3 Things Your Career Counselor Won’t Tell You

Career Counselor AdviceThe job search can be taxing — and if an opportunity for help arises, you should seize it. Many times, this opportunity will come in the form of a career counselor. If you decide to visit a career counselor, you will have access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable.

You should never underestimate the advice that career counselors can provide. However, there are three things that they cannot or will not tell you.

Only you can decide what will make you happy. The job of a career counselor is to guide you, not tell you what to do. They cannot make your career choice or tell you what decision is the right one. You, and only you, will have the best idea of what will make you happy. Therefore, it’s up to you to take charge of your search. Career counselors are great resources, but take your search up a notch and utilize online job search tools.

Looking for a job is a full-time job. Let’s face it, you might need a kick in the pants to jumpstart your job hunt motivation. However, career counselors aren’t usually the ones to dish out any harsh criticism. If you think that you are working hard to find a job, there is always something more you can be doing.

Career counselors will help you with your resume and your specific search, but it is up to you to invest in yourself. To do this, you can learn new skills and volunteer in your community. Not only will you better yourself, but you will also become a more desirable job candidate.

Regardless of whether it’s the job interview or the final thank you note, professionalism counts. While your career counselor will provide you with the usual interview protocol, they won’t be at your side when you interact with prospective employers, so it may be hard for them to gauge what interpersonal help you need. For that, you’re often on your own. Every single bit of contact you make with your prospective employer counts. It is important that you maintain a high level of professionalism from that initial email to the final thank you note.

Is there any career advice that you had to learn the hard way?

Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of Resunate, a web-based software to evaluate your resume for every job. Resunate has recently partnered with Myers-Briggs® to give users the option to take the assessment online and feed their results into its engine, enabling Resunate to provide personalized resume feedback based on your type. You can find Mona and Resunate on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. It’s really important to seek professional help from a career counselor if finding a job takes longer than expected. However, the points that you’ve shared are very valuable. Definitely, no career counselor will ever tell these truths.

    Thanks for the share!

    • These are 3 excellent points and in fact, my colleagues and I regularly tell clients this.
      It isn’t in their best interests to keep these facts from them!

    • Vickie Hutchin says:

      I found you article interesting and factual. I am here to tell you that a good career counsellor will tell a client all of the things that you mentioned. I am a counsellor who works with hundreds of people a year and these are more or less the keystones for success for clients. Job search is a full time job, too many people think spending 3 or 4 hrs a week is job search. Question; How many hours a week did you work? Job search is not just about sending out resumes. It encompasses, preparation, targeting, getting tools ready and networking. When done correctly it takes days. Professionalism matters at all time. A thank you letter is critical and most people do not take the time to send them. Thirdly, no one but the individual can decide what will make them happy. A career counsellor faciliates a process for the client, provides direction, resources and feedback. Working with a career counsellor will greatly increase your chance of finding employment or deciding on a career that fits for you.

  2. Great advice! I can’t tell you how many times I have witnessed very unprofessional behavior from applicants – upset that they didn’t get the job, they felt they were entitled to. It’s a tough job market out there! I’ve even received calls from angy parents of 20somethings about why their “child” did not get the job.

  3. This is great advice and as a Career Counsellor, I do communicate all these points to all my clients who are in job search and career transition. It is very important for me to have a solid conversation with all my clients on their skills, experiences, interests and motivations, and then help them develop a feasible strategy. I always emphasize that their career will develop only in relation to their efforts, and all contacts – interviewing, networking, casual conversations – should be professional, so they should be prepared with their business cards, professional introduction, etc. However, some clients do have a sense of entitlement, which I address as well.

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