Career Coaches & Counselors

Parent Q&A

Career Counselor Advice Jan 27, 2020 (6 responses below)
Mid-life Career Change Mar 21, 2019 (2 responses below)
Counselor for career path for SAHM returning to work Mar 8, 2019 (4 responses below)
Career change counselor or coach recommendations? Dec 19, 2018 (3 responses below)
Headhunter to help an engineer? Jun 26, 2018 (2 responses below)
Thinking of making a career change, but need help Apr 28, 2017 (1 responses below)
  • Career Counselor Advice

    (6 replies)

    A little over a year ago I changed jobs.  The new job is still within my industry and while there are many benefits, including a much shorter commute and an environment that isn't toxic, it feels like a definite step backwards in my career.  This has been very hard for me.  I want to leave the job, though I'm trapped given that the shorter commute has been beneficial to my family, including my two kids.  As a result, I've been depressed and anxious, with a notable drop in self-esteem.  I've been thinking about seeking the advice of a career counselor because I really want to make sure that the next move is the right one for me - a better fit culturally and one in which I find more job satisfaction. I'm wondering if anyone has had any positive experiences with career counselors - have they helped you see clarity when you've felt lost and in a fog?  Have they helped you reposition yourself when you're clearly on the wrong track?  Or maybe a psychologist is the better bet for me?  I'd love to hear about your experience and any guidance and recommendations that you can provide!  Many thanks.

    RE: Career Counselor Advice ()

    Two words: Toni. Littlestone. Every session with her has been absolutely 100% worth the money and given me clarity, resolve, and strategies for career success. I've also made more money due to her excellent advice. Seriously, she is AMAZING.

    RE: Career Counselor Advice ()

    Hi, I had a great experience with Cliff Flamer at BrightSide Resumes. He really helped me move on from a position where I felt stuck and like I wasn't using my talents. He coached me and also rewrote my resume in a way that seemed too corporate for me but ended up getting me lots of attention and interviews and then I got my dream job (which is not corporate by any stretch of the imagination). Good luck getting through the fog! I hope you find the help you need. 

    RE: Career Counselor Advice ()

    Hi there, in addition to the resources you mentioned, you might also consider a life/leadership/executive coach (so many different titles these folks go by) as it sounds like you are working through several pieces at once - feeling trapped, questioning fit (which could lead to an exploration of values), loss of confidence, itching to make a change and seeking a clear actionable path forward. I’m in this field and happy to recommend resources if you’d like to discuss further. The work you are seeking to do is brave so I hope you find the support you are looking for. 

  • Mid-life Career Change

    (2 replies)

    I have been working in a design related field for the past 20 years. With financial obligations increasing disproportionate to my income I need to make a change. Does anyone know of any career advisors or head hunters who can help identify other career options that existing skills could translate to?

    RE: Mid-life Career Change ()

    I highly recommend Susan Jewkes Allen at the Bay Area Career Center. She regularly puts on a workshop about how to transfer your skills to a new career. I see that one was just held in March, but you might reach out to her directly to meet with her one-on-one, or else find out when she is doing it next. Also, looks like she is doing one about finding a new career in April.

    RE: Mid-life Career Change ()

    I highly recommend Toni Littlestone in Albany, near Solano Ave. She's a warm and empathetic listener, experienced career adviser, and fantastic all-around coach. She helped me move out of a job that wasn't right for me and into one that's much more satisfying, and walked me through each step. I'm sure she could help you.

  • Hi, 

    I am looking for an academic/career counselor recommendations . I did my Bachelors in Software Engineering and have been a stay at home mom for 10 years.  I want some counseling regarding education continuation and what could be my different options for change of path since I do not want a career in tech field. I need a counselor who would steer me towards joining the workforce and what could be my different options. Someone who is aware of different fields and future job demands and knows well about educational institutes in terms of which school is better than the other. 

    Thank you.


    Wishing you the best on your career path! Although I do not know of a career counselor to suggest, here is a book recommendation that helped me and countless others:

    Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You

    It's available through OverDrive, a free app with the public library.  I'm a fan of listening to audiobooks, though OverDrive also has Ebooks on loan.

    Best Regards!

    I highly recommend Toni Littlestone for career counciling. She has helped me transition careers twice - once several years ago after my second child was born and again more recently. To be transparent, I did not have a 10 year career gap to contend with. But I had a “I hate my career and don’t want to go back to school again to get out of it” issue and she was able to help me work through a career transition without going back to school (I already have a masters degree).

    I found her most helpful when I was working through what I wanted in a new career and what strategies I could follow to work my way there. She didn’t do anything for me, but she helped me figure out how to do things myself. So to your point about what school to attend, she’s not the right person to figure that out for you. But I’m willing to bet she can help you find a strategy to figure it out yourself. Good luck with your re-entry into the workforce.

    I second Toni Littlestone.  I have not personally seen her but a friend of mine raved about her and suggested I contact her for my own career counseling.  

  • After many years of thought and reflection I’ve become serious about changing my career — I’m looking for recommendations for career change or guidance counselors or coaches. 

    I’m in the “tech” field though not as a developer or anything like that (design). I’m burned out, jaded and tired of commuting from Berkeley to SF. I’ve been at it for 20+ years and it’s time for a change. I’m exhausted and I want my energy and some of my life back.  

    Ive done extensive career testing in the past - I’m not looking for pie in the sky green fields counseling. I’m looking for something more tactical. Something like this: set a goal to be employed in a new field in two years and work back from that (as an example). Identify the opportunities and make the pivot.

    I’m willing to put in the effort, but I do need someone to help guide me. Any recommendations appreciated.

    I’d also love to hear your story if you’ve successfully made this kind of transition. TIA! 

    I've been working with a coach Kris Starr, after a pretty significant change from running a small consulting firm (self employed) to working for a foundation. She is based in Berkeley (althoigh sessions are online), has a background in talent/people/HR, and I've found her to be a great fit for goal-oriented career planning. I have 2 other colleagues who have also worked with her, and had great experiences. or she is on LinkedIn as well.

    I worked with Toni Littlestone in Albany. She does just what you describe. Highly recommended!

    I highly recommend Louise Goeckel 510-749-9624 I have found her to be a deep, insightful listener, with lots of current information on the job market and career change options. I especially appreciate the fact that I don't have to be mentally organized for my meetings with her (either at her home office in Alameda or by phone). Instead, she's able to follow my digressive thoughts, making connections I wasn't aware of and highlighting skills and directions I wouldn't have thought of. She's also an artist, which helps me as a self-employed creative. Our sessions together always leave me feeling more sharply focused and able to prioritize next actions.

  • Headhunter to help an engineer?

    (2 replies)

    Hi folks,

    My talented mechanical engineer husband is looking for work.  Despite applying for many positions, he hasn't gotten so much as a nibble.

    We are clearly doing something wrong on his resume, as he is highly qualified and has great experience.  I think we need someone who works with engineers to help him with his resume and interview skills.  Actually he really needs someone who can help him with his job search!

    Any and all leads very much welcome!

    Have you tried the public sector?

