Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Allied Health's Many Occupational Choices

Allied health is an industry with many job options. Besides doctors, dentists and nurses, all of the other healthcare jobs are categorized as allied health. Because there are more than 85 career options in this field, allied health is one of the fastest growing career fields in the U.S. Job-seekers continue to flock to this industry. In fact, studies predict that the growth in allied health jobs will continue over the next ten years. Since there are so many jobs to choose from and such a positive career outlook, allied health is a great career choice.

The infographic below explains some of the fastest growing allied health jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these positions will expand by 28% or more by 2020. The expected increase is a very promising statistic to those considering a career in allied health.

Another fantastic aspect of the allied health industry is how it suits such a wide variety of people. There are all sorts of personality types working in allied health. There are also people from varying education levels, so many different job-seekers can find something to meet their needs. There are positions that only require certification before employment, such as medical assistants. On the other hand, careers like physician’s assistants may require a master’s degree.

The growth within the allied health field can be attributed to several things. Since Baby Boomers are projected to live longer than previous generations, there will be an increased demand for medical services. Allied health is a career choice with exceptional long-term potential. Even better, it is a career that helps people. Working in the allied health industry affords people the opportunity to make a difference.

   Allied Health Careers
Infographic by U.S. News University Directory, your source for the Best Allied Health Programs Online.

This guest post was provided by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about allied health careers like medical assisting and healthcare administration for US News University Directory. For more information please visit

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Lion of Discouragement

The greatest predator of today's job seeker is the roaring lion of discouragement.   It slowly feeds on the carcass of  non-existent feedback from potential employers. It soon becomes the king in a den of bitterness. No employer response. No call back. No indication of connection. No return email. No interview follow-up.  

Like a devastating storm, certain variables easily converge forming a turbulent self-defeating mindset earnestly believing no employer is hiring.  The pattern is the same: 

1. See a posted opening.
2. Apply online.
3. Wait for employer response.

Soon, there is a decrease in motivation, focus, engagement and follow-through. The anxiety of being chased by failure is palpable. 

How exactly do you break free? 

Create a positive climate for success

The number #1 reason for discouragement is no reciprocal contact from a potential employer. Let me illustrate the point in this all too common scenario.

Jane was down-sized and has been looking earnestly for employment over six months.  
She searches the yellow pages and finds a career counselor. In a moment of intense exasperation, defeat and self-doubt, she expresses her raw emotions.

"I've never had to look for a job in my life! I put together a resume, applied for openings and have tried to get hired for over 100 openings.  Not one single call from an employer!  What is wrong with me?"  It is depressing and humiliating to get laid off.  Finding work is even worse."

Jane represents a lot of today's unemployed workers. Many feel the bite of betrayal, deep anger and discouragement.  They rhetorically ask, "How can you invest your life in a company for so long, do great work and still be let go?"

There is no simple answer to this question.  It is a consequece of an emerging economy that demands productivity and doesn't validate perpetual longevity. It demands knowledge and a short term relationship of high productivity.

Job-seekers like Jane can send 1,000 resumes to employers and never hear a word.  It isn't that they aren't hiring.  

The obvious gaps:

1. Jane's mode of job search is obsolete.
2. Jane needs to know the effective method and embrace it.
3. Jane needs to know somebody does have a need for her core competencies of a strong work ethic and organizational expertise.

Yet, before Jane experiences job search success, she must first slay the lion of pessimism and discouragement with her bare hands of optimism and endurance.
In the next post, I'll tell you how.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Most Successful Job Search Strategy

The most successful job search strategy begins when you're not seeking employment.   It is the simple, yet critical skill of developing interdependent relationships that are mutually beneficial. This type of relationship gives and takes in an equal exchange of ideas and common bonds.  No small talk.  No synthetic animation. No fake conversations. Just real relationship building.

The degree (strong or weak) of this relational connectivity is directly correlated to your job search success. Think about it.  The smaller the circle of relationships, the fewer opportunities to job leads.  The greater and broader the circle of connection, the more likely you are to land the interview that gets the job. 


For some people, a long and depressing job search is a consequence of not being intentional and available for relationship building.  Isolation and loneliness are the greatest barriers to overcome when seeking employment. It is never too late to connect and express care. Just being available to respond and develop a relationship with others could change your life and get you to work.

We get so busy and think relationships can wait.  Next month.  Next year.  And of course before we know it, an unexpected job loss has us reeling in a sea of pure despair.  It is then we recognize the island we've become. To make matters worse,  the awkwardness of not knowing where to begin is downright overwhelming.


Start from scratch.  Make that call.  Build the relationships you were meant for.  Here are a few simple ways to connect:
  • Cook dinner for a neighbor and take it to them including a note of appreciation 
  • Join a book club
  • Attend a neighborhood association gathering and meet who lives around you
  • Attend an alumni event of your high school or college
  • Visit the career center of your college and ask for help
  • Join the board of a local charity you are passion about
  • Volunteer at your local school to tutor
  • Have people who are acquaintances over for dinner at least monthly

I can't tell you how many times I experience the following conversation with a client:

Job-seeker: "It is terrible out there in my search for employment. I can't seem to land a single interview.  How awful it is that who you know gets you the job.  It just isn't fair."

Me: "Tell me about your personal relationships with friends, community and former colleagues..."

Job-seeker:"What do you mean?  Like, how many people do I know?"

Me: "Yes, tell me about how you're connected to other people through friendships, organizations, and the neighborhood you live in."

Job-seeker: "When I worked, I was too busy to make friends a priority.  I've never volunteered and I went home after work too tired to socialize.  Now, I'm too busy applying online to see people. To tell you the truth, I don't know where to begin."

This conversation expands from an imperative dialogue challenging the assumption that connections get you the job (they don't) to an intense regret of not making the time for what is truly important.

Your connections will likely get you the interview.  You get you the job.

Without these connections, how will you know what jobs are available?

The greatest success finding a job is within the context of interdependent relationships.  The person too busy to build them sees just how important they are when a pink slip is in their hand.

The next step for you is to terminate your belief that relationships take too much time.  

The reality is not building them is detrimental.

In the next blog, I'll discuss in detail the most successful strategy employers use to find new hires.  Now, go call somebody and have lunch together.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Job Clubs: The Job Search Power Strip Device

Finding employment after losing a job can be isolating, discouraging and downright terrifying for many people. Being down-sized and tossed into the sea of joblessness can be daunting and overwhelming.

But, there is GREAT news for those who don't want to go it alone.

There is a power strip of job search success you can plug into.

The surge of energy and connection meet to empower you when you attend a job club.

A job club is a supportive group and environment that helps overcome the challenges of fierce competition by providing feedback as you prepare to search, interview and land a job.

The Job Club Power Surge

Read this recent article about Eastern Kentucky Job Clubs. It is a proven fact that jobseekers find employment faster with a supportive group.  Here is a job club video piece from Kentucky (you have to tolerate a short commercial).

Typical job clubs are held weekly and bring together jobseekers to share leads, network and provide feedback to one another.

Job clubs are the job attainment power strip with relational sockets that attach you to employers, community resources and vital encouragement. The power of job clubs is when multiple jobseekers receive energy from a single source of support: themselves.  It is an incredible help to know that you are not alone in your search.

If you're looking for employment, first find a job club near you to hasten the process and make a daunting challenge much more manageable. In my home state of Kentucky, The Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program does it right.

If you want your job search to surge with success, then find a job club now.  It is the convergence of energy and connection.