Most people would rather find a root than hunt for a new job. Whether you are laid off, changing jobs, or looking for a better opportunity, job hunting can be frustrating and intimidating. And with more than 230,000 people losing their jobs this year, the competition for employment is likely to be huge. People who want to increase their employment opportunities may want to consider finding a career counselor.
What Careers Counselors Do
Career counselors can help people assess their skills and abilities to find a job that fits their goals and interests. They work as coaches, teachers, and mentors for people with a variety of work experience. A qualified counselor should be able to assess the characteristics and clients of the client to help guide them to the right place. And they should be good listeners who are able to communicate well with people who may be experiencing severe stress and uncertainty about their work status – and general health.
Some career counselors may have some degree in counseling or related fields, but others may have experience in a particular field that provides expertise to help others. A career counselor usually has a very high level of expertise in career counseling and meets other qualifications, such as licensing by a state board.
Who Should Consider Consideration?
Not everyone who wants to change jobs needs to see a career counselor. But people who are not sure where they are going in their careers and need help to focus can benefit from working with a coach. Employees who are considering getting help for their work should ask themselves:
1. Am I satisfied with the work I am currently doing?
2. What do I like and dislike about my current job?
3. How can I improve my current job?
4. Do I have the lifestyle balance I want?
5. What are my short-term and long-term goals for my career?
6. What other jobs should I have in my career?
People who have not had to look for work in many years may not be equipped for their search and may be the perfect choice for job counseling. Companies across America cut jobs, forcing more workers to dust off expired resumes. A qualified counselor can help compile a resume, develop consultation strategies, conduct experimental tests, or explore new career paths. The right trainer can help a person to evaluate the tasks he or she has never imagined that would allow them to use their current skills.
For people looking for a completely new job, a mentor can help them decide if they have the necessary skills or need to continue their education. Some people may find that the type of work they used to do is out of date. Many unskilled workers have found themselves forced to quit work that cannot be done by a computer or a machine. A career counselor should listen to the needs of employees and assess their strengths and weaknesses to help them move on to a new job. That could mean directing clients to areas where they can learn about new technologies or work styles in their preferred fields.
Richard Nelson Bolles writes What Color Is Your Parachute? 2008: Workbook for Job-Hunters and Job Transformers “Researchers found some years ago that while the average job search took about fifteen to nineteen weeks, depending on the economy, one-third to one-half of all work – hunters simply gave up the second month of work. Finding support from a career counselor can help some people stay focused on their job search and not be easily discouraged. The right trainer can also redirect job hunting efforts that have stopped or not been productive.
Moving to the next level
Regular transfer promotion is like going to spring never being asked to dance. It’s not fun! Employees who have difficulty improving their work may need help finding out what they need to do differently so that they can be seen by senior people. For some people, it may be as simple as taking a few courses to learn the necessary skills. Some may need professional advice on how to dress, talk, or do better in their work.
Setting Job Goals
Counselors can also help if people just want to make sure they set the right goals for their work. They may not want to change companies, but they may be more concerned about protecting the security of their future jobs. A person who has not bothered to adapt to changes in his industry, learn new skills, or interact with influential peers is more likely to fall under the ax of job loss than someone who has worked to keep up the competition.
Choosing the Right Advisor
It is important for people to find a career counselor who fits their goals and has a good reputation. A good counselor should:
1. Disclose their terms of service and fees in advance
2. Provide a copy of their code of conduct
3. Charges only for services provided
4. Let clients choose the services they want
5. Do not make unrealistic promises.
They should also discuss what kind of commitment clients should expect to make in their counseling sessions and job search strategies.
While career counselors can help they may not have all the answers. They can help people assess their strengths and weaknesses to choose a career that fits their different goals and needs. As with all other counseling relationships, it can take more than one effort to find the right person. People looking for a career coach can check with their former employers, local employment institutions, universities, alumni groups, churches, and other organizations for recommendations.