still a work in progress, but he did find the aptitude testing encouraging. Help for parenting....

Career counselor for 15 year old

Sept 2012

My daughter is 15 and has not a clue what she is interested in pursuing for her future. Could someone recommend a career counselor to give her/us some advice. Thank you. L

Hi, I think it's OK if your 15-year-old daughter doesn't know what career to choose. This is a great time of life for her to explore options and let her imagination run free. There is plenty of time to think about careers later, after high school. Most people nowadays change careers a couple of times in their lives anyway.

To be honest, I fear that my 17-year-old has too much tunnel-vision about his career plans! I'm a big advocate of keeping the field open through the teen years. Mom who found a new career at age 50

I applaud your daughter for not committing to what she will ''do'' with her future! High school is supposed to give a student deep foundations in a broad range of essential subjects and critical thinking skills, as well as good writing and communication skills. A liberal arts education is designed to broaden that exposure to other fields and deepen grounding is a few, with the goal of graduating a well-educated individual. Although it is increasingly the practice to major in something ''practical'' as an undergraduate, the students who do so are facile in one mode of thinking and problem solving, if that. It doesn't give them the analytical skills to follow opportunity. I have taught classes at UC Berkeley. When students come to me for advice I tell them to take the GRE while their test-taking muscles are well-toned, then file the scores - they are good for five years - and go out and be in the world. Work, travel, explore. Find the thing(s) that fascinate you, and make decisions about grad school based on those passions. You won't burn out on too many consecutive years of school, you'll be more productive and get more out of the program because you know why you are there, and you'll have some life experience on which to ground a decision about 'what to be'.

This is my advice to college students. It applies doubly for high school students. Let your daughter live a little! She is too young to know what she wants her place in the world to be. You are fortunate that she is mature enough to recognize that. Lisa

Just wanted to throw out there that it is perfectly normal for a 15 year old to have ''no clue'' about what they want to do in the future. If this is still an issue at 25 then maybe career counseling is in order. I would consider it extremely premature to career counsel a child. --Take a deep breath and big step back

When my daughter was a senior in high school, I set up several career counseling sessions for her with local career coach Toni Littlestone. She was warm and down to earth, and my daughter liked working with her. She helped her understand her career personality style, skills, and interests. They explored lots of different career ideas and she came away with five or six ideas that she was quite excited about. Those ideas helped her decide to try out various college courses in order to explore them. Eventually, she chose one of the directions. She told me that she was really glad that she had gotten a head start on understanding herself and getting career ideas, and that she was not lost like a lot of her friends in college. In her junior year, she met with Toni again to plan the next stage, and right after graduating, they met to start practicing for interviews and creating a resume. My daughter said it was all really helpful. Try Toni LIttlestone, 510-528-2221, or tonilittlestone [at] Happy Parent

Career counselor for 22 year old

Oct 2011

I'm looking for recommendations for therapists who can provide both career counseling and emotional support for my 22 year old who has dropped out of college and seems overwhelmed about what to do next. anonymous

I have had experience with an excellent career counselor, Toni Littestone. I know she is already in the BPN recommendations, but in case you didn't come across her name, here's her contact info: 510-528-2221 tonilittlestone [at] She has been around a long time and would be a good match for your young adult. good luck! local BPN parent

Although I understand your desire to find someone who does career counseling and therapy, I don't think there are many qualified people who do both. Most therapists don't do career counseling. By this, I mean, the use of assessments and other tools to help someone discover their interests, skills, values, personality type, and preferred work environment, and how these might translate into possible jobs and career paths. Career counselors are specifically trained in these areas and are knowledgeable about a variety of resources to help someone explore careers and ultimately, make good career choices. Sometimes career counselors refer someone to a therapist when issues such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, alcohol/drug abuse or other issues get in the way of making progress with career counseling. So, whomever you decide to go with, make sure they have the qualifications and experience to do what your son needs. A Career Counselor with over 20 years experience

I paid for my 24-year-old to have a few sessions with Toni Littlestone, who you can find reviews for on the BPN website. It was very helpful in helping identify what he likes to do and what he would be good at. It's not a magic bullet. but it got him thinking about his future, which was worth it.

Interview Coach for Med School application

June 2011

My daughter, who is a sophomore in college, has figured out that she is not good at interviews. With medical school interviews looming in the future, she would like to work one on one with an interview coach/career counselor. We are located in Contra Costa County, so someone near us would be preferred, but we are somewhat flexible. Anon

I would like to recommend Lisa Rothman. She coached me through a series of interviews and was great! One of her greatest gifts is that she listens extremely well. She can quickly help sift out what are your blocks and what are your strengths and give you a very workable game plan. She can be reached at: rothman.lisa [at] Good luck! Laurie

I have been a recruiter for 15 years, working with entry-level up to executive level positions. During that time, I have literally interviewed thousands of candidates, so I am confident in my ability to coach your daughter on her interview technique - from physical presentation to relaying her desired message to appropriate interview followup. Your daughter should be familiar with and prepared for various interview techniques, including behavioral questions, typical 'strength/weakness' questions, illegal/inappropriate questions, and curveballs. Kudos to you for seeking help for her. Many candidates I have met would have benefitted from a few coaching sessions. Leslie

I recommend Lisa Rothman as a great interview coach. She helped me prepare for a job interview last year. Lisa was very helpful in terms of helping me articulate my concerns, frame my expectations, and keep a positive attitude. She also gave me practical advice about what questions to expect and how negotiations work. We rehearsed how the interview might go and she gave me useful feedback. Thanks to her coaching, the interview went well and I got the job. You can find her contact info on her website: Disclosure: Lisa Rothman is a good friend of mine. Ben

Career Counselor for recent college grad

June 2010

My son just graduated from college and is certainly feeling a bit lost. He could use a bit of focus and direction and I would love to have him see a career counselor or life coach. Has anyone had any experience with a life coach who works with college grads? Thanks.

As my son was finishing college, he, too was uncertain about his direction. We sent him to see Toni Littlestone , a career counselor/coach in Albany, near Solano Avenue. My son found her to be warm, supportive, and extremely helpful. She helped him understand himself, what he might be good at, and the world of work. He now has a career direction that he loves. Toni has a college-age son herself and seems very comfortable and at ease with this age and stage of life. I also have a friend whose daughter was floundering after college and met with Toni for a few months. Toni helped her define a direction, and also helped her a lot with her resume and interview practice. She's now in a good job and has a career path. My friend told me that her daughter felt very happy with the help she received, and that she herself was relieved to have another person who could advise and guide her daughter rather than trying to do it herself. Toni's website is, and her phone is 510.528.2221. Albany Mom

Counselor for college grad not sure what to do next

March 2006

Has anyone had a really good experience with a career and/or grad school counselor for an adult child who has finished college and is not sure what to do next? This seems like such a difficult time in life. High school was straightforward, with the goal of college clarly in mind. College wasn't that difficult to get into with so many choices for college education in this country. But when kids finish college they have to face the big world and it is scary and competitive and there is no one to guide them as in the past. Typical career counselors give interest inventories and then tell the clinet to go and research the results. I am looking for a more personalized approach for a 24 year old. Thanks. Lydia

I had a similar problem after I graduated from college -- some call it the 'quarter-life crisis'. I saw Dr. Elayne Chou , licensed psychologist at the Tang Center (UC Berkeley); she also has a private practice on Shattuck in Berkeley (510-435-9773).... Rebecca

I know of a psychologist who is also a career counselor who may be able to help out a senior (she does work at CAL). I've posted her name a couple of times before- Dr. Elayne Chou (510)435-9773