Becoming a Counselor

I would like to get into the Career Counseling field or some kind of leadership position. I have education background but not much experience.

There are many different paths to take to get to the next step in our career/life. And there are different routes one might take. But I'll give it a shot anyway.

First, some questions you might want to consider. What do you mean by leadership position? Are you looking to be an executive in a career counseling agency or Executive director or CEO? (These comments are meant to help you clarify your statements when making connections. Offer information as clearly as possible, so the listener doesn't have to try to figure out what you mean.) So, clarify what career goals you are interested in. When that is done, look at ways you can learn all you can about what they are, where they are done, who does them now, what are the projected earnings, etc.

Then understand what you have that is transferable and what you would need. There are sometimes ways to gather experience through volunteering or shadowing. Often, counselors are available to offer an informational interview to people interested in the field of career counseling. I might ask what is drawing you to the field and how do you envision the work. Also, check out ACPI (Association of Career Professionals International) or ICDA (Illinois Career Development Association) or NCDA (National Career Development Association) for information on the field.

To summarize:
1. Clarify
2. Research
3. Self Assessment
4. Who can help you with the search (counselor/contacts/library and internet resources.)
5. Create target list
6. Follow through with resume, branding, search techniques

We also have some helpful information on our Career Coaching Job Search Strategy web page.

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