What is Career Counselling?

If you have been wondering, “what is career counselling?” this detailed article is for you. A lot of students assume a counselor is affiliated to a college or company and counseling involves them promoting the college or field of work, but that is not the case. Career counselling involves a trained and experienced counselor who helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses and then advises you about career options that suit your strengths and interests, and that are trending and lucrative options for a bright future.

The future depends on what you do today.

– Mahatma Gandhi

The counselling session brings to light your personality, your areas of interests, motivators, exam scores, etc., helping you get a good understanding of your capabilities as a student. This is especially important today because many young students prefer to pursue unconventional careers (if this is you, read this article for more insights: The Ultimate Startup Business Plan for Solopreneurs which they need to be sure of right from the start.

Before we get into the importance of career counselling, let’s fully understand the right way to career counselling.

Take a look at this example of a typical career guidance session: Career counselling session by Mr. Amit Raizada

The Counsellor & the Right Way to Career Counselling

Let’s start with the career counsellor. While schools and colleges today have a career counsellor, it is important to check if they are qualified professionals. A ‘qualified’ career counsellor is one who holds at least a Postgraduate degree in Psychology or Applied Psychology, and/or a diploma in Counselling Psychology. This is important because, to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, they need to be experts in psychology. The next important aspect of a good career counsellor is experience counselling in your field of interest (engineering, medical science, arts, etc.). Once the counsellor has assessed your personality and goals, they should be able to guide you in the right direction in your field of interest, for which they need to have industry knowledge. These are two things every student should ask their counsellor before committing to a session, their qualifications, and domain expertise.

The Environment

The next important aspect of professional career counselling is the environment. Every counselling session must be conducted in a safe and secure room or environment. Qualified psychologists understand this and are obligated to confidentiality, which is why we mentioned earlier that students should go to a counsellor who has a degree in psychology. You should feel safe enough to reveal information that is important to analyze your personality in order to provide proper counselling. Feel free to ask for a better venue if you are not comfortable.

Download Detailed Curriculum and Get Complimentary access to Orientation Session

Date: Online &nbsp 20th May (Wed)
Time: 3 PM IST

Agreement and Trust

A successful career counselling session is only possible when there is absolute and mutual trust between the counsellor and the student. Although a psychologist is obligated to confidentiality, signing an agreement is better as it will further help you be at ease and get more involved, with the confidence of legal confidentiality.

Psychometric Assessments Tools

You, as a student, should ask the counsellor what assessment tools they will use to counsel you. These are personality and behaviour analysis tools that counsellors use in order to assess you properly. This will also illustrate what results from you can expect from the counselling session.

Now that you know what career counselling is, the importance of career counselling, how it should be approached, we also want to give you some insights on what NOT to do when it comes to your career:

1) Do not take advice from unqualified or inexperienced people.

2) Do not take up a career just because your friends have taken it up.

3) Do not opt for a career simply because it pays well. Job satisfaction will eventually become a more important factor than money, which you will anyway be able to earn as you progress.

4) Do not get impatient with the process. Many students even take a year off to think about the best way forward.

5) Do not consult more than two guidance counsellors, or you will only get confused with the excessive advice. Make sure the ones you approach are well qualified and experienced.

6) Do not exclude your parents from the process, especially if you wish to choose an unconventional career path. For example, you might be interested in writing and might want to become a blogger (which is quite a lucrative profession these days: Top 21 Indian Blogger Earnings that Will Amaze You. A guidance counsellor is better equipped to convince your parents.

The Importance of Career Counselling

importance of career counselling

Career counselling is extremely beneficial for anyone uncertain about the next step, and this includes students and working professionals looking to change career paths. This is evident from the benefits we listed when we spoke about ‘what is career counselling’.  A career counselling session also called career guidance session, helps you understand some of the following important questions:

1) Your areas of interest and passions

2) What work you find enjoyable, and also what you don’t

3) Your strengths and your skills

4) Your weaknesses

5) A better understanding of your qualifications and opportunities available to you

6) What you would consider as job satisfaction (a relaxed job, a challenging one, etc.) and your needs in life (security, family, savings, etc.)

7) How much you need to earn in order to feel satisfied and successful

8) The different job options based on your strengths and qualifications

9) The different steps you need to take in order to get the job you need (if you already know what you need)

Getting this invaluable information is the primary importance of career counselling. With this knowledge, you can make a very informed decision about the direction you want to proceed in, and the career that will fulfill you in life. The career guidance session will also help you identify areas in life that you need improvement in, and will give you the tools to improve.

You should be able to receive the following from a successful career counselling session:

1) An understanding of your personality, strengths, and weaknesses

The purpose of career guidance is to find out the best career path for you based on your personality. This requires an understanding of your personal traits, which a qualified career guidance counsellor will be able to provide.

2) A career direction and resources

By understanding your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and qualifications, the career counsellor will provide suggestions on the different career options you have available to you, also the steps to move forward.

3) Helps with personality improvement

Career counselling is first and foremost a counselling session. The psychologist/counsellor will help you identify unhealthy personality and behavioural traits and give you the tools to correct them, helping you improve yourself.

