“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 the average young man in prosperous circumstances.”
- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
There goes a pretty interesting anecdote. In a certain forest, there was an animal school where three animal students — an elephant, a monkey and a horse, very happily lived together learning various tricks and arts of survival in the forest. Once it so happened that all the trio were made to stand in a queue by their trainer for a very special class. The apprentices were instructed to climb upon a very straight and long eucalyptus tree turn wise which was so threateningly standing before them.
Being the most mammoth of them, the elephant got the first chance to execute the feat. But having been terrified with what virtually seemed to be an impossible task he sat down despairingly. He did not even try to climb upon what was supposed to be insurmountable assignment for him and so he yielded to the herculean task. Came the turn of the horse. However, he tried many times, neighed much to climb upon the target tree but succeeded to scale not more than a few feet of the height from the root of the tree. Last came the turn of the monkey and in the blink of an eye he reached out to the top of the tree so effortlessly. The winner monkey was so lavishly applauded and awarded with the prizes while rest of the trainee students had to bear the insult.
In fact, this is not a simple story of demystifying the knowledge of categories of animals which are capable of fast climbing up and down the trees and which are not. If we think seriously over this story then we naturally get motivated to ask ourselves this very thought-provoking question: Is not the world of us Homo sapiens just like that of the forest school in which we all are being treated very much along the line of the three animal students who are forced to climb upon the tree without knowing our individual differences, personal capabilities, inborn disabilities and genetic forte which we are born with? So, don’t we feel that we 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 the candidates to go for a particular academic course to fulfill the dream career of their lives.
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 and what career they have been tailor-made. That is why, a career counselor’s job is to know the talent and various traits and guide the candidates to choose suitable careers accordingly.
How can a career counsellor be helpful?
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 and peer pressure and get swayed by the showing of society and surroundings.
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 perceptions and psychology do not let us identify the individual differences which are so naturally found in all the human beings.
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 a 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, aptitude, bent of mind and interests in the Homo sapiens, 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-sought after success with ease and élan.
Functions of a career counsellor
A Career counsellor performs the following important functions:
Mandatory skills required for a career counsellor
The job of a career counsellor 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 counsellor must be a good human being to sympathetically understand the natural capabilities and inherent disability of the people. Besides, a career counsellor must:
A majority of the career counsellors pursue this profession with the background of psychology as the main subject. It is because of the fact that the subject, psychology, provides the much-needed insight and understanding in the human behaviour and natural human instincts of the people and thereby a career counsellor can better understand their problems and preference.
However, there is no special course as like that of career counselling but all the guidance and counselling courses have career counselling as the conspicuous part. Any candidate with post graduation degree in any subject is eligible for applying for a diploma in counselling. 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 counselling.
In so far as the pay package of a career counsellor is concerned, what comes as a bizarre fact that there is wide disparity in this domain of human behaviour and psychology. Many of the reputed and well-established organizations and educational institutes provide handsome packages while in the rest of the sectors, a career counselor can get the monthly salary the range of which falls between Rs. 25,000 to Rs, 40,000. However, a majority of schools and colleges have the regular posts of career counsellors which pay them along the line of formal pay scales with all the allowances permissible time to time. But the career counsellors 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 counsellors and offer them a lucrative pay packages.
Institutes offering postgraduate diploma courses in guidance and counselling
The job prospects of a professional career counsellor 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 counsellor is most sought after:
The career of a career counsellor is not an easy job because it involves moral responsibilities of grooming the career and making the future of people so promising and bright. So, for this job 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 brains and hearts 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 are not easy to cope with. But providing much-needed guidance to the aspirants to reach out to the pinnacle of their much-desired achievements makes the profession of a career counselling very much preferable, lucrative and of high satisfaction and calibre.