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Career Counselling

 

Guest articles > Career Counselling

 

by: Margaret Francis, MSW, M.Phil,PGDCIM

 

Career counselling is nowadays an emerging field in counselling, which gives relevant information regarding different career. Career Guidance helps the students to select the career according to their choice and interest. Career counselling is now being increasingly stressed as an integral part of education. In order to secure the right job, the right career choice is foremost in the minds of every job seeker with /with out professional qualifications. The demands of the modern age are very complex. In addition to the right kind of job, and the right approach in this direction.

The original approach to formal vocational counseling is generally traced back to Frank Parsons (1909). Parsons became interested in unemployed school leavers and developed a counseling service in the Boston Civic House, a social settlement. In 1909, he published a book (Choosing a Vocation) in which he structured the three steps of vocational counseling as he viewed them in practice: self-analysis, occupational analysis, and true reasoning or counseling to relate personal and occupational information. Since Parsons' original contribution, a variety of approaches to career counseling have been developed representing a rich range of intellectual perspectives. Differential, developmental, social learning, cognitive, sociological, economic, and mathematical models have all been used.

Career Counselling can be defined as the process of helping and enabling people in their career development. Career counselling and guidance may involve both face-to-face help or may be mediated through telephone, letter, text, or even the internet. However, most important of all remains the one-to-one interview between the career counsellor and the client. A career counsellor would be facing clients who are making career decisions and choices or coping with life changes, which relate to their working life -- career changes, redundancy and unemployment.

In 1981, Crites used this model and methods of career counseling to define the unique parameters of a given career counseling approach and provide a schema for synthesizing the approaches (trait-and-factor, client-centered, psychodynamic, developmental, and behavioral). The methods of career counseling are more pragmatic than theoretical and attempt to translate the model into operational terms (Crites, 1981). They include the interview techniques used by the counselor, the test-interpretation procedures engaged in by the client and counselor, and the acquisition and use of occupational information.

Career Counselling is a life long process since the individual choose an occupation, prepare for it, and make progress in it. Career Counselling has to do with knowing their interest, selection of their subject, formation of their study habit and make them progress in those subject and activities and attain the ultimate aim of getting good career as per their wish.

It is concerned primarily with helping the individual to make decisions and choices involved in planning for future and to form career decisions and choice necessary in affecting career adjustment. It stands to take necessary care of the interest of the individual.

Career counselling is a personalized process that combines both intuitive and cognitive techniques to help to understand oneself, explore career options, and clarify and attain desired career goals. The processes of career counselling offer insight, guidance and support to help students to understand and manage different career and lifestyle issues.
Jones et al. (1970) proposed that the following five assumptions underlie the trait-factor conception of vocational development:

  • Vocational development is largely a cognitive process in which the individual uses reasoning to arrive at his decision
  • Occupational choice is a single event
  • There is a single right goal for everyone making decisions about work.
  • A single type of person works in each job.
  • There is an occupational choice available to each individual

Career counselling and guidance generally involves face-to-face interaction and interaction through telephone, letters, or Internet. However, most important of all is the one-to-one interaction between the career counsellor and the client. A career counsellor deals with people who are making career decisions and choices or coping with changes like- choice of subjects, career changes, and redundancy. The matter of career decision, and a student's direction and progress towards professional goals often play a crucial role in the development of individual identity and purpose, as well as positive self-esteem and interpersonal functioning.

 

Career counselling acts as a process of self-exploration and interest, identification of the client and helps in career choice and decision making. Career counselling, thus spans both the internal psychology of the person and external context of education and employment.

Career counsellor helps the student s to evaluate their abilities, interests, talents and personality characteristic to develop realistic academic and career goals. Career counsellor also helps the individuals make career decisions after exploring and evaluating their education, training, work experience, interest, skills and personal traits and arrange for aptitude and achievement tests. This helps the individual to develop job search skills such as resume writing and interviewing techniques.

 

Career counsellors should know in broad terms how one occupational field differs from another and the different levels each jobs within each field. A wide knowledge of career opportunities is essential for career counsellors, so that the counsellor will be able to give appropriate suggestions at the career planning stage and also assesses the client’s view of the opportunities and can be provide information on existing career. Based on the client’s wish, counsellor can help him/her to choose a career according to his/her wish.

In the College, the management should take the initiative in installing career/behavioural counselling as part of its infrastructure. It should convince the students and the parents about the advantages of counselling by removing any misgivings and being open about the system. A broad knowledge of career opportunities will be available through effective career counselling.

