A counselor career is an excellent path to take. You can make a big difference by being a counselor. You also won’t get bored because of the variety of projects you will work in. If you check your local job listings and do counselor jobs search, you will find that there are literally hundreds of counselor jobs on the market. You can also go online to look for such jobs.
Now to succeed in counselor jobs, you need particular skills to become an effective career. A counselor career will demand a lot of skills from you, aside from your course in college and graduate school. You will need to develop lots of soft skills. This article will explain to you the different soft skills you need to hone to succeed in a counselor career.
Counselors are good facilitators. They gain the trust of their clients so that they will open up to the counselor under the blanket of confidentiality. The counselor should listen well and be objective and not let their personal values and experience cloud their advice.
Counselors aim to assist others by making them self-reliant to make better choices. They need to be able to develop a good relationship with their client so that they can work together for the betterment of the client. So what the counselor needs is a good dose of patience and acceptance. Counselor jobs entail working with people the counselor might not like so he or she should be accepting and non-judgmental when it comes to the clients. A counselor career will definitely test your patience as clients have different personalities and quirks the counselor might not be used to.
Next is good judgment. Counselors will have their own values but they should not impose these on their clients. They have to act independent and based on the information provided by the client, only then will they make a judgment call. They should have no conflicts of interest when dealing with clients. If you do a counselor job search, the job descriptions will list down this quality aside from patience and acceptance discussed earlier.
The next thing you need to have to succeed in a counselor job is to have experience. That’s why counselors tend to be over 40 since they already have a wealth of experience to be drawn from. Without experience, it will be hard for you to counsel your client. You might be the one ending up being counseled. Through experience, you can help clients learn from your experience so that they can make better choices in life.
Counselor jobs will also require you have great social skills. Aside from being a good listener, the counselor needs to be adept in verbal as well as non-verbal communication. In this way he or she can understand the client better and will know how to get specific information from the client so that the counselor can help more effectively. The counselor will also need to know when to give advice and when to just let the client speak on about his or her problems and experiences.
Most counselors would be females because they are generally more genuine and warm than men. They have a better sense of empathy and they love having conversations. They are also less judgmental than men. In a counselor career, clients need to feel you are genuine and can be trusted to take their interests seriously. A warm disposition will also help pull down the resistance barrier in a counselor-counselee arrangement.
Counselors love to learn. Degrees in Psychology will definitely help as there is an established body of knowledge already available for counseling. One does not need to reinvent the wheel all the time. Access to this wide body of knowledge is important because you can use it and even add to it once you learn more from your experiences with clients. A counselor career will definitely be marked with lots of learning experiences.
A good counselor must abide with total discretion. They can’t discuss things they are talking about with the client to others or else the client will lose trust in them. Being able to keep things confidential is an important requirement to have a successful counselor career.
Finally, counseling needs constant practice. You need lots of training and learning under experienced mentors to have a great career in counseling. While still early in your counseling career, you should already be building up relationships with potential mentors.
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