How Seeking a Career Counselor Can Help You Succeed

Careers. Some people have them, and are unsatisfied with them. Maybe this is something you can relate to. Perhaps you work too hard for too little, and you want an employer that will appreciate you. Maybe you’re happy with your job, but want to grow even more and don’t know what the next move will be, or if it’s even possible where you are. Maybe you’re already too deep into your career and wonder if there is even a way to change careers despite your already having been in the workforce for x amount of time. People may not know what career they want, or they may know and don’t know how to make the jump.

American culture tells us that we should look for careers that make us happy, but once you get one in a competitive job market but you are unsatisfied with it, you are told it’s a part of life, and you’re lucky to have landed a job at all.

While every job is going to have its ups and downs, if your overall experience with your career is negative, you aren’t obligated to stick with your job or your entire field, for that matter. It’s important that you find the career that is best for you, and a career counselor can help.

What is a Career Counselor?

In simplest terms, a career counselor is someone who helps you with your current, potential, and future careers.

You may have talked to a counselor in high school who helped you figure out what college you wanted to attend the career you were interested in, or both. However, career counselors are more than just people who help you to explore job possibilities. If you want to make a job switch gracefully, a counselor may help.

What a Career Counselor Does

Here are a few things to expect out of working with a career counselor.

Identifying and Setting Goals

When it comes to careers, it’s important to set goals. In any form of counseling, having a goal is important. A career counselor can help you set up goals in your current job as well as any future job(s) you may have. Having a plan of where you want to be in 5 years, or even a year, and having a path to reach that goal, can be very helpful.

A career counselor may help by refining your identified goals and helping you stick to them. However, some career counselors may not have you establish strict goals, and that’s ok too, depending on your needs. Sometimes they may allow a little room for the client to be able to explore what matters to them outside of work, prior to even establishing work-related goals.

Career counselors may help find what they think may be a perfect job fit for the client, or a job that they may still like that is more realistic. It all depends on the career choice and what is most important.

Viewing Things Realistically

A career counselor will try their best to help you find the career you want, and they realize that with some persistence, you may be able to achieve a job that feels like a dream. However, many counselors also realize that being realistic is important.

Sometimes, a counselor realizes that pragmatism is needed when the client isn’t the right fit for the job, or the job is in a declining or hyper-competitive market. We are living in changing times where some careers may not be a good long-term goal because of things like automation or outsourcing that can prevent them from pursuing a long-term career in their chosen field.

A career counselor is job market-savvy, and is always up-to-date with current job trends. Sometimes, a market may improve when it’s historically been on the decline, and a career counselor can alert the client when to strike when things heat up.

Realizing Your Talents

Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize your talents. You may feel like you have hardly any, if any at all, and instead, will focus on a career or job that’s not a good fit for your strengths. Because of your job situation, you may have talents that you never realize.

Finding your talent is always a good thing, but many do not know where to look. A counselor who specializes in careers may have you explore your personality and desires and help you identify and draw out your talent.

Perhaps you are a gifted cook, but you’ve never considered a career in the culinary arts due to external pressures like family, or the degree you graduated with. Or perhaps you are good with your children, but have never considered teaching, which you may be a natural fit for.


A career counselor is someone who may also be your therapist. They may ask you questions that don’t seem to pertain to your job, such as learning about your personality, or talking about your childhood. They may also give you solutions to problems at your job, or even external factors that may make you unhappy at your job.
You may not even need a new job, but instead, need to focus on fixing the way you approach your current one.
These questions may seem irrelevant, but a career counselor needs to explore them with you in order to have a more holistic understanding of who you are and what might suit you best in the workplace.

Are Career Counselors Worth it?

Some people may be skeptical of a career counselor because of the cost. It can take a few sessions before you see progress, and sessions can cost quite a bit.

When you don’t have a job, or have a job that doesn’t pay well, this may be quite intimidating. It can be difficult for you to consider therapy when the cost is too much.

Some career counselors may accept your insurance, work pro bono, or have a sliding scale for their fees. With that said, a good career counselor may be the investment you’re looking for.

A career counselor is good, but you will also need to put the effort in as well when you’re facing a career switch, or change in your job situation. If you are having a hard time getting the motivation you need, you may want to seek the help of another therapist. With that said, you deserve to have a job that is the best for you. Consider reaching out to a career counselor to explore making the switch you’ve been thinking of!

This is a featured post by site sponsor Better Help.

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