Career Development is (unsurprisingly) tied to one’s biological and social development, as illustrated above. Each client is different, but in general, the steps you can expect to go through as a career counseling client are as follows:
- Intake and assessment: I often use My Vocational Situation in conjunction with a regular counseling intake for clients seeking career services. Typically, clients find it helpful to complete some career planning/interest assessments. These assessments will not “tell” anyone what to do, but they often do give clients a better vocabulary for describing skills and interests than they had before. Often, the most subjective assessments (like values and skills card sorts) yield the results that clients end up trusting the most in the long run.
- Review of the assessments. This can take multiple sessions depending on the results, assessments used, and time available for individual sessions.
- Creating a list of possible occupations and selecting targets for occupational research.
- Developing a plan for researching occupations. This may include setting up informational interviews with people in the field(s) you are interested in, looking up information on America’s Career InfoNet, Learning Express Job and Career Accelerator (available via Jersey Clicks), and other relevant websites.
- Combine information from occupational research and assessments and develop a timeline with short-term (6 months to 5 years) and long-term (5+ years out) goals.
I’ve had clients tell me this process sounds like a lot of work. It is a lot of work, and it can be done as a self-study or independent exercise. That’s how I figured out my career plan. Before you decide to go it alone since getting help or going independent involve work, here are some benefits of getting professional help:
- I can make the process more efficient. You will take the most relevant assessments for your situation (or none, if you don’t need any.) You will get professional feedback on your results instead of wondering about the accuracy of whatever quiz you just took online.
- I can direct you to the most reliable and helpful websites for your situation as well as other resources for the career paths you are considering.
- Personal support in helping you perfect and develop your strategy when it comes to networking and planning. Plus, you get ongoing support with your resume and cover letter as part of the process. That alone is probably worth whatever you would normally pay for just having a resume and cover letter written. (That said, if you choose to have me write your resume or cover letter for you instead of learning how to do it, I will charge for that.)