    As a longtime project manager and instructor who runs a job search group, I can tell you that your husband's experience in his mid-career job search is common. The job market has changed greatly - his applications are probably being screened out by ATS (automated tracking systems) because he lacks current buzz words. Also, for people in technical fields, what employers are looking for has changed a great deal and experienced people are finding that they have to change how they present themselves and may even need to get additional training or certifications to get hired. He should leverage his professional network to find out who is hiring for his skills and what they are looking for. He should build and use a LinkedIn profile.  Here are some great free resources: - a nonprofit career center, the SF Public Library - has workshops and a career librarian and the government has "One Stop Career Centers" for job seekers:

    I would advise against looking for a headhunter/recruiter, as they work for hiring companies, and aren't on the side of job seekers. Your husband should look to get advise and support from a career counselor to figure out his next steps.  I will keep my contact info public in case your husband or another BPNer wants to join my job search group (it's free - I volunteer my time).

    Finally, just to say you are a wonderful spouse to support your husband. I know that the job search is really tough and demoralizing, and it's great he has you as a supporter.

  • I am wondering if anyone can recommend a career counselor to help me figure out the next step in my career. I have worked in education for over 15 years, as well as a few years in a medical setting in child development, and am looking to take the skills I have and see if they might translate into another career. I do not have the resources to go back to school, so I really need someone to look at my education, credentials and experience and help me figure out if there are possible options for making a change.  Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. 

    Hi--Toni Littlestone in Albany is a great career counselor! I found her incredibly helpful (I've worked in both education and healthcare), and I've sent many friends to her who've also been very happy with her combination of savvy and warmth. She's really good at exploring new options within people's real-world financial constraints--I can't recommend her highly enough, after working with her on two job changes, years apart. She's at, tonilittlestone [at], or 510-528-2221 (she works by phone, as well as in person). 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Recommendations Related Pages

2011 - 2013 Recommendations

Head Hunter / Career or Job Finding Coach

Aug 2013

Any recommendations on someone who can help with resume and cover letter writing for their employment search. Thank you

Many online resources and books at library on resume writing. Some libraries offer free workshops. Rubicon at 1918 Bonita, near University. has a resume workshop. I found them during the economic downturn when I was at my wit's end to land a job. They have free computers, fax, photocopying, and a process of orientations and workshops to land a counselor. My personal biggest advice is research the organization, tailor each resume to the job, echoing phrases used in the job description. Evaluate ahead of time what kinds of jobs you would or would not take, prioritize what you want and visualize what you want. I wanted 'a nice, padded cubicle' after being a teacher. A friend of a friend alerted me that Social Security was hiring. The process took about a year and a half, but I was hired and have been there three years. Most federal hiring is frozen now but the federal government, IMHO, is a great employer. I would be happy to discuss federal employment if you want to email me. It has many pluses and some minuses like anything. kathryn

Career counsellor for mid-life career change

Aug 2013

I am contemplating a midlife career change. Does anyone know of any good career counsellors? L.

I have worked over the years with three individuals and a non-profit. Your least expensive (free!) option is Rubicon at 1918 Bonita, near University. I found them during the economic downturn when I was at my wit's end to land a job. They have free computers, fax, photocopying, and a process of orientations and workshops to land a counselor. They have job fairs on site and leads to other fairs. I felt that I was in a supportive atmosphere with other middle aged people who were generally smart and experienced but having trouble with the job search. I am now fully employed for three years! Before that I worked with Toni Littlestone in Albany (love her!), Louie Goeckel in Alameda who is a little more touchy-feely in her approach, and Joel Garfinkle, who is a top executive coach and author. Expensive and we worked by phone and internet. Good luck on your search. Kathryn

Toni Littlestone is amazing. I got her name off of BPN and have had a great experience working with her. I have also referred her to several friends, all of whom love her. Well worth the cost. RS

Career Counselor for attorney seeking new career

June 2013

I am an attorney and looking for someone who can try to help me figure out a new career that I would love and be good at. I have a small child and lots of bills to pay so in all likelihood I don't think I will be able to make a career shift any time soon. But I think it would be valuable for me right now to work with someone objective who can give me some guidance and get me excited for my future. I am looking for someone who is experienced, realistic and pragmatic. Also, if you have any sense of how much a career counselor costs, that information would be very helpful too. hopeful

If you are a member of the State Bar, you are entitled to 1-2 hrs of free career counseling. Call Richard Carleton of the lawyer counseling program. counseled

I know several people in various professions and situations who have met with and enthusiastically recommended Toni Littlestone, who is located in the North Berkeley/Albany area. Each one of my friends has been dealing with a different career problem, including making a major transition to a new career, trouble with a boss, being promoted to a manager position, interview role-playing, and taking steps to improve a current career. I've also met with Toni several times to talk about my own entrepreneurial direction, and have always found our sessions to be very grounding and inspiring. She has really encouraged me to listen to my own authentic voice and wisdom, which has helped me go in a direction that finally feels like the true me. You can reach her at 510-528-2221. My friends have told me that her help was invaluable, and that they still use the information they learned in their meetings with her. They've passed on some of her tips to other friends, who have also really benefited. She also has a website that I have enjoyed reading, Dorothy B

Career Coach for help with career change

March 2013

Hi smart BPN folks. I need some advice/support on the career front, someone who can help me move through a career change and figuring out how to make fairly well-defined goals turn into actual paid work. If you know of someone who is good at helping esp with finding a new gig, could you post a recommendation for me? Thank you! Ready to move

I can't suggest a single person but I have seen some awesome working mom advice on They also feature 'returnship' jobs that are suited for someone returning to the work force. In the forum area there was a place for this specific type of request also. good luck! WFH mom

Hi, I had a session with Jonathan Lewis (415-577-6322). He developed a great technique with incredibly poignant questions that helped me to uncover what I needed to do in order to take the next steps in my career. He came to me through personal recommendation. He works from the inside out - he tries to uncover what you care about in order to have educated decisions. Hope this helps and good luck! Elisa

Hi--I'm a huge fan of Toni Littlestone, who's the go-to career counselor around here. She helped me, and my goals weren't even well-defined, like yours! I'm not sure how big a change you're considering or what field(s) you're interested in, but I really trust her. She's helped a lot of my friends, too.

