His job traffics in hope


Marvin Adams, career consultant and educator, Baltimore

November 02, 2008|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Salary: $80,000

Age: 64

Years on the job: 30

How he got started: Adams began his career as a high school teacher with a degree in theology. He was asked to teach a career development course to his students that focused on exposing them to different types of jobs. He ended up teaching career development for 10 years at the high school level.

Adams then left teaching for a few years to work in business management but went back, this time instructing college students in career and job development for seven years. It was during this time that Adams earned his master's degree in counseling psychology from Bowie State University. He has worked as a career consultant for the past 14 years.

Typical day: Adams contracts with firms and organizations, including the Career Coach, as a consultant and job development specialist. He estimates he counsels about eight to 10 clients a week, either online or in person, during one- or two-hour sessions. Adams also devotes one or two full days a week to training and teaching.

He teaches at two colleges in Montgomery County - Columbia Union College and Montgomery College - offering classes in career development and business ethics.

He's also an adjunct professor at the Community College of Baltimore County and organizes training sessions for the Baltimore County Office of Employment and Training.

In addition, Adams contracts with an international outplacement firm where he provides training and individual counseling or coaching sessions.

He also contracts with CareerBuilder as a virtual career coach. Tribune Co., which publishes The Baltimore Sun, owns a portion of CareerBuilder.

Adams says his work focuses on the technical skills involved in getting a job, but also the emotional aspects.

"The biggest thrust I have is to give them hope."

His fee: It averages $90 an hour but it is flexible.

Advice to job hunters: Know what job you're after. "If you're going for a specific job and you have a general resume, it's not going to answer a lot of questions."

The good: "I like to see people reignited. When the light bulb goes off and they leave here knowing there's light at the end of the tunnel."

The bad: Although it's natural for people who have lost their jobs to be hurt and angry, some hold on to that anger for too long, Adams said. "It's sad to see."

Philosophy: "When you show people possibilities, they respond."

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