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Case Study: Career Transitioner - Andrew

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Client Background

Andrew is a gregarious American Asian man, approximately 30 years, old who was laid off by a large Silicon Valley law firm. He has a B.A. in History from Yale and a J.D. from Cornell Law School. Completed three Summer Associate positions while in law school. Has five years of Legal Experience in two firms. Completed a Certified Financial Planning course.

Presenting Problem/Need

Andrew had been passed over for the partnership track and was offered outplacement services to assist him with his search. As his wife had just been accepted into the University of Chicago’s MBA program he felt it offered an ideal time for him to re-evaluate his career direction and figure out “what else he could do”.

Degree of Self-Awareness gained from Behavioral/Verbal Data

Andrew readily acknowledged the few positive and many negative aspects of his legal career. After college he had considered pursuing an advertising career but because of a poor market he thought law school would offer a worthwhile career path that provided a high income and job security.

Underlying Issues, Development Factors and Causes to Explore

Andrew had fallen into his legal career. He had not completed any assessments, career counseling or conducted any research on legal career options before pursuing the law degree. The thought of “advertising” and his love of “writing and creativity” still lingered in his mind. The main obstacles to making a change included fear about making a sufficient income to buy a house and that he would need to support his wife while she completed her MBA.

Andrew's Career Profile: Career Driver Skills with Examples

Skills from Skill Summary

Creative

Skills: Skills: Brainstorm, Demonstrate Foresight, Use Intuition. Created theme for successful college fundraiser. Wrote music for his wedding.

Analytical

Skills: Solve Problems, Analyze, Evaluate. Researched companies for possible investments. Helped friends pick out mutual funds and stocks.

Management/Leadership

Skills: Make Decisions, Coordinate, Organize/Plan. Enjoyed helping Start-Up companies execute their business plans.

Communication

Skills: Listen, Explain, Write, Consult. Wrote 67 restaurant reviews for Unofficial Guide to NY City after college. Enjoyed giving stock and business advice.

Values with Examples

Service to Others

Enjoys providing a service that people really need.

Examples: helping friends with their investing, volunteer adult literacy work, developing a Stock Repurchase Plan for a client

Creativity

Being able to come up with innovative ideas and solutions.

Examples: wrote two humorous short stories in high school, developed and organized a successful fundraiser for a college club event, wrote song for his wedding.

Holland Themes and Specific Interests

  • Artistic
  • Social
  • Investigate

Specific Interests

  • Researching companies of interest
  • Investing
  • Food/Dining Out
  • Giving advice
  • Creating Things

Myers-Briggs Type

E N F P

Strategies/Sessions

Andrew completed SkillScan’s Career Driver, the Strong Interest Inventory, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and a Values checklist/written list of his most enjoyable activities that supported his skills. The counselor prepared a document of the results, discussed his patterns across the results and brainstormed options.

Career Counseling Outcome

Andrew indicated a very clear preference for using his mind creatively to come up with ideas and to solve problems. He liked advising and helping others by providing a useful service. By combining his interests with his skills and values themes, we generated a variety of ideas. One idea was to continue with his legal career but in an in-house counsel position where he would serve in more of an advisory capacity. The other ideas included exploring options outside of law such as screenwriter, financial planning (eventually his own practice), marketing and publishing.

Goal Accomplishment

Prior to moving to Chicago, Andrew began conducting informational interviews with Financial Planning departments at Investment Management firms. He was very surprised to receive an offer during one of these meetings. The arrangement required him to complete the Certified Financial Planning certificate over a period of two years but he could start in an entry-level position. He also began researching extension courses on screenwriting. Given his need to make a substantial income to support himself and his wife in Chicago he decided he would continue in his legal career for two years but use that time to fully explore the options that were generated through the assessment and counseling process.

Counselor - Key Learnings

Andrew achieved a much clearer picture of the elements that would make him happier and more successful in work. His combination of skills and interests pointed to careers outside of a traditional legal practice such as financial planning where he could create the business to align with his values and preferences and draw on his creative, communication and organization skills to provide a valuable service to clients. Given Andrew’s age, need for security and a high income along with plans for having children, he was compelled to evaluate the many trade-offs that each choice would entail.

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