Career Counseling

By Tanisha Herrin|Updated June 27, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Deborah Horton , LCPC

We've all been there – you hate your current career, or your career is stalled. Or you may love your job, but your ambition and bottom line are saying you need better career opportunities and a good job search. A session of career online counseling, aka career counseling, can help.

Sometimes We Need Advice On Being The Greatest Version Of Our Professional Selves

How Counseling Can Help

Career counseling can help you with your development and mental health when trying to find a career by getting answers to questions about personal interests, skills strengths, and how to achieve your career goals. There are many forms of counseling that can help many aspects of life. If you're feeling frustrated by doing most of your learning alone on Google or LinkedIn, there is help available. Career counseling can help you prepare for an interview, craft your resume or cover letter, ask someone for a reference, or learn about networking.

Why Career Counseling?

Americans spend approximately one-third of their lives at work, and according to a 2014 study, only 52.3 percent of people are happy with the career they're in. If an individual is unhappy with their career choice or feel that they’re not in the right career, that could lead to anxiety, depression, physical health issues, mood changes, and other issues. Professional development is a lifelong process that includes guidance, developing skills, interests, and decisions that are influenced by heredity, personality traits, socioeconomic factors, etc. 

Counseling like career counseling allows a person to understand themselves and their role in the workplace to make educated life and career decisions. In essence, this offers support for decision-making skills you need throughout your life. Career counseling happens with school counselors, therapists, life coaches, business-incubator organization representatives, colleagues, family members, friends, and more. It provides professional career information and training knowledge to help you in your journey. A counselor that works in professional job services can help you regain your confidence in the workforce by providing you with resources, knowledge, and information.

Career counselors will talk to you about your values, tools, and challenges, and use these to identify opportunities for you. Together, you'll look into coaching for interviews, reasons to join companies, and potential future employers. You might be surprised what you learn about a new industry, or the culture of employees at a brand. You're an individual with a variety of needs, concerns, and choices, and you deserve help with career planning. In order to develop strategies for success, you and your counselor will examine the differences between occupations, your preferences, and the job market as a whole.

What Can Career Counseling Do For Me? 

Americans spend approximately one-third of their lives at work, and according to a 2014 study, only 52.3 percent of people are happy with their careers. If an individual is unhappy with their career choice, that could lead to anxiety, depression, physical health issues, mood changes, and other issues. Professional development is a lifelong process that includes developing skills, interests, and decisions that are influenced by heredity, personality traits, socioeconomic factors, etc. 

Counseling for your career allows a person to understand themselves and their role in the workplace to make educated life and career decisions. In essence, this builds the foundation for decision-making skills you need throughout your life, in a job and otherwise. Career counseling happens with school counselors, therapists, life coaches, business-incubator organization representatives, colleagues, family members, friends, and more.

Career Benefits And What To Expect From Your Guidance Counselor

You could reap several benefits from counseling with a licensed professional to achieve your professional and personal goals. A counselor can help provide guidance to help you find jobs, practice a new skill set, and gain confidence. Working with a therapist on your professional aspirations could help you in the following ways:

  1. Gain more knowledge. You could choose to go back to school to get a new degree or certification, boosting your occupational skills and confidence. Career counseling will help you feel prepared and know the ins and outs of educational systems about your chosen field, or provide you with career development training.
  2. Economic gains. Professional counseling for your career could help you manage times of unemployment and be more productive. It could also cause you to seek more career or employment opportunities that expand your professional realm. 
  3. Expand social connections. Counseling can help you to feel more satisfied with your career and at home. You could also increase your networking skills and decrease stress and other career-related factors.

Career Theories And Decision Making

Here are some examples of theories that shape our opinions and beliefs about career counseling:

  • Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory: We watch what thought leaders and other people around us are doing or not doing. Our human thought process helps us to make job decisions.
  • John Holland's theory of career choice: Careers are a marriage between our environments and personality types. We want to have a job where we work with other like-minded individuals.
  • John Krumboltz's theory: It's OK not to have a plan; sometimes, unplanned occurrences can lead to career opportunities and growth.

