About Pathfinders: Career Design Consulting

Anthony A. Spadafore, Career Choice Consultant

Anthony Spadafore : Career Consultant, Charlottesville, VA | 2024

I specialize in natural talent testing and career design coaching. My firm, Pathfinders, is now located in Charlottesville, VA. I bring 30 years of experience from my thriving concierge practice in Alexandria, VA and the Washington, DC area.

Pathfinders is a boutique career consulting firm and is excited to offer its highly attentive career direction and career design expertise to the Charlottesville area.

What We’re About

Part career choice scientist, author, and career direction coach, I help people of all ages make sound career choices that lead to an authentic, purposeful and fulfilling livelihood.

My journey on this path began over two decades ago, when I became fascinated by a mysterious problem: a majority of highly educated, brilliant people were “successful” but unhappy with their work and weren’t quite sure why. I took on a massive project to understand why this problem is happening and discovered that many people unwittingly “fell into” their career—they had never actually made a carefully considered career choice. As fascinating, many of my clients didn’t fully realize the depth of their career mismatch until well down the wrong road, often after graduate school.

In a nutshell, the big decisions we make along the education-to-career pathway are largely guided by guesswork. Well before we know who we are, we’re being nudged to jump into complex career and life decisions with inaccurate self-knowledge and almost no real-world exploration. The system is setting us up to marry a very expensive blind date. Nearly all my clients are stumped, “How did I get this so wrong? What am I naturally good at?” And despite their efforts to get on the right track, many well-educated professionals know it’s not so easy to “divorce” your initial career.

The long-term consequences are playing out in the workplace. We know that a majority of highly educated professionals are not engaged, unsure of their potential, and quietly suffering a mismatch with their natural abilities. Deep down, many say they have a gut hunch they’re wasting their potential and likely in the wrong field altogether, but feel stuck and idling in a career their teenage self pulled out of thin air decades earlier. Guesswork in—Guesswork out. That’s just how we’re taught do it… it’s not our fault.

I’ve been passionately working to solve this largely misunderstood career choice problem and have been in the trenches since the early 1990s continually evolving a unique “career design” approach that guides people to make smart career choices. In addition to helping clients, Pathfinders is currently working to achieve a lifelong vision: an intentionally guided, science-based career design and choice process integrated into the college-to-career pathway.

Our Expertise

Pathfinders is recognized as a leading expert in emerging science of natural talentsthat we’re all born with a personal mix of innate abilities and personality traits. All of us have natural gifts that equip us with the potential to excel and enjoy specific career endeavors—we’re all “naturals” at something. Innate propensities operate as a powerful internal navigation compass to help guide our career choices and more nimbly steer our lives toward well-being. Once our clients uncover their “talent ballpark”—a distinct range of career fields that fit their individual nature—their direction forward becomes clearer and their sense of purpose begins to develop.

Featured Talk


Anthony has 25 years of career consulting experience. He has worked with more than 3,500 highly educated people from all over the world and is the co-author of Now What? The Young Person’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career, (Simon and Schuster, 2008), in collaboration with career design pioneer Nick Lore. Now What is considered a masterwork by career coaching professionals for its inventive career design approach; many students, twenty-somethings, and young professionals rave about it.

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Our career consulting practice is located in the Mill Creek South neighborhood in Charlottesville, VA. We are serving clients locally, nationally, and globally, including Washington, DC and Northern Virginia (Arlington, VA, Alexandria, VA), Central Virginia (Richmond, VA, and Harrisonburg, VA), NYC, San Francisco, London, European Union and many other countries.

No matter where you are or what you do, we can help.