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Times of transition provide us with space to wonder about what is next in our lives. Some people come through these transitions with a specific goal or vision. Others are left wondering if they can even find a job.
You may be wondering whether or not you should even make a change. "Pop" career counselors/coaches may advise "follow your passion and the money will follow" or "turn your hobby into a business". But experienced career counselors understand that many factors go into making a career choice that works for you. If you've found yourself in a position that you're considering a career change, career counseling could be the right choice.
What Experienced Career Consultants Say
Knowing which skills you should be growing to stay competitive in the marketplace and building a game plan to grow those skills is VITAL.J.T. O'Donnell @ workitdaily.com
The more you tell your story and ask questions, the sharper you will become at describing (and valuing) your own skills and experience and knowing and articulating what you want and need in a new job.Liz Ryan @ humanworkplace.com
Working with a career coach is a process that can help you understand yourself and where you fit best in your career, education, and life.Alison Doyle @ thebalance.com
Career counseling involves several steps to put a plan together. To start, you provide information through a career background interview. We'll consider your existing education, results from your career assessment, your life circumstances, personal values, your tolerance for risk and your income requirements.
If you are uncertain what field interest you, you may find a career assessment helpful to identify areas of interest. You might also want to find a match between your values and the companies that interest you as part of the assessment. Whatever your direction, we can develop a list of transferable skills.
The Role Of Education In Career Counseling
Investing in training, education, or certification is only the first step in launching your new career. You and your career coach will team up to discuss job hunting techniques, resume and interview strategies, and salary negotiation skills. Your career coach will help you discover transferable professional skills.
Continuing your education may involve more than self-directed learning or continuing education. If you require (another) college degree as part of your new career, we can help you explore programs.
Considerations of Education and Career Counseling
Colleges and trade schools offer resources to help students succeed. First, seek academic and housing accommodations before you get on campus. Next, learn strategies for success while in college with ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, or autism/Asperger's. Finally, you and your counselor will follow up periodically or transfer your care to your college counseling office.
Back To School or Different Job? Career Counseling Can Help You Decide
Working with a career counselor can save you between $50,000 and $200,000 or the average cost of a graduate or professional degree. Many people decide to return to school to gain a new skill for a career change. But many mid-career professionals make returning to school the default choice during an economic downturn. Before you decide that you must return to law school or ditch the corporate grind and become a humanitarian social worker, take the following steps:
- Talk with a career coach or trusted mentor to determine if this new field is worth the investment.
- Determine the skills that you currently have that would help you in the career change.
- Interview several professionals at different levels in your new field to gain insight.
- Volunteer, become an intern, or get a part-time job in the new field to gain experience.
- Create a budget to cover returning to school. Begin living at a lower earning level with the new career.
- Consider the loss of income growth from your existing career.
- Try qualifying for a similar field with a lower training cost
Rather than simply defaulting to returning to get a graduate degree, consult a career consultant to develop a transition plan and weigh the options.
Am I Too Old For A Career Change?
As employees approach their peak earning years and consider next steps, they may find that playing infinite golf or driving an RV cross-country is not a top dream. Choosing a career that allows you to pursue a calling can be highly satisfying. Career counseling can help you make that determination.
But determining how to get started can feel overwhelming. You can spend the years before exiting your career trying out options to see what you like. Also, consider starting a side-hustle that becomes a source of income. In addition, using a career coach can serve as a sounding board when making this decision.
Importance of Career Assessments in Career Counseling
Several types of assessments are available to help you focus your options. Our career consultants have used them to help folks decide what's right for them. The types of common career assessments, both paid and free, include:
- Interest inventories - The Strong Interest Inventory and the Career Assessment Inventory provide insight into careers that may interest you. A free assessment available online is the O*Net Interest Profiler.
- Personality assessments - The popular Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI and similar tests can provide insight into how you prefer to work with others and lead. Another popular model is the Big 5 Personality Test.
- Aptitude assessments - Most aptitude assessments measure traits in a similar way as interest inventories. However, aptitude assessments such as math, business, and reading proficiency exam ensure basic skills on the job. Some fields require skills certifications, usually before hiring, in order to work.
- Career values assessments - a career values assessment can help you match your values to company culture.
Workplace Skills To Consider in Career Counseling
Sometimes you have stress at work due to social demands, long work hours. and other pressures. You and your career coach will set some goals for developing skills such as self-advocacy, setting limits, and clarifying communication. Self-advocacy may involve requesting adjustments to your workplace, duties, or schedule. We can show you how to successfully request accommodations. Gain skills to improve your enjoyment of your workplace and help you feel more competent. Your career coach will track your progress with you until you can practice those skills independently.
Cultural Values and Vision To Discuss With A Career Coach
Your values are a critical area to explore before starting a job hunt or launching a career. Matching your values to a company's mission and values will increase your career satisfaction. When your values and the company's culture don't align, your sense of career satisfaction will decrease negatively affecting your performance. A career coach can help you navigate what this looks like. To prevent a poor fit, do research on a company before each interview.
Consultations With A Career Coach
At Accessible Career, our career coaches are here to help. Our career coaches can coordinate with testers, teachers, university counselors, doctors, and workplace professionals. Consultations require you to provide a specific release of information. Allowing your career counselor to share information with other professionals can help your progress toward a more satisfying career.
Exit Planning Made Easier With Career Consultation
In the rare circumstances that you are unable to continue working due to your condition, you and your career coach can discuss the options available. Typical places to find support include Social Security, Texas Workforce Commission, TIRR, and the Veterans Administration. You and your career coach can also decide if returning to school, self-employment, freelancing, or starting a (part-time) business is right for you.
Begin Career Coaching in Houston, TX
Navigating a career can be tough. Often, there are factors that you have to take into consideration that you might not have initially thought of. Working with a career coach can help you make these decisions. Career consultation has many benefits and can provide you with the support you need to be successful. When you're ready to begin working a career coach, follow these steps:
- Contact us and schedule an appointment.
- Get to know our team of career coaches.
- Figure out what your next step is.
Other Counseling Services Offered in Houston, TX
Career counseling isn't the only service we provide. We offer many services at Accessible Career online or in our Houston clinic. However, we see most of our clients online. Other services we offer include online therapy, counseling for autistic adults, and couples counseling. If you're curious to learn more, schedule a free consultation. If we aren't the best fit, we're happy to provide some referral sources.