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Posted March 05, 2016 by

What is career counseling

Photo of Veranda Hillard-Charleston

Veranda Hillard-Charleston, guest writer

Do people believe their current career trajectories feel like a hopeless game of grasping at straws? Maybe they’ve been thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” or “I don’t know what jobs I can get with my major/degree.” Having a long list of “I don’t knows” in the career department certainly doesn’t lead to increased life satisfaction. Luckily, there’s a solution: career counseling.

What is career counseling?

Career counseling is a goal-oriented process targeted at helping people gain better insight about themselves and what they want out of their careers, education, and lives.

According to Boise State University, the counseling element is one-step in a lifelong process of career development. Therefore, the object of career counseling is not to guide people in making better career decisions today. Instead, the focus of this process is to equip people with the self-knowledge and expertise needed to improve their careers and life decisions over their lifespan.

A career counselor is generally a master’s level professional with a background in career development theory, counseling methods, assessments, and employment information and resources. A professional will hold a confidential session with people to identify their unique values, interests, skills, career-related strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals in order to determine which resources they require and which course of action is most appropriate in helping them achieve these goals.

A career counselor can even help people separate their own career-related goals from those of others, such as parents, teachers, and friends who may be pressuring them to choose a specific career path.

Do I need career counseling?

Whether they’re freshmen in college or five years post-graduate, college students and recent graduates can benefit from the services of a career counselor. Since career development is a lifelong process – and people’s interests and skills are steadily changing – the earlier they gain insight about themselves and learn how to make career-related decisions, the better. If job seekers’ current dialogue is filled with “I don’t knows,” career counseling is a smart choice for them.

Possible career counseling for bank credit presentation of important issues courtesy of Shutterstock.com

frechtoch/Shutterstock.com

Maximizing from the counseling experience

So college students and recent graduates made the choice to get career counseling and scheduled an appointment. Their part is done, right? Wrong. A common misconception about career counseling is people show up, and an expert tells them exactly what career choices are best for them. In truth, career counseling is not a one-sided, quick solution to academic or career dilemmas. Consider the following:

• Job seekers are not simply there to receive. The counseling experience requires participation. An honest examination of job seekers is vital for the career counselor to guide them in the right direction. Together, they might uncover their career interests, but they must take action to continue down the right path.

• People must narrow down their goals. Coming in with a broad desire to “Figure out what they want in life” just won’t cut it. A clear-cut objective is necessary so each session has structure and both parties can tell when their work together is complete.

• Job seekers have to continue the career development process beyond counseling. A good career counselor can help them define their interests and values, identify goals, and provide resources and strategies for reaching these goals. Still, the important work is done by job seekers. They have to actually use these resources to pinpoint internships or job opportunities appealing to them and constantly consider how different opportunities match their interests, values, and skills.

Career counseling offers people a safe and confidential place to explore their career passions and identify areas in which they are experiencing difficulty. It is a collaborative relationship – the client and the counselor work together to discover the client’s true career goals and work to overcome any obstacles. However, the client must be devoted to career development and willing to do the work to truly benefit from the experience.

If you want more career advice, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Veranda Hillard-Charleston is Chief Contributor for MastersinPsychologyGuide.com. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Veranda has more than five years of experience as a trained mental health professional.

Posted December 31, 2014 by

The 5 Ways Negativity Can Unravel Career Potential

Ken Sundheim

Ken Sundheim, Chief Executive Officer at KAS Placement Recruiting

The overwhelming majority of job seekers fail to ever push their capabilities to the limit. Most never come close.

Our sales recruiters have seen that the lack of achievement is not a result of lesser intelligence, education or even having a poor boss, but rather comes from a skewed perspective that is overly negative of their own capabilities.

This negative perception gives rise to a multitude of issues and in time results in a less fruitful, lucrative career. This happens in 5 stages. (more…)

Posted July 10, 2014 by

Just Starting Your Career with an Entry Level Job? Avoid These 5 Career Mistakes that You Will Regret Later

Now that your career has begun with an entry level job, it is important think to about the decisions you make moving forward.  Make sure to avoid these five career mistakes you will regret later found in the following post.

