What is Career Counseling and How Can Career Counseling Maryland Benefit Me?
The majority of Americans spend a third of their lives at work, but a 2014 study showed that only 52.3% of Americans report being satisfied with their jobs. While the basis for job satisfaction varies from person to person - ranging from enjoyability to hours and salary - this, in our eyes, appears to be far too much dissatisfaction. At Psych Associates of Maryland, we believe in doing anything we can to improve your quality of life, which is why we offer career counseling to our clients. What exactly is career counseling and how can career counseling Maryland benefit you? We’re here to break it down for you.
Think back to your days of visiting your guidance counselor in high school. As a freshman, your guidance counselor assessed your future goals and discussed with you the types of classes you should be taking. Over the next year or two, your guidance counselor had yearly check-ins to see if you were on track and presented you with enrichment opportunities. By junior and senior year, your guidance counselor was helping you take your big steps with what schools and jobs to apply to and setting you up for success in your next step of life.
Think of career counseling as a grown-up version of high school guidance counseling. Career counseling is designed to help with choosing, changing, or leaving an existing career. Because career transitions can be extremely stressful, career counseling is there to provide support and valuable insight into your own skill set. Great for everyone from recent college graduates to people with 20-30 years in the workforce, career counseling can help you find a career that aligns with your professional goals and ideals.
For some people seeking career counseling, the most difficult part is knowing where to start. After all, choosing a career to commit to fresh out of the gate can feel like a hefty decision and be a source of stress. Career counselors will work with you on a series of personality tests - ranging from your Myers-Briggs personality type to career aptitude tests - to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Using this new information, your career counselors will help reassess your career goals and abilities to help your reconsider a career path that may be more rewarding for you.
One of the greatest difficulties in reaching career satisfaction is knowing where to start in a seemingly daunting process. Your career counselor will help you set both short and long term goals to work through and help provide appropriate advice at each stage. Not only do these goals create benchmarks for you to reach during your job hunt (or whatever stage of career transition you are in), but having a counselor helps provide supportive accountability during a turbulent time in your life.
We often have an idea of what we want out of our professional lives, but these notions are sometimes limiting and ill-informed. A career counselor has extensive knowledge about a variety of career paths, the work it takes to succeed, and the type of lifestyle that each position brings to the table. But even more so, a career counselor has the opportunity to get to know you and your lifestyle, allowing them to advise you with confidence and professional insight.
For instance, you may be looking for a career in legal services because you enjoy analytical thinking and working with clients. You’re interested in going back to school to reach these career goals, but want to ensure a good work-life balance. You find yourself in a bit of a dilemma here, because you know that jobs in the legal field often do not permit a good work-life balance. A career counselor can help you explore the careers that satisfy your professional goals without having to sacrifice time with your family.
One of the most valuable things a career counselor can bring to the table for you is the ability to open up your career opportunities. Once you dive beyond your originally-anticipated scope with the help of a career counselor, new doors become open. Your counselor assists you in sending out applications, creating business plans, and choosing schools while working through the stresses and setbacks that come with a career change. Following up both with you and your career goals, career counseling Maryland is the key to finally reaching your professional goals -- even the ones you didn’t know were possible.
The weird thing about finding a new career is that you are essentially selling yourself (in a legal way, that is). Your career counselor will help you develop new ways to market yourself that highlights your skills and abilities while setting forth a personal brand that is not soon to be forgotten. This is done over time by evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, and what unique aspects of yourself shine through in your work. Your personal branding isn’t always what’s expected, either. You may be a spectacular artist entering the corporate world. Instead of pushing this skillset aside, your career counselor will work with you to turn that seemingly-unrelated skill into something that makes you stand out -- and can even land you the job!
More than all else, there is a great benefit in having someone along the way to provide you with support and the confidence you need. Leaving a job you once loved or feeling as though the professional world is going to eat you alive can be an extreme source of anxiety for many. Your career counselor is a reassuring and realistic point of contact for you to grow and build confidence off of that can help launch you into the career of your dreams.
It’s clear that career counseling has astounding benefits for people looking for jobs. If you’re looking for support during a career transition of your own, get in touch with Psych Associates of Maryland. As leaders in career counseling Maryland, Psych Associates of Maryland will match you with a career counselor that can help you reach your personal and professional goals like you never thought possible.
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