The Role of a Career Counselor
I wish I knew it all!
One of the most common misperceptions of what a career counselor does is that a client can come to us, answer some questions, fill in some bubbles and be told what kind of career would bring them joy and satisfaction. I think most people know that it doesn't really work this way, but still want to believe in the myth deep down. And honestly, as a career counselor who really wants to help her clients, I would love if it worked this way! I could tell clients the right answer and send them on their way, knowing they would be satisfied and productive and live happily ever after. They wouldn't have to experience any frustrations, doubts or second guessing.
The unfortunate reality check is that I don't have that level of insight (and neither does anyone else that I've met. If you meet someone who does, please tell me!). What I can do is listen actively, ask questions, suggest activities and point out things you may not have thought of.
The tricky thing is that all of the questions I ask and exercises I offer are designed to do one thing: to help engage my client in thoughtful reflection, to in essence get the career exploration wheels turning and keep them turning. But these questions are not for my benefit; they're for the client's. As a career counselor, I try my best to encourage clients to reject questions or activities that they believe won't help them think about careers. If it's not helping you, it's better to try something else!
The moral of the story is that I wish I had secret knowledge, but I don't. What I do have is a compassionate and enthusiastic personality, an insightful ability to ask good questions and a friendly, but firm motivating nature. But it's you, my dear client, who will come to find the right answer for yourself. And I look forward to helping you with that!