I was referred by a couple of friends to Toni Littlestone, a local career counselor, who helped me in several ways with my career search. I needed help with improving my job search techniques, using LinkedIn more effectively, clarifying my goals so that I could express them more powerfully to others, gathering information, analyzing the fit between me and new positions, networking, and especially at improving my interview style. I thought I was good at interviews, but then, I wasn't getting any offers, so how good was I really? I found that although I have a relaxed, friendly style and am at ease in conversations with strangers, I wasn't really selling myself into the jobs. Toni and I worked on this a lot, and I improved more than I thought possible. She taught me so much about what's really going on in an interview, and how to showcase my background and skills in a way that fit what they were looking for and was also true and authentic for me. I got a few offers that I turned down, because by then I understood more clearly what I wanted, then landed a job I am really excited about, with a solid company, good boss, and challenging work. Toni also worked with me on negotiating a salary that was significantly above the initial offer. I couldn't have done it without the help I got. She doesn't do any job placement or provide contacts or leads, but if you want the other tools she offers, you can contact Toni at 510-528-2221, or look at her website first, Glad I got help

I have taken Ann McGinnis' Resistance workshop and found her to be an insightful and intuitive business coach. Two friends of mine took more extensive training from Ann and found her to be excellent. You can check her out at She works with people in transition and is particularly good at illuminating and transforming any self-limiting beliefs that might be keeping you from seeing all your options. She does free sample sessions so you can see if she is a good match for you. Grateful business owner

Career Counselor for PhD in Humanities

March 2013

I'm finishing up a Ph.D. in the humanities and I'd like to meet with someone (a career counselor?) who can help me identify what my options are outside of academia. The ideal person would be both familiar with the skill sets of academics in the humanities and know how they apply to other careers, especially in the technological realm. I'm thinking optimistically of a situation like the one described here: In terms of personality, I'm looking for someone who'll treat me pretty gently (this is a terrifying step!) and will help me find out what I can do with the skills I already have. Want to Know All the Options

It is a pleasure to recommend Toni Littlestone ( She was wonderful. Four separate people in entirely different parts of my life recommended her to me when I wanted to see a career counselor, so I was curious about her. I was initially worried because her website was a little touchy-feely, new-agey for me. She definitely is someone who values authenticity and she is a little hippie-ish, BUT she's also sharp as a tack, extraordinarily practical, and very helpful.

I saw her six times, and we covered basic things like trying to find a job that would be a good fit for me, how to interview, how to write a cover letter (we revised it together), how to manage things with my current boss as a part of the transition, and I did get the job. One thing I really liked about her is that she was so good at her job that I feel like the money I spent working with her (and it was pricey - $140 an hour) was worth every penny; I think that now I know how to approach interviews and write CVs and cover letters forever. She's that good. - So glad I did it.

I was an academic in the humanities, like you, and came to feel that higher ed just was not for me. (Long story there!) I asked around for a career counselor, and many people, both on and off campus, recommended Toni Littlestone, who's in Albany (though I sometimes talked with her by phone, not in person). It's interesting that you mention wanting someone gentle, because that's really something that struck me about Toni: she is very warm and supportive, to the point where I wondered after our first appt, Will she also kick my butt, as needed? Interestingly, she absolutely got me going, even though she isn't a hard-driving person. She had me explore non-academic possibilities in a very realistic way - I stayed open to academia for awhile, but ultimately decided to take the leap and leave, and that's been the right decision (for me).

Not to flood you with specifics, but she had me interview key people, build a network, do some very pointed internet exploration, etc. We also developed a less academic resume for me, and talked at length about how I would respond if potential employers asked ''why aren't using your PhD?'' and ''how are you going to handle challenges here in the real world?'' And the process actually worked! In fact, I still talk to Toni periodically about my current job. I learned academic politics/styles in my doctoral work, but I have struggled a bit with non-academic workplace dynamics - how to relate to bosses, co-workers, clients, etc. So it's been good to stay in touch with her:, tonilittlestone [at], 510-528-2221 --Happy outside academia

Career-change counseling for lawyers

Sept 2012

Can anyone recommend a career counselor (doesn't have to be local) who can offer creative, informed suggestions to a career-switching lawyer? Specifically, someone who can give advice about how to switch out of a high pressure law firm job and into an equally satisfying but less intense law-related job. (Have already tried talking to Toni Littlestone, but the advice was not really law-specific enough.) Anonymous

I highly recommend you contact Elena DuCharme ( She is a former lawyer who now coaches lawyers for a variety of purposes (and helps with test anxiety). She is easy to talk to and always willing to help or find the right help for you. I have known her since we practiced together many years ago, but she helped me when I was looking to leave law firm life and go in-house. While not the same situation as yours, I am pretty certain she can help you. (Don't be put off by her website that focuses on helping lawyers enhance their performance. She can help in a lot of areas.) Best of luck. Kate

Career Counselor for litigation consultant changing careers

May 2012

I have been a litigation consultant for the past 15 years and recently lost my job as the company I worked for went bankrupt. I have two small children under the age of 2 and do not want to continue in this line of work as it can be quite demanding time wise. The problem is I have no idea what I do want to do. I am looking for recommendations on career counselors who can help assess my skill set and strengths and who can help identify how I can transfer my work experience in consulting to other types of work. I also need advice on job hunting in general and resumes/cover letters, etc. Really I need advice on the entire process from beginning to end. Anon

Victoria Zenoff is wonderful. She is located in El Cerrito (510) 526-5210. Her website is One of the best decisions I've ever made! Good luck!

My adult daughter has a family and needed to change careers for a better work-life balance. She worked with career counselor Toni Littlestone in Albany ( and was able to make a great career change. They worked together on identifying her strengths and favorite skills, work environment needs, and how to present herself for new paths. They also addressed networking, interviewing, changing her resume, and other job search skills. The career counseling sessions also gave her structure and motivation during a process that my daughter had been finding overwhelming. One of the most important things Toni helped my daughter with was reaching out and connecting effectively with others as she learned about career fields. Now they meet occasionally for help with office dynamics. My daughter has told me that she wishes she had met Toni years earlier, and that she feels so much more confident now about her career path. Happy to have found help

Practical Career Counselor Needed

Dec 2011

I am looking for a practical career counselor. There are many great reviews for career counselors who help with determining live/work balance and fulfilling your dreams, but I am looking for someone who can give practical assessments on career paths with concrete steps to maximize one's path. Experience in high tech hardware/software companies and clean tech would be ideal. We are looking for someone who could potentially help with introductions and networking opportunities and give solid advice about job prospects in different high tech industries for someone who has been working in those fields for the last two decades but is looking to figure out next steps. Thanks. Practical seeker

Your post made me wonder if you are really looking for a counselor because your needs seem very specific. This is especially true if you are looking for networking opportunities in a specific area. Have you considered (or tried) doing informational interviews in your industry of interest? It seems you need guidance from someone who is especially knowledgeable about the ins and outs of a particular area. I have found informational interviews to work really well as a tool to meet people and to just get a different view of the my industry by talking shop. Finding out what steps they took to obtain their success might give you ideas and motivate you to move in that direction. It's just a thought - best of luck in your career endeavors. - anon

Sherry Berman is the best career counselor! She gave me practical exercises to do to help me understand my relationship to work and what sort of career choices would fit 'my design', who I am and what I am good at and love to do. She is incredibly insightful. It actually felt like therapy to work with her...therapy that was very direct and all related to figuring out the right job for me. You can find her at Good luck on your transition! A happy Sherry client

I used Sean Brennan and WordGuild Writing Services for assistance with the written portion of my law school application. While my writing skills are excellent, Sean was invaluable in helping me further shape and polish the material required for the admissions packet. His ability to hone a clear voice and sharpen the focus of both short and extended pieces of writing is excellent. We worked entirely via e-mail, and his support and written feedback were clear and focused. I strongly recommend his services. A.M.

Looking for Career consulting

Nov 2011

I am a scientist (biologist) who is thinking on career change. I am looking for a good Career consulting. Anyone have recommendations?

