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What Is Career Development Counseling?

By Whitney Leigh White
Updated May 17, 2024
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Career development counseling is a process in which a person meets, usually one-on-one, with a counselor, coach, or advisor, to assess his or her current career status and plan future goals. Some people believe they can complete the counseling process in only one session, but for many others, the process goes on for years as his career situation and goals change. There are many activities that can be performs as part of this process, which can include taking personality tests, career aptitude tests, and others. During career development counseling, a person usually receives services from a vocational counselor, also referred to as a career counselor, job coach, or career development facilitator. Anyone seeking this type of counseling should keep in mind it is often better to obtain it before a career crisis occurs.

During career development counseling, a vocational counselor will likely ask questions about the client's career preferences, likes, and dislikes, but also about his or her family life, morals, and beliefs. The counselor combines all of this information to provide the client with advice on what type of career goals are achievable, as well as how to attain them. In addition to this information, a counselor will also take into account the client's geographical location, as this can play a huge part in what type of career paths may be taken.

Since many people do not know their exact career preferences, a counselor can recommend different activities as a way to obtain this information. These may include completing interest tests, career-related exercises, and similar activities. Instead of taking these tests in a limited amount of time, most counselors will ask clients to complete them at home because this allows plenty of time to accurately answer the questions without feeling rushed. Other activities included within career development counseling may include conducting research on computerized occupational programs and using career resource centers.

Most vocational counselors who perform career development counseling services have a master's degree. These degree programs provide information on how to effectively match clients with appropriate career goals. With so many career paths available for people to take, it's usually a good idea for a person to seek out career counseling from a professional and certified counselor.

Career development counseling is something that can help an individual at any point in his or her career. Many vocational counselors recommend that people undergo this type of counseling during the early stages of a career, as this helps to prevent potential problems. They also recommend that the counseling be obtained on a regular basis because it helps counselors stay fresh and up-to-date on their client's career circumstances.

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