Career counseling and career guidance are similar in nature to other types of counseling (e.g. marriage or clinical counseling). What unites all types of professional counseling is the role of professionals, who combine giving advice on their topic of expertise with counseling techniques that support clients in making complex decisions and facing difficult situations.
The world of work is changing all the time – and fast. Jobs have emerged that didn’t exist five or ten years ago. And the idea that you’d stick with one career for your entire working life has been left in the dust. The Conversation Africa’s education editor Natasha Joseph asked Professor Kobus Maree of the University of Pretoria’s Educational Psychology Department to explain how career counseling has changed – and why it’s so important.
When you talk about career counseling, I suspect a lot of people think back to their school days when a guidance counselor said, “You should do this job one day.” But it’s a far broader world, isn’t it?
Career counseling entails much more than merely choosing a job and hoping to stay in that job for the rest of one’s life. Choosing a career is seen by many as trying to find a way to integrate into society, say as a teacher or a plumber, and also about making a social contribution.
Today, career counselors believe that it is essential to identify a person’s original “pain”. This provides the starting point and life plot of every person’s career and life career story.
Choosing a career is not a serious affair until 12th grade. However, once you are done with 12th, it is necessary to choose a definite career and decide a career goal. Choosing the right career option keeping the market in mind is necessary. In addition to this, selecting the right education institution is equally important. Unfortunately, not many students are able to discover their potentials and interests at the stage and this is when pressure starts building.
Students want to be successful and they don’t mind getting help. They may feel shy at first or think it’s weak to take help, but it is our responsibility to help them build strong careers. Having a career counseling cell in schools is the first step in doing that. It is a great first step indeed.