Almost all people who seek vocational services are impatient for answers. It is common to delay the decision to obtain professional help and then to hope that in weeks they can solve problems that have taken years to develop.
By seeking vocational services, you are making a major investment in your future: greater satisfaction with work, participation in an occupation matched to individual abilities, interests, and values, and increased success and decreased distress. These are all appropriate goals. Vocational services provide real answers to these compelling concerns in a time-effective way.
It is well documented that vocational services can be very effective and success rates are very high. My documented success rate varies with the group I’m working with but falls between a low of 85% to a high of 100%. One hundred percent means that all goals were reached in three to four months, using weekly meetings.
The high rate was with individuals or small groups of fair to good decision makers who were well motivated to make changes and who already had a successful educational and work history but who, for a variety of reasons, needed to make changes. The lowest rate was with a group of people who were known in advance to be poor decision makers and very dependent on others for major decisions.
Vocational decision-making is an active process and has an agreed-to-in-advance schedule. We will first focus on who you are and our discussions will be stimulated by the examination of testing results. Initially, I will do a lot of the talking as I explain test findings; eventually, you will do most of the talking as you formulate and evaluate your plans. I will provide criteria for your decisions so that your plan is both realistic and feasible.
There will usually be homework after the second session. It varies from 1 to 2 hours per week up to 10 hours per week depending upon your time frame and goals. I expect the homework to be completed. You will need to create a file or notebook of vocational information. I will provide many pages of information. You need to work with this material on your own and bring the notebook to all of our sessions.
I use weekly or every-other-week sessions because this pace creates momentum that is well known to produce positive results. Having twice-a-week sessions is too tiring and is likely to produce failures. We will adapt the intensity of the process to your personal pace.
Please take notes if you wish, ask questions, including “dumb” ones, tell me if you are not understanding the information or the process, and decide if and when you want to make audio tape recordings of the sessions. I recommend audiotaping because listening to sessions enhances results.
For young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, vocational services can be as brief as two months. Adults who are aged thirty-five and older typically require more time. Four months is therefore average. However, some people simply need up to six months to complete the process, and an exceptional few people need up to nine months.
Arrange your priorities and your finances so this expense does not become an obstacle to your long-term goals.
Realize that some emotional upheaval (anxiety & depression) is common whenever you take on significant changes.
Ask questions and discuss everything you think might be relevant to your self-assessment and vocational decision-making.
Participate actively in your sessions by completing all of your homework because this will create momentum and hope.
Expect a direct and positive 1:1 relationship between your follow through and the quality of your results.
"Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad." ~Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” ~Sigmund Freud
“The first condition of education is being able to put someone to wholesome and meaningful work.” ~John Ruskin