Counselling is a broad term. In the general sense, counselling refers to the process of helping a person by providing guidance, moral support, and exploring solutions for the problems being faced. “Counselling” is usually associated with a professional helping out an individual in need. This professional is someone who understands human behavior, their personality, and knows how to give the right direction to their thoughts. This professional is a person you can reach out to in times of uncertainty, and who makes sure that your identity and problems remain confidential.
The relationship between a Counsellor and a Counselee is based on a good rapport and trust. This is important while counselling, as it helps to achieve the end goal, i.e., helping the counselee reach the solutions to his problems.
Career Counselling is a process that focuses on helping one understand one’s own self, as well as work trends, so that one can take an informed decision about career and education. Career Counselling helps manage a diverse range of problems such as low concentration levels to poor time management, trust issues with family to non-agreement between parents and children on which career to choose.
In order to understand Career Counselling a little better, let us look at its most important elements:
A Qualified Counsellor
A genuine Career Counsellor is the essence of right guidance, which is why he/she is the most important element of any career counselling process. Career Counsellors are experts in psychology, which means that they should hold at least a post-graduate degree in Psychology/Applied Psychology, and/or a diploma in Counselling Psychology. Career Counsellors who give guidance for a particular field, such as engineering, management, hospitality, etc., must be experts in the concerned domain.
A good Career Counsellor is a problem solver, a keen listener and observer, and has sufficient knowledge of various fields to guide you in your career decisions.
A Secure Environment
The process of career counselling involves creating a safe and secure environment, where the student feels at ease and is able to discuss his/her life and career, without any hesitation. A part of this secure environment is the assurance of confidentiality of the information shared by the student.
An Agreement Of Trust And Confidence
The Career Counselling process is based on a relationship of trust and confidence between the career counsellor and student. In order to help him/her, the counsellor may sometimes talk about their emotional and developmental issues, which can be a little stressful. The student and the parent needs to place an enormous amount of faith in the Counsellor to take care of such matters.
Relevant Psychometric Assessments
Psychometric Testing (Career Assessment) is a scientific and standardized process carried out to evaluate a person’s aptitude and personality. Psychometric assessments are a Counsellor’s tools, which are used to obtain the most important information about a student’s behavior, emotional strength, interests, and skills. This information helps to facilitate on what kind of careers would be suitable for him/her.
Find all that you need to know about career assessments here
In this manner, relevant and standardized assessments help a student understand him/herself better, and career decisions can be made more easily.
All of us require career guidance at some point in our life. It helps us get insights about ourselves, our career and what we can do to improve it. Here are a few ways in which career counselling helps us:
Helps Pick The Right Career
Career Counsellors are experts at assessing your aptitude, personality, interests, and other aspects of you. They use this evaluation to suggest the best career options from all the available and relevant options.
Helps Provide Expert Resources
Career Counselling provides access to the resources and knowledge that a career expert possesses. This knowledge of Careers, their scope and the paths to pursue them are most important from the point of view of a parent and child, since most of the times, parents or guardians do not have that kind of knowledge.
Helps Gain Confidence And Insight
Career Counselling helps a counselee understand the hurdles in his/her career path. This knowledge helps to develop the confidence to overcome these hurdles. It is the duty of a good counsellor to provide such insight and confidence to the counselee.
Helps Change Unwanted Behavior Patterns
Students and professionals have habits that are hard to break, such as procrastinating, not keeping updated on latest developments in their chosen career paths, neglecting emotional and mental health, not trying to self-motivate, etc. A Career Counsellor helps break such behavioral patterns that lead to unproductive activities, both at home and in school/college/work.
Helps Remove Career-Related Frustration
Choosing a career can be a demanding task for both parents and children. A lack of any source of venting out emotions and thoughts may add to the existing frustration. Career Counselling provides a platform where such frustrations can be reduced, and focus is re-directed to selecting the best career options.
Provides A Role-Model
Career Counselling helps students connect to experts who have enough life experiences to share. They are role models who have accomplished much, and helped people in their life. This is why Career Counselling can serve as an inspiration to those who require it.
Helps Bring Stability In Thought
Career Counsellors can help you remain calm when it comes to taking a career decision. Counselling helps bring about focus, and maintain that focus throughout in our activities. Through proper scheduling and planning, they try and make your life more organized.
The perfect time for students to seek Career Counselling is during the ages 13-17 years (8th standard to 12th standard). This is a time of many changes taking place in their life, both physical and emotional, such as transitioning from school to college, and trying to “fit in” with peers. It is also a time when career decisions are made. This is why they need someone to guide them in the right direction at this time.
Most of our parents are actively involved in shaping our career, in fact at least 51% of Indian parents’ priority is their child’s financial success (Survey by HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management in a report titled “ The Value of Education: Learning for Life”). We can safely assume that our parents follow a hands-on approach when it comes to making career decisions for us. Sometimes, it works and many a times, it does not. We can attribute this to the fact that every child is unique, and it is extremely hard for parents or teachers to always recognize the child’s strengths or weaknesses, and his passion or dislikes. This is another reason why career counselling is needed.
For students in college, who are still confused about what they want to do, as well as for professionals who want to transition from their field to something they love, career counselling helps in the following manner:
Career Counselling helps them understand the career options that they have, and how to pursue them.
Career Counselling helps them understand their own strengths and weaknesses with regard to their present course or profession, and lets them know what career they would be suited for.
Career Counselling gives them a platform to voice their opinion about what they would like to pursue, as well as discuss the obstacles that they may be worried about.
Career Counselling makes the transition from one field to another a non-stressful event.
Career Counselling helps give them the required confidence to change their domain, with the support of an experienced mentor.
There are some common misconceptions about career counselling. Let us have a look at what career counselling is not:
It is not general advice about careers, courses and curriculum.
Career Counsellors help you pick the best career options, based on your abilities. Their suggestions and guidance are unbiased.
It is not a short-term process that gives instant results.
Career Counselling takes time, effort and patience. It is a long-term process involving many changes on the part of the student.
It is not a service that helps you get jobs or admissions in companies and colleges respectively.
Career Counsellors are not affiliated to any academic institution. They only help you reach your potential and aim for the best institutes and companies in your career.
It is not a procedure that runs on trial-and-error.
Career Counselling is a scientific process and involves making calculated moves, based on hard facts and methodical research.