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I recently came across a Forbes article that referred back to Stephen Covey’s classic book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It’s been years since I’ve read this book, but it’s amazing to me how healthy it is to get back to the basics.

We all want to think there is a secret code or even a shortcut that moves us ahead, however success often comes from sticking with tried and true approaches. Covey identified his 7 habits, and they translate beautifully for those seeking new careers.

I believe there are three buckets of a career search that job seekers should be aware of: Attitudes, Behaviors and Techniques. The 7 habits themselves are focused on your Behaviors. If you put these behaviors in place, you will feel better about yourself, thus producing healthy Attitudes. Now all you have to conquer is getting down the Techniques – and searching for a career is in itself a NEW SKILL SET with its own “basics.”

This is where using a career counselor pays off.  There are too many job seekers today that are sitting in “how to” seminars and walking away with different strategies for landing the career.  One instructor teaches this, but another says that. They don’t all necessarily work together, and the end result is the job seeker doesn’t have focus of where they are going – nor have they done the personal work on what makes them unique.  Their strategic plan is too watered down and general.

We’ve all either been or known the student in class who decides to get a tutor. What happens?  They get focused and ace the class!  They are learning techniques that will not only carry them through that class, but many other classes to come. That’s what career counselors do for their clients. Trust me when I say that learning good, fundamental career development techniques will prepare you for more changes that will appear in your career in the future. When you learn the tools and techniques effectively, you will use them for life.

I’m not fishing for compliments here at all, but I’m curious: have you ever worked with a career counselor or career coach? Did the experience help you get “the basics?”