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As a layman, career counseling can be described as a process of sharing information that helps the client to stride in the right direction leading to a fruitful education or occupation. Career counseling is a recent trend that provides a support system to individuals for choosing life’s calling in a rewarding career. Here are some tips to Become A Career Counselor/expert Without a Psychology Background:

The advent of a career counselor

In the modern world, technological advances have been able to bring revolutionary changes in the way education and occupation are looked upon. The strict regimentation of the past has been completely overhauled causing the emergence of new avenues and opportunities on the horizon. 

With this glut, there is also an exponential rise in misconception and dilemma about the right choice, whether it is a student or a working individual. It is here that the career counselor comes in with his knowledge bounty to help the client choose a direction based on aptitude, interest, and perception.

Who is a career counselor?

A career counselor is a person who is a repository of information related to education, its scope, the available resources, emerging trends, and career guidance prospects. He is also equipped with knowledge about industries, their commercial aspects, career options, and progression. 

By sharing this knowledge with the client, he suggests the direction to be adopted for a fruitful outcome. To that extent, he is a professional consultant. 

An insight into what takes to be a career counselor

To understand what makes for a career counselor, it is important to know what the basic responsibilities are:

  1. The first is to identify the client’s strengths, shortcomings, and perceptions.
  2. Gauging the interest and desire of the client. 

To perform successfully, there are certain attributes and skills essential to be a career counselor. The attributes are as follows:

  1. The person who exudes a warm positive attitude.
  2. A person who is willing to spend midnight oil to research and acquire knowledge on diverse disciplines of study, their implications as well as occupational trends and prospects.
  3. A person who believes that it is an ongoing process and willing to upgrade knowledge bank in alignment with emerging trends. 
  4. Who can help the individual to come to terms to realize self-potential?

If you are in a position to relate to the above, you need to ask yourself if you are:

  • Passionate about helping people
  • A good listener, observer, communicator with oodles of patience, and has analytical skills

A positive answer to the above is a good indicator that career counseling could be your calling in life. 

Does a career counselor need a psychology background?

A qualified career counselor looks to provide the right guidance defining a direction in career development and progression. Thus the counselor needs to be an expert as well a knowledgeable about different productive occupations and trends in the market.

To acquire this expertise one does not require formal academic training in psychology. It is your affinity for detail, longing for acquiring knowledge, and passion for helping others that is vital.

It is quite evident that the demands of career counseling are vastly different from other commonly understood forms of counseling. This is so because of the type of clients who seek career counseling:

Becoming a career counselor without a psychology background

Career counseling is an exacting profession where your responsibility lies in suggesting the right direction to take and identifying the options for your client to embrace. 

It is also about creating an alignment between the client’s interests, aptitude, and potential so that all are combined for a worthwhile progression. 

Connecting the client with the right career path requires knowledge, expertise, education, and experience without relating to a psychological analysis of the client

How does a career counselor prepare for sessions?

To be a successful career counselor, one has to be an expert in the field of education with profound knowledge about the courses, the emerging trends, education opportunities for pursuing a specific course, and various options open to the students

Additionally, he must also be conversant with occupation prospects and their pros and cons.

Similarly, for the working professional, he needs to be conversant with the industry movements, their potential, and prospect to suggest ways to progress in a career.

Thus preparations will include study and research into domains that have no relation to psychology at all. 

  • Background study about the type of students you are expected to counsel in relation to the level.
  • Make a detailed study of the courses that can be of interest to the target audience.
  • Gain ample knowledge about the prospects of pursuing a particular course, where to study, and how to go about it. 
  • Various job options post completion of the course and their future prospects and trends.
  • For a working professional, it is important to learn thoroughly about the client’s working environment and the concerns of the industry.
  • Learn about job opportunities in a particular industry and its probable path of progression.
  • Unless and until you are thorough and have gained enough expertise, you will not be able to conclude your counseling sessions fruitfully.  

The outcome of a career counseling session

You can be a successful career counselor/expert if you prepare well for the sessions. It is more about giving a direction to students to work on their strong points to reach the desired goal.

In the case of the working professional, it is working out the concerns that are thwarting his career expert progression with a direction to realize one’s potential.

Summing up

Career counseling is different from the other types which need to accommodate the client’s mental and psychological concerns. As a career counselor, your skill sets will depend more on your ability to gain expertise in the field that will benefit students. On the other hand for a working professional, you need to gain abundant knowledge to be called an industry expert.

It is not necessary to be a psychologist academically but you must have the ability to imbibe emerging trends in education and professions. Armed with your passion for helping others and your expertise, you can pursue a rewarding occupation as a career counselor.

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