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In-Depth Jobs


Volume-34, 24-30 November, 2018

 

Career in Career Counselling

Shree Prakash Sharma

"He knew more of my intended career than I knew myself. I should be well enough educated for my destiny if I could "hold my own" with average young man in prosperous circumstances."

- Charles Dickens,

Great Expectations

All of us need a person, highly qualified and professionally trained, to make us realize what natural talent we have been born with and then guide us accordingly what job we can best perform? Yes, of course. And he is none other than a career counselor who helps candidates to go for a particular academic course to fulfill their dream career.

In fact, a career counselor is a professional, well-qualified and emotionally sensitive human being, who is trained to guide the aspirants what jobs they have been best suited for. A career counselor's job is to know the talent and various traits and guide the candidates to choose suitable career accordingly.

Often what happens is that we commit mistakes making career decisions because we assess ourselves purely on the basis of unrealistic parameters. We design our career trajectory on the basis of what we dream and not on what we deserve. Moreover, we also get unduly impressed with the phony attraction of the various career options surrounding us. Sometimes, we also buckle under the parental pressure and get swayed by the social showing. In this awkward situation, a candidate ends up choosing a career for which he is not at all suitable and nor mentally inclined. It is not a matter of any surprise that this sort of mistakes in choosing the unsuitable career option occurs because of the inadequate knowledge, emotional immaturity, peer pressure and high- demanding - parental - ambition. In fact, this is a very pernicious situation. Basically, our perception and psychology does not let us identify the individual differences which are so naturally found in each child.

The days of the customary job opportunities like those of a doctor and engineer are on the gradual decline. In the post-reformed-induced-information technology age of the 21st century where the whole world has turned out to be a global village, it is really very soothing feeling that now there is no dearth of job opportunities across the countries in the world. As per the socio-behavioural and genetic differences in ability, personality, attitude, bent of mind and interests, each person can find himself fit for a score of job opportunities which have unfolded before the present generation. Therefore, the basic role of a career counselor is extending much-needed assistance and professional guidance to the people to help them choose the career as per their unique curricular and extra-curricular interests, behavioural pattern and personality traits.

However, in the wake of increasing demand for such type of counselors, career counseling course has also been incorporated in syllabus and there is provision of appointment of a career counselor in each school and college. A career counselor is responsible for providing the guidance to the students for their balanced physical, mental, psychic and psychological development so that they may move ahead towards the right career path at right time with right attitude and much-wanted success with ease and élan.

FUNCTIONS OF A CAREER COUNSELOR

A Career counselor performs the following important functions-

1.Helps individuals develop the self-awareness which will further help them to prepare for the better development of interests and capabilities.

2.Prepares the children for taking career decisions as per their choice, interest, ambition, personality trait and inclination of mind.

  1. Makes students aware of the various job opportunities and career options to best suit their interests and capabilities.

4.Assists the aspirants with the professional guidance of braving the challenges born out of changes in career and grooming them for the professional perfection.

Skills Required for a Career Counselor

The job of a career counselor is not easier than what the people do understand. It is more the job of sensitively understanding the human behviour and psychology than the academic excellence. That is why a career counselor must be a good human being to sympathetically understand the natural capabilities and inherent disability of the people. Besides, a career counselor must-

*possess thorough knowledge of current job trends and availability of career opportunities. He must also have very perfect knowledge of various institutions, courses offered by them, courses' fees, provision of scholarships and financial assistance programmes.

*have updated information of the changes in the areas of education, emerging career opportunities in the country and abroad as well and scope in the years to come.

*possess very good patience listening skills.

*be a man of immaculate character, integrity and commitment.

*have immense patience and better understanding of human behaviour and psychology.

*have perfect knowledge of the job policies and socio-political condition of the various countries across the globe.

*have very sound analytical power, communication efficiency and sensitivity.

*have motivational power.

*possess the leadership qualities to lead and inspire the candidates to the right path of career choice and job opportunities.

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Majority of the career counselors pursue this profession with the background of psychology as the main subject. It is because of the fact that the subject of psychology provides the much-needed insight and understanding in the human behaviour and natural human instincts of the people and thereby a career counselor can better understand their problems and preference. However, there is no special course as like that of career counseling but all the guidance and counseling courses have career counseling as the conspicuous part. Any candidate with post graduation degree in any subject is eligible for applying for a diploma in counseling. Though it is quite another fact that an array of universities and institutes prefer Master's degree with psychology as the background. Teachers with a few years experience are also eligible for taking up the course of career guidance and counseling.

REMUNERATION

In so far as the pay package of a career counselor is concerned what comes as a bizarre fact is that there is wide disparity in this domain of human behaviour and psychology. Many of reputed and well-established organizations and educational institutes provide handsome package while in the rest of the sectors, a career counselor can get the monthly salary the range of which falls between Rs 20,000 to Rs, 30,000. However, majority of the schools and colleges have the regular posts of career counselors which pay them along the line of formal pay scales with all the allowances permissible time to time. But the career counselors who work as freelancer or as a part time they earn even more than this. Many of the career management and employment agencies too recruit career counselors and offer them a lucrative pay packages.

INSTITUTES OFFERING POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA COURSES IN GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING

*National Council of Education and Research Training -NCERT, New Delhi (www.ncert.nic.in)

*Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Tamil Nadu (M.A. Career Counseling, www. rgniyd.gov.in)

*Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu (Annamalai university.ac.in)

*Karnataka University, Karnataka-www.kud.ac.in

JOB PROSPECTS

The job prospects of a professional career counselor end only with the proverbial statement of what we may call 'sky is only the limit." This fact is truer, especially in the global world of today where the job opportunities are even more increasing every day. However; following are the main areas where a career counselor is most sought after-

  1. Majority of the career counselors get the jobs in schools, colleges and various other educational institutes. In the wake of the fast rising stress and consistent rise in the cases of suicides of students and adolescents across the country all the educational and coaching institutes have career counselor.
  2. A career counselor can also work at a career information centre. He can also work at a career education programme.
  3. A career counselor also works as a professional for providing help to the students for the preparation of job interviews.
  4. Helping the candidates in the development of skills is also considered as one of the important jobs of a career counselor. He also helps writing an immaculate professional resume. Assisting the candidates with the key guidelines for group discussion or interview is also considered as one of the jobs of a career counselor.
  5. Advising the students on choosing the right and suitable subjects at school and college levels. They also advise the students about the requirement of various documents for a host of admission and entrance examinations.
  6. A career counselor also guides a candidate about an array of means to finance the course fees.
  7. A career counselor also works with the placement agencies and counsels the candidates about the career development.

8.With the globalization of the world economy, the overseas job opportunities and the responsibilities of a career counselor have even more increased. A career counselor advises the students on the job opportunities available in various segments across the countries in the world.

The career of a career counselor is not an easy job because it involves moral responsibilities of grooming the career and making the future of people so promising and bright. Besides, one needs to be meticulously updated. He must have knowledge of various types of developments taking place in various job markets at his fingertips. Besides, he must also be a good psychologist who can understand both the brain and heart of people so perfectly. Long and odd hours of working and dealing lovingly and sympathetically with a variety of people with a host of traits and attitudes is not easy to cope with. But providing much-needed guide to the aspirants to reach out to the pinnacle of their achievements and helping them realize their much-coveted dreams is simply the matter of the satisfaction which the job-holders do always feel pinch of.

(The author teaches at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya, Birauli (Bihar) e-mail : spsharma.rishu@gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal.