How Career Counseling can Help You!

What is Career Counseling        Career Counseling

How Career Counseling can Help You!

Should I go to college or should I go and learn a trade? I am not really satisfied with my job anymore, should I find a new career? I need to re-enter the workforce but where do I start? What do I do? I just found out I am getting laid off, what am I going to do? What am I going to do after I graduate from high school? I am planning to go to college but what should I major in?  I feel like I have no direction in my life when it comes to a career.  Maybe you have had questions like these before. Have you ever considered seeing a Career Counselor?

What is Career Development?    

Career development is a lifelong process. The development of the type of career you choose and the type of jobs you are drawn to actually began when you were born.  Your career development is influenced by many different factors such as your interests, abilities, values, personality, background, and circumstances. Career Counseling is a process that will help you to know and understand yourself and the world of work in order to make career, educational, and life decisions.

Career development is more than just deciding on a major and what job you want to get when you graduate. It really is a lifelong process. Throughout your life you will change, situations will change, and you will continually have to make career and life decisions. The goal of Career Counseling is to not only help you make the decisions you need to make now, but to give you the knowledge and skills you need to make future career and life decisions.

What is Career Counseling?    

Since career development is a lifelong process, Career Counseling can be appropriate for anyone, including freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and even those  who have been bouncing from one job to another unsure of what career they should have. Career Counseling can also be beneficial to a seasoned worker who may be ready to make some career changes.  The earlier you get started making intentional decisions about your future, however, the better prepared you will be!

How Can a Career Counselor Help Me?

A career counselor could be a therapist, life coach, or a volunteer from the business community but will generally be trained to provide career information and resources. The Career Counselor may conduct a series of interest, skill and personality assessments designed to help elicit information about what careers best suit an individual, will explain and discuss test results, and design a strategy to help the client move forward on a selected career path.  In North Carolina all Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC, LPCA, and LPCS) have been trained to provide Career Counseling and assist clients with Career Development plans. A high school guidance counselor may assist students before applying to a college, and a college counselor is available to assist students in college before choosing or changing majors. Career counseling can help anyone who wishes to change careers, leave work altogether, or explore ways to be more satisfied with a current career.

How Your Personality type can Influence Your Career Choices:

It is believed that understanding what career roles you are best suited to is based on your personality. When your personality matches your career it is believed this will make you the most satisfied and happy at work. A study conducted at the University of Zurich found that people “who can apply their personal character strengths in their careers, experience more enjoyment, and meaning at work.”

This Zurich study calls these personal character strengths “signature strengths”.  These strengths are “particularly distinctive for a person” and something “he or she likes to use frequently.” Signature strengths can be regarded as friendliness, self-control, kindness – characteristics that you exhibit and practice daily. According to the study, people generally have three to seven signature strengths and the more strengths an employee can actually use in the workplace, the more satisfied and productive he or she is.

The study recommends using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument (MBTI) to discover your strongest personality traits. These tests tend to define you as, for example, a ‘realistic’ type or an ‘artistic’ type. Based on your tendency to lean towards a certain type, the tests then provide a list of careers that might suit you best.

Taking stock of yourself and your traits will not only be helpful on a personal level, but doing so may also give you an advantage when applying to job postings and interviewing. Knowing what works for you, and also knowing that employers are increasingly assessing personality types, will allow you to showcase your best attributes and also ask appropriate questions concerning workplace environments.

Commonly Used Assessments in Career Counseling:

Many Career Counseling professionals often administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory to help their career clients understand both their personality and their preferences.

Your results from the MBTI will provide a profile report highlighting 16 personality types so that you can verify your best-fit type. The MBTI reports tell you your preference for each of four pairs: Extraversion or Introversion E or I ; Sensing or Intuition S or N; Thinking or Feeling T or F; Judging or Perceiving J or P.  The four preferences together make up your whole type. There are 16 possible personality types. Some types are more common than others and studies have been done to determine the breakdown in percentages of the MBTI types in the general population.

The Strong Interest Inventory contains 291 items that ask users about their preferences in regard to occupations, subject areas, activities, leisure activities, people and characteristics. Your Strong Interest Inventory yields a report presented in six sections known as General Occupational Themes (GOT). These six sections represent the personality types that most people fall into and are based on a persons’ interests and approaches to life situations.  The six sections are: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

These two assessments coupled together can help career clients know themselves better and find occupations that will better fit their personalities and interest.

So if you are in the crossroads of trying to decide what job you should be in, regardless if you’re a high school student trying to decide on colleges and majors or a seasoned worker/employee looking to make changes, you may want to contact Sure Hope Counseling and Training Center and get an appointment with one of our Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC and LPCA).

Jim Katsoudas

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