By Kate Oczypok - 05/21/08 05:20 PM EDT
After spending nearly 20 years in advertising, Jim Weinstein was burned out and seriously considering changing his career.
After volunteering for three years at a Los Angeles-based organization helping conduct AIDS clinical trials, Weinstein reorganized his life. He went back to school at 47 for psychology and got licensed by age 50.
Weinstein has been working as a life consultant for 10 years. He receives mostly requests for career advice, followed by relationships and then issues such as health and loss.
“Usually, when a client comes in I take them through a three-part process to help,” he said. “The first involves taking an inventory of their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.”
The next two steps include using relaxation or meditative practices to get in touch with clients’ “inner voices,” and then crafting experiences to help them figure out a field they’re interested in, Weinstein said.
Weinstein originally began his business in L.A. after living in New York City for 18 years. His L.A. clientele included celebrities, writers and producers. However, in 2005, he chose to make the move to D.C.
“There are smart people in both cities, but L.A. is very much more body-minded,” he said. “It’s not the place to be when you’re older; everyone there is very young and creative.”
Weinstein said he liked D.C. because of its wisdom and “gray hair.” He also has many friends who have settled in the D.C. area.
Weinstein typically sees 20 to 25 patients per week, and about 40 different ones per month.
“It was hard starting off here in D.C. because I had no referral base,” he said. “Because of my background in advertising, I began sending ads everywhere.”
Being a life consultant has broadened his perspective on life. Weinstein’s clients include a truck driver, top government official and a woman who owns a company.
“I remember working in a spiritual way with the woman who owns her own company,” Weinstein said, describing a Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid particular success story. “She shared with me that while working on her W-9s, she realized that in the two years working with me no one left her company.”
When people who enter his office have particularly unorganized lives, Weinstein has them sit down and write a list of everything that’s on their plate. “It may be 5,000 things, but they’re all at least there for them to see.”
According to Weinstein, sometimes people are reluctant to ask for help, and simply asking helps a lot.
“I knew one client who didn’t know how to sync his phone to his computer,” he said. “There are people that can help you out with things like that.”
Even Weinstein, who considers himself an 8.5 out of 10 when it comes to organizational skills, sometimes finds himself in “unorganized” situations. He confessed that he accidentally left his car keys at his gym earlier that week.
“When you are constantly multi-tasking like many people in today’s society, you tend to just lose track of things,” he said.
For more information on Weinstein and his life counseling services, visit his website at www.dclifecounseling.com .