You may already have seen her name in the archives, but I HIGHLY recommend Toni Littlestone. She's worked with a lot of faculty at UCSF and Cal, and has a lot of wisdom (and specific tips) about career transitions for academics, scientists, etc. My friends and I have nothing but great things to say about her! tonilittlestone [at] 510-528-2221 (she works by phone or in person in Albany) --Good luck with your transition

Need a recco for an amazing career coach

Oct 2011

Hi BPNers, I'm looking for a special kind of career coach who has their finger on the pulse of the current job market *and* is willing to talk very personally with me about my strengths and weaknesses - and what options might be a good fit for me as a whole.

I'm done trying to shove myself into a mold that doesn't fit. I am now okay with the fact that some things about me are just here to stay. For almost two decades I have tried to listen to criticism, emulate others, adjust the way I do things, and, despite some great lessons, I always end up in the same place.

Where can I fit that the way I am isn't a problem? Where can I shine? I have so much to offer and I want to be seen.

I'm currently focusing on independent projects that are rewarding, so I think I'm on the right path but I could use a little sage advice and counseling from someone who's going to be real about who I am and where I (as I am) can excel.

Thank you, - Enough!

When I read your posting, it reminded me of my own situation for many years. It sounds as if you are a step or two ahead of where I was back then. I used to try so hard to improve my weaknesses, with very little to show for it. Then I started working with East Bay career counselor Toni Littlestone, who uses 'strengths based coaching,' (she explained to me that it has become more of a growing trend) which helped me focus on what I am naturally good at, or my core flow of natural abilities. I learned how to make career choices that focus on my best skills and the things I prefer to do, to work around or avoid the things I am not good at, and do really well in my career. Most importantly, she helped me stop struggling to be someone I am not. You also said 'sage advice and counseling,' and that is just how I would describe the counseling relationship. Toni was able to speak to me directly, with understanding and kindness, and also really respected my own wisdom and helped me bring out the part of me that knows what's best for myself. She also works with many people in different careers, so has a great sense of trends. You could visit her website,, or call her at 510-528-2221. Happier Now

Career Counselor Needed

Aug 2011

My husband would like to work with a career counselor to help him move out of his current situation and move to the 'next level' He has been in his line of business for near 20 years and would like a practical, no nonsense, kick in the pants kind of counselor who will be able to push him and provide very practical and usable advice. He did go to one and heard a lot about get out and 'network' with no real practical tools to do accomplish the goal. He really deals much better with someone who could help provide a practical outline for how to achieve his goals without it being too vague. I did look through the current information, but did not find any recommendations that seemed to be a good fit or that were really recent. thanks in advance for any advice!

I wouldn't say that my career counselor, Toni Littlestone, was really 'kick in the pants' - she has a very warm style. But I have to say that her effect on me was totally 'kick in the pants'! I'm introverted, so, like your husband, I needed a serious push to get out and network after 16 years of being stuck in my job, with my career world shrinking.

I didn't feel like she was rough on me at all, but she definitely got me identifying who I needed to network with, what order I should contact them in, what I should say, what I should do afterward. And she shared with me her gigantic network (I think she's been counseling for over 20 years now). Then she got me out there connecting with people - some in person, some by phone and email--and keeping track of what everyone said and how I should follow up.

She doesn't often use words like accountability, discipline, etc. - that's not really her style. But I've had coaches, and I have to say that Toni's warmer way of pushing me worked much better than the coaches' overt 'kick-butt' approach. I actually found myself much more motivated in non-career parts of my life, too. I started exercising again and playing piano. I've sent a couple of friends to Toni, also, and we all comment on how she's really warm, but somehow got us all going.

She's at 510-528-2221 or Good luck to your husband!

My career coach, Toni Littlestone, had a practical, down-to-earth approach that motivated me to move forward, but not by her pushing me, more like me learning to push myself. She got me to identify my priorities and set goals that I could buy into, and helped me create a plan with concrete, manageable steps. When I started, I had a lot of resistance (fear!) and could only commit to 15 minutes a day of work on my career, but then I worked up to two hours a day. We also worked on interview skills and salary negotiation, and for the first time in my life, with coaching, I got better at networking. At first, I really, really didn't want to network, but Toni persistently taught me how, and step-by-step I learned to reach out effectively. Now I have a great new job that I would not have gotten without the combination of all the skills I learned (especially networking). I found that I needed to find ways to motivate myself, not have someone push me, and Toni was perfect for that. Her website is much happier now

I've worked with Carrie McKiernan both in figuring out how to search, and in preparing for interviews - she was very pragmatic and direct, while being very compassionate. She even helped with the negotiation of salary once I had an offer as well-- I'd highly recommend her, as now I have a job. Her website is Good luck! Gainfully Employed

Career Counselor or Therapist?

April 2011

I'm looking for a sensitive career counselor or possibly a therapist that works with career issues. Basically I need to reenter the workforce after staying home with my child, and have a whole lotta career baggage from before then to deal with, and may need to make a career change. And unfortunately, don't have much to spend on a counselor/therapist. Has anyone ever worked with the Bay Area Career Center? Or are there any sliding scale counselors or therapists in the East Bay/SF to recommend? Many thanks.

If you decide to go the therapy route you may want to check out The Women's Therapy Center as a sliding fee option Best of luck. anon

My career counselor, Toni Littlestone, has been recommended here a million times, and with good reason! She's wise, experienced, and practical, as well as sensitive, empathetic, and insightful. Like you, I had baggage to deal with, and, at the same time, I needed really practical guidance going forward. I feel like she has a lot of the strengths of a therapist, while being grounded in work/career realities.

I went to her first when I was looking for a job after a break from work, and she was incredibly helpful with finding my direction and getting my job. (I LOVED interview practice with her!) And I've actually gone on seeing her over the years because she isn't ''just'' about going back to work or finding a new job--she's really helped me with on-the-job political issues, succeeding at work (including not getting in my own way), requesting-a-raise practice, life balance, etc.

Toni is at 510-528-2221, and you can visit her website to get a feel for her style, --Good luck!

Career Counselor

April 2011

Can you recommend a career counselor for my 50ish technically oriented husband?

I enthusiastically recommend Dan Quinn as an outstanding career counselor. Dan is a skilled therapist who has extensive experience in the corporate arena. He has advanced training in cognitive-behavioral psychology and is also a certified Positive Psychology coach. He was the CEO of a very successful technology consulting firm. All these experiences give Dan a great perspective when working on career issues, and he is also very funny (a sense of humor really helps!), insightful and compassionate. I can't recommend him highly enough. Check out his website for more info: Www.DanQuinn.Info heidi

Career counselor for nonprofit worker?

March 2011

My sister-in-law is a 45-year old program manager at a nonprofit. She's looking for a career counselor that can help sort through new career options including grad school, law school, and other possibilities, as well as skills to write resumes and do interviews and conduct a job search after 12 years at the same job. Understanding the work life of a progressive doing social change work a plus but not necessary. I've already sent her the names of the people on the BPN website, but, with the exception of Toni Littlestone, they're quite dated. Does anyone have any recent experience with a career counselor? Thanks!