Communication Process

It's a two-way communication process when talking to a job counselor. Be upfront and honest about what advice you want and don't want. In turn, the counselor must talk with the client to see the best available options based on interest, experience, education, skills, and ideas. Be realistic and honest about your job outlook and what you're planning. Be honest with who you are and what you want to accomplish, and consider how your skills, education, and experience align. Making your own decisions will ensure you are doing what you want, which will lead to more professional and personal happiness. Before you meet with your counselor, have some goals in mind. If you need more direction and don't know which career path to take, make a list of your interests and skills. 

Things To Consider

If you go into your session with an open mind, that will pay dividends. What works for some people may not work for you, but always be willing to try the tips you're given, or at least have a conversation about a proposed change

If you are seeking out counseling to help you figure out your first job, a major job change, a job search, or suggestions on how to be a more effective employee, consider becoming a client of career services. It doesn’t matter how much education or experience in certain careers you have, either. You can see a job coach or counselor with any educational background. 

Online Therapy

A study found online counseling to be as effective as face-to-face counseling. Fifteen university students participated in counseling, while 15 students had face-to-face appointments with career professionals. The result was that both modes of delivery yielded similar results of advancing students’ professional development. Online therapy can also help with stumbling blocks to pursuing the career or job you desire and shortening your search during the job search process. Some of these stumbling blocks are depression and social anxiety. An online therapist can show you steps on how to manage these symptoms while offering emotional support and understanding toward the careers you hope to have.

Career counselors focus on offering professional advice alongside career options, career guidance, and professional advice in the areas of mental health related to your job, depending on your education, personality type, and interests, as well as your past jobs. They are empathetic professionals who understand career goals and can offer advice to help you make a decision in your professional life.

BetterHelp Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

BetterHelp has provided in-depth online counseling to people working in search of various career advice. Sometimes talking to someone about your career goals and career aspirations through counseling may bring new light on actions you can take from another perspective.

If you're feeling anxious, confused, or frustrated about your current career, or you want to discuss what could be holding you back from achieving the success you want, talk with an experienced counselor who cares. You will be able to meet with your counselor anywhere, from your home to even your car, and at a time convenient for you. Learn a little more about online counseling by checking out BetterHelp's Instagram page and by reading the following reviews.

Sometimes We Need Advice On Being The Greatest Version Of Our Professional Selves

BetterHelp Reviews

"I worked with Erin for a couple of months while dealing with a stressful transition and major career deadline. I felt like I was in over my head, and I was anxious and exhausted. I thought that we established a good rapport right from the start, and Erin had helpful things to offer me from the first few moments that we worked together. Erin is warm and intuitive, and she brought a great sense of humor to our sessions. Erin provided an excellent combination of affirmation, doable "homework," and helping me understand myself and my reactions to my situation better. I recommend Erin incredibly highly!"

"David has been my greatest support in navigating issues that were simply holding me back from being happy. Before working with David, I was suffering from anxiety due to relationship issues and career changes that were putting me in a bad place. We worked on everything step by step and I can say, with great gratitude, that I feel much stronger and happier now, after only a few months. I've managed to rebuild that strength in time with his help. He's also never missed a session and always went the extra mile to help with everything he could. Thanks, David!"

Final Thoughts

Get your career goals on track by considering counseling with an online career and guidance counselor. Therapy can help your next career step. Learn more about what your future holds with this help, and how to get it.

Get started today by working with someone who wants to help you through career counseling achieve professional success

Common Questions About Career Counseling:

  1. What do they do in career counseling?
  2. Are career counselors worth it?
  3. What is the difference between a career coach and a career counselor?
  4. How do I get career counseling?
  5. What are the types of career counseling?
  6. What questions do career counselors ask?
  7. How do I find a career I love?
  8. How much does career consultation cost?
  9. How do I talk to a career counselor?
  10. What should I talk to my career coach about?
Helpful mental health resources delivered to your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.