Consultant: a person who provides expert advice professionally.
Consultants have vast knowledge and experience in a certain field. They are hired for their expertise and knowledge to help businesses or individuals make the best decisions, attain goals and solve problems. They can either work as a permanent or temporary employee for a specific purpose. Consultants may hold undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees or a license pertaining to their field(s) of expertise. They give advice and may create a project plans for the desired outcome.
When to hire a consultant:
- You are looking for an advice on a specific issue
- You want a person with a specialized skillset
- You need someone to tell you the best options
- You need an unbiased view
Counselor: a person trained to give guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems.
Counselors generally work to find solutions to specific, immediate problems, and are often a little less formal than Consultants. Generally, they have less education in their field than a therapist. They typically offer advice, suggestions, interventions and methods for short-term issues, and may refer the client with emotional and physical trauma to therapist. The terms therapist and counselor, however, are quite often used interchangeably.
When to hire a counselor:
- You have a specific short-term issue like that may be legal, medical etc.
- You or your kids have academic, social, behavioral or personal problems
- You need guidance and help with career, marriage or relationship
- You are ready to move forward
Therapist: a person skilled in a particular kind of therapy.
Therapists are licensed health professionals who help clients improve their lives, develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness and cope with various challenges.
They focus on resolving issues and problems ranging from behavioral, learning, physical relationships and feelings. Therapists will help you reflect on the past and identify the pathological behaviors, in an effort to break them. Therapy can be done for individuals of all ages, groups or a family and may consist of all the components of counseling. During therapy, all the parties will have an opportunity to air their issues, and a therapist can help them find a resolution.
When to see a therapist:
- You seem to be stuck in past and can’t move forward
- You have behavioral and learning issues
- You have been traumatized
- You are using substance to cope
- You have physical reactions (vomit, headache, lethargy etc.) to events and situations
Mentor: an experienced and trusted adviser.
Mentoring is more personal than professional. Good mentors are able to share their personal and professional experiences, technical expertise and wisdom to help you achieve your goals. They are dependable, inspiring, motivating and authentic. They are invested in the well-being, professional, and personal development of their mentees. Mentors do not need to have any specific degrees, but may mentor in their areas of expertise. You may be a mentor to someone and still have more than one mentor for specific developments.
When to have a mentor:
- You need to be inspired and motivated
- You need some friendly advice
- You need someone to have your back
- You need to move forward and keep the momentum going
- You need someone with wisdom and life experiences
Life Coach: a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.
Life coaches help you to understand your choices, explore what may be holding you back, help you overcome limitations, and make the decisions to meet or exceed your personal or professional goals. They ask empowering questions to challenge you, motivate you and hold you accountable to create the life you want and reach your full potential
They believe that you already know what is best for you, and their role is to provide support and create a space for you to explore the possibilities as you make the choices right for you.
When to hire a life coach:
- You need to maximize your potential and time
- You need to have clarity in life
- You want to follow your dreams
- You need accountability and motivation
- You need to deepen the connection with your self
- You need to get out of your head
Bringing it together: We all need help and you may have two or three of these professionals helping you at the same time. You only have one life, do what is best for you, focus on maximizing your potential and being the best version of you.