What is Career Counselling and Guidance?
A career can be briefly defined as the path of an individual during his education and work. In the past, it was normal for an individual to choose only one profession for his lifetime, for instance, driver, cashier, waiter, etc.
The term profession has become very static be used for career orientation and is replaced with the term career which describes the path of an individual during the process of learning and work.
The notion of a career has changed with time. If once career was a synonym for individual progress in the organizational hierarchy or in one profession, today it is a term that describes the path of learning and the path of work of an individual.
And it is not one term that is exclusive to the most successful individuals, it refers to all adult individuals but also to students. The periods of education, capacity building, unemployment, and maternity leave are phases in one person’s career.
Career development is a lifelong process that involves the management of learning, work, and transition in order to advance and head towards a determined individual future developed personally. Career development is the individual managed by the individual.
Career orientation is a set of processes drafted to enable individuals to make informed choices and transitions between learning and work. Career orientation refers to formal orientation activities offered mainly by the organization or institutions, and finances by the public budget.
CAREER COUNSELLING CENTRE FUNCTIONS AND STAFFING
Facilities at Career Counselling Centre
The most ideal Career Counselling Centre facility is where students/job seekers and employers can gather for private one-on-one interviews with employers and Career Counselling Centre professional staff. The Career Counselling Centre has a room designated for private interviews.
The Director and Assistant Director of the Career Counselling Centre need private offices in which to visit with students/job seekers and employers.
The amount of space for students/job seekers to browse through career-related information, including job listings, is adequate for the current time. This area is likely going to be staffed with volunteers initially so short student/job seeker questions can be immediately answered.
The Career Counselling Centre will need highly visible signage so students/job seekers and employers can readily identify it when they visit the institution. At the current time, the Career Counselling Centre facilities are adequate for a start-up operation.
Staffing within Career Counselling Centre
The Career Counselling online/ offline Centre should be staffed with a full-time Technical Support Person (or Assistant Director) addition in addition to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will need to be “on the road” and “on the telephone” contacting external partners.
The Career Counselling Centre should not be left unattended at any time. Also, support of a website must be accomplished locally. A technical support person such as an Assistant Director can read e-mails, answer telephones, and enter job information into a local database in addition in addition to helping create and maintain the website. Student/job seeker/employer information must be uploaded, along with students’ CVs, and to a central computer server.
- A semi-technical semi-support person with proficiency in MS Access database, Excel spreadsheet, FrontPage, and HTML
- A graduating student/job seeker from the computer science curriculum
- The Director
- The Technical Support Assistant
- Two well-trained full-time staff with part-time student/job seeker assistance
Student Volunteers/Junior personnel
A full-time Director and full-time Technical Support Assistant (Assistant Director) are not adequate to staff the Career Counselling Centre alone. With so many students/job seekers wanting access to services, volunteer staff of part-time students/job seekers or junior personnel assistance is absolutely necessary.
It would be appropriate for these staffers to be rewarded with a small stipend or partially paid tuition scholarships if it’s students.
The duties of the student volunteers/junior personnel will include the following activities:
• CV and cover letter reviews
• Advice sharing
• Website training and programming
• Website design and HTML programming
• Database design, programming, and implementation
• Classroom setup and instruction
• Event promotion and management
• Resource recommendations
• Employer job solicitations solicitation
• Job fair management
• CV, student data, and job information data entry
• Networking with other students
Working Hours at Career Counselling Centre
The Career Counselling Centre facility should be highly visible and open for student/job seeker and employer visitations from early morning until late in the workday. The internal part of the office, staffed with computers and other technical equipment, should never be left unlocked or unattended should never be left unlocked or unattended.
Equipment available at Career Counselling Centre
Small workshops of 10-30 students/job seekers are ideal learning groups. The small group seminars should be given in a workshop format for the creation of CV and Cover Letter Cover paragraphs so the student/job seekers groups can review these with the instructor and student/job seekers colleagues.
Interaction with questions and answers is one of the best ways to learn. An instructor, with student volunteers/junior personnel, who can assist students/job seekers immediately after they are taught techniques, is one of the best learning experiences.
The Career Counselling Centre needs for its workshops, seminars, and lectures:
- Inexpensive laptop
- LCD projector
- PowerPoints uploaded on the Career Institution web portal which can readily be modified
Online Career Counselling and Guidance
• Step 1: Find the right career counselor/ coach you can click with
This can easily happen by going through the Internet presentations of available counselors and selecting your career advisor among them. To find the right fit, take the time to interview several career coaches.
These questions can help you find the right coach:
How would you describe your coaching style?
How many people have you coached in my industry and role?
Can you walk me through a time when you worked someone with who had a similar set of challenges as me?
How will you be tracking my progress?
What tools and exercises do you use to coach clients?
What are your top strengths as a career coach?
Also, request references. “Past performance is always a great indicator of future success,” Klein points out.
• Step 2: Create a mail id
If you do not have an e-mail, it is necessary to create one. Connect with the relevant online counselor via e-mail – you can describe your difficulty or ask your question.
• Step 3: Have a real-time conversation
If you prefer a meeting or a real-time conversation and you are not using the same system as the online counselor, you can easily install it on your computer. If you are using a public computer, ask the administrator for the required program.
Arrange a date and time for an online meeting with the career advisor.
• Step 4: Sign-up for an e-payment site
Sign up for an e-payment site so that you are able to pay the counselor’s service fee.
• Step 5: Set concrete goals
Simply saying, “I need a job,” is not helpful. You need to go deeper. A career coach can certainly help you drill down into the specifics, but you can save time by doing some thinking ahead of time.
Knowing precisely what you want to get from working with a career coach is crucial. This entails identifying goals with your coach that you can work toward together as a team. Do you want a job that leaves you feeling more fulfilled? A career path that provides a clear path up the ladder? A stronger sense of leadership in order to become a better manager?
• Step 6: Do the work
Though career coaches can be there to guide you throughout the job search process (or other challenges), there are limits to what they can do. Think of it this way: A batting coach can advise baseball players, but can’t hit home runs for them.
In much the same way, a coach can’t serve you a job offer on a silver platter or snap their fingers and get you that promotion you’ve been chasing. Remember, you—not your coach—are in the driver’s seat and steering your career. In other words, you can’t expect to just show up, pay someone, and then get out of the way while the counselor does all the work. You have to participate and follow the coach’s advice. If you don’t, you’re wasting time and money.
• Step 7: Be honest and open to criticism
Part of your career coach’s job is to be your cheerleader and a source of motivation, but their role also requires providing you with negative feedback at times. A career coach holds you accountable, plain and simple. Your role is to be receptive to such constructive criticism. That can be challenging sometimes—hearing that your resume needs a total rewrite, for instance, is discouraging. But you’re seeking career counseling to learn where your weak spots are and then the onus is on you to fix them.
And remember to be honest with yourself, too. If what you’re going through runs deeper than career dissatisfaction, a counselor isn’t the answer. Though it’s OK to lean on your coach for emotional support when you’re frustrated with your job search or your job, one should not look at their coach to be a therapist.
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