Updated: Feb 7
In today’s fast-paced modern world, many people struggle with finding the right career for them. One of the issues that holds people back from finding true career satisfaction is the failure to realize that career development is a life-long, holistic process that starts in early childhood and continues throughout your entire life. Few things are more important to overall happiness and life satisfaction than finding the right career, which is why career counseling is such a critical component to success.
Anyone can benefit from career counseling, from college grads, to those who feel stuck, those who are looking to take the next step up the ladder, or those looking to retire soon. Before taking the plunge and scheduling a career counseling meeting, it’s important to understand what career counseling is, what a career counselor does and doesn’t do, and the benefits you can expect to achieve through your sessions.
What Can Career Counselors Do For You?
First, let’s look at what career counseling is not. A career counselor is not a doctor or therapist, as there is no assumption that anything is wrong with you. A career counselor is also not a college counselor, and they won’t tell you what your major should be or exactly what specific job they think you should do.
Finally, a career counselor is not your friend. While they will certainly be friendly, you can count on them to give you objective, helpful, and honest advice that people closer to you in your life may not be able to accurately perceive.
Rather, a career counselor will help you with the following objectives:
● Help you ascertain what you want out of your career.
● Identify specific, deliverable goals that you can achieve.
● Help you organize your thoughts, ideas, and feelings more coherently.
● Provide experience, useful tips or guidance, and ideas that you may not have thought of.
● Identify what factors are positively or negatively influencing your career trajectory.
● Accurately assess your skills, abilities, interests, and values.
● Provide resources for you and help you with your resume, cover letter, and other ways to make a stronger first impression on potential employers.
Benefits of Career Counseling
Once you have a firm understanding of what to expect when you go to a career counseling appointment, the next step is understanding what benefits you can hope to achieve through doing so. After all, everyone is tight on money these days and it’s important to understand why career counseling is well worth the cost.
Career counseling is an investment in your future.
If you look at it from a cost/benefit analysis perspective, career counseling is one of the strongest possible investments you can make in your future. It is an effective and highly economical method to increase your salary and benefits in a way that can pay off big time in the future. For an average cost of around $50-$200, you can make noticeable and realistic changes in your thought processes, resume, interview skills, and other attributes that will lead to you making exponentially more money in the future.
Career counseling helps you at critical transition points.
Whether you’re just graduating college, moving, looking for a new job, applying for a promotion, or considering retiring, career counseling is the best way to make sure that you take all the right steps and conduct your transition in the strongest way possible. It’s easy to rely on your assumptions or preconceived notions, which can lead to you conducting yourself in a way that will hurt your transition, rather than help. Avoid this by always utilizing the services of a career counselor.
Career counseling gives you specific, tangible deliverables.
Many people hear the word “counseling” and immediately picture a Freudian psychologist, a leather couch, and maybe some Rorschach imagery. This stereotype, especially for career counselors, is false. When you go into a career counseling session, you can expect to achieve numerous specific demonstrable goals, such as:
● Improved communication techniques for interviews.
● Stronger resume, CV, or cover letter.
● Practical expert advice from someone with lots of experience.
● Effective and applicable tests to determine what career path is right for you. While there are many free tests online, such as these from the American Library Association, career counselors have access to far more information, more accurate tests, and the ability to interpret the data in a way that only a trained professional can.
● Access to information and resources you can't find anywhere else.
No matter who you are, what your career is, or what stage of your career you are at, you will benefit from a career counselor. No one else is so uniquely suited to helping those who are struggling to find the right path or develop a plan. Contact a career counselor today, and conduct a discovery call (usually for free) to find out how it can help you!