what is career counselling?
Career counselling is a personalized process that combines both intuitive and cognitive techniques to help you understand yourself, explore career options, and clarify and attain desired career/lifestyle goals. The processes of career counselling offer insight, guidance and support to help you understand and manage varied career and lifestyle issues. Career counselling and guidance generally involves face-to-face interaction, and/or interaction through other mediums like telephone, letters, or Internet. However, most important of all is the one-to-one interaction between the career counsellor and the client. A career counsellor deals with people who are making career decisions and choices or coping with changes like- choice of subjects, career changes, and redundancy. The matter of career decision, and a student’s direction and progress towards professional goals often play a crucial role in the development of individual identity and purpose, as well as positive self-esteem and interpersonal functioning.
Providing accurate, current and relevant information pertaining to the personality and qualifications of the individual is crucial to career guidance. Your Career counsellor guides you about different career options and how one occupational field such as finance or medicine differs from another and also about the different levels (specialist, skilled or semi-skilled) of jobs within each field. Your career counsellors guide you about the range of career opportunities available with the sensitive use of alternative suggestions at the planning stage itself. So, if you find your goal of entering engineering college is unattainable, knowledge of other fields given by the career counsellor could be used to generate equally interesting opportunities.
How is it done?
Career counsellors may want to use interest or aptitude tests in counselling interviews. This acts as a process of self-exploration and interest identification which helps in career choice and decision-making. Career counselling, thus, spans both the internal psychology of the person and the external contexts of education and employment. The career counsellor in most cases would attempt to develop a rationale for the interrelation between the two.
First Phase: Career Planning
This phase of counselling involves self-exploration:
1) A review of early life, past experiences and accomplishments to identify interests, abilities and skills
2) Identification of current occupational interests by means of tests, inventories or exercises
3) Assessment of individual traits and needs as they relate to the work environment
4) Clarification and appreciation of personal values and goals as they affect career decisions.
5) Second Phase: Career and Educational Information
This phase of counselling involves the gathering and exploration of available information related to careers. This would involve individual and guided use of the Career Resource Library. This information would be used to develop a set of career goals and an initial ‘career pursuit’ plan.
Benefits of Career Counselling
If you are trying to decide on your career or thinking of changing the course of your professional life, then a few well-spent moments with a proficient career counsellor might just get you started in the right direction. The career counselling process will help you develop the confidence, courage, knowledge and strategies to effectively manage your own education, career — and life.
Why Career Planning?
Depending on what you have already learned about yourself and various occupations, reasons for career planning will vary. Here are a few reasons why people take the time to plan their career:
- learn more about who you are and what you really want to do
- clarify doubts
- carry out a career transition
- find out what the next step is
- learn it is OK not to know what you want to do
- learn more about your hidden strengths and aptitudes
- learn what to look for in a job
- clarify a specific employment goal
Social and economic structures are, unfortunately, not static. Our life stories are determined by the daily choices we make within such shifting structures. The choices available to us continue to multiply, to take new shapes. New jobs are created every year because our needs continue to develop.
The opportunities, coincidences, and chances life affords us are in direct correlation to the choices we make. The sooner you learn what puts a smile on your face in a work environment, the sooner your career choices will better reflect your unique gifts. The informed decisions you make today will contribute to the creation of an enjoyable life story tomorrow.
How do you arrive at a decision about which career path is most promising for you?
|Self-Assessment||Examine your core interests, personality traits, skills, values, and beliefs|
|Generate and Explore Career Options||Create a list of potentially satisfying career options that match your self-assessment results|
|Narrow Down Options||Sort through your initial list of occupations and reduce the options to your most favoured ones|
|Research Options||Access detailed information through research on selected career options|
|Decide on Career Goal||Decide on the most promising career option that matches your profile most closely and that affords you the greatest chance of success|
|Set an Action Plan||Set up an action plan that will outline the next most crucial steps for you to take in meeting your educational and/or occupational goals|
|Evaluate Outcomes||Evaluate the outcomes of your efforts to see whether you are on the right path|
The most frequent issues students talk about when they first come to counseling are:
- Relationship problems (with romantic partners‚ family‚ friends‚ roommates‚ coworkers‚ advisors)
- Poor concentration‚ memory‚ inability to focus leading to decrease in academic performance
- Uncertainty about choice of major or career
Other issues that students often discuss in counseling are:
- Problems forming relationships
- Lack of satisfaction with current relationships
- Loss of relationships (through death‚ divorce‚ break-ups‚ moving away)
- Family problems
- Being different from others due to ethnicity‚ sexual orientation‚ disability‚ nationality‚ race
- Experiencing violence now or in the past
- Problems related to alcohol or other substance use
- Rape/sexual assault
- Problems with eating or body image
- Adjusting to college
- Adjusting to a new culture
- Wanting to learn to make healthier life choices
- Having a general sense of “not feeling like myself”
- Having a general feeling of unhappiness or unease
- Confusion about identity‚ who or what you want to be
- Test anxiety