University of Wisconsin–Madison

Career Counseling

Unlock Your Potential with Career Counseling

Unsure about your next professional move? The Employee Career Counseling team is here to help you navigate the winding road to success. Our career counselors are dedicated to helping you along your journey.

Career counseling is a personalized guidance service available to all UW–Madison employees that helps individuals explore, plan, and manage their career paths to achieve professional success and satisfaction. Our personalized approach focuses on your unique skills, interests, and aspirations. Whether you’re new to UW or a seasoned professional looking for a change, our counselors will provide the guidance you need to excel in your chosen field.

Start Here

Counselor availability is limited. Begin your journey today with our self-guided module.


To schedule an appointment, contact (608) 265-2257 or

Counselor availability is limited. Explore our DIY Career Planning Process, Career Toolkit, and Professional Development resources.

New! Career Development@UW series!

Three virtual workshops are kicking off the series this summer. See what career development workshops are offered for you.

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Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter and other emails about career-related topics.

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Schedule and learn what to expect in counseling sessions tailored to your goals

Bring career guidance directly to your department with a custom presentation from our counseling team

Career Development Community of Practice
Meet with other UW employees to share information, resources, and experiences related to careers


Self-Service Resources

Additional Campus Resources and Information

  • Campus Resources
    Maximize your UW–Madison experience by accessing these resources
  • Career Management
    Discover how UW–Madison, managers, and employees work together for your career success

Counseling for Every Career Stage

Explore the unique benefits and guidance available at different points in your professional journey. Whether you’re just starting out, aiming for advancement, navigating the middle of your career, or planning for retirement, career counseling has something valuable to offer. Discover how tailored counseling can empower you to achieve your goals, no matter where you are in your career.

New Employee

New employees can expect to gain insights into their career path within the university, receive guidance on setting and achieving career goals, and develop strategies for a successful and fulfilling career start.

Mid-Career Professionals

Experienced professionals can expect to gain support in navigating career changes, addressing challenges like burnout, and acquiring the skills and strategies needed to rejuvenate careers or explore new opportunities.

Career Advancement

Those seeking career advancement can expect to gain assistance in identifying growth opportunities, refining leadership skills, and developing a strategic plan toward the next step to achieving career objectives.


Individuals approaching retirement can expect to gain guidance on retirement planning, exploring post-retirement options such as consulting or part-time work, and ensuring a smooth transition into a fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

“She was wonderful. She listened and gave me great advice. I felt so much better after talking to her. I was to a point I thought getting a new job was hopeless. She allowed me to feel my loss and helped me pull up my boot straps and make something happen. I am so grateful to have had her in my corner.”

Participant Feedback

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are career counseling sessions confidential?

The Employee Career Counseling Program is committed to protecting our clients’ right to privacy. Confidentiality means that, with few exceptions, information shared with your counselor will not be disclosed to anyone outside our office’s professional staff without your written permission. Your information will have no connection to your UW–Madison employee record. Your counselor may seek consultation and supervision from other professionals within the institution. Our staff may include a graduate student intern, who is supervised by a counselor and by a member of their university department’s faculty. The intern may also seek supervision from their university supervisor.

We are legally and ethically bound to break confidentiality when not doing so might result in physical harm to you or another person. We are required by law to break confidentiality if we suspect abuse or neglect of a child or of an incapacitated adult. Also, in the extremely unlikely circumstance that a court orders us to release information, Wisconsin State Law requires we do so.

To ensure confidentiality, career counseling appointments include the client and the counselor. Because this is your career and educational planning time, we do not usually include other family members or friends in our sessions. If you have reason to have another person in session, please discuss this with your counselor prior to your appointment.

If you have questions about confidentiality, other policies or procedures, or the types of services we offer, please ask us during your initial appointment.

What should I expect at my appointment?

When setting up an appointment with a career counselor, you can expect a welcoming and supportive experience. During your initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your career goals, concerns, and needs. Your counselor will work with you to create a personalized plan, outlining the services and strategies that will help you achieve professional success and satisfaction. Be prepared to share your background, aspirations, and any specific questions or challenges you want to address. Together, you’ll embark on a journey toward a more fulfilling career path.

How should I prepare for my career counseling appointment?

  • Complete the online intake at least one day before your appointment.
  • Locate any career or other assessment that you may want to share with your counselor. (optional)
  • Bring a current resume for reference. (optional)
  • Prepare a list of questions or topics you would like to discuss.

Do new clients need to complete the intake form?

Yes. The intake provides basic information to your counselor so they can prepare for your appointment. You can find the intake link in your appointment confirmation email.

Do returning clients need to complete the intake form again?

Yes. There is an option to complete the intake as a returning client and it is a shortened version of the full intake you completed before your initial appointment. If it has been 3 or more years since your last appointment, you will be directed to complete the full version of the intake.

Will information from my appointment be saved to my employee record?

No. Information discussed in appointments and shared via the intake or other correspondence with your counselor will not appear in your employee record. Please see our Confidentiality Statement for additional details.

Can you provide a resume and cover letter review?

Due to limited staff availability, we are unable to provide resume and cover letter review as a stand-alone service. If this is all you need at this time, we recommend utilizing the excellent staff with Madison Writing Assistance. They offer free one-on-one assistance with many forms of writing, including job search materials.

How can I request a career counselor to attend my group's staff meeting to discuss career/work related issues?

Please fill out our presentation request form and a counselor will get back to you.

What is the difference between this service and related campus services?

Career counseling focuses on your career development, management, and any other work-related needs. Career counseling also offers a supportive space to help navigate the complex and ever-changing world of work, enabling people to find their own solutions to a variety of job challenges.

Employee assistance office (EAO) provides “assistance with life’s challenges and offers solutions for life transitions, physical or emotional health issues, and relationship challenges.”  Services include personal counseling, workplace consultation, and well-being coaching and training.

UW–Madison Ombuds “provide faculty and staff with a confidential place to collaboratively explore complaints, clarify issues, and consider options and resources to address their concerns. They are impartial and nonaligned, working to promote fairness in the workplace.”

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