About Pathfinders: Career Design Consulting

Anthony A. Spadafore, Career Choice Consultant

Anthony Spadafore : Career Consultant, Charlottesville, VA : 2021

I specialize in natural talent testing and career design coaching. My firm, Pathfinders, moved to Charlottesville, VA, in the summer of 2020, after 25 years of building a thriving practice in Alexandria and the Washington, DC area.

Pathfinders career consulting is excited to bring its career design expertise to the Charlottesville area.

What We’re About

Pathfinders’ mission is to make it possible for people to make sound career choices that lead to an authentic, purposeful and fulfilling livelihood.

I am part career choice scientist, part author, and part career direction coach. My journey on this path began in 1991, when I became fascinated by why a majority of highly educated, brilliant people were “falling” into the wrong career. And even more intriguing, I discovered that most didn’t fully realize the depth of their career mismatch problem until well down the wrong road, often after graduate school. So, I took on a massive project to understand why this is happening.

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 sets us up to marry a very expensive blind date. Nearly all my clients ask, “Why aren’t colleges helping us figure this out?” And 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 gritty, “successful” adults are unsure of their potential, quietly suffering a talent mismatch. Many tell me they’re likely in the wrong field altogether, idling in a career their teenage self pulled out of thin air decades earlier. Guesswork in—Guesswork out. That’s just how we do it.

I’ve been passionately inspired to solve this largely misunderstood career choice problem and have been in the trenches for over two decades continually evolving a unique “career design” approach to making smart career choices. In addition to helping clients of all ages, 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.



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 Belmont neighborhood in Charlottesville, VA. We are currently working exclusively online during the COVID pandemic, serving clients 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.