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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 September 03, 2014 by

College Students, Are You Thinking about Getting Jobs? What Your Primary Objective Should Be When Starting School

It’s not too soon for college students to start thinking about jobs.  That said, learn what their main objective should be on campus in the following post.

Millions of you are on campus for the fall. Some of you are newly minted freshman and many others are making your return from summer break. Interests, area of study, and academic environments vary. BUT, you all share the same #1 objective. There are over 21 million of you attending college in America, and over 150 million post-

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Posted January 14, 2014 by

Moving Tips for Incoming Freshmen

Chris Beck

Chris Beck

Moving into a dormitory can be a challenging transition for freshmen going off to a university for the first time. Used to ample space and all the amenities of home, students may find the dorm room so cramped that it is hard to fit the bare necessities, let alone the furniture and equipment that make an anonymous place seem inviting. Moreover, the move itself can be difficult, provoking last minute anxiety about being away from home and family. The following simple tips can help ease the stress of that first move, making it go smoothly for everyone involved. (more…)

Posted September 12, 2013 by

College Freshmen, Avoid These 15 Financial Errors

College student holding money and books, upset by tuition cost and debt

College student holding money and books, upset by tuition cost and debt. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you are a college freshman who wants to make the most of your financial situation, be sure to avoid the 15 mistakes mentioned by Kiplinger in the following post.

·         Spending without a budget—students might not have much experience tracking their spending, but their checking account balance could quickly hit $0 if they don’t take the time to find out where their money is going on a day-to-day basis.

·         Paying for a checking account—it’s become harder to find free checking accounts with no strings attached, but many banks offer free student accounts with no minimum balance. (more…)

Posted August 07, 2013 by

Dorm Living Tips and Advice

Amanda Greene

Amanda Greene

Each year a new set of college students get ready for the great adventure of dorm living. Just as college is a learning experience, new college freshmen moving into a dorm can learn from the advice of other college students who have already “been there and done that.” These students can help new college students learn what dorm life is all about, and provide tips and advice on how to make the most out of this wonderful experience. (more…)

Posted June 25, 2013 by

How Do You Feel About Finding an Entry Level Job with an English Major?

Many college students and recent graduates probably feel uncertain about their chances of finding an entry level job with majors that are in demand.   So, how about those with majors, such as English, where demand may not be the greatest?  Learn more in the following post.

With the economy still sluggish and computer science majors in demand, some college students are rethinking that humanities major they’d hoped to earn, says The Wall Street Journal: Humanities majors at Harvard fell to 20% in 2012 from 36% in 1954. And the trends are similar at colleges across the country. Meanwhile, more incoming freshman are opting out of

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Are English Majors Doomed?

Posted December 19, 2012 by

Are you helping your students to plan ahead? Incoming freshmen are highly receptive to career-planning assistance

CollegeRecruiter.comCollege and universities should not assume that incoming freshmen don’t need help with career planning.  While they may not reach out for assistance, they are open to it, according to the following post.

Released this spring, the new 2012 report The Attitudes and Needs of Freshmen at Mid-Year from Noel-Levitz measures, among other things, the receptivity of incoming freshman students to various types of career-planning assistance. The report contains data from the Mid-Year Student Assessment, which assesses students halfway through the freshman year.

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Are you helping your students to plan ahead? Incoming freshmen are highly receptive to career-planning assistance