Choosing a career is a vital process in everyone’s life. It can be very tricky. Several factors need to be considered before making a career choice like interests, abilities, background, personality traits, circumstances, etc that can help a person identify his/her career.
Situations keep changing. There might not be a one-time career solution for aspirants out there. Career development is a progressive and life-long process that keeps improvising with changes in the circumstances. However, this process might not be direct and can be overwhelming. Career counselling helps deal with such situations by providing the right knowledge and skills one needs to learn to make a career decision.
What is Career Counselling?
Career counselling is a process involving the analysis of a client’s interests, abilities, expectations, circumstances, etc to help them in devising a plan for their career development. A career counselor’s job is not to suggest a major or field that the client should choose. They give career counselling guidance to the clients by giving them the knowledge and skills that they need before diving into career exploration, selecting a career field, managing career changes, and other career-related issues.
A career counselor is trained to advise clients in matters of discussing life-long career development issues, career information resources, and often taking aptitude and ability assessments for devising a plan by either conducting career counselling online or in-office.
Who Needs Career Counselling?
When it comes to career counselling, people think that it only revolves around the students who have just cleared high school. However, that’s not true. Career counselling is not only meant for students who are struggling to make the right career decision. It is also for freshmen, sophomore, graduate, employed, junior, senior, etc.
Anyone at any point of time in their profession can feel the need to change their career. Career counselling is an effective mechanism for people who struggle to choose a career or people who want to switch from their current profession to any other field of occupation.
Now, let’s discuss the five steps involved in the process of career counselling:
What is the process of Career Counselling?
A career counselor is a trained professional who gives the right direction to clients that helps them make progressive career decisions. Career counselors hold expertise in career development theory, methods of counselling, interpreting and assessing the assignments, and career information resources.
These career counselors conduct sessions involving the following steps of career counselling:
- Assessment: The first step in the process of career counselling or career counselling guidance is Assessment. It simply means gathering the data of the client and getting to know them. Assessment is the step where the clients build a rapport with their counselor or mentor.
It is the initial stage of career planning where the counselor collects the client’s data in various ways such as questionnaires or forms. A client needs to be comfortable and honest with his/her mentor to move to the next steps of counselling.
- Exploration: As the sub-title suggests, this analytical stage includes exploring various personality traits, social behaviour, and career interests of the client. It can be done through career counselling tests and assessments based on which a basic profile of the client is created. This stage helps in narrowing down to different paths that the client can choose from.
- Decision Making: Once the paths are laid out in front of the client from the previous stage, it’s time to choose the most suitable path amongst them. At this stage, critical decision-making is done by ruling out the career paths that seem to bring any barriers.
- Preparation: At this stage, all the paths are assessed and the decisions are filtered out in the form of a career choice. Now is the time to devise a strategic roadmap for taking action in the chosen path. This stage includes curating the necessary resources and coming up with a backup plan. That is vital!
- The End Game (The final stage): This is the stage where all the hard work of the counselor and the client is put into judgment. It is a practical stage for the client where he/she is given goals and deadlines to achieve. Clients after this stage tend to take the further step in their chosen field without the overwhelming feeling of being stuck at the crossroad.
Going for a career counselor is a wise decision to make when feeling stuck on the road of career development. But how do you know if it’s the right time to seek the help of a professional career counselor? Let’s discuss:
When is the right time to visit a Career Counselor?
In a situation where the mind is full of questions and intersecting thoughts and there’s no hope for a solution, we seek an advisor or a mentor. Similarly, at certain points in their career, people often confront themselves with the question, “What’s next”? or “What am I doing with my life?” or “Do I enjoy this job anymore”? These questions, if remain unanswered, can take the form of stress and anxiety. Thus, in these circumstances, one can seek the help of a qualified career counselor.
Following are some signs that indicate the need for a career counselor:
- You are not sure about the goals in your life
- You are a high school pass out looking for further studies
- You have cleared secondary school and looking forward to selecting a subject stream
- You are a graduate looking for work opportunities or universities for further studies
- You are unsatisfied with your job and looking for a job change
- You want to escape from a bad job
- You are feeling lost with multiple career options
- You’ve got talent but don’t know where to start
At least one of the above situations appears once or twice in everyone’s life. This phase might seem daunting but can be resolved with a master plan devised with the help and expertise of a professional career counselor. So, If you’re a student, working professional, or an alumnus, who is struggling with any of the above cases, you must visit a career counselor. It might turn out to be a turning point in your career development path.