While those words sound rosy and comforting, finding your dream job is more than just scouring through job listings until your eyes settle on that perfect title.
Admittedly, finding a career is not only daunting but also infinitely more important than settling for a job, which may pay bills, but will have little satisfaction and progress to offer.
Career Counseling is essentially a niche of consulting services which aim to provide career advice by assessing personal goals, strengths and talents.
Who are career counsellors and what do they do?
Career counsellors are trained professionals who help their clients to navigate through their professional life and learnings and help them achieve their employment goals.
While there is no set pattern or method counsellors employ to assess their clients, these processes usually include career exploration, advice on career choices, adapting to career changes, and career progression.
Following is a concise list of the usual services offered by a career counsellor:
Career counsellors employ a variety of assessment tools such as evaluation exercises, interest inventories, personality tests and client interviews, held either in person or over a video call. These are methods of analysing an individual’s strength.
2. Assess and assist
They help clients assess career values, personal interests, talents, and skills. Self-awareness leads to great clarity which helps clients investigate career options and envision a career.
With a career path in mind, counsellors work with their clients to identify suitable jobs and subsequently apply for them, offering advice on developing resumes, suggesting technical insights for formatting and helping to prioritise skills and accomplishments.
3. Identify obstacles
In times of a job crisis or upheaval in markets, it has been statistically observed that career counsellors are sought out for their skills as analysts and problem solvers. In general, counsellors aid clients in identifying obstacles impeding progress towards an individual's employment goals.
What skills do counsellors possess
Counsellors usually secure a bachelor's degree in any field and go on to do their master’s in Counselling with an emphasis in Career Counselling.
Engendering trust among their clients so as to foster a transparent relationship, is one of the most crucial skills a counsellor is expected to possess. Job hunting is a gargantuan task no matter the state of the market.
Counsellors who are empathetic towards their clients’ struggles and dilemmas foster a more meaningful relationship, one which is based on transparency and understanding. This encourages clients to be open and confide their true aspirations to the counsellor
2. Effective communication
Effective Communication is key to a successful exchange of thoughts. These skills allow counsellors to aid clients in streamlining their thought process and reaching satisfactory conclusions to various issues.
Having a stronghold on written communication goes a long way in helping clients write, edit, and revise their resumes and cover letters, building a promising first impression.
Listening, although a lost art, is crucial to ensure effective communication. Counsellors are trained to be active and empathetic listeners, this allows them to note clients non-verbal gestures as well as listening to their client’s words.
Counsellors must have a plethora of research skills to find information about a client’s aspirations, educational requirements and the preparation needed to achieve these goals. They must also have strong networks and relations in various fields and industries so as to keep themselves updated in current trends and changes in industrial demands to better prepare clients
Counsellors, especially those in private practices, interact with a variety of clients, all belonging to different economic classes and often holding vastly different career aspirations. Maintaining a warm and tolerant demeanour is thus an essential trait to possess as a counsellor.
How to find a career counsellor?
If you're a college graduate, be sure to approach your college’s career office and enquire about their counselling services or if they offer professional advice to Alumni. If not, ask for a referral to a private counsellor.
You can even turn to your family and friends for unbiased reviews or referrals of counsellors they may have hired in the past.
How to choose a career counsellor
Before hiring a counsellor to work with, take out time to check their credentials and qualifications. Test the waters to see how compatible you are with them while making sure you both share the vision of your career goals so as to arrive at effective strategies to achieve them.
As a prospective client, it is your right to ask for references from the counsellor’s office to gauge their credibility, rate of success, and client feedback.
3. Fee structure
As recommended by various industry professionals, go for counsellors who charge per visit as opposed to those who offer a variety of expensive packages
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