Career and Academic


I offer many services and resources to choose from, whether it is exploring your strengths and challenges through personality typing, identifying your communication style or love language to increase happiness in your relationships, or even learning coping skills to deal with stress or anxiety. But in this section we will focus specifically on the service most closely related to career and academic development: the Highlands Ability Battery. The HAB utilizes The Whole Person Model, a unique and comprehensive tool for career and academic growth and fulfillment.

FYI: I will tailor my approach to the specific services and resources you are interested in. My goal is to work together and take at least one step forward every time we meet, but it is your interests and your dreams that will determine which direction that step leads. I will not impose my own beliefs, opinions, or try and steer you down a path that doesn’t feel right to you, because my approach is entirely client-centered.

The big question: How much does it cost?

The HAB costs $400 and is not covered by insurance. I do payment plans and would consider a sliding scale fee based on income. It is, however, an extensive assessment that includes a 2 hour debrief and assistance navigating and utilizing the employment portals and databases, so you are getting a lot of bang for your buck!

Why choose the Highlands test for academic and career development?

The HAB is currently the only test of its kind to take you far beyond the normal paper-and-pen test. It goes beyond assessment, beyond statistics, the process and results designed to be a starting point rather than an end goal. Along with the results you gain access to mind bogglingly large and useful databases for finding trainings, careers, educational programs, as well as resources that provide invaluable information. An example of these resources can be seen in the image below.

Skills vs. Abilities

Skills and abilities sound very similar, but there is an important distinction between the two: skills are learned, while abilities are innate, something you’re born with. Skills decline over time without consistent practice, whereas an ability stays with you. The HAB’s focus on abilities, rather than intelligence or skills, is what makes it so valuable.

“Grades and standardized test scores represent a convenient means by which the colleges measure and qualify students. However, they are more representative of skills and level of learning than of true abilities. Educators are not generally pleased that they are limited to these devices. Many of them would prefer a test that separates and identifies students on the basis of their natural abilities.”

Receiving the results of the Highlands test will provide you with an understanding of your abilities; and by exploring your skills as well as your abilities, we can then develop a strategy for continued growth and sustainable balance.

For example: spatial relations is an ability that is important for any career that is heavily focused on design, such as engineering, graphic design, manufacturing, or technological innovation. Some people are born with a strong aptitude for spatial reasoning and visualization, while others might be strong in one but not the other. These are measuring ability. Comparatively, an education in mathematics provides you with skills such as a knowledge of high level calculus, and experience with photoshop or other design software provides you with the skills to be successful in a field that requires them.


The next area of focus is values, or the ideals and beliefs that are meaningful to you and guide your interests and decisions. By combining an understanding of skills, abilities, and values, we can filter out academic or professional options that aren’t a good fit, and make it easier to pinpoint what you would find most gratifying. For example, if you have the skills, abilities, and desire to become a lawyer, it would be helpful to know your values so that you can choose the type of law that fits with what you believe in. This is one of the unique characteristics of my approach to assessment and coaching, and one of the most important.

Personal Style

Have you noticed that there are certain people you just cannot get along with, no matter how hard you try? Is there a coworker who acts in a way that makes no sense to you, or who causes you to feel frustrated every time they speak? Have you ever had a boss or professor who you couldn’t seem to please? Well, it’s probably based, in part, on the difference in how you communicate and relate to others, and how you prefer to complete tasks and structure the workspace.

One aspect of the HAB addresses this, and it is called “personal style”. It incorporates several aspects of how we engage with others, and by learning your own personal style as well as gaining information as to how and why yours might clash with others, you greatly increase your chance of success. It can help you negotiate for a raise, for example, or work more effectively with a group on a team project. By understanding your abilities in regards to personal style, you can then focus on learning or adapting your skills through the use of coaching or independent self-improvement.

How we make decisions

Perhaps you are a student who is unsure which major to choose or whether you even want to go to college. Maybe you’re a professional seeking a new life path after discovering a lack of fulfillment in previous occupations or environments. Making a decision on your own can be extremely difficult at times, especially when you don’t feel like you have the support, guidance, or resources available to make such a decision.

Decision making is one aspect of your personal style that is strongly influenced by abilities, and understanding your preferences, strengths, and limitations will allow you to choose a path that feels right. For example, if you are someone who likes to think through decisions, exploring all possible outcomes and choosing the best one after deliberate consideration, it will be difficult for you to work in a position that requires constant, fast paced decision making. So instead of an exploring a career or choosing a clinical placement at an emergency room, perhaps the deliberate thinker would work best in a general practitioner’s office.

These are the types of insights that assessments and coaching will provide, and having someone to walk you through the next steps of planning and executing your decisions makes the process far easier, and certainly less stressful.

Learning Style

The HAB dedicates several sections of the assessment to determine how you best retain and recall information. This is an aspect of learning that most of us have heard of, but might not have explored or understood how to use. Through the HAB, you can learn how to adapt your style to your work or academic environment, maximizing the effectiveness of your studying habits or work style.

This all sounds great, but is the HAB really legit?

According to research as well as personal experience, absolutely!