Career Counseling: How To Get A Job You Love
Updated April 28, 2021
Finding a career can be a difficult and intimidating task, as it is wrought with high-impact decisions. Luckily, it is not something that has to be navigated alone.
Whether you are brand new to the job market or a seasoned professional looking to make a transition, career counseling will likely make finding a career feel less arduous and scary.
Below is a brief guide to the concept of career counseling and how you can make the most of it.
What are career counseling services?
In sum, career counseling matches you with a career counselor, who offers guidance related to one’s career. This includes career selection, job application, career coaching, resume development, networking assistance, and anything in between.
Generally, they will be employed by a consulting firm, counseling agency, or institution of higher learning.
Essentially, the mission of career counseling services is to do their absolute best to help people find their dream careers. This career coaching could involve general career guidance for people who do not know what to do next or more specific help with job opportunities.
A career counseling coach can help you determine the following items:
- Career planning and what your hopes are for the coming years.
- Your career goals, both long-term and short-term.
- Carving out your career path, even if the future looks very hazy and intimidating right now.
- Career coaching for people who already have their desired job but are not satisfied with the direction in which it is advancing.
- Career advancement for people who have already started down a certain career path but want to do well going forward.
- Choosing a career or job, even if it is your first one, or making a major career change.
- Career assessment for people who doubt whether or not they are making the right moves.
- Career counseling career services and career connections might help you reach out to and meet people in your desired field.
- Address career concerns and general worries for people who are dealing with career anxiety.
Overall, career counseling services can be extremely beneficial to your career development. Career counseling can even help you find a job that you are really excited about. At the very least, career counseling might help you avoid making majorly wrong decisions, like going into a certain career or line of study for the wrong reasons.
When Should I Go to Career Counseling?
There are multiple situations in which you should seek out career counseling.
College students will frequently seek career counseling at their university if they are getting ready to graduate or looking for an internship.
In the professional world, people who seek career counseling do so when transitioning from one career to another and need to evaluate their options and determine what they can do to expand them.
Others do so when they feel general dissatisfaction with their job or would like to examine their existing options just out of curiosity.
If you are really stuck, career counseling services can be a great way to talk out your concerns and talk to someone who can provide a professional, third-party opinion. It is an excellent way to clear your mind and get your options straight.
While career job counseling will not necessarily solve all your problems, it will at the very least put you in touch with someone who has spoken with many people like you and has learned from all their clients’ experiences. It is like the knowledge of hundreds of careers, accessible in one person.
Overall, career counseling is an excellent resource for anyone who feels overwhelmed by major decisions and wants to talk to someone with a clear head and maybe even get a job out of it!
What should I do before starting career counseling?
While going through the steps with career counseling may help you make good career decisions, a career counselor does not simply wave a wand and place you in your dream career. Rather, the best that they can do is help guide you in the right direction.
Naturally, aiding your choices will be made much easier for them if you come to their consultation with an idea of what you want with your potential career and what you need help with.
However, even if you have no idea what you want to do next, career counseling can help you address career concerns and career uncertainty and leave you with some peace of mind.
One concept that is very worth exploring when starting career counseling is a Japanese theory called Ikigai.
Ikigai, which translates to “a reason for being,” is a framework that can be utilized for finding your ideal career. When thinking about your potential career, there are various factors to consider, and it helps to sit down and organize those factors into specific questions.
According to Ikigai, the four questions that one must ask when considering which career to pursue are as follows:
· What am I good at?
· What do I love doing?
· What does the world need?
· What can I get paid for?
These questions can be fleshed out in multiple ways, and for the concept to have any real promise, it is crucial to examine each one thoroughly and pay mind to any existing sub-questions.
What am I good at?
While this question may seem very straightforward, there is more to it than one might think. That is, in most economies, it is not as simple as what you can do well, but rather can be boiled down to “What am I qualified to do?”.
When considering a job or career, it is important to ask yourself:
- What careers will accept an individual with my education level?
- Within my education, did I have any specialty?
