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I know what I am doing. Why should I care about Career Counseling or Career Guidance?

Updated: Nov 22, 2019


What is Career Development?


Career development is an ongoing process. It started when you began to spend more time with various activities or tasks you enjoyed growing up, such as reading literature, volunteering to help your grandparents or neighbors, or being creative in the way you dress up for an event. Additionally, you had career role models, people who influenced you strongly when they described what they enjoyed doing for a living. You also found out that you had a great aptitude for some subjects in school, and were fascinated by certain work environments or benefits, described to you by your career role models. Your family also noticed what you are good at and provided you feedback which reinforced your interests.

However, interests and values can fluctuate over time and you may not have enough information about a field of study or career that may seem interesting to you. This can cause confusion, stress and anxiety when making a career choice. Choosing a major can become a challenging task without self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Further, without good information about the exciting work that you dream about you can’t know what you need to do to be successful in that environment.



What is Career Counseling?


Career counseling is designed to help you become aware about your interests, values, aptitudes, and abilities and match these with a major and/or career(s) so that you can experience career success and satisfaction. Moreover, career dissatisfaction can lead to stress, anxiety and depression making it more important that you love what you do. You could choose a career counseling at any stage in life and change a major/career accordingly because career development is a lifelong process.



Why should I invest in Career Counseling?


Planning your education and career with an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses as well as information about your career goals can increase your likelihood of greater career satisfaction and success. Career counseling is a resource that can help you make informed career choices and decisions, making your investment of time and money in your chosen career more rewarding .

Moreover, as a student today, you have entered an age where individuals work towards multiple careers. Career counseling can help you map out which careers the same major can lead to. Additionally, knowledge, skills and abilities can overlap for many careers. Becoming aware of one’s range of interests can prepare you to have the flexibility to study varied majors in college and enrich the jobs that you perform in the future. Career counseling is a resource that you can use throughout your career journey to learn about different careers, job search resources, resume preparation or critiquing, and practice interviewing skills. Preparing for the classroom culture and student life abroad can also be addressed in career counseling.



Why should you do your Career Counseling with me?


After high school, I asked my parents to take me for career counseling in India which helped me and my parents get more information about my aptitude and interests. This knowledge assisted me in choosing a career where I could provide value and experience success. I completed one Masters in India in Counseling Psychology. I, then, wanted to learn psychology further and became an international student, like you aspire to be. I pursued a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo followed by a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Today, I am a licensed psychologist in the USA with expertise in vocational/career guidance. I have been through the journey as an international student that you wish to undertake and understand your confusions, apprehensions, motivations and challenges.



What will be my process of working with you?


In our initial consultation session, I will meet with you (online) to gather information about your interests, career plans and goals, your motivation to achieve those goals, educational background, and your results of academic achievement tests. I will also review your resume and get input from your parents if I feel the need.

I will then have you complete an online interest test that will highlight your work personality and tell you about occupational themes that match your strengths.

In our followup feedback session, I will provide you with information about your test results. This feedback will include information about occupational areas that you could excel in or your occupational theme code, your top five interest areas, and your top 10 strong occupational options. I will also provide information on your style of approaching people, learning, leading, risk taking and team participation. This information will help guide you in your choice of college majors that will lead you to satisfying careers.

In our third and final session, we will work on selecting your career choice and learn all about that career from steps involved in achieving it, including choosing a major, to the salaries you can make as a professional in that career or associated careers.



My advice: In general, what should you think about before pursuing a career?


Career decision making is an exciting as well as challenging process. Before pursuing a career, I would advise you to take the time to look at your resume, academic achievements and make a list of the subjects you enjoy or are good at, hobbies or interests you enjoy, and aspects that impress you about your career role models. At the same time, create a list of subjects/hobbies/activities you struggle with so you become aware of your limitations. You can also write down about what attracts you to a particular career or what factors motivate you about it. Make a note of all the compliments that your teachers, parents and friends have given you about your academics, sports, values, hobbies or your personality. Now, read about the career choices that interest you to learn about the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to become that professional. If possible, speak to people who are pursuing that profession in informational interviews. You can also volunteer or shadow professionals to see if the job tasks or the work environment meet your preference/values/expectations. You can take all this information you collect to a career counselor who will further guide you to make informed choices. With good information about your career choice and self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, you can look forward to having a fulfilling and satisfying career.



BOOK DR. TANIA SHARMA