Dinorah Meyer

Dinorah MeyerCareer Counselor
College of Letters & Science


M.S., Counseling, San Francisco State University
B.A., French, Minor in Dance, Tufts University

How did you get here?
I took a circuitous path to becoming a career counselor. After earning my B.A., I didn’t know what kind of work I wanted to do. I explored various “ologies” – psychology, sociology, dance ethnology, linguistic anthropology – as well as fitness, publishing, construction management, human resources, and documentary filmmaking. In the meantime, I studied and performed with a West African drumming and dance group in the Boston area.

As I tried out different kinds of jobs and considered possible directions, I developed a set of criteria for what I wanted in my career. ​I happened upon and loved the book, Working, by Studs Terkl, because of the way it valued the experiences and perspectives of people in all kinds of careers. While working (unhappily) in an HR and accounting role at a startup tech company, I met with a career counselor and realized that her type of work might suit me. Soon after, I moved back to San Francisco and went to grad school.

Since my first post-master's job managing the Tang Center's Career Counseling Library, I have mostly cultivated a "portfolio career." Besides counseling students and alumni at the Career Center since 2004, I have worked with adults in private practice in San Francisco since 1999, and since 2014 have been providing career counseling to spouses and partners of Cal's visiting scholars and postdocs. I also teach yoga at a studio in San Francisco and sometimes integrate yoga practices into career counseling. If you meet with me, I may ask you if you would like to take a few minutes just to breathe.

Whom do you work with? What's cool about your job?
I mostly work with students and alumni in the College of Letters & Science, and am also the liaison to the Student Parent Center. I enjoy hearing about each person's unique story and experience, learning about what they care about, and helping them see their strengths and gain perspective about their career development. I also appreciate having knowledgeable and helpful colleagues, and getting to try out new ideas.

What's the best career advice anyone has given you?

  • Being happy is more important than being “important.”
  • Follow your curiosity – if something piques your interest, look into it – you never know where it might lead you.

Yoga (the physical discipline and philosophy; I earned my 200-hour certificate to teach yoga in 2015), dance, photography, other visual and performing arts, languages (besides French, I've studied Spanish, and Swahili, and learned a bit of Dagbani); spending time with family, our two cats, and close friends; helping working parents figure out and manage their competing priorities.

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