Boulder Career Counselor Uses Numerology to Guide Clients
by Douglas Brown, for The Denver Post
Her franchise restaurant had thrived during the boom, but the Great Recession smacked her business. It deflated, then it sank some more.
It was time for Cindy Snowball, 54, to make a change.
The Sarasota, Fla., resident heard about Boulder career counselor Sue Frederick. She found Frederick’s website, looked it over and scheduled a phone consultation.
By the end of the conversation, Snowball knew she would try something else.
Frederick, 58, the author of the new book “I See Your Dream Job,” helps clients find new careers and jobs using methods not found in the arsenal of many traditional career counselors. At $250 per session — Frederick says one session is often enough — she uses numerology, meditation, advice from dead relatives and friends, and “intuition.”
With 15 million people officially unemployed in the United States and employers still laying off workers, many job hunters have tried just about everything. They have attended networking events, sent resumes, built websites for themselves, even worn signs advertising their skills. And for many of them, none of it led to a gig.
Some of them are trying entirely new things, like hiring Frederick or trying to tap their own “intuition.” Or buying her book, which helps job seekers tap basic numerology and leverage their own intuition for the sake of employment.
Frederick said the collapse of the dot-com boom forced her to stop for a spell and think about the arc of her career.
“I was really tired of it. I wanted change,” she said, describing how she felt after sitting through three layoff meetings in a year. She asked herself: “What do I know my real gifts are?” and concluded her exceedingly vivid “right brain” — the side of the brain dealing with art, intuition, and non-rational thinking — needed to be used more directly.
Before entering journalism, she had worked as a traditional career counselor at the University of Missouri. She liked the work, especially the satisfaction she felt helping other people improve their lives.
Frederick decided to meld her creative and intuitive sides with career counseling. That was nearly 10 years ago, and she’s been at it ever since.
“I really thought that when I combined the words ‘career’ and ‘intuitive’ I would never have another client,” she said. “But now I have clients all over the country.”
The clients, many from Colorado, New York and Los Angeles, are represented by manila folders covered with notes Frederick takes while meditating. The folders fill filing cabinets in her home-based north Boulder office, a serene space with wood floors, Buddhas and Eastern spiritual symbols, and sometimes her Bengal cat.
The masses of layoffs on Wall Street led many former traders to Frederick. Many of the financial types, she said, had never even considered working in other fields, even though they found their jobs unsatisfying, physically taxing and emotionally draining.
One former trader spent the first few minutes of his consultation complaining about Wall Street work — a typical beginning, she said — before she led him toward a different path.
The man’s life outside of work, she said, revolved around sensual pleasures.
She encouraged him to pursue cooking. Now he owns a catering company in Manhattan that targets the financial district.
How did she figure out what the guy should be doing, what she calls a “path”?
Clients fill out a form that, among other things, contains their date of birth. Frederick turns the date of birth into a digit using a classic numerological formula developed by Pythagoras, laid out in her book. Depending on what digit you end up with, you could be meant for something like teaching or engineering or any other career.
Once she has the filled-out form and digit, she meditates with the client’s folder in front of her. If the client suggested she contact a dead relative, she tries to get in touch while meditating. All that information, she says, combined with her intuition, gives her a good idea what path the client should be taking, which they talk about during the consultation.
The method probably wouldn’t work for everybody, said April Peterson, assistant director of the career services center at Regis University.
But even Peterson sometimes uses unconventional methods to help people find jobs.
“I think most people who are doing this wouldn’t take a mystical approach to it as much as look at what is important in terms of your core values system,” she said. “You might get to that through early-childhood memories. What they are dreaming about may point to it. I probably have used some of those for people who are really stuck.”
Intuition has its place, too. If your instinct is telling you to hold off on calling the person to whom you sent a resume, then don’t pick up the phone.
“Following a traditional approach isn’t working,” she said, “so why not follow your gut?”
Frederick grew up in New Orleans and Alabama as a self-described “weird” kid. Among other things, she says, her dreams sometimes forecast the future.
For years, she pushed her strong “intuition” and the messages from her dreams as deep into the recesses of her mind as she could. She rarely talked about it. Once she decided to change careers, though, she stopped fighting the world of her right brain.
What she does with clients now, she said, mirrors the transformation she underwent.
“I give people permission to be the people they have always known they are,” she said. “You are meant to reinvent and get to the work you have always wanted to do.”
Reprinted from The Denver Post