Qualifications for a career counselor

Searching for a professional to help improve any aspect of your life takes time. It is important to know about the person's qualifications, experience, and style of practice. Even though all counselors are different, and your session should be tailored to your specific needs, there are some actions that all counselors should be able to perform

  • Conduct personal counseling sessions to help you clarify career goals
    • Administer and interpret tests to assess your skills and interests, to help identify career options
    • Plan career exploratory activities through assignments
    • Provide exercises for improving decision-making skills
    • Help you to develop a personal career plan
    • Teach strategies for job search
  • Skills and assist in the development of resumes.
    • Provide support for those experiencing job stress, job loss, and career transition
      Like other professions, career counseling has filled with guidelines, certifications, special distinctions, and ethical standards. Most counselors have some level of certification.

Career Consultant

The recent years the new title “consultant “popularised .the consultants have special insight into the field though they don’t have related academic degrees. But they are offering good practical support in real life training.

Career Counselor

Career Counsellors are professionals who hold degrees in related areas, such as Counseling or Psychology, who have chosen to concentrate in the field of career development. Their strength is the academic training they receive in counseling, helping them to understand how different personalities work in a professional setting. As counselors advance in education and experience level, there are higher levels of recognition they may receive.

As per the National Career Development Association, a person could be certified on one of the following levels as a Career Counsellor.

  1. The National Certified Career Counsellor is a title held by a person who has a graduate degree in counselling or a related professional field from an accredited institution, completed supervised counselling experience which included career counselling, acquired a minimum of three years of full-time career development work experience, and successfully completed a knowledge-based certification examination.
  2. In 1999, the NCDA retired this title, and made all who held it into Master Career Counsellors. Other qualifications, professionals hold a master's degree in counselling or related field and have been active as an NCDA member for a minimum of two years. An MCC has at least three years of experience in career counselling and must successfully complete a supervised career counselling practicum. MCCs are skilled in administering and interpreting career assessments and provide the highest quality of career counselling services
  3. The Master Career Development Professional (MCDP) is an NCDA member who holds a master's degree or higher in counselling or related field. The MCDP has at least three years of postmaster’s career development experience in training, teaching, program development, or materials development.
  4. The Fellow is an NCDA member of professional distinction. A Fellow designation recognizes outstanding and substantial contributions to career development in science, teaching and training, practice, service, policy development, and political action.

Holland Theory

Based on Holland Theory related to career, there are six basic types individuals like Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. They prefer their career as per their basic type.

The descriptions below are giving a brief idea of each of the types.

Realistic type individual’s prefers the careers like mechanical engineer, production planner, building inspector, safety engineer, and marine surveyor etc. They enjoy working outdoors, and like to work with tools and machines. This type of people generally prefers to work with things rather than people.

Investigative Individuals consisting of this category are biochemist, orthodontist, anthropologist, economist, researcher, and management analyst. They have usually has mathematical and scientific abilities, enjoys working alone, enjoys research, and likes to solve problems. They prefer working with ideas rather than with people or things.

Artistic Individuals likes careers such as architect, copywriter, technical editor, story editor, composer, stage director, interior decorator, and commercial designer. They enjoys creating original work, and has a good imagination. They prefer to enjoy working with ideas rather than things.

Social type individual choose social careers such as teacher, clinical psychologist, psychiatric caseworker, personnel manager, paralegal assistant, and speech therapist. The have social skills, is interested in human relationships, and likes to help others with problems. They work with people rather than with things.
Enterprising individuals prefer the careers such as public relations representative, financial planner, real estate agent, sales representative, stockbroker, and attorney. They have skill in leadership and speaking abilities. They likes to work with people and ideas rather than things.

Conventional individuals prefer the careers such as accountant, cost clerk, bookkeeper, budget analyst, and business programmer. They enjoys working with words and numbers.

 

Vocational development is the process by which individuals choose a career path or occupation. Individuals continue to develop vocationally throughout their lives, and many have several major careers as personal needs and interests change.

Choosing a Career

The career counsellor should assess following areas through that the counsellor can help the clients while choosing a career.

  • aptitude
  • skills
  • personality
  • The level of responsibility that suits him/her
  • interests
  • needs
  • priorities

Evaluating a Job Offer

The career counsellor also able to help the counsellee to assess the job offer. A good job offers give opportunities to learn new skills, increase earnings, and rise to positions of greater authority, responsibility, and prestige. When they receive a job offer, they will be able to take apt decision that whether they accept the job or not.
Thus, a career counsellor plays a very vital role in taking career decision by the counsellee.
 


Contributor: Margaret Francis, MSW, M.Phil, PGDCIM, Qualified Social Worker & Counsellor, Registered under GSCC UK

Published here on: 20-Jan-07

Classification: Counselling

Word document: Career Counselling.doc

 

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