Career Counseling is meant to help clients choose, change, or grow in their career, but did you know that career counseling can provide valuable guidance and support for rising high school juniors and seniors as they prepare to start their professional journey.
Benefits of Career Counseling For High School Students
- Self-Exploration: Career counseling is a developmental tool to gain knowledge of yourself, the world of work in order to make a career, educational and training requirements, and general life decision-making skills. Self-exploration in career development is working to identify and gain knowledge of your individual skills, interests, values, and personality traits as it can relate to building a career. Additionally, career counseling provides a space to further explore your strengths and weaknesses, develop and clarify career goals and passions. Counselors utilize various assessments, discussion, and activities to evaluate your career expectations. Studies have shown that self-exploration and awareness is crucial for successful career planning and development (e.g., Lent et al., 2013; Yilmaz, 2016).
- Career Assessment: Career counselors employ a diverse array of assessments to gain valuable insights into your abilities, preferences, and potential career trajectories. These assessments and resources can aid in the discovery and identification of new career opportunities that align with your strengths and passions. Additionally, they assess your perception of relationships and the impact these relationships have on your career development. By providing guidance and access to relevant information, career counseling assists individuals in making well-informed career decisions. Research has indicated that career counseling interventions contribute to improved decision-making self-efficacy and career decision-making abilities (e.g., Nota et al., 2015; Stead et al., 2019).
- Goal Setting: When it comes to setting goals for your career, it is crucial to possess a comprehensive grasp of your abilities, strengths, and interests. Professional counselors play a significant role in helping individuals identify practical and attainable career objectives. They guide you in breaking down long-term goals into smaller, actionable steps. By creating a clear roadmap of your career aspirations, you increase your chances of achieving success. (e.g., Brown et al., 2003; Whiston et al., 2017).
- Education and Training: Career counselors possess a vast array of resources and expertise to help you enhance your career through further education or training. They have access to a wealth of information regarding various educational institutions, training programs, and certifications that can contribute to your career development. Counselors have the ability to conduct assessments, such as an IQ or personality test, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, that aid in identifying potential career avenues. Moreover, they can assist in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of different educational and training pathways, while also helping you find sources of financial aid, programs, and scholarships.
- Job Search Strategies: Career counselors provide invaluable assistance when it comes to job searching, offering expert guidance on various techniques such as crafting resumes and cover letters, developing networking strategies, preparing for interviews, and optimizing your online presence, including the creation of a LinkedIn profile. They aid in identifying potential job openings and equip you with the essential skills needed to navigate the highly competitive job market with confidence and efficiency. Research has shown that career counseling interventions can improve job search self-efficacy and employment outcomes (e.g., Creed et al., 2006; van Hooft et al., 2016).
- Career Transitions: If you find yourself considering a shift in your career or transitioning from one field to another, career counseling can be especially advantageous. Professional counselors can assist you in evaluating the practicality of your desired transition, exploring potential obstacles, and devising a comprehensive plan to effectively navigate the change (e.g., Creed & Patton, 2007; Pouyaud & Chan, 2016).
- Overcoming Challenges: Career counselors offer a supportive and accepting environment where you can freely address any concerns or challenges you may be encountering in your career. They are equipped to help you overcome obstacles, effectively manage stress, cultivate resilience, and boost your confidence and self-esteem. Career and life decisions are an ongoing and dynamic process, as personal growth, changing circumstances, and evolving environments necessitate continual adaptation.
Career Resources for High School Students
There are many great resources to assist high school students as they transition from high school into college or the workforce. Counselor Maegen Harris, M.Ed, ALC (under the supervision of Leah Simmons #3334) shares a few of her favorite resources below:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Alabama Career Information Network (Alabama State Department of Education)
- Alabama Career Planning System
Career Counseling at Garrett Counseling
We recently launched a Career Counseling package at our locations throughout Alabama – Albertville / Boaz, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Jasper, & Telehealth. Our Career Counseling package includes 6 1-hour sessions (can be taken in 2 hour increments if preferred) for $600. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact our office at (256) 239-5662 to find out more!
Overall, career counseling can empower you to make informed decisions about your career, gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and navigate the complexities of the job market. It provides you with the tools, resources, and guidance to maximize your potential and achieve career satisfaction. The objective of Career Counseling is not only to assist you in making present-day choices, but also to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary for making future career and life decisions. It recognizes that these decisions are lifelong and aims to empower you with the tools needed to navigate them effectively.
**This article was written by Maegen Harris, M.Ed, ALC (under the supervision of Leah Simmons #3334) – a mental health professional at Garrett Counseling in Albertville / Boaz.
To read more from Maegen:
Brown, S. D., Ryan Krane, N. E., Brecheisen, J., Castelino, P., Budisin, I., Miller, M., & Edens, L. (2003). Critical ingredients of career choice interventions: More analyses and new hypotheses. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 62(3), 411-428.
Creed, P. A., & Patton, W. (2007). Barriers to career transition success: A qualitative study. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 7(1), 31-44.
Creed, P. A., Wamelink, T., & Patton, W. (2006). Psychological career resources as predictors of working adults’ career success. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 68(2), 210-232.
Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (2013). Career development from a social cognitive perspective. In D. Brown & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development (4th ed., pp. 373-419). Jossey-Bass.
Nota, L., Ginevra, M. C., & Soresi, S. (2015). The efficacy of career counseling interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 87, 1-10.
Pouyaud, J., & Chan, F. (2016). Career transitions and career development for young adults: A literature review. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 45(2), 155-165.
Schultheiss, D. E. P. (2003). A relational approach to career counseling: Theoretical integration and practical application. Journal of Counseling & Development, 81(3), 301-310.
Stead, G. B., Watson, M. B., & Morrison, T. (2019). Improving career decision making in a digital age. Journal of Career Development, 46(5), 526-540.
Whiston, S. C., Li, Y., Goodrich Mitts, N. G., & Wright, L. (2017). Career counseling for college students: A review of the literature. Journal of College Counseling, 20(3), 194-208.
Yilmaz, K. (2016). Role of self-concept and career awareness in career exploration and career planning. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 16(2), 161-178.