Career development is a life-long process influenced by several factors like abilities, attractions, personality, and circumstances. It entails more than just choosing a major or a career path after graduation. As your life circumstances shift, your career decisions will likely change. As such, the objective of career counseling is not just to help people make decisions in the present, but also to impart useful knowledge and skills required for the purpose of making job and life decisions. Anyone facing complicated career decisions should consider getting help from a competent counselor who will assist with exploration and career change.
What Does Career Counseling Entail?
This is a service intended to help individuals through the stages of selecting, choosing, or leaving a career and can be beneficial at any stage in life. As an adult, your career will be an important part of your life, influencing how you live and your motivation. The work of a career counselor is to help clients by outlining and deliberating possible career options.
In essence, therefore, career counseling allows people to make informed decisions regarding their career development. The guidance offered can allow anyone to choose a career, set career goals, and make progressions towards attaining those goals.
Who Stands to Benefit from Career Counseling?
Most people in the United States spend much of their time at work. However, only about fifty percent of Americans are satisfied with the jobs they currently have. Being in an occupation, you don’t like can be stressful and can result in depression or anxiety, further worsening your mental health. In other words, finding a satisfying career is an important component of caring for your mental health. The services of a career counselor become ideal when selecting a fitting career or when the job you have proves frustrating or fails to meet your needs.
In this sense, a career counselor can be a therapist, mentor, or life coach with experience in your preferred field. The individual providing such services should be trained in the art of offering career information, discussing career progression, and administering ability and aptitude tests.
Anyone can benefit from the services of a career counselor. Students, for instance, may engage counselors when still in high school as they contemplate college options. When in college, career counselors are useful when deciding or changing majors. Career counselors are also useful when applying for jobs after graduation, when changing jobs, or when you are considering leaving work. You could also engage a career counselor if you wish to explore different ways to be more satisfied with the career you are in.
In essence, therefore, anyone could benefit from career guidance. Whether you are just getting started in your career, deliberating a change of work, or retiring from the workforce, a counselor can help with managing the transition.
When to Hire a Professional Career Counselor
Career counselors have in-depth knowledge of the skills required for various fields as well as average remuneration to expect. Counselors can also provide information regarding the specific requirements as well as job application tips. Once the counselor has assessed your skills, he or she will then match you up with a field the suits your personality, skills, and abilities, generating the ideal match that guarantees the best earnings and job satisfaction.
Counselors work with clients with the process of researching job options as well as finding the best resources for skill improvement. Here are some of the best times to hire career counselors:
- When you have been applying for countless positions without much luck;
- When you find the though of job application overwhelming;
- When you intend to make a career change;
- When you want to leave your present job or retire.
How Can Career Counseling Help?
As is the case with all types of counseling, career counseling is more effective when the professional offering service creates a meaningful relationship with the client. Many top career counselors have master’s or Ph.D. degrees in mental health studies and apply their academic knowledge to provide more than just vocational guidance. Top counselors can work with clients to understand their concerns, fears, needs and desires in ways that aptitude tests alone cannot be effective. Creating therapeutic relationships allows counselors to offer complete guidance and career support.
A counselor can help you in the following ways:
- Taking assessments and skill tests;
- Researching career alternatives;
- Developing a personal action plan;
- Role-playing in preparation for interviews;
- Overcoming significant obstacles;
- Creating useful networks.
Investing in Career Counselors | Is It Worth It?
Many people ask whether the decision to invest in career counselors is worthwhile. The services can range between $75 and $150 or more depending on the provider. While some may consider such rates expensive, the services the experts offer are worth the investment — as long as you engage a reliable counselor. It could even be the difference between getting a well-paying and fulfilling job and being miserable in your career.
Locating a Reliable Career Counselor | Useful Insights
Searching for a reliable career counselor can be a challenging task, given what is at stake. Here are some insights on how to succeed in the process.
Be Watchful to Avoid Scams
While there are many legit career counselors, there also exist swindlers and scammers looking to dupe unsuspecting clients. They may promise you job placement, but their only interest is making away with your cash. Conduct serious research and read through reviews before choosing a career counselor. An easy and effective way to find a reliable career counselor is by searching online directories.
When choosing a career counselor, prefer someone who is registered with the necessary bodies, including the NCDA. The certifications require professionals to complete their master’s degree in psychology or related fields. This way, you get to benefit from knowledge and training in counseling as well as career development.
Check Whether the Professional Is Ideal
Once you have located a counselor with the required qualifications and credentials, you should confirm that they are the right fit. Here are some questions to ask:
- Are you experienced in my chosen field?
- Can you provide some references?
- What are your qualifications or educational credentials?