Everyone aims to advance their careers, but it’s hard to know just how to go about it. In fact, you might not even fully understand what the next step in your career looks like or what your ultimate career goals are. Fortunately, career counselors are available to help walk you through these steps. But if you want to get the most out of career counseling, you need to do your part, too. You have to come prepared and give honest, thoughtful answers. Here’s how a career counseling service can give your career a boost.

How Can Career Counseling Services Help?

1) Coach you through strengths and weaknesses

Career counselors typically begin by helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses. They might give you personality tests and other self-assessments to help you figure out what type of work environments might serve you best, what you value, or where your capabilities lie. Once you understand those, you can figure out where to target your job search. Or, if you’re simply unhappy in your current job, they might simply be able to help you master your interpersonal and negotiating skills until you better your situation—maybe asking for a raise or developing a set of skills that can make you more successful.

2) Identify options and choices

Before you identify your options, you need to examine your career thus far to see what’s holding you back. If it’s personal factors, like an unwillingness to relocate or an inability to quit a job while you seek out more training, a counselor can help you find opportunities in your current city or seek educational opportunities that you can tackle while working. Or a counselor can help you identify job options that will better align with your values, ensuring a greater sense of job satisfaction.

3) Clarify your career goals

Once you’ve identified your strengths, weaknesses, and some options that fit into your abilities and align with your values, a counselor can help you outline some short-term and long-term goals. They’ll work with you to make sure they’re goals you can fully buy into, but also that are realistic and attainable.

4) Focus on the right strategies

Once you’ve identified the career goals you’re aiming for, a career counselor can support you in choosing the right strategies to pursue them. They might coach you in growing and utilizing your network to flush out the best opportunities. They’re also experts in managing social media platforms for the same purpose. Once they know and understand your personality and passions, they can also help you utilize those to pursue relevant opportunities.

5) Provide you with support and guidance

Career counselors have access to a large database of training programs that can help you develop your skills. This might mean vocational programs, apprenticeships, or other types of adult education programs.

6) Do your part

It’s important to come with questions, answer questions honestly, take notes, and do your homework in between sessions.

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