What is career counseling?
Career counseling is a type of career guidance designed to help you navigate career decisions at any stage of life. Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time, switching professions mid-career, or need help making a career-related decision at any point, a career counselor can provide guidance and a host of options.
Job stress is connected to anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Career counseling can help you manage this stress.
A career counselor will provide aptitude assessments, resources, next steps, and networking connections. Their goal is to provide you with an assessment of skills/talents, possible career options, and a potential pathway towards getting there. You and your career counselor will set how frequently you will meet, which depends on your career objectives and timeline. Most career counselors do not continue to work with you after you make your career-related decision.
How does career counseling work?
Together with your career counselor, you will work to discover what careers are the best fit for you by assessing your interests, work-related values, aptitudes, and personality type. Your career counselor can also help you understand job market trends, and explain ways you can move up the ladder.
Here are some potential topics in a career counseling session:
Your particular skills or talents
The educational commitment required by various careers
The potential earnings of various careers
The daily working environment (outdoors vs. indoors; remote vs. in-office; small team vs. large team)
The opportunities for change or advancement in a particular career
The necessary skills/education for a desired career
How effective is career counseling?
Studies have shown that career counseling is a great tool in combating the job stress connected to mental health topics, such as depression and anxiety.
How is a typical career counseling session structured?
A career counselor may start your early sessions with personality assessments and tests, in order to evaluate your strengths, skills, interests, and personality type.
The counselor may administer an IQ test, career aptitude test, or personality test like the Myers-Briggs test.
Next, a career counselor will gather information from personality tests and being asking career-related questions to determine best job matches.
Some questions a career counselor may ask are:
What do you enjoy doing?
What are you good at?
What qualifications do you have? (e.g., degrees, previous job experience, certificates)
What are your values?
What jobs are available/common in your area?
How much money do you need to be comfortable?
Do you work better alone or with others?
Do you like to travel?
Are you looking for a relaxed or a competitive work environment?
Who might benefit from career counseling?
Career counseling may prove especially beneficial for:
Students who have just graduated college.
Anyone returning to the workforce after time away, such as extended parental leave.
Individuals who are unhappy in their careers and want to make a change – whether it’s small or drastic.