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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 July 02, 2014 by

Advance Your Career In Web Designing To Engage In Challenging And Creative Pursuits

Website development drawing

Website development drawing. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When you work as a web designer, you must realize that designing web pages is more than creativity. It supports the business ends of your client. It plays a crucial role in driving e-commerce and building a company’s brand. At times, an impressive and good website is more effective than a brochure. It can influence the target audience and can capture relevant user-data easily. Through targeted marketing, it can improve a firm’s business. The main role of a web designer is to make a product functional and beneficial for a client.  If you are working as a web designer in a company’s ecommerce site your main responsibility is to make buying easy. (more…)

Posted March 11, 2014 by

The “How to” Concerning Body Language on Recent College Graduate Jobs

When working on recent college graduate jobs, it’s important to understand body language.  In the following post, learn the “how to” of body language for certain situations in the workplace.

Did you know humans can produce over 250,000 facial expressions? And can adopt over 1,000 postures? That our eyes account for 82% of the way we process the world around us? This emphasis on visual stimuli, and how we intrepret the facial expressions and posture of others, makes it extra important to be aware of how our body language is

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Posted September 20, 2013 by

Need Some Help on Those Recent Graduate Jobs? How to Ask for It

There may come a time or two when young professionals need some help on their recent graduate jobs.  However, they may not always feel comfortable asking.  In the following post, get some tips to make doing so a little easier.

Whether you’re negotiating your salary, hoping to snag a new freelance client or simply trying to get a coworker to pitch in more on a team project, knowing how to successfully ask for want you want is a crucial skill to have in your career toolbox. But so much goes into a good “ask” that it can

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Posted August 29, 2013 by

Not Enjoying Your Entry Level Job? 6 Ways to Add Some Fun to It

Sometimes, you might find that your work becomes so routine that you lose interest.  So, why not improve your day-to-day tasks on your entry level job?  The following post has six ways to make your position more fun.

If it’s 9:45 a.m. and you’re wondering how you’ll make it through the rest of the day without stapling your hand to your desk, this post is for you. It might be because you’re not feeling challenged, or because you’re not climbing the ladder fast enough, or simply because you’d rather be enjoying the

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Posted August 14, 2013 by

Do You Want Personal Relationships to Benefit You Professionally on Your Entry Level Job? Tips that can Help

If you have an entry level job or another position and need some advice on getting your personal contacts to become clients for your business, the following post offers some helpful tips.

Guest blog by Heather Townsend, co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ and author of ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’, and guest blogger for Big4.com. Whenever I run networking workshops for accountants, I am normally asked this question; “how do I start to have business conversations

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Posted November 21, 2012 by

Campus tours and the Gilligan’s Island dilemma

CollegeRecruiter.comBefore visiting a college campus, prospective college students are likely to want some information about the experience.  The following post helps college recruiters understand how they can assist students and their families ahead of a campus visit.

As the “Token Millennial” in the TargetX office, I’d like to put you in a young adult’s shoes for a minute.

Imagine that you’re 22-years-old, getting ready to take a new job and moving from Vermont to Georgia. After discussing it with your family (and posting it on Facebook of course), what is the first thing you do?

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Campus tours and the Gilligan’s Island dilemma

Posted October 30, 2008 by

Entry Level Job Placement From a Recruiter’s Point of View

Two recruiters from Todays Office Professionals, Sean Rice, district manager in Dallas, TX; and Kenneth Davis, account manager in Alpharetta, GA gave insight to all the things recruiters have to consider when working with entry level job seekers.
1. What is the recruiter’s responsibility to the candidate?
Sean Rice: A recruiter is responsible for assisting candidates in making successful, well-suited job placements. In order to successfully place a candidate on a job order, a recruiter must know how to listen and they need to ask the right questions of their candidates. I believe that recruiters need to establish a trusting relationship with their candidate in order to receive honest information in return. The candidate needs to feel confident in their recruiter, as they are relying on that individual to assist them is finding a job.
Kenneth Davis: I feel that the recruiter’s responsibility to the candidate is to always be honest. I always put myself in the candidate’s shoes and think of the information that I would like to know if meeting with a staffing company, especially if this is the candidate’s first time signing up with a staffing company. It is important to always deliver 100% customer/quality service.

  • Always be up front about the positions that are available (whether they are temporary, temp to hire or direct hire)
  • Discuss the hiring process in detail
  • I explain the benefits of working for a staffing company such as Todays Office Professionals (what makes us stand out from other companies)
  • I really feel that it is important to make sure that the candidate not only has a pleasant experience when coming in for their appointment, but that they leave with all the necessary information they need. By doing this will make the candidate not venture off to another staffing company

2. What should a candidate do if a recruiter isn’t serving his/her best interests?
SR: A candidate should communicate effectively with his or her recruiter if they feel that they are not being assisted properly or that their best interest is not being served. It is essential that the candidate be completely honest with the recruiter as to what their expectations of the recruiter are and make certain that all lines of communication are always open. In order for a successful placement to be made, both a candidate and the recruiter need to be on the same page.
KD: I think that the candidate should bring this issue to the recruiter’s attention in a professional manner because the recruiter may not even be aware that the candidate is not happy with the service.
3. What is the recruiter’s responsibility to employers?
SR: It is the recruiter’s responsibility to do their best to find the appropriate candidates to fill their clients’ orders. Recruiters are responsible for listening to and observing all of the important details of their clients’ needs in order to ensure that they can make a successful match between client and candidate. A recruiter should always make certain that they have a clear understanding of a job description before they present a candidate. They need to be sure to apply thorough follow up and quality assurance checks to the employer.
KD: Outside of delivering 100% customer/quality service, I think that as recruiters we need to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that the client is serviced (“The Todays Way”, which entails weekly quality checks, customer visits etc.)
Always make sure when filling a new order that the client is always aware of the pricing, company policies, benefits (vacation pay, holiday pay etc..). If I am working with a new client, I always set up an appointment to view the facility. This helps me to place the most qualified candidate in the client company’s culture and allows me to better describe the work environment to potential candidates.
4. To the recruiting agency?
SR: A recruiter needs to make certain that the employees they hire are individuals that will represent both the agency and their clients. They need to make certain that they are hiring quality candidates that have the skill sets they can place and sell to customers. The recruiter needs to make certain that they are checking all proper employee identification and that reference checks are being completed to agency standards.
KD: The responsibility a recruiter has to the staffing company they are working for is commitment. It is important for the recruiter to be totally committed to their company’s mission and follow the policies and procedures 100%, while giving both the candidate and client the absolute best quality/customer service.
Entry level job seekers have a lot to think about when deciding to enlist the aid of recruiters in their job searches. But it’s clear that recruiters, too, have a lot to consider before taking on new candidates or clients.