Career guidance consists of services that help people successfully manage their career development. Career development, an aspect of human development, is the process through which an individual's work identity emerges. Although it will occur on its own as you mature, you may benefit from getting assistance as you navigate through this process, which can be quite confusing at times.
Many people seek out assistance from career development professionals only when they are trying to choose a career for the first time, or perhaps when they are going through a transition. The intent of career guidance, however, is to provide support to individuals throughout their entire lives. Let's take a look at when, during your career, you should get help.
Get Help When You Are Choosing a Career
Far too many people are dissatisfied with what they do for a living. Why is that? They make mistakes when choosing a career and end up in an occupation that isn't a good fit. That's not surprising since going through the career planning process, including the four steps one should take when choosing a career, is difficult. It may seem like it would just be easier to pick an occupation out of a hat.
While making a random choice may be simpler, it is certainly not wise. Given the amount of time you spend at work, you should do everything possible to make a well-informed decision. Getting help from a professional who provides career guidance can be the difference between ending up in a satisfying career or one that makes you miserable.
A career development professional, such as a career counselor, may use self-assessment instruments to help you learn about your interests, values, skills, and personality type. After coming up with a list of occupations that seem suitable for you based on the results, he or she can show you how to explore them and then weed out the ones that are not as good a fit as others. Then, the counselor can help you create a career action plan that will allow you to pursue the occupation you chose.
Get Help With Your Job Search
What is the point of choosing a vocation if you don't know how to find a job? Career guidance also consists of providing job search assistance when you are looking for your first job or any subsequent ones. How we look for work has changed significantly over the last decades, and it continues to change. Career guidance professionals keep up-to-date on the best methods to use when job searching.
A career counselor will show you what resources to use to locate job announcements. He or she will help you write an effective resume and will teach you how to network. When it comes time to go on job interviews, you can also get advice on how to best answer questions and negotiate a job offer.
Get Mid-Career Advice
In addition to getting help with matters that involve beginning your career, such as choosing a vocation or securing your first job, you can also get direction about things that occur later. For example, career guidance services also include helping individuals advance their careers and deal with workplace issues.
A career development professional can answer your questions about career advancement. He or she can tell you what to do to be promoted or get a raise, or even help you decide whether to quit your job. You can get advice about getting along with co-workers and your boss, preparing for and responding to performance reviews, and managing job stress and burnout.
Get Help If You Lose Your Job
Job loss is devastating, both financially and emotionally. When you lose your job, a piece of your identity is also taken away. The most tangible result, however, is the loss of income. Assisting those who are dealing with this devastating life change is a component of career guidance. Since you probably don't want to spend extra money when you are already feeling distressed about your finances, you should look into free or low-cost career guidance services, as will be discussed later on.
A career counselor or other advisor can assist newly unemployed clients to cope with practical issues like applying for unemployment benefits and continuing health insurance. Eventually, he or she can help the client begin the job search process. They can also get encouragement and advice from professionals and, through support groups, from others who are in the same situation.
Get Advice About Making a Career Change
Since most people do not stay in the same occupation for their entire working lives—some individuals even switch careers multiple times—there will probably come a time when you will want to make a change. A career guidance professional can give you advice when you are taking on this kind of transition.
Meet with a career development specialist who can help you assess your transferable skills. With their assistance, you can discover what skills you can bring to your new occupation and which ones you will need to acquire before you can begin a new career.
When you are engaged in the day-to-day activities of making a living, searching for a new job, or making another change, sometimes you need an unbiased cheerleader by your side. Your partner, friends, and family have a stake in your future and may have difficulty being impartial. For example, if you need encouragement to make a big career change, but your partner is worried about how it will affect your finances, a professional advisor who doesn't have any skin in the game can be just what you need.
A career guidance professional can motivate you when things aren't going the way you would like. He or she will encourage you not to give up whether you are stuck in an unsuccessful job search campaign or having trouble making a decision about leaving a career behind and pursuing a new one, even if it will be difficult to retrain. They can give you a realistic look at what to expect, tell you whether you are making a wise decision, and cheer you on when you feel like giving up.
Where Can You Get Career Guidance
Professionals who provide career guidance include career counselors and career development, facilitators. School guidance counselors provide these services to middle and high school students, who can get an early start on making career-related decisions. A college student can seek career counseling from the career services office at his or her institution.
Career centers in public libraries are a good source of free career planning assistance. Librarians can teach you to use all the resources and tools. Many also have counseling services available. Also, many community agencies provide free or low-cost vocational assistance, including occupational training programs and workshops on job search skills. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors One-Stop Career Centers located throughout the country. These offices provide tools and services to help job seekers and students.