What Is Career Guidance?
Career guidance can be defined as a comprehensive, developmental program designed to assist individuals in making and implementing informed educational and occupational choices. In simple words, it is a journey on which people develop to make mature and informed decisions. It is the act of guiding or showing the way; it is the act of seeking advice.
Career guidance is the guidance given to individuals to help them acquire the knowledge, information, skills, and experience necessary to identify career options, and narrow them down to make one career decision. This career decision then results in their social, financial and emotional well-being throughout.
In an age where career queries are not uncommon, it’s important to answer queries related to career guidance or career, in general.
Who can benefit from Career Guidance?
Student of Class 9th – 10th
Setting the basics right solves a lot of confusions that might arise later. Whether it is choosing the correct stream to the correct board, and mapping career goals, a right start at the right time makes all the difference.
Student of Class 11th – 12th
One chooses one’s stream out of the four possible options (non-medical, medical, humanities, and commerce), however the career options possible for a student to opt for are more than hundreds. To make sure that the entire process from choosing the right career options to achieving those goals goes smoothly, it is important that one seek career guidance from an informed (and experienced) mentor (read: career guide)
College Going / Working Professionals
For people who have already made a career decision need to work towards it, to attain the maximum results. A guide informs them of the best career opportunities and ways to do the best in the field they have chosen for themselves. Generally, people end up taking the wrong paths in order to achieve their goals. Either they realize that the career option they have chosen isn’t meant for them, or it dawns upon them that the option they have chosen isn’t strong enough to keep them motivated or excited throughout their professional lives. As a result, they tend to rely on an expert’s advice, and that is where a guide steps in.
Do I Need Career Guidance?
More often than not, people find themselves in a state of dilemma before making important decisions in their lives. Generally, everyone seeks advice from parents and friends before deciding on what to wear. Being rational individuals, people always want to get what’s best for them. Shouldn’t the same logic be applied while choosing a career, or changing career paths, which is supposedly a big decision one makes in one’s life?
One must definitely go for career guidance if one’s thoughts align with any of the ones mentioned below:
Choosing the Right Career
For people who find it difficult to realize the right career meant for them; a career guide helps them sort this confusion. There are infinite career options available to choose from, and without an expert’s proper guidance, one might stick to a few that his/her friends or relatives ask him to pursue. An informed career guide makes one aware about the scope of every career option in detail, which widens the horizon for the student. For people who think they are clear on their career paths and have attained enough clarity to work towards a chosen career option, career guides ensure that they achieve their goals without any distractions.
Realization of Making a Wrong Career Decision
Making the right career decision at the right time makes a lot of difference. For instance, one might realize that engineering is not the best-fit career option for them, after having worked as an engineer for ten years, or one might realize the same quite early in life. Either way, the person has the option of realizing where his/her true passion lies and working towards the same, or continuing working on the current one. Since changing streams and discovering something completely afresh requires a lot of planning and discussions on the scope of the new career option, it is always advisable to take guidance on choosing the right career, right from the beginning.
Career routes can be changed at any point of time and an informed choice can be made with the help of a good career guide. Many career problems are preventable with regular attention to the career path, and a time of crisis is not the best time to seek professional help. It should be an ongoing process, and guidance from a mentor is required at every step of the journey of one’s professional life.
Focused Career Route
A risk-averse student generally keeps a few career options available for him/herself. While it is not a bad route to follow, many students fall prey to career confusion. Their focus gets shifted, and as a result, they find themselves not performing up to their potential. A career guide not only helps a student decide the career route, h/she also guides the student about the path, maps his/her career, helps him/her clear the confusion and distractions coming along the way.
What Are The Elements of Career Guidance?
In order to understand Career Guidance a little better, let us look at its most important elements:
A Qualified Career Counsellor
The first and foremost element of any career guidance process is the presence of a qualified guide (read: counsellor).
A Secure Environment
The process of career counselling entails creating a safe and secure environment, where the counselee feels at ease and is able to discuss the issues bothering him/her.
An Agreement of Trust and Confidence
In a general scenario, the only career guidance one has is the opinion of one’s parents, teachers’ judgment based on marks, and the comments of friends and neighbors. While they might be rational and unbiased in their opinions, relying on them isn’t sufficient to base the foundation of one’s entire career.