You may have heard a friend or colleague mention a career counsellor, or remember you saw a career counsellor at high school to help decide on your future.
If you are struggling with career goal questions or wondering what type of career you would like to undertake than a career counsellor might be an option for you.
Below are some answers to ask yourself before you make an appointment to see a career counsellor:
1. Do I know what a career counsellor does?
A career counsellor will help you identify your vocational strengths, interests, styles, and motivations, then sort through what career paths are most likely to satisfy your particular values and needs. A career counsellor will use a number of techniques to identify what your strengths, interests and values are. Career counsellors will not apply for jobs for you. They will teach you the tools and show you different techniques so you develop lifelong skills to use throughout your working life.
2. What do I ultimately want to get from career counselling?
Each client has their own reasons for seeing a career counsellor. Some go to identify new careers of interest, whilst other people are trying to break into a certain industry and need some guidance on how to do this.
Make sure you think about what you’re basically trying to achieve: are you wanting to make a shift within your current field, or do you want to make a complete change in a totally new direction? Are you looking for a quick fix, like a new job in the next six months, or to create a 5 year plan? Do you need some help creating a work/life balance? Write down some thoughts and review them over a few days to make sure you have a purpose to seeing a career counsellor.
3. How much, where, for how long?
How much are you able or willing to pay a career counsellor? Your job is how you earn income so why not invest in your career as you would a car or holiday. Consider what you prefer if geography isn’t a concern, Career Guidance Australia offers face to face and Skype appointments. The amount of sessions also depends on the goals you have for counselling. Sometimes it may be two or three sessions however other clients may use a career counsellor over a longer period. When you share your goals with your career counsellor they should be able to give an indication on how many sessions may be needed.
4. Can anyone I know recommend a career counsellor?
Career counselling is a very personal exchange, so a recommendation from a friend is a good place to start. However, if you don’t have any recommendations make sure you at least choose a career counsellor who is a member of the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA). Members of CDAA have the experience and qualifications required to ensure you are getting the most value from your career counsellor.