I recommend Lisa Rothman for resume writing, career counseling, and someone to help you with your cover letters. Lisa also does job interview coaching and coaching for anyone who has to do any type of public speaking such as speaking for fundraisers, speaking to the media, or speaking to your board members. Lisa helped me re-organize my resume. Even though we are experiencing tough times in the job market; about one third of my resumes that I sent out after having Lisa do her magic received a request for a phone interview. She is also a very nice person. Her website is has her pricing information. Contact Lisa Rothman at her email: lisa [at] or phone: 510-387-7524. Joy

I would like to recommend Lisa Rothman. She definitely understands the work life of a progressive doing social change work - as well as general career counseling and resume re-working. I was really pleased with the dynamic ideas she had for my resume, as well as her flexibility with whether I do the re-writing, or she do the re-writing. She has great knowledge of the non-profit world as well. Working with her was inspiring... Her email is rothman.lisa [at] I'm still in my same position, but feel ready to search should it become necessary. Good luck! non-profit colleague

In addition to myself, I have a few friends who have transitioned into or out of the nonprofit work world, or needed on-the-job advice, and worked very effectively and happily with Toni Littlestone. I know that you already mentioned her, but thought I would chime in about my experience and the feedback I've gotten. Toni was supportive, knowledgeable, an empathetic coach and wise guide for me as well as others. I've also gone back to her from time to time when I needed additional help, for example, about communications at work or interview practice. My career has continued to thrive, partly because of access to a coach who has come to understand my career path and my career style. You can reach Toni at or 510-528-2221. Best wishes on your path

I recently worked with Lisa Rothman (who I also received a referral from Berkeley Parent's network). I've been involved in non-profit for several years, Lisa helped me rethink and rework my resume. She was very professional and easy to work with. I would highly recommend her. You can reach her at lisa rothman rothman.lisa [at] She also has a website

I have a suggestion and the service is either no cost or limited cost. Jewish Vocational Services (JVC) in San Francisco provides free career counseling and help with resumes, job searches, and other necessary skills. They have a person who specializes in nonprofit employees. I cannot say enough good about them, having used myself and sent others to them. cs

It sounds like Lisa Rothman would be a great fit to help your sister ( I also work for a non- profit and she recently helped me update my resume and prepare cover letters for some new opportunities after 5 years in the same job. Lisa was amazing to work with. She is very energetic and I found she hit the perfect balance between providing concrete help and advice and building my confidence by emphasizing my strengths without being over- the-top. She is also very efficient and producive which I really appreciated because it enabled us to get the maximum output from our time together which was important to my limited budget. Last week I was offered one of the great jobs she helped me apply for : ) Best of luck to your sister! Julia

Was glad to see all of the recommendations last week for Lisa Rothman - I've worked with her, and she's terrific! Efficient, energetic, enthusiastic, and inspiring. Lisa has assisted me in a a variety of capacities -- networking advice, resume revision, website editing, elevator pitch preparation -- and I have found her to be an excellent collaborator both in person and on the phone. I particularly appreciate her availability and responsiveness. There were a few situations where an opportunity arose but I had to act quickly: Lisa provided phone coaching and helped edit my cover letter over a very tight time-frame, which was a huge support in maintaining my momentum and optimism. She also gave me some excellent advice when I was invited to join a non-profit board: she accurately identified some potential problems and pitfalls, while at the same time helping me see how this opportunity fit in with my overall life goals, practical concerns and financial needs. Her website is and has her pricing information. Contact Lisa Rothman at her email: lisa [at] or phone: 510-387-7524. Glad to have her as part of my team!

Career counselor for lawyer

Feb 2011

I am a lawyer who has the feeling (as so many lawyers do) that this may not be the career for me. I need someone to help me discover what I really like doing with my work day, offer concrete suggestions about possible other careers (or other options that would be a better fit for me within the law), and be realistic about my chances of getting other jobs. Any recommendations for me? Thanks everyone. Making changes

If you are a current, active member of the California Bar, contact the Lawyer's Assistance Program through the Bar. You are entitled to two or three free hours of career counseling as part of your bar dues. There are a number of counselors on contract with the Bar, one near you! I've heard great things about the woman in Walnut Creek, not so good about the woman in North Berkeley (Linda?) lawyer

2010 - 2009 Recommendations

Seeking career counselor for divorcing SAHM

Oct 2010

I am a stay-at-home mom, soon to be divorced. I have an old career that doesn't fit me any more and that I've barely been doing for the last 5 years, so I have almost no connections left even if it were what I wanted to keep on doing. I don't know what kind of career would be right for me. I'm looking for someone in between a career counselor and life coach who can help me with the intense emotions surrounding this huge life transition; help me think about what kind of career could make me happy and give my life more meaning, purpose and community; and help me take concrete steps towards moving into such a career. I'd like to find someone affordable, if possible, since I don't really know what my money situation is going to be, going forward. At the same time, I don't want to cut corners on what could be the most important counseling I ever get.

I'd appreciate any recommendations of people who might fit what I'm looking for, as well as advice about what kind of work I could do on my own ahead of time to make the counseling sessions as productive as possible. I'm curious whether anyone out there has used the public career counseling services offered by Cal, and whether they are a good fit for me or are more narrowly focused. Trying to find my path

I took a career exploration class at the College of Alameda during the spring semester of 2009 and found it *very* helpful. I, too, am a sahm and needed to figure out what my next act/career would be. The class was taught by one of the career counselors from the college and she was very good. There were a variety of people in the class (some looking for new ideas after being laid off; some considering a change but not knowing what it should be; some thinking they were already in a position that was a good fit but wanting some validation of that; sahm's that needed to start over; etc.) It met once a week in the evenings. And you couldn't beat the price. It don't know if it's still offered but the Peralta catalogs are all online. Anon

I am in a similar situation--looking for full time work after ten years of grad school, children and self-employment--so I hired a career coach to help me focus my job search, assist me with preparing resumes and most of all, coaching me through the interview process. I hired Joel Garfinkle at and he's been great. You hire him by the month for unlimited email access and three consulting sessions. He has provided me with invaluable practical information, interview techniques and compassionate support throughout. Good luck! mari

I went through a break-up several years ago, and received so much support and help from Toni Littlestone, a career and life coach who has worked with many women in this situation (including a couple of my friends). I needed more than a career coach, and Toni was a combination career coach and empathetic, wise counselor - she helped me weather the storm. In addition to her warm encouragement and practical, knowledgeable guidance, she was great about suggesting free or low-cost resources, which enabled me to get enough support as I went through my transition. I'm happy to say that I am now a working mom who still has time for my kids - I'm thriving! You can reach Toni at 510-528-2221, or check her website, --Best wishes for your transition

Career Counselor-works w/ Artist/Creative types

May 2010

I am trying to reinvent my career after being a stay at home mom for the last 6 years. I use to be a Art Director but am not at all interested in returning to that type of job. I need help thinking about a career that would plug into my creative side but keep me gainfully employed. If you know a career counselor that works with artists and creative types I would love to have their name and contact info. I need someone with proven experience and strong tools to help me focus and help me find a new career path. Thanks

Victoria Zenoff is amazing. Drop everything and go see her. If you are willing to do the work (she will give you assignments between sessions) it will pay off for you. You will learn more about yourself and untapped strengths. Had I not gone to her, I would not be doing the kind of work I am today. VZ Fan

Academic Career Coach

Mar 2010

I am looking for references for a career counselor or life coach who focuses on the academic profession, ideally with knowledge of the social sciences and/or public health. I have completed postdoctoral training, and am considering the kinds of options available to me in academia, honing in on my own professional goals, and weighing these factors with my desire to keep my family here in the bay area, as well as increasing hopes for overall life balance that seems hard to realize given the cost of living here. I would really appreciate suggestions for someone who is familiar with academic career paths; who pushes clients toward their vision through concrete and realizable goals; who asks difficult questions (ie is very engaged in approach); who brings an appreciation for work/family balance for women in academia, and understands the necessity of both; and who considers their role as discrete as opposed to long-term. Hoping for balance in academia

I highly recommend Omega Coaching/Helene Dublisky. I believe she can provide you with exactly what you are looking for. She is phenomenal. Her experience includes having worked with individuals in Public Health/Academia. Her number is 444.5211. Good luck in your search!