Featured: Featured Do you ever feel like you’re constantly trying to do better at your job so you can get a promotion or a raise? That you’re constantly running on only a few hours of sleep and a large vanilla latte? Focusing only on short-term goals can cause you to make hasty career decisions

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Posted July 07, 2014 by

College Students, Need Some Advice about Getting Jobs and More? Ask Alumni These 7 Questions

Networking with alumni is one way for college students searching for jobs to get some advice.  Here are seven questions in the following post for students to ask alumni.

Looking for a new direction in your job search this summer? Attempting to expand your personal network after graduation? Struggling with career decisions? Been-there-done-that career advice and mentorship may be closer and easier than you thought. When was the last time you tapped your alumni network?

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Posted May 13, 2014 by

Class of 2014 Expects to Find Entry Level Jobs in Their Career Fields, but Will They?

As the class of 2014 prepares to graduate, most of them believe they will find entry level jobs within their career fields.  However, is this a realistic expectation for these soon to be college graduates?  The following post has more information.

Graduates, she says, may be buoyed by improved jobs numbers recently, but they still face some uncertainties. Upcoming graduates are placing stock in job training because they intend to stay longer in their entry-level jobs.

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Posted January 27, 2014 by

Want an Entry Level Job that Makes You Happy? Some Advice to Consider

Finding an entry level job and career that makes you happy makes sense, right?  Some might think so, while others not so much.  Learn more in the following post.

Do what you love. Follow your passion. Find your bliss. When you’re making decisions about your future or your career, is “do what you love” the best—or absolutely worst—advice you can get? If you Google this phrase, you’ll discover there’s a raging debate. We’ve scoured the web

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Posted January 15, 2014 by

Failed on Your First Entry Level Job? 3 Ways to Bounce Back for a Successful Career

If you experienced failure on your first entry level job, the following post shares three ways to help you bounce back to have career success.

As we young professionals build careers, we rarely (if ever) factor in the inevitability of failure at some point along the way. Once you realize failure is just a normal part of the experience, how can you make it work for you? How can you benefit from all the times that you have (or

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Posted November 11, 2013 by

Searching Jobs for Recent College Graduates? 10 Myths to Remember

As candidates searching jobs for recent college graduates, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the information you hear about the job search.  However, don’t believe everything you read or hear about.  The following post has 10 myths to remember as you pursue a new position.

Deciding on a career path can be a complicated process. To make matters worse, you’re bound to run into a ton of bad advice, outdated clichs, and ridiculously simplistic maxims. So you can familiarize yourself with the facts (and fictions) of deciding on a career, we’ve rounded up the worst job myths

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Posted August 28, 2013 by

Mentors Give Valuable Career Guidance and Help You Meet Your Goals

Smiling businessman with his mentor in the background

Smiling businessman with his mentor in the background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The beginning of your career can be exciting — and terrifying. While you’re getting used to a new job and learning valuable skills, you may still have tons of questions about what you should do in the future and the best way of achieving those goals. Although you most likely won’t find a road map or fortune teller to help you answer these questions, you can find the next best thing: a mentor. Mentors can help guide you as you make important career decisions because they’ve been in your shoes, and have gained knowledge and experience by walking the path you’re on now. (more…)

Posted May 20, 2013 by

You’ve Started an Entry Level Job. Learn 10 Tips to Manage Your Career

Congratulations on beginning your new entry level job!  Now, to keep your career moving forward, the following post has 10 tips that can help you manage it successfully.

As a responsible young professional, you pay close attention to the management of your financial assets. You put aside a bit of each paycheck towards savings and paying off student loans, and you watch your 401K like a hawk. You try to follow the advice of financial advisors: implement a long-term strategy, and your diligence will pay off.

 Now here’s a question about an even bigger asset: how well have you managed your own career?

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10 Tips for Managing Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Career