Scientific Career Counseling

Scientific Career Counseling

For many, a main goal in life is to pursue a career that is meaningful and fulfilling. It can be highly rewarding to be in a role that you are passionate about and that reflects you as a person - where you can apply your skills and talents while growing at the same time.
Unfortunately not everyone ends up in such a role, and many people are in jobs that make them feel bored, unmotivated and frustrated. With the average Briton spending such a significant amount of time at work (over 40 hours per week) not enjoying your job means for a large proportion of your life you will be both unfulfilled and unhappy.

Resolving your career issues however can be a difficult process. Many people are clueless as to what job would satisfy them and feel stuck in a rut, while some desire change but feel unable to leave their current role. Others may be struggling with a personal issue or problem at work that is preventing them from enjoying their job and performing at their best.

If you are one of these people, you could benefit from career help, guidance and support in the form of a career counsellor. This page will look into career counselling in depth, exploring the benefits of this service and what to expect in sessions.

What is career counselling?

Career counselling, or work counselling is sought when an individual needs confidential support and advice about areas of study and possible career movements, developments or changes. It provides an opportunity for people to discuss and discover opportunities in their career plans and work with a qualified professional who understands the difficulties of navigating a career that is rewarding and makes you feel fulfilled. Career counsellors work with a wide range of individuals with all kinds of skills, passions, values and career motivations to help them better understand their thoughts and feelings about work and education and how these can be resolved.

Could you benefit from career counselling?

If you choose to seek careers guidance and support, the types of issues and topics that will be addressed in sessions may include the following:

• Helping you to identify any negative thoughts and behaviours so you can change them.
• Working out what career path/role/opportunities would make you truly happy.
• Looking into personal issues that could be impacting your work life.
• Identifying and addressing problems at work that are holding you back.
• Learning to make the most of your skills, attributes and experiences.
• Advice on CV and cover letting writing.
• Assistance with using creative ways to find the job that suits you.
• Realising the importance and impact of your work within your life.
• Formulating a set of attainable goals and a plan of action.
• Taking steps to change your life and become healthier and happier.

What does career counselling involve?

Meeting with a career counsellor will typically take place in one-to-one sessions where you will be asked a variety of questions about your life plans, career intentions and goals. You can however request to take part in group sessions where you can support others and share interests and abilities. Career counsellors are trained to help with a wide range of work-related issues and will respect your individual needs and values in their approach. Sessions are safe, supportive and completely confidential - providing you with the opportunity to explore your concerns in depth and put together constructive career plans.
The content of your sessions will ultimately depend on your situation and what you hope to gain from work counselling. Below is an exploration of some of the areas you may cover during sessions.

Realising your career objectives

A key aspect of career counselling is helping you to explore and better understand what you want from a career, what interests matter to you personally and what your goals and aspirations are. A career counsellor will also discuss factors that could influence your decisions or affect your goals. Answers to these questions should help to assist you in realising your career objectives and what role would be most suited to your situation and needs. A career counsellor will also aim to provide you with as much information possible about the path you are considering and ensure it suits your personality.

Exploring your skills and attributes

You may feel that you are fully aware of all the skills you have picked up throughout your education and/or working life, but a career counsellor can help to identify additional skills and attributes you possess which will be appealing to potential employers. They can put your qualifications, experience, strengths and weaknesses in broad perspective, while helping you to consider a desired salary, job market, location, and educational possibilities.

Personal goal setting

Also essential in careers guidance is the setting of personal goals and learning skills to help you make positive career choices. A career counsellor will ensure your targets are realistic and will help you to look for jobs that suit your expectations and not those of others. Some people may feel under pressure to enter a career that doesn’t actually appeal to them, but this will leave them feeling unmotivated and unsatisfied in the job role.

Resolving difficulties at work

Many people will seek career help from a counsellor because they feel personal issues or problems at work are affecting their job satisfaction and performance. These may be may include:

• performance anxiety
• redundancies
• anger-management problems
• stress
• bullying
• strained relationships with colleagues
• tendency to worry a lot
• depression
• low self-esteem
• low self-confidence.

These issues often make it difficult for people to feel comfortable in their job and can affect their ability to complete and manage work responsibilities such as giving presentations or taking part in team meetings. A career counsellor will be aware that these issues may be related to the job itself, and so their approach will be focused on teaching their client appropriate tools and strategies which can be used in the workplace to help them manage these more effectively.

Know what you want to accomplish

You may want to 'gain a sense of direction' or 'more focus' in your career, but keep in mind that your counsellor will be looking to work with specific career goals. Goals are essential for driving the career counselling process forward, for they help to establish direction and an end point. If you are unsure of what it is you want, your counsellor can help you to identify this in the introductory session. From here you will work together on a plan which outlines exactly what you will be doing in sessions and why.