Monday, April 30, 2012
Counseling is a unique career choice that stretches across many industries. From grief counseling to working with married couples who are having relationship issues, there are plenty of specializations you can choose to specialize in. Not only is counseling a rewarding career in terms of compensation, but you can also leave work everyday knowing you directly helped someone, which is a rare gift in other professions.
Some elementary school counselors use books and other media to help their counseling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As someone who might be considering counseling as a career, there are a few practical options you can pursue to get started in this rewarding industry. Below are the most notable ways to hone your skills as a counselor, both as a working student in school or as a new graduate.
Enroll in a College Program
The first step to developing your counseling career is to enroll in a college program for your Masters in Counseling. Not only is this step important in beginning your path in the field, but you will also build the foundation to hone your skills and further specialize later in your career. There are many counseling programs available both on-site at major colleges, as well as through various sources online.
Volunteer Your Time
One way to develop your skills in counseling is to volunteer at a facility that is in need. There are many places that you can do this, particularly if you are a student pursuing a degree. Simply make a search online, or inquire at a local college about what kinds of options you might have. Some common options include: drug counseling at a youth center, senior care facility and even hospitals.
Another way to obtain experience and develop your skills for your counseling career is to find an internship program that can help you develop your skills, while working with actual patients. There are programs that cater to both new grads, as well as students who are still working on their degree.
Whatever the option may be, internships are a valuable element of a future career in counseling. These grant the opportunity for students to observe seasoned professionals as well as learn by experience. This kind of experience will give you more confidence, as well as make you more valuable to future employers.
Each of these development opportunities provides a unique perspective in the industry of counseling. This is important for new grads, who have not found a job, especially because taking advantage of one of the above options is the perfect way to gain real experience and hone your skills for a career in counseling.