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Career Counselling

5 Steps To Choosing A Counsellor For Yourself

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By Dr. Srividya
10 Mar'22  4 min read
5 Steps To Choosing A Counsellor For Yourself

The number of available careers, courses and universities make choosing careers and universities a very difficult and confusing process for students and parents alike.  Hence, this article shall help you understand some of the ways to choose the right career counsellor for yourself. How qualified and experienced should a counsellor be?  What are the questions to ask when choosing a counsellor? Read on to know.

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5 Steps To Choosing A Counsellor For Yourself

The number of available careers, courses and universities make choosing careers and universities a very difficult and confusing process for students and parents alike.  Hence, this article shall help you understand some of the ways to choose the right career counsellor for yourself. How qualified and experienced should a counsellor be?  What are the questions to ask when choosing a counsellor? Read on to know.

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A question that often plagues parents and students alike is the process of choosing a counsellor. It almost feels like going to an apparel store to buy your clothes, only to realize that there is no trial or fitting room here. The experience is often very frustrating and the consequences of choosing a counsellor who does not quite service your needs can be quite undesirable. So, what are a few questions to ask when choosing a counsellor? Below, we would like to share with you a few tips for choosing a counsellor.

Step 1: Identify Your Needs

You may be very clear about the nature of the course you want to do and may be seeking guidance on which colleges to take admission in. If this is your primary concern, you need to approach a counsellor who specialises in admissions in various colleges and helps you prepare your CV and profile. They are also known as College Counsellors, as their primary focus is to help you gain admission into a college or course of your choice.

On the other hand, you may be unsure about what career or course to take. Students often end up taking up courses that are popular or mainstream and then regret the time and money invested when they realise it was never what they wanted to do.

If you are unclear about what you want to study, or what career you want to pursue, it would help to reach out to a Career Counsellor who is well equipped with the knowledge of psychology and assessments to guide you through.

Very often, you will find primarily Admissions Counsellors who also add career counselling services to their portfolio. This may be a good “all-in-one” service, provided you are able to find your true strengths and preferences.

Step 2: How Much Time And Money Should You Invest?

Most career counsellors who focus on understanding the child/teen will charge a reasonable professional fee as this is the crux of their work, but their services can be invaluable to have.

Most counsellors who have a focus on admissions will charge a nominal fee for preliminary assessments and profile building as their remuneration is mostly through universities and institutions that they are serving.

So, overall, if you are seeking clarity and occupational awareness of which courses to do and which careers would be good fits, it will be wise for you to consult a career counsellor who has this perspective in detail.

Most courses in psychology and counselling courses are three to five years in duration and can cost anything from Rs. 5 lakhs to 40 lakhs or even more for overseas education. So, spending five to ten hours with an experienced Career Counsellor will be beneficial for you in terms of both time and money. However, if you are clear about the course and college, and would like to save your time and money, choosing a networked and experienced admissions counsellor might be helpful.

Step 3: Know Your Counsellor

One of the questions to ask yourself while choosing a counsellor is what their experience and professional background are. These days many people are calling themselves counsellors after taking up a few certification courses in psychology and career counselling. This is not an entirely bad idea as it provides a whole range of counsellors for you to choose from. Also, many professionals who want to genuinely help others make better career decisions and have the means or training to do so. So, how do you choose amongst the hundreds of career and admission counsellors?

To start with, do a check to understand the background and professional qualifications of the counsellor. Career counsellors who have studied courses in psychology and have a background in education provide an effective blend of skills and experience to help you think through your career decision by dwelling on your aptitude and strengths and provide good career guidance that fits your needs.

You may also have career counsellors who specialise in specific professions like engineering, medical, etc. They might be good choices if you are planning to carve a career in the profession of their expertise.

Many career counsellors are visible on different social media platforms. Do follow their social media pages and understand what they have to say or share. When choosing a counsellor, take your time and avoid making a hasty decision.

Step 4: Look For Good Counsellor Referrals

Another one of the tips for choosing a counsellor includes referrals. A very good source of information regarding good career counsellors can emerge from your own professional and personal network. Do ask around and see if any of your friends or family members have consulted a career counsellor. Check how their services were, what sort of career guidance they provided, and also see if this is what you are looking for. If it sounds like a good choice, go on and contact your counsellor.

You could also review their website, check for previous reviews or testimonials to get a better understanding of your counsellor and their strengths.

Step 5: Attend Webinars And Ask Questions

Most counsellors who are active on social media conduct webinars on various topics related to careers and admissions. Try to attend these webinars and engage with the speaker to clarify any doubts you may have.

The process of choosing a career or course can be very overwhelming and confusing. However, there are many experienced people available and ready to help you. Just spend a bit of time over a few days or weeks and you will surely find a counsellor of your choice.

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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