There are scam artists in all professions. Be it a doctor, investment advisor, lawyer, roofer, auto mechanic, you name it and you'll find someone who will intentionally take advantage of you. There are some so-called career coaches / counselors that are no different. The crooks live among us and they want your money and in actuality may offer little if anything in return.
Here are some other options both free and fee paid that you may want to consider:
You can go to one or more headhunters. Their services are free, but unless they have a position for you on their books, all they can really do is put you in their data base until something comes along for which you are an EXACT fit. Don’t ever count on the Executive Search Professional to find a job FOR YOU. It’s their job to find people for companies; not find jobs for people.
There are a gazillion blogs out there that you can start to follow on line. In fact there are so many out there, you’ll never have time to proactively look for a job if you spend all of your time following them. I would suggest that you pick a select handful of blogs or articles that are written by credible sources and seem to offer helpful advice and follow them. Don’t be bashful about asking forum questions if you have that option. You are welcome to do so in this group !
Join local job seeker networking groups. If you reside in a different area outside of the geographical area where you want to work, find a virtual networking group(s) located in that region. The most successful participants in these groups seem to be those who attend the meetings and are people who freely offer to be of assistance to others when they can in order to get help from others later. Joining these groups also gives you a good excuse to get out of the house and interact with others.
Most likely there are free job seeker services in your area that are available to you and they have been known to be very helpful. These may be funded via a federal, state or local government agency or they may be a registered non-profit entity. Give the free services a shot because it shouldn't cost you a dime. (Ok, some non-profits might ask for literally a dollar or so "donation" but hopefully that would be deemed a value on your part---- because it is --- and they have expenses too)
If after a 6 to 8 weeks (or so) taking advantage of the previously mentioned free services, you've still gained no real traction in your job search; you should recognize that you're market value (in the meantime) is more often than not diminishing to prospective employers the longer you are out of work.
For that reason alone, it might be time to seriously consider talking with a legitimate professional who has the credentials to help you build your professional branding. This step would require an investment on your part; therefore you need to take it upon yourself to perform your own due diligence. Talk with the prospective coach / counselor, ask questions, etc., but be wary of any out-and-out verbal or worthlessly written “guarantees” of a new job because THAT does sound too good to be true. There are simply too many variables for anyone to make such a claim.
Lastly, there are legitimate career coaches / counselors out there who are former HR executives. At first glance that may sound great but that credential alone may not be enough if YOU are a paying client. If outside the corporate world, they have no demonstrable track record of “helping” job seekers (as a coach / counselor) find work in a variety of professions, verticals and levels, you might want to keep looking.
"Let the Buyer Beware," and hopefully you will not get swindled into working with a scammer. He is just one link you might want to visit: http://www.rileyguide.com/scams.html
Have a great Guerrilla Day !
Mark J. Haluska
Real Time NetWork & Guerrilla Job Search International