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Career Counseling Throughout Your Career

Updated on December 3, 2011

Anyone who is struggling with his or her career choice should consider career counseling. A career counselor is someone that can help you determine what your strengths and weaknesses are in the business world. Aptitude tests may help in determining what you may enjoy as a career before you discuss what your goals are with a counselor. After the test results are available, you and your counselor can work together to put you on the right track to accomplish your career goals.

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Counseling at Each Level of Your Career


Entry Level Career Counseling

High school graduates or soon-to-be college graduates receive entry-level career counseling from their school counselors or departmental placement office. This can be helpful if an individual is considering skipping college right after graduation or is a potential college graduate who is unsure of where they are heading. A college's placement office can help college students by using aptitude tests and skills tests. These tests may seem a little repetitious or long, but the goal is to determine which types of things you may enjoy doing, and those that you would really hate doing. They can also indicate whether you would work well independently, or if you are someone who likes support and direction from managers and fellow workers.

High school students can take aptitude tests from guidance counselors in their high school. If a student isn't sure whether they should work for a while before attending college, a review of the student's skills as well as future goals can help a young adult decide whether they should go directly from high school into college in the fall, or work at an entry level job first.

Mid-Level Career Counseling

If you have been working for a few years but don't seem to be achieving your goals, perhaps it is time to check out career counseling. It is never too late to review what your current and future goals are. Career counselors for individuals already employed can usually be found at your human resources office. Speaking with a representative from this office can help you determine what additional education you may need to reach your goals, or what types of in-house training are offered. If management is your goal, find out if there is a managers training program offered at your company- it may be one of the quickest ways to climb that corporate ladder.

Counseling for Career Changes

Occasionally, the path we set down is subject to change. This can occur for several reasons, such as a move to another town, downsizing of a corporation where you have been employed for a number of years, or simply because you no longer enjoy the job you have been doing. A career change can be hard on an individual, especially if you need additional education and training. Financing a career change can also be stressful, especially if your income has a big impact on your family. Where do you turn if you need career counseling at this point in the game? One place to start, especially if you will need to further your education, is your college's placement office. You can turn to this office if you are already a graduate, and they can also help you determine what type of degree may be needed if you are changing career paths.

Career Counselor Certification

If you want to be sure that the career counselors you choose are nationally certified, ask if they are members of the NCDA (National Career Development Association). This can help you feel more confident about the assistance you are receiving, especially if you are paying for the counselor's services.

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