Most people would probably get a root canal than hunt for a new job. Whether a person has been downsized, is changing careers, or just wants to find a better opportunity, hunting for a job can be frustrating and intimidating. And since more than 230,000 people have lost their jobs this year, the competition for employment is likely to be fierce. People who want to increase their odds for getting hired may want to consider finding a career counselor.
What Career Counselors Do
Career counselors can help people evaluate their skills and abilities to find a job that fits their goals and interests. They serve as coaches, teachers, and mentors to people with all different types of job experience. A qualified counselor should be able to assess a client's behaviors and abilities to help direct them to an appropriate position. They also should be good listeners who can communicate well with people who may be dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty about their job situation – and life in general.
Some career counselors may have a degree in counseling or a related field, but others may have experience in a particular field that gives them the expertise to help others. A master career counselor generally has the highest level of expertise in career counseling and has met other qualifications, such as being licensed by a state board.
Who Should Consider Counseling?
Not everyone looking to change jobs needs to see a career counselor. But people who are not sure where they're headed in their careers and need help focusing may benefit from working with a coach. Workers who are thinking about getting help with their career should ask themselves:
1. Am I satisfied with my current job?
2. What do I like or dislike about my current job?
3. How can I improve my current job?
4. Do I have the work-life balance I want?
5. What are my short- and long-term goals for my career?
6. What other jobs can I qualify for with my skills?
Downsized in America
People who have not had to look for a job in many years may be ill-equipped for their search and may be perfect candidates for career counseling. Companies all across America are cutting jobs, forcing many workers to dust off outdated resumes. A qualified counselor can help put together a resume, practice interviewing techniques, administrator assessment tests, or evaluate new career paths. The right coach can help a person evaluate jobs that they've never considered that may allow them to use their current skills.
For people who are looking for a whole new career, a counselor can help them decide whether they have the necessary skills or need to continue their education. Some people may find that the type of work they've been doing has become obsolescent. Many unskilled workers have found themselves forced out of jobs that can be done by a computer or a machine. A good career counselor should listen to workers' needs …