The usual process of career counseling involves facilitating greater self-awareness, linking individuals to resources containing labour market information, increasing awareness of options available (including further study/training opportunities, work shadowing/ experience/ volunteer work as stepping stones towards long-term goals), assisting with the decision- making process, and teaching job search strategies. Check lists can be useful in guiding students through this process. A checklist of steps that can be taken may be constructed and provided for students to help them in areas such as self-awareness and opportunity awareness. A check list may include lists of questions or important points regarding areas to consider in career exploration). The various parts of the career process can be reviewed and explained to students.
When individuals are considering career options, it is useful to assist them in attaining greater self-awareness by asking about their interests, values and skills in order that they might better understand which jobs are suited to them and which ones are not a good match. Someone who is well-matched to the job is likely to be more motivated and successful in his/her work, and to enjoy the job more than the person who is poorly suited.
Labour Market Information
Individuals need to gather information about the kinds of jobs that are available to them. This kind of information may be found through books or websites, as well as through a labour market information service that tracks current labour market trends and opportunities in the region or country. Along with using books and websites or a labour market information service, students can talk to family members, potential employers, and members of the community to ask questions about work options available.
Decision-Making/ Setting Goals
In making a decision about the kind of work to pursue, it is important to integrate self-awareness with labour market information to arrive at the best fit for the person. It is often useful to engage in a discussion and weigh the costs and benefits of the various choices. Setting both short-term and long-term goals is also a useful activity for students to engage in.
Individuals may need assistance with job search strategies such as writing a resume and cover letter, learning interview skills, and knowing where to look for jobs that are advertised as well as those jobs that are not advertised.
The work involves career counsellors and career advisors. Each role is defined to show the various tasks that individuals are involved in to provide career programming for students.
Career counsellors should have specialized training in career counselling and career development. They may also have additional training in personal counselling as well as in group counselling. They may facilitate career development groups for students or counsel students individually. Counsellors can assist students in various areas. Some examples include increasing self-awareness, decision-making, goal-setting and establishing a plan of action.
Career advisers should have specialized training and be able to provide specific information to individuals such as how to put together a resume and cover letter, what to expect in a job interview, how to find a job, and how to use the resources in the career counselling centre. They may conduct workshops about these topics to groups of students as well as to advise students individually.
Mentorship and Role Models
Students may find it helpful to consider mentors or role models. A mentor is generally someone who serves as a guide for a student. For example, if a student is planning to be a medical doctor, he/she might connect with an experienced medical doctor in the community and meet with this person occasionally for consultation regarding the work of being a medical doctor. A student learns from a mentor through the sharing of experience, advice, and learning by example.
Role models are similar to mentors. Role models are people that demonstrate positive qualities and are good examples of individuals that students may desire to imitate. A student may have many role models that reflect the various life roles. For example, one role model might be a good example of a dedicated worker and another person might be a good example of a caring parent. mentorship implies a process more similar to an informal type of apprenticeship.