According to a study by Accountemps, workers are disengaged in their jobs about 28 percent of the time. Research in 2015 also found that 51% of Canadians are not happy with their current work. Though fewer workers in North America are now looking to change their jobs in 2019, studies show that 34 percent of employees are still looking for new or different work.
There are various reasons why you may think of looking for jobs. It may be because you are looking for higher pay, better work-life balance, and career advancement. It can also be that you are at a point in your life where you want to change your career focus, or maybe you find yourself unemployed for whatever reasons (layoffs, downsizing, workplace issues, etc.).
Whatever the reason may be, if you are at a crossroads thinking about the next step in your career, career counselling in Ottawa would be a smart move. This is one of the situations in our lives where we can benefit from unbiased advice.
The following are just some of the many reasons why you should consider getting in touch with a career counselor.
6 Benefits of Career Counselling
1. Enumerates strengths and weaknesses
One of the first things to do when seeing a career counselor is to take a series of tests. This may include IQ and aptitude tests as well as a personality test. The primary objective of writing these tests is to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Whatever information you will get will serve as the foundation of your career counselling.
Both your strengths and weaknesses can help identify the right career path for you. Your core skills and abilities will be properly matched to key components of specific careers. On the other hand, when you’ve identified your weaknesses, this can help you avoid a career path that will inevitably lead to frustration. Identifying areas for improvement can also aid in your growth and development as an employee or employer. When you seek advice from a career counsellor, he or she will further advise you on the steps you need to take in order to address your weaknesses.
Sets goals for better results
Goal setting is the development of an action plan that’s designed to inspire and lead a person towards meeting a goal. When you seek the help of a professional career counsellor, one of the things you will do is to set short-term as well as long-term goals. Apart from this your counsellor will also develop an action plan that includes the right advice per stage.
Why is it important to set goals? Having goals helps you create a career path that has specific measures which can help assess your progress at each stage in your career. Setting goals can also help you prepare for possible challenges along the way. Your goals will also guide you whenever you make a career-related decision.
Remember that in setting goals, it is better to identify specific ones rather than listing down easy and generic ones. Take it from Edwin Locke, an American psychologist who pioneered the goal-setting theory. According to him, your goals should have the following characteristics (you may have heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals):
- A goal should be specific and measurable
- A goal should be challenging but reachable
- A goal should have time constraints
If you decide to work with a career counselor, he or she will be your accountability partner when it comes to your career goals. You can consult and/or report to them as you progress in your career.
Identifies career options
Taking the next step in your career can get overwhelming. Whether it is a movement within your current career path or towards a completely different path, both can be difficult to handle alone. You may not readily know this but there are a lot of career options available, and sometimes it can get confusing. When you have a lot of options, there is also a tendency to get diverted from the path that you picked out.
When you decide to do career counselling, your career counselor will help you understand the possible career options available for you. He or she will also present you with options that you can take into consideration when you’re deciding your next move. Armed with the results of the various tests you have taken, he or she can give you the most appropriate advice for your current situation. This can serve as a boost of confidence for you because his or her recommendations will be based on accurate data.
A career counselor will also let you save time and effort because you are both working on realistic goals that have been determined based on your discussions. He or she will help you focus on only one area of a career path that’s best for you.
Provides support and guidance
When you have finally selected your career path, your career counsellor will help you find available opportunities. He or she can also do the necessary follow up. Part of his/her support can include sending in the needed applications, finding a school in case you need additional training or skills as well as helping you create business plans. Your counsellor can also help you get ready for your interviews and may even recommend avenues of networking or suggestions of contacts.
As mentioned previously, your counselor will also help you focus on your goals by holding you accountable. In case you encounter a bump along the road, you can always consult with him or her on the right action to take.
- Identifying the baby steps in the job hunt and charting them accordingly – this makes your ultimate goal more achievable
- Doing the proper assessment of the job target. You both have to agree if the goal is too demanding or if it’s too easy
- Stopping you from procrastinating
- Literally or figuratively picturing the benefit of choosing the next step in your career – yes, it can literally get literal by having a printed out picture of the benefit
Helps with the job search
Not only will your career counselor lay out career options that you can choose from, he or she can also help you when you are ready to start looking for a new job. Some of the ways that he or she can help you are through:
- Offering to review your cover letter
- Going over your resume to make sure that everything paints that best picture of you
- Offering interview services together with their counselling services
He or she should be able to provide you with the tools and resources you need and the right amount of feedback which will ensure success in your job search.
Identifies your branding
Whatever industry you choose, there is always an expectation for job seekers to present themselves professionally to be treated with respect. With the discussions you have had with your counsellor, he or she should be able to help create a stronger brand for you. The strengths and weaknesses that were identified via the tests will serve as the basis for your branding. The perfect branding should let you stand out from the rest and should make other professionals and employers treat you with respect.
As mentioned, the strengths that you have both identified will be used to establish the brand that you want to project. Let’s say for example that you are good with numbers, your counselor should be able to help you identify opportunities and ways that will utilize this skill in the corporate world. Basically, your career counselor should be able to help make you marketable. And because both of you are familiar with your areas for improvement, your counsellor can help you avoid situations that will only highlight them.
An Open Mind Helps with Career Counselling
A career counsellor can definitely help you out by offering support at each stage of your career and by giving out unbiased advice. Taking advantage of the opportunity to get guidance, mentorship, and expert advice could make a significant impact on your life. As with any consultation, it’s best to approach the counselling process with an open mind and a curious disposition. This way you can fully benefit from getting in touch with a counsellor.
Take the Next Step for Your Career!
If you are ready to take the next step in your career and would like to seek a professional advisor, consider Capital Choice Counselling. If you are around the Ottawa area, our career counselors can help you make the right career decision with more confidence. What’s great is that workplace counselling services are most of the time covered by your health insurance plan.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a counsellor, contact us today.