What is Career Counseling?
Career Development is a lifelong process that, whether you know it or not, actually started when you were born! There are a number of factors that influence your career development, and the choice of a viable option that includes your interests, abilities, values, personality and circumstances. Every day different careers and professional opportunities are emerging. No matter how much you want to do all of them you will have to prioritize and choose the best option for you.
Career Counseling is a process that will help you to explore and understand yourself and the “world of work” in order to make rational career, educational, and life decisions.
In very basic terms Career Counseling is finding the answers to some very common questions:
- What field of study should I pursue?
- What if I make a choice and then change my mind?
- What if my career goals are different from what my family thinks they should be?
- What type of work environment fits me best?
Ask all the grownups you know what they wanted to become when they were young. The probability is very few of them actually became what they aspired towards in childhood. This may not fundamentally be a reflection of their failure – but an important indication of change. Situations change, ideas change and so do people and their circumstances. This is the case for most people. Some of you may work in traditional professions and move along a
well planned path. But many could end up working in professions that you or even your parents may have never heard about today.
Career planning can be a challenging task as individuals are faced with choices, changes and obstacles; at an age where the knowledge and awareness is meager and wisdom yet not nature.
Importance of Career Counseling:
The goal of career counseling is to give candidate the opportunity to begin exploring the elements of a career that make sense or seem to fit. With this aspiration and particular abilities, strengths and weaknesses area has to match with “world of work”. Career counseling sessions helps the students to know the pros and cons of the different streams and the career path it offers, thus the students can make an informed choice, and get a career assessment that helps avoid the risk of change in career path later in life.
Many times, students grow up with preconceived notions – “I must become a doctor, since my father is one”. Good counseling can quell these notions, and help the student view himself for the individual that he really is.
Often, students haven’t developed a clear idea of what they’d want to study by the time they’re due to make those choices. This isn’t necessarily due to any lack of interest; one is simply too young and ill informed. Seeking career counseling leads to clarity of thought in a student helps to identify interests, pick the appropriate subjects, and finally, make the choice of the right career.
So career counseling and guidance is needed to help organize ones thoughts and ideas on decisions pertaining to future career and gainful occupation. It can boost the morale and confidence and give new directions to the students which will be beneficial not only to the individual but also for the whole society.
History of Career Counseling
6 stages in the development of career counseling:
1st stage (1890–1919), placement services were offered for an increasingly urban and industrial society.
2nd stage (1920–1939), educational guidance through the elementary and secondary schools became the focal point.
3rd stage (1940–1959) saw the focus shift to colleges and universities and the training of counselors.
4th stage (1960–1979) was the boom for counseling and the idea of work having meaning in a person’s life came to the forefront; organizational career development began during this period.
5th stage (1980–1989) saw the beginning of the transition from the industrial age to the information age and the growth of both the independent practice of career counseling and outplacement counseling.
6th stage (1990—present), with its emphasis on technology and changing demographics, has seen an increased sophistication in the uses of technology, the internationalization of career counseling, the beginnings of multicultural career counseling, and the focus on the school-to-job transition.