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Ever felt that you may not be particularly well suited for the job you are currently in? Is there something at the back of your mind telling you that you could do much better in another area or in a completely new field altogether?
If your answer is a resounding yes, you might just be need some career counselling.
What is career counselling?
Career counselling is the assistance given to employees (either one-on-one or in a group) to help them explore and make decisions in relation to choosing an occupation or an area of work they are best suited to. In short, career counselling is undertaken to assess one's:
A career counselor helps you understand the above and play a more active role in your career and the direction in which it is progressing. Career counselling helps you understand your strengths, weaknesses and the unique attributes you possess to perform certain kinds of work successfully, thus building a career out of it.
Methods of career counselling
Career counselling can be undertaken through:
Among the above, the face-to-face interaction method between the counselor and the client is the most important.
It is undertaken with the aim of collecting relevant information about the personality and qualifications of the employee and then guiding him/ her towards the many options available. The employee is asked to take interest and aptitude tests followed by a personal interview to discuss the results and arrive at a conclusion.
Counselling generally involves a 3-step process:
~ Career planning
~ Career and educational information
~ Job search
Why you need career counselling
Career counselling is essential in today's corporate world regardless of whether the employee is a fresher or an experience professional. In the case of the former, counselling helps identify where his/ her talents and abilities would be best utilised.
In the case of the latter, career counselling is equally important. A certain degree of boredom and monotony tends to creep in doing the same job or the same kind of work for years. There are a number of people even today who have put in a number of years of service at one company, yet wonder whether they are in the right place and making the best contribution possible.
Given this, counselling is a bid to retain talent while pointing employees in the right direction. Regular counselling sessions have become a norm at many companies, with employees wanting to discuss issues such as:
Employees are beginning to welcome such initiatives, as they are slowly realising that they may not always have all the right answers and could do with professional counselling assistance. They get to see the benefits for themselves.
Counselling sessions help in identifying the strength areas of the employees and also give them an opportunity to work on their areas of weakness. They also help in multi-skill development, something highly needed in today's competitive corporate world.
As for companies, they too reap the benefits of such sessions. Using this, companies guide employees towards focusing on their inner selves and seeking growth themselves, instead of directly pushing the employee on a particular career growth path. While a basic framework is provided, it is more an area of self-evaluation for the employee.
It also helps companies establish and build long-term associations with employees. Companies understand their employees better -- whether or not they are satisfied with their current jobs, what dreams and goals they have for the future etc.
In addition, the process helps spot talent early on and nurtures it, so that employees can become better managers and leaders, and help take the company forward. Employees imbibe the values of the company better, helping them integrate their personal goals with those of the company and understand their place of work better.
The facility of career counselling was not always available earlier, which is why most employees are wary of it. But it is a valuable resource to have at your disposal, so understand it, appreciate it and used more often, to benefit both, the company and its most valuable asset � you, its employee!
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