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A Brief Overview of Great Career Counseling Techniques

Mar 18, 2023
5 min read

As a career counselor, your job is to provide professional advice and interventions to help your clients make informed career decisions, cope with change, and identify learning opportunities. To do so, you need to have the right resources and techniques at your disposal. Here are some tips to make your career counseling sessions more effective:

Career Counseling

Career counseling can take place in various settings and for various reasons: 

  • High school counselors may assist students in making informed school choices that prepare them for possible occupations, 
  • College counselors may help students understand the job market, create effective resumes, and prepare for job interviews. 
  • Work agency counselors or career outplacement advisers may assist adults who wish to pursue alternate occupations by setting career goals and identifying forces that help or thwart change.

Useful Interventions & Treatment Plans

To better understand your clients’ needs and wishes, you can use the following valuable interventions:

Career Counseling Treatment Plan

A career counseling treatment plan should be specific and individual to the client, but it typically includes four stages: exploring who the client is, clarifying what they want, identifying options and blockers, and creating an action plan to help them achieve their career aspirations.

Providing Emotional Support

As a counselor, providing emotional support to your clients is essential for helping them feel valued and relevant to the workforce. The aim is to support the client, and the dialogue should remain flexible and not prescribed.

FIRST Framework

The FIRST Framework is a series of career counseling questions that can help you understand where your client is in their career thinking. The questions cover areas such as focus, information, realism, scope, tactics, and career ‘wants.’

Worksheets & Relevant Resources

The following worksheets can help you engage with clients at different stages of their careers and counseling journey:

Career Counseling Evaluation

Evaluation sheets are crucial for understanding whether your clients’ needs are being met and how to improve future interventions.

Satisfying Achievements at Work

Focusing on achievements is a positive way of raising self-esteem and identifying counseling skills that may be useful later in someone’s career.

Returning to Work Checklist

If a client has been out of the working environment for some time, a return to the workforce may prompt concerns regarding a lack of skills or relevant strengths. Remind clients of their many strengths and transferable skills from previous employment or in response to their duties outside.

Great Activities for Groups and Individuals

There are two activities that can be helpful for individuals and groups, per below. 

Narrative Therapy Questioning

Narrative therapy can work well in a group or individual setting. You can ask questions about key events in a client’s life to identify dominant themes that impact the present.

Career Action Plan

A Career Action Plan helps clients capture goals, turn them into a series of action steps, and commit to working towards them.

Free assessment resources 

Free resources in the form of psychometric assessments, quizzes, questionnaires and tests in the areas of cognitive ability, personality, culture fit, emotional intelligence, work styles, coping, communication styles, and other areas, can be very, very helpful to you. Check out Gyfted’s free assessments and job search tools like the Personality Resume™ Builder to learn more about how you can use these tools to help your students and/or clients. 

By using the above techniques and resources, you can provide effective career counseling interventions and help your clients make informed career decisions, cope with change, and identify learning opportunities.