About two in three workers (63 per cent) want to make a career change, while only 14 per cent say they are in their dream job. So guidance is important for everyone, Cara Jenkin reports.
Counselling on career choices is just as important for adults well into their working life as school students, to stop workers choosing the wrong job or helping them get a good one.
Seeking the advice of career counsellors has long been something many teenagers do at school to help nail down the start to a career path.
But the benefits provided to those with work experience are often overlooked. Career counsellor Rebecca Fraser, of Rebecca Fraser Consulting, says it is now more common for workers to find themselves in a position to need help with the next step, as change in the labour market is creating new challenges. “More people are required to transition from one career or area of qualification to something completely different . . . due to organisations outsourcing as well as restructuring or moving offshore," she says. “More individuals are required to access career coaching services to assess skills and current qualifications to compare these to target industry and then develop a career plan/gap analysis to work out what is needed. Many of the jobs that are being recruited for today did not exist 10 years ago, even five years ago." “This means that people who have been working for 15 years have new opportunities that may be more suited to their skill set."
It also means workers can transition to areas of interest that may not have been available to them when they first started in the workforce. With workers retiring at an older age and the growing trend for them to “do what they love and never work a day in their life", the pressure of being in the right job for them is increasing. It is also recognised workers have more opportunity, ability and desire to change, being career chameleons rather than having one job for life.
Workers can engage a counsellor themselves or employers connect their staff with one to help their development. Hender Careers senior business development consultant Paul Bell says everyone needs to take stock of where they are, to set goals and put steps in place to achieve them and a career counsellor, or coach, helps people to do that. “Quite often people in senior leadership roles that have mentors to bounce things off can get an independent view," he says.
Bell says some people may have a good idea of where they want to go and counselling helps them to get there. “Young people who don't really have an idea of what they want to do can speak with a career counsellor to get their experience to what direction they should head in," he says. “We tend to provide coaching and mentoring for managers, senior managers, CEOs - career coaching should be something that everyone considers at some stage early on or late career. “We're finding it's becoming something that's more popular in the marketplace. There's nothing like an independent assessment of where you're at."
Visit CDAA.ORG.AU to find a career counsellor.
WHAT THEY DO
Services that career counsellors can provide:
- Personality profiling
- Course/qualification recommendations
- Independent skills analysis
- Resume writing/guidance
- LinkedIn optimisation support
FIND THE RIGHT ONE
Counsellors should be qualified and accredited under the Career Industry Council of Australia, including membership to a CICA association.
Accredited coaches need to meet professional development requirements to keep up with labour market trends.
They differ from recruiters, who generally specialise in set areas and industries. Recruiters and career coaches can work in partnership to help workers.
“It's important that there is a good personality fit between worker and counsellor. To get the best out of any program, you have to relate to the person who is giving the counselling." - Paul Bell, Hender Careers
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