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Career Counseling Benefits More Than Just the Professional You

shutterstock_3221909Your career represents much more than an aptitude and a set of skills. Rather, the profession you choose is a unique fusion of personality, aversions, dreams, ambitions, and personal ethics. Here’s how to make career counseling a point of positive growth in your working life and beyond.

Current economic challenges have left many once-thriving professionals in the lurch. Hot industries have cooled; the slope of the corporate ladder has steepened; and new grads are finding a less-than-welcoming hiring market. And more than ever before, people are reevaluating their professional direction.

Career Counseling to the Rescue
If you’re at a career crossroads, taking action may mean stepping back and reassessing yourself, which is pretty difficult. A career counselor can help. Whether it’s simply reworking your resume or conducting a total professional overhaul, career counseling may be just what you need to make better decisions and get yourself back on track for success. Here’s what career counseling is, what it isn’t, and how it works.

Just What is Career Counseling?
Career counseling works basically like any other form of professionally-guided assistance. You’ll work one-on-one with a trained professional on how to handle the myriad challenges of building a successful career. The CareersToday blog recommends career counseling if you’ve experienced any of the following:

Just a few of the professional resources for finding a certified career counselor include the National Board for Certified Counselors, the National Career Development Association or the Career Counselors Consortium.

Moving Beyond the Hype
Georgina Laidlaw, blogger at Web Worker Daily, gives her own personal take on how career counseling improved her career prospects. After a period of what she describes as a lack of professional direction, she decided to try career counseling at the urging of a colleague. She pushed past the uncertainties and misconceptions of the process to find real instruction on how to align her strategies and structure a plan for success. While she admits that career counseling is no magic bullet (read: you only get out what you put in), the result was a reinvigoration and renewal–feelings you may very well be searching for yourself.

Career Counseling in Action
Perhaps applying career counseling to a particularly difficult challenge may put things into perspective. Take the job interview, for example. If this in an area in which you struggle, your counselor may conduct a mock interview to help you work through the kinks. The RiseSmart blog reveals how a mock interview can be a valuable learning tool.

The bottom line is that not everyone may need–or want–to open themselves up enough for career counseling. Some consider the time and energy expended to be better spent on actual career growth. But if you think you might benefit from a trained, objective assessment of your professional direction–this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Publish date: October 13, 2009