Career Counseling: How To Get A Job You Love

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated March 11, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Finding a career can be a difficult and intimidating task, as it is often wrought with high-impact decisions. However, it is not necessarily a choice that must be navigated alone. Whether you are brand-new to the job market or a seasoned professional looking to make a transition, in-person or online career counseling can make finding a career you love feel less arduous and scary.

Need a judgment-free space to talk about your career?

What are career counseling services?

In general, career counseling matches you with a career counselor, who can offer guidance related to one’s career path. This may include career selection, job applications, career coaching, resume development, networking assistance, and anything and everything in between. Generally, a career counselor is employed by a consulting firm, counseling agency, or institution of higher learning.

Essentially, the typical mission of career counseling services is 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 need more specific help with job opportunities.

A career counseling coach can help you determine the following:

  • 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 they are making the right moves
  • Making career connections so you can reach out to and meet people in your desired field
  • Addressing career concerns and general worries for people who are experiencing 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 passionate about. At the very least, career counseling may help you avoid making poor decisions, such as 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 might seek out career counseling.

College students frequently seek career counseling at their university when they are getting ready to graduate or looking for an internship.

In the professional world, people who seek career counseling tend to do so when transitioning from one career to another. They may need to evaluate their options and determine what they can do to expand them.

Getty / D3sign

Others may do so when they feel general dissatisfaction with their job or would like to examine their existing options out of curiosity.

If you are feeling stuck, career counseling services can be a great way to discuss your concerns and talk to someone who can provide a professional, unbiased opinion. Career counseling can be an excellent way to clear your mind and understand your options.

While career job counseling will not necessarily solve all your problems, it can put you in touch with someone who has spoken with many people like you and has learned from their clients’ experiences. 

Overall, career counseling can be an excellent resource for anyone who feels overwhelmed by major career decisions and wants to speak with a professional about 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 may not simply wave a wand and place you in your dream career. Rather, they generally do what they can to guide you in the right direction.

If you come to career counseling with an idea of what you want out of your potential career and what you need help with, it can be beneficial.

However, even if you don't know what you want to do next, career counseling can help you address career concerns and uncertainty and leave you with some peace of mind.

One concept that may be 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 often various factors to consider, and it can help 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 expanded in multiple ways, and it can be crucial to examine each one thoroughly. You may find it helpful to use these questions as journaling prompts and see where the answers overlap, as that may indicate the best career options for you. Even if you don’t find any concrete answers from this exercise, your journal entries can be a great starting point for a discussion with a career counselor.

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo
Need a judgment-free space to talk about your career?

Other forms of preparation

If you thoroughly consider the different aspects of Ikigai, you will likely be prepared to have a meaningful, high-payoff consultation with a career counselor.

However, before starting career counseling, it can be helpful to update your resume and do some research on current job listings in the industries you’re interested in.

Get support for career planning with online counseling

Remember that finding a new career or making a change within your existing one can be very stressful and intimidating for anyone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you feel you’d benefit from some professional help in the form of career counseling or even therapy. One option may be to connect with a career counselor online through an online therapy platform. This can be a convenient way to have helpful discussions from the comfort of your home at a time that fits your schedule.

As a study explains, online career counseling can be highly effective and often serves as a valuable alternative to traditional in-person career counseling. If you feel lost or stuck career-wise, we encourage you to reach out and get the professional guidance you deserve.


Career counseling can be an excellent option for anyone looking to get more answers and guidance about their career.

You may have many options for career counseling, such as:

  • Career counseling online
  • Career counseling specific to your career or area of expertise
  • Career counseling for professionals 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, please remember that you are not alone in major life decisions. Career counseling can be available in many forms, and it may change your life for the better by helping you make the choices that are right for you.

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