What is Career Counseling?

Career counseling is a division of counseling that centers on helping people discover suitable careers. Suitability considers many factors including a person’s strengths, interests, cultural background, family situation, and more. A trained career counselor may be useful to someone who knows that they want a change in career, but, because of the significant impact on their life and those close to them, want to be careful and thorough before making a change.

Most of the time, career counseling involves the use of various assessments to try to help sort out various aspects of a person’s personality, interests, and work-style. The career counselor will go through the results of the assessment with their client to determine what makes sense and what doesn’t. The results of assessments are considered to be the cold, hard facts of who a person is. They are starting point for discussion. By using the results as topics for exploration, the counselor and client can generate possibilities and also rule out other possibilities.

Examples of assessments

Some of the most common assessments are the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and the California Personality Inventory (CPI). The SII results ranks the person’s interests into six categories: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. These six categories are matched with various jobs in the real-world. By looking at where someone’s interests lie compared with how much of those interests will be a part of a particular role, clients can gain insight into potential career paths that they may haven’t thought about prior to seeking career counseling.

The CPI measures positive aspects of personality and determines what type of roles might be more suitable for someone depending upon their personality type. For example, the CPI estimates people fall into one of four categories: implementer, innovator, supporter, and visualizer. Someone who is an implementer is likely to do better in some sort of leadership role, whereas someone who is a visualizer typically does better in more private, or solitary positions. By working with a career counselor, CPI results can be a great aid in helping sort out not just what field might be interesting to work in, but role will be most satisfying within that field.

If you’re interested in career counseling,

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Ian Felton has more than 20 years of professional experience writing software for organizations such as NASA, Mayo Clinic, Thomson Reuters, and many more. He is the author of The Coding Samurai : The Way of the Computer Warrior. His blog, The Coder Counselor, explores technology through the lens of psychology. Ian is also a published author of haibun, a prosemetric Japanese form of writing, mainly centered on travel and journeys to far-off places. In addition to bass guitar, writing and wildlife photography, his interests include practicing meditation, Chinese, and Chinese martial arts. Ian is completing his master’s degree in counseling and psychological services. You can connect with him on Twitter @psychcoder.

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