About Pathfinders : Career Design Consulting

follow your talents, reach your potential

Anthony A. Spadafore | Career Design Expert | Career Coach | Alexandria VA, DC Area

Who We Are

Pathfinders career design consulting, based in the Washington, DC area, is a boutique career coaching firm that specializes in aptitude testing and career design. We are located in Alexandria VA in the heart of Old Town, near Arlington VA and Del Ray. We use cutting-edge career aptitude testing, combined with advanced career coaching and career direction technologies to guide you through the process of designing, choosing, changing and launching a career that is custom-built on your natural gifts and talents.

Anthony A. Spadafore, career consultant, author, speaker and expert in natural talent testing and career design, started Pathfinders in 1991 to help people figure out what they’re really good at and make smart career choices. Anthony has 25 years of expertise assessing and uncovering natural talents for over 3,500 highly educated people from all over the world. If you’re looking to work in-person with a top career design coach in the Washington DC metro area or Northern VA, we’d love to talk to you.  

In response to the utter ineffectiveness of conventional career counseling in schools and colleges, Anthony co-pioneered and developed the ground-breaking “career design” approach and is recognized as one of the leading experts on the emerging science of natural talent diversitythat we all have a diverse blend of cognitive aptitudes, a unique pattern of innate abilities and personality traits that give us more potential to become “naturals” at specific career endeavors (with hard work), as well as not-so-good at other things (no matter how hard we work).

If you’re a professional or student trying to find your career direction and asking What are my gifts and talents? or How do I figure out what to do with my life?, you’ve found the right place.  

What We Do

What We Do

Anthony, maestro career design consultant at Pathfinders, coaches people of all ages and professions who are trying to figure out what they’re really good at. We use powerful career aptitude testing tools and career-decision techniques to advise and coach people on how to design your career. We step you through a process to design custom-fit career path “blueprints” or prototypes that engage your natural talents and abilities, and then hone in by experimenting and reality checking.    

The conventional wisdom that you can do anything you want with hard work is leading most people down the wrong road. At least 70% of people are not doing what they’re naturally cut out for, we have a widespread “career mis-choice” dilemma in the workplace (lots of square pegs stuck in round holes).

The telltale sign of a career mismatch is a sense that you haven’t quite found your sweet spot and are quietly dealing with boredom, lack of interest to learn and grow in your field, and a gut feeling that you are not reaching your full potential. That’s where we come in; we help you hone your talent compass to figure yourself out, design and go on career quests, and explore career directions that fit your inborn potential.



You were born with a set of innate abilities and personality traits that will make certain activities come naturally to you. Like an olympic athlete, when you push your natural talents with lots of practice, your underlying aptitudes and natural abilities will become super strengths. Although you can improve your weak spots slightly; they’ll likely always be somewhat awkward no matter how hard you work them.

Whatever your weaknesses, let them be, why torture yourself? Play to your strengths. Neuroscientists know these facts about human abilities, so we put brain science to use in our career decision methods. You are what you are; you might as well make a living at doing what comes naturally.



Our mission is to make it possible for people all over the world to make smart career decisions that lead to highly productive, vital, and fulfilling lives. Since 1991, Anthony at Pathfinders has served as a career coach and career design consultant for thousands of people worldwide. Our career aptitude testing can help you fully understand your innate potential, and if you’re up for it, we can also guide you through a fun career design approach to apply your natural abilities in a personally meaningful way, putting yourself on course to make a difference you care about.


Our vision is for a world where the majority of people are doing what they do best and care about what they do. How fun would that place be? Imagine how fast and efficiently we’d solve major problems, and how high the quality of our work would be. Hey, the animal kingdom is already there—just ask your dog!



Our career consulting office is conveniently located in Old Town, Alexandria, VA. We are just a short drive from Washington, DC, Arlington VA, Fairfax VA, and most of Northern Virginia, and we are Metro accessible.


We coach clients from around the world by telephone and Skype webcam. No matter where you are or what you do, we can help.


Anthony is the coauthor of a pioneering career design and choice guide for students, twenty-somethings, and young professionals; Now What? The Young Person’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career, (May 2008, Simon and Schuster), co-written with career guru Nick Lore, a pioneer of the career coaching field.

» Pathfinders Bio : Anthony Spadafore : Career Design Expert

» Podcast : The Pathfinders story on The Curiosity Hour Podcast

» LinkedIn articles

facebooktwitterlinkedinmailby feather