Skills required to become a Career Counsellor

Profession of Career counsellor is important. Counseling professionals  support their clients through career transitions, aptitude assessments, professional development and overcoming challenges to achieve goals.

Becoming a career counselor requires considerable education, as many employers require these professionals to have a master’s degree to enter the field.

In a recent survey conducted by Mindler on career option awareness among Indian students revealed that 93% of the students aged 14 to 21 were aware of just seven career options. However, more than 250 different job options are available in India. 

And in another survey by Wheebox, a talent assessment company, nearly 85% of candidates were not equipped to make career decisions. On sources of career information, over 50% of candidates seek and build career decisions for employment from colleges, followed by 21% from different web portals and only 17% from their immediate and extended family members.

This shocking lack of awareness among Indian students regarding their future career options can spell the death knell for the economic bonus.

Today, students face parental pressure to opt for conventional careers such as engineering, medicine, law, civil services, etc. Therefore, parents need to be aware of their child’s strengths and areas which contribute to their career success.

Children need first to become aware of the many subjects and career options that exist, and before they finalize one, they also need to build their profile for the chosen career.

Students need guidance and coaching for career development, as any other discipline taught in schools. If India realises its demographic dividend, it needs to provide one career counsellor for every 250 students.

The career decision-making process isn’t just about choosing subjects but also about making sure that kids can gradually build an all-rounded profile. Knowledge is power. But, what makes the experience even more powerful is what you do with it. 

Three hundred fifty million Indian students have an average age of 27 years. Therefore, at least 1.4 million career counsellors must maintain a globally acceptable student-to-school-counsellor ratio.

If you’re interested in helping guide people through their social, psychological, medical, relational, educational, and vocational difficulties, you might want to pursue a career as a counsellor. 

The following skills are required to be a great counsellor. 

1. Communication skills

You need excellent verbal communication skills to talk to a range of people effectively. Counsellors will often have to question clients and conduct interviews, and they need to be skilful in doing not to cause stress to clients.

2. Interpersonal skills

Counsellors need to work effectively with different people, including clients and colleagues. You may have to work with a client for months or even years, so having the talent for building relationships is also essential. You should be aware of a client’s reactions and understand their reasons and the know-how to persuade a client to change their mindset or behaviour.

3. Understanding of ethics

You must have a reliable, ethical code and keep sessions with your clients confidential to ensure their safety and well-being. You should also be aware that your work can significantly affect people, and you need to keep this in mind when dealing with others. But, again, this is something that you can learn through counselling training.

4. Patience

It would help when working with your clients. It would help if you understood that much time could pass before substantial results are visible, like several months or even years. Patience is critical for real progress to be made, and you need the ability to keep yourself motivated even when results aren’t instantly noticeable.

5. Compassion

You should have a desire to help others, be sympathetic, and be able to empathize with your client’s pain and other problems. It would help if you could put your patients at ease and make them feel comfortable.

6. Emotional stability

You must have a solid emotional footing and the ability to handle the stress and emotional turmoil caused by working with distressed people.

7. Knowledge of laws and regulations

You should be familiar with the laws and regulations that control the industry in your state. You must also be able to work in the profession within the boundaries of the law.

8. Open-mindedness

It would help if you were open-minded and tolerant of different people and situations. You should also be open to new research and thinking methods that could challenge your practices.

9. Trustworthiness

You must be trustworthy and be able to inspire your patients to confide in you and with their problems; otherwise, they won’t improve or return to you.

10. Research skills

You must know how and where to find the information you need and evaluate it effectively. It applies when you’re trying to help a client by seeing what other solutions are tested. For example, you can look at scientific journals with information from decades of research.

11. Problem-solving skills

You need to be able to solve problems as they arise. You should have alternative strategies available and be able to implement them fast to ensure your client can move forward. Counsellors use specific problem-solving strategies, and you can learn these in a counselling course.

12. Observational skills

You should be able to observe a person’s facial expressions, body language, and social interactions during appointments to find clues that determine their attitude and behaviour. In addition, you need to know how to conduct interviews, watch for specific actions, and observe your client thoroughly to help them.

13. Reasoning skills

You need reasoning skills to see subtle connections between problems that don’t seem related. It means you must be able to take a broader view of human behaviours and find similarities or general principles at play instead of focusing on the individual details of a case.

14. Computer skills

You should know how to use a computer to take notes and download and save extensive reports and client files. You also need to understand how to use medical software for recording client information, spreadsheet and word-processing programs for writing reports, and billing programs for submitting and tracking invoices to your clients and insurers.

Earning Potential 

Each session of Career Counseling starts from Rs. 2500/- to Rs. 1 Lakh rupees per session/hour.

Start your journey as a counsellor. 

As you can see, there are many skills you need to have if you want to be a counsellor, and you can learn them in Counseling& Psychology. With these skills, you’ll be able to make a difference in people’s lives, which is one of the best things about being a counsellor.