What Is Career Counseling? And How to Know When You Need It
Career Counseling is a service that helps people start, change or improve their careers. This may include one-on-one discussions between the counselor and the candidate, as well as assessments, activities, and services designed to help candidates reach their full potential. A career counselor is similar to a career coach and professionals in both careers can help you navigate your career path. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, professionals may use one or the other to clearly describe their work. You may find that career counselors have degrees in psychology, counseling, or human development, while career coaches may have teaching certification or training in the specific area they train. Another difference you may encounter is in the type of career coaching, with counselors helping you figure out a career path and coaches helping you with specific career-related tasks. Whether you’re a student or recent graduate or halfway through your career and considering a career change, career advice can help you make the right decision about your career path.

Here are some things you can expect to work with a counselor:

  • Assess your strengths, skills, training and experience
  • Bring your desires and dreams to the surface
  • Find out where it might not have been done
  • Review company procedures and employee practices
  • Search for jobs and employers
  • Preparation for the interview
  • Improve your resume
  • Writing cover letters
  • Finding your first job or career change
  • Rewarding workflow design

With job growth expected across all industries, from arts to healthcare, and exciting technological advances in many areas, now may be the time to pursue career leadership. This way, you can explore your potential with the guidance of a qualified advisor and prepare for the ever-changing professional landscape.

Read on to explore career counseling opportunities and how to get started. 4 signs career advice is right for you

There are many things to consider before hiring a counselor, including the cost of counseling, what the experience is like, and the results you can expect. The following signs may mean that hiring a career counselor is the right next step for you:

1. You’re looking to jumpstart your career.

  • Entering a new phase in your career can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. For instance:
    Choosing a major can mean enjoying studies and learning about subjects that interest you, but what career opportunities will that lead to?
  • Earning a college or university degree can qualify you for many jobs, but what if you want to pursue a career unrelated to your degree? Changing jobs completely can give you better work-life balance, better pay, and greater fulfillment, but what new skills will the new job require?
  • Starting a business can mean working on your own, but what financial risks are you taking? If you’re looking to make a similar leap, you may be a good candidate for a career counseling program because working with a mentor can boost your confidence while make a decision.

2. You reflect on your interests and purpose.

Do you find yourself thinking about what you really like and what you want to achieve in life? Wondering what kind of career will help you explore your passion? If so, you may benefit from working with a counselor to learn more about the following:

  • How to turn creativity into work
  • How to improve work-life balance
  • How to assess your interest in any professional activity
  • How to make career decisions based on your values, belief system and life philosophy

3. You want a more focused teaching experience.

There are many ways to get professional support, including:

  • Take a class with other job seekers
  • Read professional development books
  • Hire a counselor in another discipline, such as a life coach or cognitive coach
  • Technical skills and experience related to a trade
  • Conduct informational interviews with people who work in the industry or field you want to enter

As you gain wisdom from these sources, you may want to have an in-depth discussion about your career and clear advice about what to do next. If so, it may be time to find a career counselor.

4. You are making space in your life for counseling.

Depending on the counselor you find, attending a career counseling program can involve an investment of time, energy, and resources. If you make room in your life for counseling, you may be ready to take this step.

Take some time to evaluate the following:

  • Your growth mindset: Are you teachable, open to feedback, and welcoming of fresh perspectives?
  • Your budget: Are you freeing up resources to invest in your career growth?
  • Your schedule: Are you freeing up time to invest in the work of developing your career?

How to find your career counselor

Once you decide you’re ready for career counseling, the next thing to do is find your counselor. Follow the steps below to streamline your process:

Determine your counseling objectives.

  • What do you want to get out of having a career counselor? Consider possible outcomes, such as identifying a new career path, feeling more confident, or finding your dream job.
  • What kind of program would you like to join? This might be hiring a counselor for a single private session, signing up for ongoing sessions on a regular basis, or joining an online or onsite counseling program.
  • What do you want to experience while in a program? Examples could include exploratory exercises or taking creative approaches to charting a career path.

Explore career counseling services.

You’ll find a range of career counseling services available to you, but it’s worth taking the time to find the right fit. Search the internet, job listing sites, as well as college career support offered to students and alumni. Read up on how different counselors work with career seekers, including the structure, duration, and cost of their programs.

Make a list of career counselors who may be a good fit for you. Reach out to your top choices via email or by phone to gather more information that may not be available online, such as:

  • The methods they use to help someone get the most out of their goals, experience, and interests
  • The kinds of career seekers do they usually work with
  • What their former clients have been able to achieve through counseling
  • The outcomes they specialize in helping people reach

Hear from an adult developmental psychologist and career counselor on the role that skills and passions play in career development:

“What do you do well?” is a lecture from Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact

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Article Ref:  https://www.coursera.org/articles/career-counseling

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