How important is work in our lives? A working individual spends approximately 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, 12 months a year, doing that one thing that he selected as his career path after the 10th exams. What would be the plight of this individual if he did not like this one thing that he spends most of his day doing. Therefore it is needless to comment on the significance of this decision in an individual’s life.

A lot of us select a particular career path because it’s in ‘vogue’, or because it supposedly carries prestige, or because it is highly recommended by our relatives, or because our siblings are in the same line. None of these are right reasons to select a career path. So then what is the right reason? The right reason to select a career path is that it is ‘fit’ for that particular individual. Now how do we know which career field fits us the best? The only way to know that is to know oneself.

This is exactly what career counseling does. It helps an individual know him/herself. Once an individual is aware of his/her aptitude and personality, it is easy to match that with the requirement of a particular career field and know whether that field is the suitable one for him/her or not.

It is a popular misconception that we know what we are, what our strengths, traits, etc are. But do we actually know? When a student is asked to define themselves, they often look around confused and seldom have an answer. Also, one interesting observation is that when asked to mention their weaknesses the answer comes promptly, but they have to think for a long amount of time when asked to do the same with their strengths. Most of us, as a matter of fact, don’t know what where our aptitude lies; hence, the need for career assessments.

Through Career assessments, a profile is drawn up of the individual’s personality, aptitude and interest. Various careers are then considered in light of this information. The selection or elimination of a career path will then be done in accordance with what is most suitable to the individual’s personality, interest and aptitude, and is not just a random guess. Hence this process enables one to make an informed choice and hence an intelligent decision.

Subsequently, a career counseling session is conducted by a certified psychologist. The psychologist takes into account the various other factors that play a role in an individual’s career choice like financial standing, social setup, personal needs and so on. After a thorough discussion and report review, the final career recommendation is made and the counselor further draws up a career path for the individual. For students in grade 10 or below, the stream selection is focused on and the career path henceforth is drawn. For students at the intermediate level, graduation level course and subsequent career path are recommended. Students at or post graduation level, are helped with the information on further studies or most suitable job profiles.

Another myth that requires clarification is that career counseling is meant only for students; on the contrary, working professionals can benefit as much from career counseling. It comes as no surprise that a large majority of working individuals are not satisfied with their jobs. Career counseling can help them with information on career advancement or in case of job dissatisfaction, a job switch. Again, for them, a process of career related self exploration is conducted, which should have been done earlier in life, but it’s always better to be late than never.

Career counseling, thereof, ensures that one fulfills the purpose of their lives and finds the right place for themselves in the world of work.

“When standing on the crossroads lost And the wrong turn comes with heavy cost A helping hand, a guide to direction Can help you reach your right destination”

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