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Career Counselling

How Do You Know You Need A Career Counsellor: Signs To Help You Evaluate

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By Dr. Srividya
11 Mar'22  8 min read
How Do You Know You Need A Career Counsellor: Signs To Help You Evaluate

The past few years have witnessed the emergence of many career counsellors and career counselling organisations. Is there a genuine need, or is career counselling just another passing trend? Is this something that you could benefit from? Is career counselling for students essential? How do you decide if a career guidance counselling session will be useful for you? What are the signs that you need to consult a professional and experienced career counsellor? This article shares some critical signs that will help you evaluate the same.

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How Do You Know You Need A Career Counsellor: Signs To Help You Evaluate

The past few years have witnessed the emergence of many career counsellors and career counselling organisations. Is there a genuine need, or is career counselling just another passing trend? Is this something that you could benefit from? Is career counselling for students essential? How do you decide if a career guidance counselling session will be useful for you? What are the signs that you need to consult a professional and experienced career counsellor? This article shares some critical signs that will help you evaluate the same.

Read more

A career is a critical choice that affects many years of a person’s life. Just like you would spend many hours, days, or even weeks planning a vacation, it is extremely important to plan your course and career choices carefully. Listed below are key indicators or stages, where you would greatly benefit from connecting with a career counsellor.

Need For Career Counselling - Middle School

Some of the educational boards require students to choose subjects as early as class 8. So, how do you choose whether to opt for science, or economics, or continue with maths? Is this choice purely based on your experience and liking for the subject? Would it be worthwhile to take the chance and pick subjects that you like, even though this entails a risk of not being able to pursue allied fields later?

At this stage, it is often useful to connect with a career counsellor and seek career guidance counselling. It would help you delve into your areas of interests, strengths, aptitude etc. in detail. This is even more required if you are planning to drop certain subjects like science and maths, as this may affect your eligibility for certain courses or careers which you may consider in the future, for instance, joining the Army or pursuing architecture, which doesn’t seem directly related to maths or science till you are in middle school!

Need For Career Counselling - Classes 11 And 12

A lot of students and parents choose subjects based on which combination will keep maximum course options open for higher education. This seems a safe way of ensuring that students can opt for any course they want in the future. In most Indian boards, this would typically include a combination of physics, chemistry, maths, and biology (commonly called PCMB). However, this choice of subjects may turn out to be very demanding, and even difficult for many students, with multiple classes, tutorials and exams that the students would be required to take. Students who don’t see their hours of study and subjects helping them in the future might end up feeling tired, listless and frustrated.

Moreover, if they choose to switch streams from science to commerce, etc. in college, a certain percentage of marks is deducted at the time of admissions in some universities, which makes the task of securing admissions even more difficult. So if you are not so sure about your liking for certain subjects, do seek career guidance counselling before you take a final call on your subjects for high school.

Need For Career Counselling - Drop Year?

Many students opt to drop a year or two while preparing for competitive exams, like the entrances for medical and engineering courses. This time is used to concentrate and prepare for the exams, secure a better ranking, and admission to a better institute. This is often needed and turns out to be a wise choice for many students. However, this may also be a time to connect to a professional for career counselling, and explore, as precious money and time will be invested in preparing for these competitive exams. Speaking with a career counsellor will help you assess what other career options are suitable for you. This way, you can spend your time judiciously, and have a backup option, if things don’t go as well as you hoped.

Need For Career Counselling - Reach A Consensus

Very often, parents may have suggestions that are very different from the interests or aptitude of the student. A parent asking their child to opt for commerce when the student wants to pursue research or dentistry, can be a tense situation for the child, as well as the parent. Consulting a career counsellor and seeking career guidance counselling, to get an objective assessment of the situation could be beneficial in this situation, to review the student’s individual preferences, and focus on what will help nurture their talents and interests.

Need For Career Counselling- Choosing A Course

Your undergraduate degree is a critical deciding factor for most careers. If you are unsure of which course to take, or the options it provides in the future, you may want to research the career and job websites first. If you still feel you need more information on which course will suit your needs best, then it is time to make that appointment with a career counsellor!