Juliet Saxe, Ph.D. is a career and executive coach and has an office in North Berkeley on Solano Avenue. She has a lot of experience across many industries and works with academicians. She has a number of private and corporate clients in the Bay Area. Her number is 510.375.2957 and email is juliet [at] throughout my experience with her, she has been very easy to work with, very clear, insightful and helpful. i would definately recommend her. good luck!

New mom looking for career counseling

July 2009

I'm hoping someone can recommend a career counselor. I am a new mom and I have been out of the work force for 9 months now. I was a print (graphic)designer and I'm not sure if it's best that I go back to it because of the long hours. I'm looking for someone who is knowledgeable about what types of jobs are in demand now. Sliding scale would be best. I don't want to spend a year in therapy, personality tests would be fine. I'd like to create a career plan/strategy quickly. Thanks! NewMom

My next-door neighbor who has now moved back East got great help at this stage from a few sources. She formed a group of three moms in the same situation and met for coffee and brainstorming once a week. She also met every two weeks with career coach Toni Littlestone in Albany for one-on-one focused help. She said that Toni helped her especially with confidence and how to present herself positively, as well as thinking very concretely about life balance with her family. She also took some classes to update her computer skills at Piedmont Adult School, and joined Toastmasters to learn presentation skills. supportive

2008 - 2007 Recommendations

Mid-life career coach needed

August 2008

My husband has found himself in the job market at age 55 and in his field he is competing with 30 year olds. We need to ''re-package'' him (maximize his strengths and minimize his deficits) and are seeking the advice of a career coach for this purpose. He is not entrepreneurial but instead wishes to be employed at a stable company. We know about Marty Nemko, and would like other recommendations from this group. anon

Toni Littlestone has been recommended here many times for career counseling/coaching, but I have to chime in and say that she really is wonderful. I'm in midlife myself, and, based on my experience with her, I think she'd be very helpful in the situation your husband is facing.

I went through something like this, and got a tremendous assist on the interview practice/self-presentation part from Career Coach, Toni Littlestone . We roleplayed many interviews, and just about everything we covered helped me present myself much more powerfully in interviews. ...

I had a great experience with Toni Littlestone , She is incredibly knowledgable about many environments and executive skills. ...

Career Coach for Biotech

July 2008

I am looking into the possibility of using a Career Coach for my husband who was unexpectedly laid off from his biotech job earlier this year. Does anyone have any recent experiences and recommendations? I understand that these individuals have to be jack-of-all-trades but if anyone knows of a career coach that has some experience with biotech in particular that would be great (my husband was a PhD level research scientist). Thanks!

I work in biotechnology and have been in the field for ten years. Over this entire time, I have worked on and off with Toni Littlestone , career coach in Albany, about all my job changes, office politics, interviews, resume tune-ups, dissatisfactions, promotions--really, everything. ...

Career counselor for veteran animator?

Oct 2007

I have a B.F.A. and have been animating for fifteen years. I am dissatisfied w/my job and need to rethink my career. Looking for a career counselor who understands visual artists. Thanks. anon.

I can recommend Louise Goeckel , career consultant and coach. I am a professional visual artist and a master teacher. Louise has been very easy to work with and has been very valuable as I grow my business. ...

Looking for a crackerjack, gifted career counselor

Jan 2007

Hello, I am looking for a crackerjack, gifted career counselor, who might specialize in creative blending of skills and interests as well as narrowing in on a field and work style. Experience in education, business, entrepreneurship, mid-life changes and women returning to workforce preferred. Any ideas you have would be much appreciated! Thanks!! anon

Over the past few years, I and several of my friends have had excellent experiences with local Albany career counselor Toni Littlestone , who helped each of us with very different questions. ...

I would like to recommend Louise Goeckel . Louise has a broad background and she is able to help us discover our own style of working and our own creativity, strengths, interests, passion and share it with the world....

I have a recommendation for a dynamic career counselor, Louise Goeckel of ''Let's Go Forward.'' After a session with her I know more about myself and my career path, and have a fresh, positive perspective....

I have a recommendation for a great career counselor, Louise Goeckel of Let's Move Forward. She really is good at helping you get to your heart wishes and acting on them. Louise is amazing ...and in a very fun, supportive and authentic way! ...

2006 - 2005 Recommendations

Career counselor who can recommend specific job types

June 2006

My husband has been unhappy with his job for some time, and is motivated to get some professional help in finding something new. He is currently in education administration, but is willing to move to other related fields that would value his great people skills and management style and compensate him better.

Several months ago, he met with a ccouselor who he felt was not what he's looking for--that she was more of a life coach, almost therapist type of counselor. I guess he is looking for something more straightforward. He says he would like to meet with a knowledgeable person who could say, ''Based on your strengths and experience in A, B, and C, you could get a great job doing, X, Y, or Z.'' Also, we wants this person to be well-informed in the various pay ranges for different jobs. His field is pretty low-paying right now, and he does not want to get into another area that will max out pretty quickly.

Any suggestions?
Partner hoping to help

... after [working with a number of other] career counselors I met with, I did end up working with Toni Littlestone , who acted in my case not as a ''life coach'' or ''therapist'' type of counselor but as a good, solid guide who helped me keep on track and keep researching my options....

My husband has *the best* things to say about Andrea Bauer (650-802-8936). A while back he was contemplating a career change, but he didn't know to what (or even if he should change at all, given the economy). She helped him figure out what he enjoyed doing, what he was good at, and how it fit us financially....

Susan Urquhart-Brown is a career counselor with Career Steps in Oakland. To find out more about her and her services, visit: I've attended one of her business success groups (for those of us who have our own business) and got a lot out of it. 510 531-2071 Melanie

A few years ago, I decided to leave academia and felt overwhelmed by options and unprepared to make career choices. I met with Sepha Schiffman , a career counselor in Albany, (510-558-3458) and was extremely happy with her....

my husband had been complaining about his field and job, so i took him to see marty nemko , who did exactly what you're saying. very knowledgeable, pragmatic and no-nonsense. we met with him for about an hour and he taped the session so we could refer to it later.

I went to a career consultant in San Francisco ... I did some networking on my own and started landing interviews. At first, I did not do well in interviews. My wife had been getting ongoing very helpful coaching on politics at work from Toni Littlestone , so I decided to go in for interview coaching. It really worked....

