People who want to give career guidance or are interested in working as a professional school counsellor often find themselves at interesting, career path crossroads. Not only do people working in this profession have to understand the intricacies of career development and career planning, but those who want to work with children and teens also have to have skills as a career counsellor. These kinds of skills can include a range of qualities, from being able to perform a career assessment to having a grasp of child psychology.
Career management, however, isn’t the only type of field these professionals have to master - having great interpersonal skills is often more important for a career advisor to have. This is especially true as well for child psychologists, an occupation that often saves the lives of many young adults. Becoming a career coach of sorts, whether that be for adults in the professional world or for students working on their university applications, is becoming ever more important.
With the way digital media has transformed the job market, those looking for a career change or who are interested in understanding what kind of job opportunities await them in the future - having a guide to help improve their job search strategies can be vital. Here are some of the qualities you should make sure to acquire if you’re looking for career options in counselling.
World of Work: Gain Personal and Professional Skills
Whether you’re working at a high school or at a professional career centre, being able to help students and adults look for job offers or aid in their resume and cover letter writing or interview skills can be viewed as one of the most important social services out there. Offering psychological or career services, however, necessitates many difficult interpersonal skills.
Whether you’re helping someone with their career exploration or family life, having strong interpersonal skills will be extremely important when offering individual or career advice. These are the types of skills you use to communicate with others.
For example, from helping someone accomplish their career goals to completing their cover letters, you will have to be an attentive listener and be able to keep an open mind. Similar to the ways teachers often have to adapt their courses to the needs of their students, those working in educational psychology or as career counsellors will have to adjust their methods to the needs of their clients.
Interpersonal skills often figure under “soft skills,” as opposed to “hard skills” like programming and language ability. Whether you’re working with job seekers or students, having a demonstrated ability to utilize these skills will help you stand out from the competition.
When it comes to working as an education psychologist, meaning you will offer emotional support to students while collaborating with teachers and/or parents, the most important professional skills you’ll need is vocational training in the field. Whether that be through a domestic or international practice, you should have both academic and professional experience in psychology.
School counsellors, on the other hand, will have to make sure their academic and career choices have included work in psychology but aren’t strictly necessary for many school guidance career pathways. As a counsellor, it is possible that you will work with multiple schools and therefore, students will need to make an appointment with you. Having the professional skills of both schedule building and organizing academic and career resources will come in handy.
Those looking for career offers in giving professional career guidance can get chose an in person or online career path. The kinds of skills involved in this kind of job will be the ability to tailor a career plan to many individuals, participate in career fairs, guide students after graduation into a new career quickly. Having these kinds of professional skills will give you many more employment opportunities.
Lastly, all of these occupations will require different education levels. While working as a school or professional guidance counsellor will typically only require a bachelor’s degree in order to get jobs and internships in adult and student success, educational psychology will often require a master’s level of education and above.
Get to Know the UK's Education System
Getting any career opportunities involving personal or career assessments, whether that be through an online job or an in-person counselling centre, will require you to understand both student employment and the education system of the UK.
There are many different ways you can assist students - one thing to keep in mind is that you will most likely always have to do so, no matter what ends up being your career choice. After all, what career hunt or university application doesn’t involve a minimum understanding of the education system of the country?
Being a psychological or career guide means you will either be dealing with students within the school system or students on a job or internship search. Along with the education system, it will be a good idea to have general knowledge in the following categories no matter what kind of career paths you choose:
- Biggest private and public sectors in the country
- Unemployment statistics and benefits
- The ins and outs of A-levels and university requirements
- Education requirements for public and private job postings
General school guidance counsellors, as well as some education psychologists, might find it a good idea to either gather or write important student resources themselves. These can include pamphlets or brochures relating to how to ace a mock interview, different career fields, where to find a job board, local university admission requirements and more. Being able to provide student services related to counselling will mean being able to give advice on everything from job interview pointers to where to get support for school related anxiety.
If you’re interested in taking part in working for a development centre or career consultant agency, you will want to know more of the education requirements that major companies or organizations typically require from postsecondary students. You will also have to practice delivering the career information you will continue to gather in preparation for your own walk in hours, for updating online resources, or if you choose to participate in a job fair.
Becoming a School Psychologist
If your career interest lies in wanting to make a positive impact in the lives of children and families, consider becoming and educational psychologist. Because schools the world over are revaluating the traditional definition of the services schools should supply, many have expanded that definition to include counselling programs for children, young adults and families.
Some of your daily tasks can include following behavioural changes in at-risk students, recommending counselling programs for troubled families, and providing emotional support to young adults with mental illnesses. If you’re interested in choosing a career that specializing in giving psychological care to children and young adults, you will need to master some basic personal and professional skills such as:
- Understanding insurance coverage for psychological processes
- Great communication and listening skills
- A complete mastery of child and young adult psychology
Becoming a professional psychologist for schools can involve either being an on-site or off-site therapist or counsellor, depending on what region and school district you’re in. For all counselling jobs, the most important step you’ll have to take in your career journey is to acquire experience in the field. Finding an undergraduate or graduate program that provides this kind of real-world training, as well as postsecondary training programs, can help you build the confidence to practice in your field.
If you’re wondering what educational paths you can take to become a counsellor, becoming a school therapist will involve attaining an undergraduate degree in psychology or a specialization within the field.
Becoming a Career Guidance Professional
If you’re an industry professional looking to change careers or someone who enjoys giving advice on resumes and interview skills, finding a job in career counselling might be worth checking out. Some of your daily tasks will involve anything related to career advising, from finding job shadowing programs for your clients to running workshops on how to advance in a field you’re an expert in.
There are many different avenues people follow when they take up a job in career coaching. Most often, these jobs are taken up later in life, something that benefits you as a job seeker because of the experience you have built in your years on the job market. However, you can also take this up as a straight-out-of-college career, or even after high school.
There are many different qualities you’ll need in this field, many of which include being an organized and independent worker. If you work on a university campus in a career centre, you’ll need to organize informational brochures and online databases. If you work as a career consultant in the private sector, you’ll most likely have to deal with clients in a one-on-one, individualized setting.
Whether you want to work as a private career advisor or as a school psychologist, getting accredited with an established body can boost your chances in getting hired!