Of course, the first step in gaining employment as a counselor is to get the necessary education. You will want to start by getting a bachelor's degree because this is usually a pre-requisite for any counseling certification. Once you have your degree, preferably in psychology or possibly English, you will be ready to take a counseling course. Of course, you could get your master's degree in psychology, but it is much faster to simply get your certification. If you are able to pass this certification course, which usually takes about a year to complete, you will be able to get your license and begin applying for careers.
The first place that many people look is through the board of education, as this is a great place to find jobs in schools. You will not find any of these jobs part time, so make sure that you are committed to working a full schedule before agreeing to anything. There will be many different jobs posted in schools, so take your time and apply for the jobs that you are truly interested in. Remember that these are careers, rather than short term solutions, so you should treat these potential employers as such.
If counseling in a school is not your type of thing, you can look at organizations that specialize in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Pretty much every major city has these centers and they need many counselors to deal with the increase substance abuse in our society. These careers are definitely not easy, but they are great to have once you get started because you will be helping people on a daily basis. Many of these jobs are posted on the organization's website or in a local newspaper, so look at both of these options when searching for a job.
Another thing that you can potentially do as a counselor is help other people find their own careers. Career counselors are definitely a growing need because it seems as though many people was now looking for employment. You can help these people find jobs part time or full time and ensure that they have enough work to support their families. Many times, all these people need is to be sent in the right direction and it will be up to you to help them figure out what they want to do with their lives.
Another possible place of employment is a hospital or clinic, as these locations are always in need of people to help out with mental health issues. You might need a little more experience to get a job at a hospital, but it is definitely worth looking into before writing it off completely.
Sometimes, counseling offices in your area will be looking for additional people to help out as well. You might be forced to take some of these jobs part time because there might not be enough hours to go around. Over time, however, these jobs usually turn into careers and are a great way to get your foot in the door.
If you are still having problems gaining employment, try talking to other counselors in your city and see how they got their start. Most counselors will be happy to help you out, and you never know if one of them might be willing to share some office space with you while you get started. Sharing an office with an established counselor will be financially beneficial to both of you and there is the possibility of you getting some overflow clients for your own practice.