Career Counseling Center

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When you are looking to develop your career, it's smart to seek advice from a variety of sources. Although as big mistake as "having oneself as a client" in a lawsuit or trial is likely to be, foregoing the chance to get career advice from experts may be another kind of very bad call.

The joke that defines "consultant" as "somebody who borrows your watch to tell you the time", while applicable to the worst consultants, is a joke precisely because most consulting, including career consulting, is not like that.

Think of a good career consultant's guidance as being like a Mercedes GPS navigation program that took years to put together: a distillation of time, energy, expertise and lessons that can guide you on the best course and away from career detours, or worse, dead ends.

Utilizing a career counselor to find your optimal job path is like setting out on a journey in a GPS-navigation equipped car: Sure, you can set out without it, but with a much greater risk of making a wrong turn, running into a dead end or getting hopelessly lost somewhere along the way.

Career counseling is professional advice related to employment and job search that is obtained from a licensed counselor. Counselors attempt to determine and examine individuals' backgrounds and career choices and then assist with planning and achieving a new vocation or greater success with a current occupation. (In the United Kingdom, this assessment phrase is referred to as "careers advice" or "careers guidance.")

People of all ages, from young adults about to enter college to seasoned career professionals can benefit from career counseling. The goal is to help the person to match potential careers with the individual's aptitudes, abilities, desires and interests. In order to do this, a career counselor will find ways to identify a person's aptitude, personality, interests and skills, both through psychometric assessments and through face to face counseling. Most career counselors will have a background in vocational psychology or industrial and/or organizational psychology.

A professional career counselor should hold a Master's Degree in Counseling or a closely related area, have passed the National Board for Certified Counselors' Exam, have over two years of supervised experience and hold credentials from at least one of two organizations, the National Board for Certified Counselors or the National Career Development Association.

The official credential that such an individual will receive is the title of "National Certified Career Counselor or Master Career Counselor". According to the National Career Development Association, a professional career counselor "assists with making and implementing career/life decisions and plans." He or she is trained in counseling, career development, assessment and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative assessments and the use of occupational information.

Career counseling can be performed either face-to-face or, in a more recent innovation, online, through testing services and virtual "in-person" meetings. The presence of online counselors is especially helpful to someone who lives in areas where (s)he would have to drive significant distances in order to find a career counselor.

...and especially helpful if the car lacks GPS navigation.
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