Why is Career Counselling Important?
What is Career Counselling or Career Guidance?
Career Counselling is seeking out the guidance you need in understanding yourself and the different career options and specifications. Choosing or changing a career is far more in-depth than one may think or understand. Your career is so important because it is where you spend 70% of your time and your mental capacity. It’s important to love and have passion for what you do in order to be happy. Every area of your life is affected by your joy and peace within your career. Your career is entwined in the journey of your life: from your initial studies to your every day, day to day, to your marriage, raising your children and eventually- your retirement. Your career is part of it all and the foundation of much of your life. Choosing the right option for you is not just a good idea, it is a necessity.
It is sad and alarming to see the statistics of how many people, worldwide, are unhappy in their career. A global poll conducted by Gallup has uncovered that out of the world’s one billion full-time workers, only 15% of people are engaged at work. That means that an astronomical 85% of people are unhappy in their jobs (Dec 3, 2019). The reason for this is not only the wrong career but the wrong company and even the wrong work team. Choosing a career has many facets but getting helpful advice will take you a long way.
How Career Counselling may help:
For years, people who have been unhappy in their chosen career and have decided to make a career change have sought out the advice from a Career Counsellor. Subsequently, it has become more widely highlighted and practiced that school, and even university age, students are now seeking career guidance and counselling from a trained professional as to what and which direction they should take.
Choosing a career can be a stressful process, as we know life has many facets and complications. It is the same for career choices. There are so many choices and options, not to mention that finances play a huge roll. At the end of the day, choosing a career path is not easy, and often we don’t know our own selves well enough to know what we would enjoy.
Asking a teenager to sit down, look at 1000s of options, decipher their personality and character and then make an educated choice about what they should do for the next 40/50 years is extremely daunting. They are already in a phase of life where they may feel as though the world is on their shoulders and now they have to make a decision that will literally affect the rest of their lives. This is a decision they may not have the emotional capacity and maturity to make on their own.
The Career Counsellor will help a person explore their personality, interests, skills/ strengths and values. They might go as far as considering education levels and give advice about continuing education, and university choices.
Making the right Career Counselling choice
History has shown us that choosing a career has often been more of a family decision whereby people have naturally followed and did what their family did. In the past two centuries, this has started to change, and people have started making their own decisions, but there still hasn’t always been enormous guidance. Plainly said, career choices have often been made on a whim. You will often hear someone say, “oh I went into engineering because a friend said there was money to be made.” Or “My parents wanted me to become a doctor.” Sadly, this is one of the primary reasons people are unhappy in their career fields. Evidently, because it was chosen for them. They just meandered their way into that career.
Common Reasons for Career Choices
As humans, we tend to follow or be persuaded by others more easily than we think. It’s the same for teenagers and their career choices, where they are influenced by these few factors:
Everyone is doing it, and so I should as well. We are in the age of Social Media; careers are literally changing and different fields are popping up on a daily basis. Therefore, it would be normal for your teenager to tell you they are going to become an app developer, a Social Media content creator or become a millionaire from becoming a professional YouTuber.
Family & Tradition
The family has a long line in that career and therefore the child should too. We have all heard about those families whose fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers have been police officers, doctors, tradesmen. Even the idea of university, we’ve heard it said a 1000 x, “what university degree do you have?” or “what university did you go to?” Sadly, these norms govern how decisions are made.
We cannot ignore how many teenagers and young adults career choices are made for them by their parents. Parents living through their children, not wanting their children to make the same mistake they did. Those parents who want to gain the glory through their achieving child. Therefore, the career is set and chosen, often when the child is born. Not even 3 years old and the parents are telling the world their child will be a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, and the list goes on.
Emotion has led the way
This is when a teenager or young adult has had an emotional interaction with someone in a particular career and they enjoyed that person and their view of that career. Therefore, inspiring them to follow along the same path. This can happen at any time and is often brought on by passion by the adult and lack of direction in the teenager or young adult.
My favourite example of this is my mother who watched “The Sound of Music” as a child and therefore wanted to become a nun for most of her life. Only when she met my father, at the age of 14, did she decide a career and life in a convent was not for her. We sometimes get blown away and emotionally led to something that is not actually a good fit. I watched a movie a few years back about a boy who was sensitive and small, but he longed to be athletic and strong. He, therefore, went into the army thinking he would become that tough guy. In the end, his gentle, sensitive nature won and he realised the army was not a fit for him.
Vision and Purpose
We all know those kids, those teenagers and those adults. They were made for it and they know it. That little four-year-old that designs houses and buildings with their blocks, day in and day out – architecture, design and building. That child who was obsessed with reading – reading was their life. The teenager who designed their own clothes – a dressmaker, fashion buyer. That child who wanted to heal everything that injured. They have a passion for it and choosing their career path was/ is easy.
Career Counselling Questions to think about in making a decision:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What kinds of activities are fun and fulfilling for me?
- What am I good at?
- What is my skill set?
- What qualifications do I have, such as a degree or experience?
- How much money do I need to make to feel satisfied?
- What jobs are available in the place(s) I’d like to live?
- Do I want to travel?
- What are my values?
- Is it important to me to be of service to others?
- Am I looking for intensely challenging work or something relatively easy?
- Am I willing to do what others tell me without question, or would I rather make most decisions on my own?
- To what degree do I need stability and security?
It’s important to understand who you are, how you are wired. It’s important to explore your personality, your interests, your skills /talents and your values before diving into a career that is not your purpose and vision. The best way to explore you and your possible career choices is by seeing a Career Counsellor. Their job is purely to guide you and to help you understand your different options and choices. A round peg is not meant for a square hole. A tractor was built as a tractor, to work on a farm: to plant, carry, till the land. A tractor was built for power: heavy and strong. A sports car was built for agile speed. A tractor cannot become a sports car and vice versa.
The gift of Career Counselling
Each of us is different and intended for a different purpose. Knowing your purpose is key and understanding that career changes can happen at any stage of a person’s life. Whether they are 20 or 60, it is never too late to get advice and make changes. Career Counselling and guidance is a vital key in the process.