Hi There, JFK University in Pleasant Hill has a Career Counseling center and their rates are discounted. I think it's primarily staffed by Master's Students who are working on related degrees. I'm thinking $25 - $50/ session. Professional Career Counselors charge anywhere from $125 - $250 per hour.


High-tech career counselor?

Feb 2006

I'm unhappy with my job, which I've had for many years; it involves writing software for biomedical applications. The problem I'm having is that I can't even imagine what sort of job, or career, would make me happy. I'm thinking I might need a career counselor, but it'd have to be someone who understood software. I need someone who could understand something like, ''I've done plenty of perl CGI web forms, but only a little PHP and no ASP, so what kind of web jobs could I get?'' Maybe there's a career counselor out there who used to be a software/biotech headhunter?? Burned out techie

Hello. I have the perfect solution for you: Bay Area Career Center . It is offering two key components - career counselors and workshops. In paticular they offer one specific workshop called Self Assessment. It was PHENOMENAL!! ...

Career Counselor for medical career

Feb 2006

Hello, I am currently a Physician Assistant looking to switch careers slightly into more Health Education/Public Health focus and away from clinical work. I have some health ed. work experience but no formal education beyond my PA degree. I am interested in seeing a career counsellor to figure out how to best make this change. My questions are 1) does anyone know of a career counsellor with an emphasis on the health professions? 2) what exactly does a career counsellor do? Can I expect help with auctual leads to people or organizations or is it more like traditional conselling except talking about work? 3) Does my situation sound like one in which career counselling would help or is there something else I should be doing? I already read What Color Is Your Parachute and did the suggestions (ie informational interviewing) there, which was really helpful but has not landed me a job. Thanks so much.

I am in a medical career and have used a career counselor over quite a few years to help me navigate. My career counselor, Toni Littlestone , does not specialize in health care careers, but has been incredibly helpful in thinking through options, strategizing my next moves, interview practice, and dealing with all the workplace politics in the biotech field....

Getting a job as a career counselor

Nov 2005

I'm wondering if anyone out there in BPN land is a career counselor for either high school or college students. I'm considering graduate school in counseling - specifically career counseling. I have a background in Human Resources and I think my skills would fit nicely in career counseling but I wanted to hear from people who are in field to learn more about it. What are the pros and cons? Do you like what you do? What would you change? Are jobs in this area tough to come by? Thank you.

I just worked with the Bay Area Career Center in SF and the woman there was wonderful. There was a huge difference between using her and using my alma mater. However, I have yet to read ''Bait and Switch'' which is Barbarba Ehrenreich's new book, which sounds like it deals with this topic, and whether you are just a clearinghouse of information and the client really does all the work, or whether you can be truly helpful to people. Maybe you can help the people who could actually help themselves but are unsure?

SAHM going back to work

Nov 2005

Newly single mom looking for career counselor who is skilled in getting stay-at-home moms out in the working world again. Jennifer

I recommend Toni Littlestone , who works out of her home office. ...

I know she has been recommended many times on this site, but as a single mother myself, I just need to say how much I was helped by Toni Littlestone ....

2004 & Earlier

June 2004

I am currenty a SAHM with 2 kids under 4 - I am thinking about getting back into the workforce in another 6 mos. or so but what I find is that I'm pretty stumped about what I really want to do, and how to combine my interests with something that actually makes money and fits in with being the primary caretaker in the family. I'm considering seeing a career counselor but don't want to spend the money just to have someone run me through a bunch of personality tests (I've taken them already - not a big help)... can anyone recommend a pragmatic effective counselor? Or even a useful book that might help me focus my interests? thanks. searching for inspiration

I saw Sepha Schiffman (510-558-3458) for help with a mid-life career change. It was the best thing I could have done....

I would wholeheartedly recommend Toni Littlestone 528-2221 as a wonderful and understanding person and a very effective career counselor....

I went to Toni Littlestone in Albany, as did a couple of my friends who were transitioning from being at home with kids. We all found her to be sensitive, responsive, intuitive and practical.

Husband considering a job change

Sept 2004

My husband is quite unhappy and stressed in his current job, but due to the rise and fall of the tech industry, is hesitant to leave his current position, feels that his resume/career may have ''holes,'' and is uncertain about what job or career changes he should make next. Does anyone have personal experience with this kind of situation? Any advice? Also, I was thinking he might benefit from a career counselor and am looking for a recommendation. Thanks.

My husband recently met with Toni Littlestone , a career counselor and she was great. He just took a job that he feels he successfully negotiated salary for ....

CDOP Career Counseling

May 2004

Has anyone used the university's CDOP Career Counselling program? If so, would you recommend the counselling service you used? Please share names of specific counsellors and any general comments. Thank you! Next move?

Re CDOP Counseling at UC Berkeley.
I had a very good Consultant, Janet Morimoto at Right Management in San Francisco. Feel free to email or call me at x34722 to discuss. John

Need help figuring out what I want to be when I grow up

May 2003

Can anyone recommend a career counselor or a life coach who helps individuals figure out the answer to the question ''what do I want to be when I grow up?''. I am currently a 30-something SAHM who has been in career transition mode for a few years now. I've done all the career assessment tests, now I need to get to the next level. I live in Oakland, so local recommendations are best, but I appreciate all suggestions. Thanks! Laura

I was a SAHM who was very busy with kids and volunteer activities but feeling adrift. I couldn't figure out how and where to return to work. I went to Nina Ham, who was recommended by a friend who was in a similar boat. I found sessions with her to be quite helpful - going beyond the career counseling stuff and into thinking about what I wanted my Life to look like. That was about 2-1/2 years ago, and though I didn't go right out and shake up my life right away, I recently realized that all of the changes and directions that I was able to begin to imagine and articulate with Nina have now come to pass. I have the makings of a new career and identity that feels right and is rewarding, a ''room of my own'' to work from, a better balance of home, paid work, volunteer work, and family, as well as bringing other aspects of my life into balance (spiritually, creatively, physically). Nina didn't wave her magic wand - but she was a key piece of what it took for me to recognize what I needed and begin to move toward it. Her number is 524-8647 and email is NinaHam [at] Her office is on Solano. Good luck! =Natasha B.

I worked with a personal coach for about six months, which was a very positive experience (except that my life was too chaotic to really make the most of it at that I hope to get back to working with her some time down the road). The only real downside is that she is up in Grass Valley, CA, so the only time we met face-to-face was to do the first session -- sort of an intake/get to know you session. All other sessions were by phone. Worked fine, but some people might need/want the face-to-face relationship. Certainly worth calling this woman, to see if you ''click'' (that's the most important thing, really): Janice Knight, KnightLine Consulting, 530-273-0700, or at klcbest AT Alison

I can heartily recommend Susan Van Horn, who runs Real Coach 4U. She can help you turn your life around. First sesion is free, and you would be wise to give it a try. If it doesn't seem like the right fit, you can walk away, but I think her style might suite you very well. Susan runs a retreat center in La Selva Beach ( very close to Santa Cruz) and I believe she can either hold the sessions there or over the phone. Susan can be reached at 831-684-1003. Good luck in your search! Milena

I first started working with Andrea Bauer a few years ago when I was evaluating a career change. I couldn't really figure out what to change or why (or if) a change was even necessary at all. I found answers to my questions through meetings, phone conversations, and ''homework'' after about 5 sessions (not including intake or the ''trial'' call). ...