Need For Career Counselling- Diverse Abilities

Strange as this may sound, students who have diverse abilities and interests greatly benefit from meeting a career counsellor. As the student excels in many areas, choosing one or two at the risk of giving up the other, may prove stressful for all-rounders. A few sessions of career guidance counselling might help the student to understand their strengths, aspirations, values, motivators, and other environmental factors, so they can make a choice that makes them feel good.

Need For Career Counselling- Non-Academic Talents

This can be a very daunting and difficult situation for both the student and the parent involved. Spending hours studying subjects that are not to one’s liking for many years, and being evaluated and graded on the same is a stressful experience, to say the least. Most likely, the student has non-academic talents and interests which have not been discovered during the school years. This may leave the student feeling low on self-esteem, and may even bring in feelings of worthlessness.

Career counselling in this situation can provide critical insights using a mix of objective tests and qualitative assessments, to uncover the hidden interests and talents. Many actors, sportspersons, media professionals, designers, artists etc. do not excel under academic pressure. They need to be nurtured differently, and the parents can better understand how to channel their support for their child after they consult a career counsellor.

Need For Career Counselling- Family Business

Family-run businesses offer a great advantage of inheriting the legacy created by parents, grandparents etc. Many traditional businesses are also updated with technological advancements, and new managerial principles as the next generation takes over. However, on some occasions, the ward is not keen on joining the family business. This is usually a situation of conflict and stress for both the parent and the child. Sometimes, the child may have interests and aptitudes that are very different from what is demanded of the core business.

In this difficult situation, career counselling can help identify the talents and create space for a frank conversation with the student, helping them see a viable solution holistically. Sometimes, the child may want to start an allied service/product within the core business which may be a good solution to the problem. These discussions, when conducted with a mix of objective data, subjective understanding of the context, and the family dynamics, will greatly help the family overcome their challenges. Make sure you connect with a seasoned and sensitive career counsellor for this situation, that both the parents and children can trust, and are comfortable with.

Need For Career Counselling -Tutorial/ Preparatory Programs

Most tutorials for design, architecture, engineering, medicine etc. are expensive and time-consuming. Students need to spend hours attending classes, and there are lakhs of students who give each exam for a comparatively small number of seats. The motivation to succeed and work tenaciously is enhanced when they understand the reasons, and their alignment with the career of choice.

For example, when medical aspirants see that their psychometric profile strongly indicates medical fields, they are more likely to feel motivated everyday to do their best, as they become aware of more tangible support to their innate talents and interests. On the off chance that the student is opting for the tutorial without a clear aspiration for the same, it saves time and money, and serves as a signal to plan for alternative careers.

Need For Career Counselling - Stress

This question is posed to almost all children from the age of five upwards. In the initial years, the question is harmless, and most children respond with cute and entertaining answers. However, as children grow into teenagers, this question becomes more serious, and can be stressful for children who are not sure what they want to do. This is really a good time to seek career counselling for students, and understand what careers match with the student’s interests, thereby helping the student explore, and understand themselves better.

Need For Career Counselling - Evaluating Risk

Some industries are evergreen; while some are cyclical and may not always be doing well. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the travel, tourism and hospitality industries have been affected badly. So, students who are opting for specialised courses in hospitality and aviation may want to review their choices objectively, and see which other industries would also benefit from their strengths and talents.

Some other industries like IT might be very demanding, and may not suit the work style of all professionals. As a result, some computer science professionals opt-out of this area after a few years. Understanding your preferences and motivators through a career counselling session greatly enhances the chances of you joining an industry that is aligned with your talents.

Navigate your career with finesse! Shine bright!

Dr. Srividya is an organisational psychologist, career, and personal growth coach. She works with teens, parents, adults, and returning professionals, to help them align their personal and professional needs, desires, and overcome personal and professional challenges. She can be reached at www.lifevidya.in.

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