- What careers are suitable for someone with my work experience?
- What skills do I have that are generally understood to make an individual like me more hire-able?
- Do I have a criminal or professional record that might make it difficult for me to get certain jobs?
- How are my references?
Career counseling cannot simply be a fantasy. With a career counseling coach, you can look realistically at your options and find a job that fits your qualifications.
What do I love doing?
This question is likely the most subjective of all the questions to ask yourself and maybe the most difficult to answer. It is often underplayed in certain societies, as there is such a strong push to do what makes money and is within your grasp.
Granted, these things are both very important (they are both parts of Ikigai) but do not account for the whole of one’s well-being.
Furthermore, studies show that job performance is directly correlated with career satisfaction.
So, at the end of the day, loving your career or job, all else equal, will likely be good for your pockets and overall career development. Therefore, when considering a career, you should try your best to answer the questions:
- Do I like working outside or inside?
- Do I want a job where I can be social, or would I prefer some degree of isolation?
- Am I comfortable doing the same thing for long periods of time, or do I need things to be mixed up now and again?
- Do I want a job that is physically or mentally challenging?
- How often and at what hours am I willing and able to work?
Also, do not get stuck on the idea of a traditional office. Many wanderlusts careers available through the internet are great for people who want to travel or break free from those classic office confines.
Remember, it is a myth that you can’t make a living doing what you love!
What does the world need?
Your career goals do not just have to do with you. Your decision will also affect, at the very least, a small community of people.
Asking what the world needs are another question that is difficult to answer and requires an understanding of what you stand for as an individual. Essentially, this is a question of ethics and how they play into your career choice.
This one is tempting to ignore, but much like enjoying your career, believing in your career has proven to bolster performance.
Remember, how you spend your days is how you spend your life. You will inevitably be spending a lot of time working in this career or job, and you want it to be something that you can feel good about.
Some things to consider when pondering this include:
- What is an issue you are passionate about?
- How do you think it could be solved?
- What can you, specifically, contribute to solving certain issues?
- What values do you want your job to play into?
- Are there any companies or industries that you would like to avoid?
What can I get paid for?
In a capitalist country, this often ends up being the most important question. Especially when thought of as “What do I want to be given in exchange for my work” rather than “What can I get paid for?”. A career counseling coach will have insider knowledge of the most lucrative careers that you can find for your skillset.
If you are not sure, then some questions that you may want to ask yourself are:
- Do you need insurance benefits, or would you prefer to take out a private insurance plan?
- Are you living on your own, or do you have dependents?
- Is traveling very important to you? Would you like to look into wanderlust careers to be able to maintain location freedom?
- How does your savings account look right now?
- Am I in any debt?
If you decide to start career counseling, a professional assigned to your case will help you wade through all these difficult questions and do their homework, and keep an eye open for career opportunities that you may be interested in.
What do I do next?
If you thoroughly consider the different aspects of Ikigai, you will be very well prepared to have a meaningful, high-payoff consultation with career counseling services.
However, before starting career counseling, it would behoove you to have absolutely every possible bit of information for them. Make sure that you have a resume fired up, and it would not hurt to come in with an awareness of current job listings.
Remember that finding a new career or making a change within your existing one can be very stressful and intimidating, so it is crucial to remember to get extra help if you need it. If you think that you would benefit from career counseling, Regain.us is an excellent resource for online career counseling and relationship and mental health counseling that allows you to attend a free session before making any commitment. Recall that self-care is crucial if you want to do your absolute best and help you as a candidate!
Career counseling is an excellent option for anyone looking to get more answers and guidance about their career.
You have many options for career counseling, such as:
- Career counseling online
- Career counseling specific to your career or area of expertise
- Career counseling for professional looking to advance in their career
- Career counseling for students, whether they know what to study or are still unclear
- Career counseling for people who have had a recent career upheaval, such as losing a job or switching careers
Most importantly, remember that you are not alone in major life decisions. Career counseling is available and accessible, and it could change your life for the better.
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