Need help finding something permanent

March 2003

For 3 years now, I've been trying to patch a career together after being laid off from my job as a instructional designer and technical writer. I've done all sorts of short term freelance jobs while looking for something permanent, but I don't seem to be able to get a job. I have applied for hundreds of jobs, and am very discouraged, not to mention close to broke. Does anybody know a job coach or mentor I could work with to get some guidance? I've checked the names on the website, but the last posting is about 2 years old. Also, are people still using headhunters to find them jobs? Thanks!

Both my husband and I (and another close friend) have used Toni Littlestone in Albany. I am sure her name is in the phone book. She is really great. Very upbeat, lots of good ideas. kathryn

I recommend Toni Littlestone . She has an office in her house on Curtis St in Albany near Solano. She is warm, open, and non-judgemental. And helpful, of course! Her number is 528-2221. Lucy

Politically Progressive Job Counselor

Nov. 2002

I am seeking a recommendation for a job counselor who brings a social change persepctive to her/ his practice. I'm a single mom looking to make a career transition and would like the guidance and support of a job counselor who has worked with folks who have a history of doing work that is somewhat aligned with their political/ social values. This economy is very challenging for those of us who are raising kids in the extremely expensive Bay Area and who need to both pay the bills and do meaningful work. I have checked the website but have not found this resource. I'd appreciate any recommendations.

I know of a place that provides the type of career counseling you are seeking. It is called the Life's Work Center, and it is based in San Francisco, with easy access to BART. I have been in their counseling program since April and have found it to be the most wholistic approach to my career quandries I have ever participated in. The founder and Executive Director, Tom Finnegan, is wise, enthusiastic and very adept at what he does. The groups meet once weekly for 2 hours, the cost is very affordable and you have the opportunity to meet up with all kinds of different people who are searching for work that is aligned with their personal values. Tom would be more than happy to speak with you about the program. He can be reached at 415-821-0930. I too would be happy to tell you in more detail about my experience. Good luck! Sondra

I strongly recommend Toni Littlestone in Albany. She is a single mom who has lots of clients working for social change organizations. Her number is: 528-2221. If you would like to talk with me about Toni or my own stuggle with similar issues, email me. Good luck! Deborah

Seeking job counselor for long-term change


I am looking for a job/career counselor. I'm tired of looking for, and occasionally finding, low-paying short-term jobs, and it's clear that at my age, without additional graduate work (which I will almost certainly not be able to do) I won't be able to get the kind of job I think I want. So I need advice . I've looked at the UCB Parents web site, and I'm not interested in Alumni Resources, although I know they do good work. Does anyone have experience with a competent and sympathetic counselor of this type? I'd prefer Berkeley or Oakland or a location near BART.

In the past, I have recommended my friend Sepha Schiffman to the the UCB Parents newsletter. Since that time, I have actually used her services to help me make an important decision about my own career. I have always known her to be warm and compassionate but working with her, I found that she also had many insights about the Bay Area job market and was knowledgeable about my fairly specialized profession. Give her a call at 510-525-8553. She works in Berkeley. Margaret

I used jewish vocational service (jvs) in sf (very near bart) & was quite pleased. I forgot the name of the counselor i used - i think Jane was her name. Their rates are pretty reasonable, and i'm happily pursuing a graduate degree in my new field right now! Michael

A career counselor who has been extremely helpful to the several people I have referred to her is Linda Artel. Her office is in Berkeley. Her phone is 510-599-9244. She has worked at Alumni Resources as well as privately Leah

Time to move on - seeking career counselor


I am looking for recommendation for a Career Counselor - specifically one who deals with individuals who are currently stuck in their professions and need to move on, yet they are scared and unwilling to do the work to find a new, rewarding job. It would also be helpful if this counselor specialized in careers for scientists trying to break out into the high-tech market. I am hopeful that my spouse could find something else that would bring him more reward, money and security. It is just that I need someone who can convince him of that as well as find him resources to also have him believe that he can change jobs AND have happiness, wealth and security. Thanks

I'd like to put in a plug for a friend who is warm, sensitive and funny. She has helped many people in your husband's situation. Call Sepha Schiffman, Career Counseling & Personal Development: 510-558-3458. Margaret

I suggest the services of Debra Condren at I went and she led me through a wide battery of tests. I am on the path to a new career, and have a much better understanding of my potential and desires for the future. She is not cheap, but consider it an investment. Tom

For career counseling, try Alumni Resources in the City. Web site:

Aug 1999

Can anyone recommend a career counselor outside the UC career services? This is for my husband, who is already a successful Silicon Valley programmer but who is longing for a career that will make him happier, so any recommendations for counselors who have helped people make the switch AWAY from a standard professional career would be particularly appreciated. Thanks.

I highly recommend Alumni Resources in San Francisco. Despite the name, you don't really have to be an alumnus of anything, and they're not affiliated with any university. I spent 3 months working through career issues about 10 years ago, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Jeff

Job Counselor for Ph.D. leaving academia

Oct 1999

I am an experienced (tenured) faculty person in the Humanities at UCB. Recently I have been plotting an escape from 1) the Bay Area and 2) possibly academics. It seems to me that I have heard of job counselors who help people with mid-life career changes, and I wonder if anyone out there has heard of such a person who works with errant PhDs. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Alumnae Resources, 120 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. 417/ 274-4700. There are other orgs too, including New Ways to Work and Forty Plus. But by calling AR, you can get a lead to the others.

Dr. Andrew Green at the Career Center on Campus (Banway Building on Bancroft b/n Oxford and Shattuck) works with and for Ph.D. students and presumably for people who have gotten their Ph.D.s too. Dr. Green himself was a former professor. His web site is: Good luck.

I've been working with a career management firm in the City called Bernard Haldane and Associates (415 391-8087). I am very pleased with the quality of help I have received, thus far. Clients work one-on-one with an advisor to identify skills, accomplishments, and to determine a work objective. The campaign (as they call it) is rather labor intensive, though. I was told the first 4 assignments would entail 20 hours of work at home, but I clocked far more. As part of the program, you are taught how to market yourself, conduct information intervals, and even negotiate salary once a job offer is on the table. I feel very confident that I will soon be able to make my own escape from UC very soon! Oh, I should mention, though, the program is not cheap. The cost is determined by your current salary. Though, as part of a salary negotiation, you might be able to recoup your cost. An added advantage is the contract with them is good for 3 years from the date you sign. So, if you find a position and a year later you decide your new career is not going in the right direction, you can go back to Haldane without further cost. If you want to discuss my experience in detail, please contact the moderator for my email address. Good Luck!

Though I never used her myself, I spoke on the phone with Victoria Zenoff several years ago when I was considering a major career shift. It would be worth giving her a call and chatting with her to get a sense of whether she would be a good counselor for you. Her number (as of 4 years ago) is 510.526.5210.

Call Sepha Schiffman. She's a career counselor and a former academic herself and particularly enjoys working with people considering a mid-career transition. 510-558-3458.