4) Provides Support

While students always have the support of their family and friends, they might not have the knowledge or resources to guide you with your career especially if they don’t have the knowledge of the domain you have chosen. A career guidance counsellor is someone you can trust and consult at various stages of your career.

Download Detailed Curriculum and Get Complimentary access to Orientation Session

Date: Online &nbsp 20th May (Wed)
Time: 3 PM IST

How to Select a Career Guidance Counsellor

Take the time to follow each of these steps before you commit to a career counsellor:

1) A full-time, trained counsellor willing to invest time

In very rare cases, a student is able to get all the information they need in just one session. In most cases, however, career counselling takes time. It is therefore important to choose a career counsellor who does just that so they take it seriously, and someone willing to give you the time you need.

2) Experienced with industry knowledge

We mentioned this earlier, the counsellor you choose should firstly hold a degree in psychology and have past counselling experience. Along with this, check to find out if they have knowledge in the industry you are looking to work/study in. A counsellor might be good at psychoanalysis but might not have industry knowledge which will only partially help you.

3) Someone with a good reputation

You can look for references to find out about the counsellor you have chosen. This might be difficult because the counsellor probably not give you references as they are bound to confidentiality (which is a good sign), but asking other students should help. You can also look for online reviews, but do not blindly follow them. The next point is very important if you feel your sessions are not going well.

4) Do not hesitate to cancel or change a counsellor

Counselling, in general, is a very personal process, and your counsellor and you need to have unquestioning trust and rapport. If after a few sessions you don’t trust them, there is no rapport, or you don’t get any value, do not hesitate to cancel and look for a better counsellor.

Career Counselling in India

career counselling in india

You will be surprised to know that career counselling is a standard procedure for students before picking a career in most countries like America, England, New Zealand, etc. Career counselling in India, unfortunately, is just an optional procedure that many students are unaware of and in some cases, is seen as something negative because of the false assumptions around the term ‘counselling’.

Career counselling in India can be the most important decision you make as a student. It will help you pick a career path that will define your future and take you one direction that will lead to a happy and fulfilling life.

Even though there isn’t enough hype about career counselling in India, there are many qualified expert professionals and career counselling agencies that are helping hundreds of thousands of students pick the right career.

Here’s a list of some of the top career counsellors in India according to YourStory:

1) Amrita Singh

Amrita Singh is a counsellor in Delhi who has her own counselling and guidance set-up by the name ‘Edu Career-wise’. She is a career counsellor, coach, mentor, and psychologist by profession with over 11 years of experience. She has a Ph.D. and MA in Psychology and has also acquired a Green Belt Global Career Counsellor certification from the University of California, Los Angeles Extension ( UCLA Extension) & University.

2) Anuradha Kishore

Anuradha Kishore has a Bachelor’s degree in Science acquired from Bangalore University and is also a Certified Global Career Counsellor, certified by the UCLA Extension & University. In addition, she has accumulated over 20 years of experience in the finance and pharmaceutical domains.

3) Rahul Dasondi

Rahul Dasondi is an academically qualified Mechanical Engineer and also a certified Global Career Counsellor, certified by the University of California, Los Angeles Extension and University. He works in Madhya Pradesh and is also the founder of ‘Career Achiever 360’.

4) Padmavathi Devarakonda

Padmavathi Devarakonda has a Master’s degree in Arts and Philosophy. Her keen interest in sports, especially Tennis, has helped her acquire immense knowledge about sports, which is her area of expertise when it comes to counselling.

5) Jagadish Kund

Jagadish Kund has a PhD and has taught Undergraduate and Postgraduate level students. Jagadish is a certified Green Belt in Career Counselling, certified from University, a certified Global Career Counsellor from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA Extension) & University, and also has an ACC certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). His expertise is in helping students looking to study abroad understand the process and requirements to apply to global universities.

Download Detailed Curriculum and Get Complimentary access to Orientation Session

Date: Online &nbsp 20th May (Wed)
Time: 3 PM IST

Conclusion

It is important for you as a student to understand the importance of career counselling. It is extremely beneficial in architecting your career as per your personality, strengths, and interests. But the first and foremost step is understanding that career counselling is a normal step that should be taken ideally after 10th or latest by the end of 12th. Do not be intimidated by the term ‘counselling’ which has an unwanted stigma attached to it in India. Career counselling is a step to select the right career, which will determine the course of your life.

career counselling

Look for these key points in a successful career guidance session:

– It gives you in-depth information and not just general surface-level knowledge.
– It takes time but results in fruitful information.
– It is not a job promise; it only helps you identify the right career path.

Expert professionals do not ‘experiment.’ They have the tools to analyze you and give you specific advice. If you’re not getting this, change your counsellor.

Finally, although career guidance is best sought at a young age, it is never too late. If you’re a working professional, irrespective of your age or professional experience, you can seek professional guidance and change your career path. It is better to change paths and be happy than continue in a career that is not fulfilling.

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