5 Tips must-haves to become a career counselor

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The education scene in India is experiencing exciting times. New schools are being established promising modern teaching methods and curriculum to match. Technological advances have been incorporated into the arena of teaching and innovations are the order of the day. While millions of Indian students are now privy to quality education, the irony is that more than half of them are ignorant about career options as there is no clarity in their minds about the opportunities. It is true that many schools have realized the need for career counseling for students of the tenth and twelfth grades; that a huge vacuum still persist is undeniable. Here we are going to discuss some tips to become a career counselor are as follows

What fuels this void?

Students in India are traditionally driven by parental pressure in pursuit of high scores which act as clinchers for the choice of careers. On the contrary, there is a huge surge in the career avenues and options available to a student. As an illustration, it is taken as a matter of pride in India when a qualified engineer opts for an MBA rather than pursuing a Master’s program in his own discipline. This dichotomy is profound in our system leading to a great imbalance in education and occupation.

Causes of this imbalance

The primary cause of this imbalance is the lack of clarity on careers, which sadly is rampant. There are students who have a vague idea of career choices and those who do not have any clue at all. Both can be guided in a definite direction. Most students look for guidance on the following:

Resolution of Imbalance

It is here that career guidance or counseling plays an important role. Many schools across the country have understood the need for a scientific approach to career counseling by creating an opening for counselors in their payroll. The tips to become a career counselor conduct regular sessions with X and XII graders who need the guidance most. A beginning has been made by recognizing this crisis, but the larger scenario is that a large number of schools are out of the ambit of streamlined career counseling.

Recognition of career counselor

The need for a professional counselor is being felt now as never before. Though the off-take has been slow, it is also true that a definite and perceptible change in the mindset. Professional career counselors are in demand and the best part is that a career counselor needs not to be academically trained as a psychologist with loads of experience, but it can be any person who possesses the requisite skills to act as a consultant for career guidance. It does not in any way preclude academic qualification which is always a plus. On a personal level, a career counselor needs to be amiable and a patient listener to advise the candidate towards the right career path.

Who can become a career counselor?

A person from any background – a teacher, doctor, psychologist, administrator, housewife, or freelancer even can become a career counselor and be a part of this industry. The basic tenet to be welcome as a career counselor is your confidence and passion for making someone’s life better.  

Who can become a career counselor

Responsibilities of a Career Counselor

The two basic responsibilities of the career counselor can be described as:

  • Identifying an individual’s aptitude, strength, shortcoming, threat, and opportunity.
  • Comprehending an individual’s interest, desire, and perception of life.

Just getting a grasp of these may not make you a successful guide unless you have it in you to be:

  • A person whose attitude is positive and welcoming
  • Who can help the candidate come to terms with own personality
  • A person who can earn the trust of the candidate for a free two-way communication

Career Counselor as a Mentor

The task of a career counselor is exacting. Mentoring the candidate is as important to emerging as a successful career counselor. Your self-introspection in whether it is your calling in life will be determined by your answer to:

  • Are you able to simplify the options to make the candidate take a wise decision that leads the right person to the right path?
  • Are you able to relate to the sensitivity of the candidate and appreciate his thought process? 
career counselor as a mentor

If the answer is yes, then you are poised to be a wonderful career counselor. 

The 5 must-haves for a Career Counselor

As a career counselor, you are expected to enlighten the student and free from the darkness of ignorance. It is meant to guide them to an informed decision and beyond trust. It is crucial that the tip to become a career counselor is able to deliver by relying on the five must-haves for a rewarding career:

1. Knowledge

It is the basis of confidence in facing the range of queries from a student on streams, courses, selection, options, finances, and career prospects to be able to truly mentor. Ample research and information gathering to absorb the latest trends and opportunities is the key to your success.

2. Personality

A pleasing demeanor, open to listen and appreciative of the student’s concerns with patience is a great trait to have. Your approach should be unbiased and not being judgmental. It goes a long way in leading the two-way sharing of information to a logical conclusion. It helps in overcoming the traditional mindset which is resistant to change.

3. Experience

Career counseling is also about self-learning and it comes with experience. You are sure to come across candidates with differing personalities. The ability to adapt to a diverse nature comes easily with experience.

4. Confidentiality 

Every counseling session, even for a career is confidential in nature as the element of trust is intrinsic to it. Being able to remain true to the trust is vital to be a success in the profession.

5. Certification

It is an important tip to become a career counselor not only to learn about the nuances of counseling but is also a recognition of your knowledge and skill-sets. There are a host of suitable courses including international, which add a feather to your resume and profile making you justifiably more employable.

 career guide

Bottom Line

Career counseling is integral to high school education in the country. Presently it is reputed to be Rs.5K Crore industry and growing rapidly. A certified career counselor is sought by most schools to help their students get wings to explore different courses keeping in mind their caliber, interest, and aptitude.

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