Jim Peacock is an award-winning career development specialist and owner of Peak-Careers. He has more than 25 years of experience giving career advisors and counselors the tools to help their clients see that they have choices and that—with a little support—they can find the work they love to do.
He is on the National Career Development Association (NCDA) registry as a Facilitating Career Development (FCD) Instructor, and is a dynamic trainer, consultant and speaker. Jim specializes in helping career development professionals improve their career advising skills for a more holistic approach to addressing the needs of their students and clients.
He received the NCDA Outstanding Career Practitioner Award in 2007 and in 2020 received the NCDA Kenneth B. Hoyt Career Practitioner Education Award. Also in 2020 (who would have thought all this good could happen in 2020!), he received the Mid-Atlantic Career Counseling Association (MACCA) Professional Contributions Award.
Listen to this Virginia Franco Podcast who interviewed Jim on career tips, his intentional serendipity philosophy, and even talked about how to avoid the ‘vortex of negativity’ in the career development process. PODCAST
Where Jim Started
Jim knows well the winding road people can take on their way to a job doing what they most love. He started college studying forestry when an “accidental” job as resident assistant in the dorms got him excited about working with students in a college setting. He found that he loved it.
Since then, he has used his extensive career development and training skills in a wide variety of higher educations settings, from a 2-year community college and a small, 4-year liberal arts college to large public and private universities.
Where Jim Is Today
Helping career professionals with their own professional development for better client results.
These days Jim is a teacher and facilitator who is passionate about helping people find what it is they love to do—what lights them up. As the former Director of the Advising, Career and Transfer Center at Kennebec Valley Community College, he has helped hundreds of students as the campus’s career and transfer counselor and academic advisor. He has also worked part-time in the career centers at Bates College and Colby College here in Maine.
After working with college students for years, Jim decided that he could touch even more students’ lives by also providing quality professional development for people who work in the field of career counseling / coaching.
Since then, he has trained hundreds of career development professionals to improve their career coaching /counseling skills and services to better support their clients’ career decisions.
As a former academic advisor, Jim believes that career and academic advising are intertwined, that all academic advisors are also career development facilitators and that most college students need career information, but do not always know where to go to access it. He is convinced that if advisors have the right resources, they can successfully guide, nudge and support students in their journey.
7 Things You Might Not Know About Jim
- His teaching philosophy is: “Provide people with practical quality information that they can use; make them laugh, and they will remember it.”
- He plays hockey 2-3 times a week in the winter months.
- He just published his book on his year of travel through New Zealand and Australia, in April of 2021 and still hopes to someday get back to New Zealand.
- As a survivor of a near-death experience, he is passionate about making his life count by impacting other people’s lives
- He has backpacked over 1,800 miles of the Mexico-to-Canada Pacific Crest Trail and figures he will be 150 years old by the time he completes the journey 🙂
- On a Saturday, you might find Jim hanging out with his wife: fishing, kayaking, camping, and enjoying the outdoors, or enjoying a live theater performance.
- Jim and his wife Deborah have three grown sons.
Masters Degree in Education, Oregon State University, 1983
Bachelors Degree in Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1979
Certification: Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP)
NCDA approved FCD-Instructor and CCE approved CDF-Instructor
- National Career Development Association (NCDA) Kenneth B. Hoyt Career Education Practitioner Award 2020
- Mid-Atlantic Career Counseling Association (MACCA) Professional Contributions Award 2020
- National Career Development Association (NCDA) Outstanding Career Practitioner of the Year Award, 2007
- National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 1 Best of the Region Conference Presenter, 2008
- NACADA Region 1 Academic Excellence in Advising Award, 2005
- Training & Education Council (TEC) Chair for the National Career Development Association (2020-2023)
- Past President, Maine Career Development Association (MCDA) 2004-05 and again 2013-15
- Career and Academic Advising expert, National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Consultants and Speakers Service
- Member, Maine Career Development Association (MCDA)
- Member, National Career Development Association (NCDA)
- Member, National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
- Member, Mid-Atlantic Career Counseling Association (MACCA)
- Past President, Maine School Counselor Association (MESCA) (1996-99)
- A Field Guide for Career Practitioners: Helping Clients Create Their Next Move. Book 2019
- What is a “Stay Interview” and Why Should We Know This? March 2019 NCDA Career Convergence
- Embracing Mindfulness and Work-Life Balance to Better Serve Our Clients. Co-author. NCDA Career Developments. Winter 2018. Volume 35 Number 1
- Ten Tips for Starting Your Private Practice. (NCDA Career Convergence. April 2016)
- Academic Advisors and the Wizard of Oz (NACADA Academic Advising Today. December 2012)
- LinkedIn: Expanding NACADA Network Connections Online (NACADA Academic Advising Today. Sept 2011) Co-wrote this with Kristina Ierardi
- Non-Traditional Student is the New Norm. (Portland Press Herald / Special Section “Excellence in Education”)
- Content Review Panel for The Handbook of Career Advising published by National Academic Advising Association
- Content Review Panel for Career Achievement: Growing Your Goals, by Dr. Karine Blackett. McGraw-Hill Publishing
- LinkedIn Publishing. See my profile for multiple articles
Jim has been a conference presenter for more than 25 years. A sampling of recent presentations:
- Using cards sorts to help our clients move forward…An organic approach to career development
- How to help your client develop their ‘value-added statement’
- How we can help our clients navigate their transitions successfully
- Happenstance Happens. How Can We Help Clients Choose Majors / and Occupations Using Happenstance?
- Can an “ENFP” Be a Forester?
- How to Choose a Major by Accident
- Providing Quality—and Affordable—Career Services to Your client
- Using Career Assessments Appropriately to Help Students Choose a Career or Major
- Understanding How Career Development Connects to Academic Advising
- Career Advising Case Studies: Solving the Case