What are the aspects of an efficient career counsellor?

Whether you’ve just finished school, hate your current job, or are looking for a new challenge, you may need some advice, direction, or help. Starting a career is a big task that you shouldn’t take lightly, as it will shape your future earnings and potentially entire life. Therefore, you need to make positive and informed decisions so that you can get the career you want.   You may wonder what you should be studying to reach your career goals. You may have no idea what kind of job you want or even what is available to you right now. This may not even be your first time looking for a career, but you want to choose something different this time. You may have heard of a career counsellor before but aren’t sure exactly what they do, so could a career counsellor help you?   Two big questions to ask. Do I need a career counsellor? Second, what makes a good career counsellor?   Below I will provide as much information as possible so you can see if a career counsellor is a good option for you.

What Is A Career Counsellor?

A career counsellor is a trained professional who helps you with your career choices. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’ve never had a job before, or are looking to switch careers. A career counsellor is always an option for you to discuss your options with.

Career Counsellor Review Process

Career counsellors will thoroughly review many aspects of your life as it pertains to your career. This process will initially start with an interview with you. They will discuss your educational background, job experience, life skills, hobbies, interests and ask what careers or fields you are interested in pursuing.

Career Counsellor Review Results

With all of your information provided to the counsellor, your options will be laid out for you to review. The counsellor should include possible career options that would be available to you right now. As well as information on each career, such as how sought-after positions are, salaries, and your next steps to apply to those positions.

Career Counsellor Next Steps

A good career counsellor will not just match you with a career and that’s the end. They should also be providing guidance on reaching the job you want if that is not a possibility right now. This guidance could include similar careers that lead to what you want. The advice may be that further education is required for your dream career.   The career counsellor is there to work for you and get you to where you want to be. Of course, if there is still a lot of work to reach your career, that is still up to you, but the career counsellor will give guidance.

Why Would You Want A Career Counsellor?

If you don’t know what career you want or what career is even possible for you, then a career counsellor is an excellent choice. They aren’t going to get you a job, they aren’t going to pick a career for you, but they will provide information so that you can make a realistic decision on what your career will be.   If you already have a solid career path set out, and you know exactly what you need to do to reach your dream career, a career counsellor is likely not a good option for you.

What Makes An Effective Career Counsellor?

So if you’ve decided to get the help of a career counsellor, the big question becomes, what makes an effective career counsellor?

Developing Good Relationships

Career counsellors are just that, they are there to counsel you on your career. If a career counsellor simply gives you an aptitude or vocational test, then gives you five job choices to pick from, that’s not very helpful to you.   A good career counsellor will listen to what you want, look at what you currently have, and then discuss options with you. They should provide some specific careers that you can attain right now that best match what you want. Still, they should also discuss your future, your passions, and advise on how to reach your dream career or even open new possibilities to you about jobs you had no idea existed before.

Defining Goals

A good career counsellor will help you define your career goals and the tasks needed to reach them. This involves discussing what you want, where you want to be in five years, and even your dream job.   They should then help you set specific goals and help plan what is required to reach them. They should be providing you with concrete information on what you need to do.

Ability To Discuss Different Career Options

An excellent career counsellor won’t limit you to only careers you know about. Instead, from their discussion with you, they should draw out what you really want and lay out some different options for you. This is especially helpful if your dream career is not currently a possibility.   A career counsellor should discuss and show you all kinds of careers that you may have never thought of before.

Understanding The Job Market

A career counsellor should have up-to-date knowledge of the current job market. This information should include what careers are especially needed right now, which occupations are in decline, and which careers you simply don’t have the skills for right now.   If a career you want is in steep decline, the career counsellor should be letting you know. Which doesn’t mean you can’t pursue it, but it’s important that you understand your career may not exist or may be difficult to follow now or in 5 years.   They should have a thorough knowledge of careers that are being outsourced, automated, or simply disappearing due to new technology. This type of information can be crucial to your decision to follow a specific career path or not.

Helping Turn Passion Into Jobs

A great career counsellor will view you as a whole person, look at your interests, hobbies, dislikes, and goals. Then, using this information, they should provide you with ideas on possible careers that will make you money but also make you happy.   If you’re great at a job, but you hate it, then do you want to be in that career for the rest of your life? Probably not.

What Makes An Ineffective Career Counsellor

Rushing You

A career counsellor that is only interested in getting you to pick a career without caring about you as a person or what your actual goals and dreams are is not an effective career counsellor.   Their goal may be to rush you through the process so that they can see more clients and make more money quickly. Money is important, but your future career is also meaningful, and they should be spending as much time with you as possible. This is your opportunity to sit down and decide what you will be doing for the rest of your life. Rushing you does not serve you.

Invalid Training Options

As well as rushing you, an ineffective career counsellor may push you in the wrong direction because they have financial gain in doing so. Imagine that a career counsellor gets a kickback or payment from a training center or career college for sending a student to them.   In that situation, there is a conflict of interest. The career counsellor’s interest is in making extra money on you, without any specific care for what training you should be doing to reach the best career for you. So make sure your career counsellor is not pushing you in a strange direction to pay for courses you don’t want or need.

Basing Your Career Options On Aptitude Tests

Schools and even career counsellors may give you an aptitude test, which provides specific jobs that the test thinks you would be good at. In some cases, these may offer insight into what you could be good at right now. But they do not provide insight into your potential or what your goals or passions are.   Another big problem is online aptitude tests which you can take yourself. You have no idea who made these, what the basis of the information is, or if it’s at all valid. You can’t trust free tests online; they’re just meant for fun, not to advise you on your life and career.   If the results please you, then that’s great, but if the results don’t make you happy, then ignore them. You can always work towards your dream career; it just takes hard work and dedication to your goal. Aptitude tests are for the most part, pointless unless they point you to the job you wanted anyway.   Most good career counsellors are not going to give you a generic aptitude test. Instead, the tests they provide will be more about understanding you, your skills, your goals, and other information they can use to point you in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

While it’s always possible to change careers, doing so may set you back financially or professionally. Therefore, it’s crucial to weigh all of your options before making this major life decision.   An effective career counsellor is an excellent option so that you have somebody knowledgeable to review your options with, set goals, and find the best career possible for you.

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