9 Tips When Looking for a Career Advisor

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What are your career goals? If you’re not sure and are struggling to find a job that adds meaning to your life, you might consider hiring a career advisor. In addition to helping you craft a stellar resume, a skilled and experienced career advisor can help you orient yourself in the vast job market and land the job that’s right for you. We’ve compiled a few tips you can use when looking for a career advisor.

1. Know what services a career advisor provides.

There’s a lot involved in career counseling. Career advisors help clients in a wide variety of areas, including assessing the client’s skills and interests, drafting a career plan, networking, honing interview skills, developing a resume, and establishing a healthy work–life balance. Career advisors may also make referrals to therapists or psychologists if the client’s career troubles seem to stem from problems with depression, anxiety, or low self-confidence.

2. Check with your college career office.

If you’re a college graduate and your school offers career counseling services, you may be able to access them for free as an alumnus, or you may be able to get career advising sessions for a low fee. If not, your institution will still likely be able to refer you to an advisor.

3. Get references from the potential advisor

Before you eagerly dive into a contract with a career advisor, make sure they’re legitimate. Ask the advisor for references, and ask those references pertinent questions about the advisor’s strengths and weaknesses, the career progress they achieved, and whether they would recommend the advisor.

4. Choose advisors who charge by the session.

Different career advisors inevitably offer different payment schemes, and they’re not all equal. Career advisors who charge by the visit tend to be cheaper than those who offer packages, which could run up a bill of thousands of dollars. Career counseling isn’t cheap—be prepared to pay between $75 and $150 per hour. Costs may be even higher if you’re looking for a particularly senior position.

5. Check the counselor’s qualifications.

The National Career Development Association (NCDA) oversees the career advising industry and has established guidelines, requirements, skills, and expectations career advisors must live up to before jumping into the industry. The NCDA requires career counselors to be skilled in a number of fields, including ethical and legal issues and technology, so a career advisor who is a member is likely to be well rounded and competent.

6. Make sure the counselor has the right skills.

A good career advisor is competent in various areas, but the following are some of the most important: First, your career advisor should create a safe and welcoming environment in which you feel comfortable sharing your personal information, which is necessary for the rest of the process. The advisor needs to have strong listening skills and be good at analyzing and making connections to advise you on the right path. Furthermore, a career advisor must be good at research so they can find additional information about the particular careers and educational opportunities available to you.

7. Find a career counselor who will continue advising you after you find a job.

A career advisor’s work doesn’t end after you’ve landed a job—or at least it shouldn’t. The first thirty days in a new job are decisive, and if you make a bad impression, the company may let you go. In this short timeframe, you have to learn the organizational culture and make the right connections, so hire a career advisor who will guide you through this difficult trial period in your new job.

8. Get general professionalism training in addition to help landing a job.

To ensure your overall success in the career market, you have to act professionally, and that can be easier said than done. Look for a career advisor who assists you in honing the following skills vital for success in the workplace:

  • Effective communication. All too many professionals are unclear in their wording, assume an inappropriate tone or register, use too many words, or unintentionally come off as angry or cold. A career advisor will help you communicate effectively and clearly, avoiding misunderstandings and bruised feelings.
  • Time management. Struggle with procrastination? Many people do. However, the most successful people know how to manage their time effectively, and a career counselor can help you do just that.
  • Organizational skills. If your desk is a giant mess and you can’t seem to keep anything straight, a career advisor can help you adopt schedules, routines, and habits to maintain organization.
  • Leadership skills. Management is no easy job. You have to find the right balance between rules and freedom as well as between friendly and strict. Your subordinates should not only like you but also respect you as a manager. With a career advisor, you can hone your management skills.

9. Understand what career advisors don’t do.

Career advisors provide advice, not orders. They won’t tell you what to do with your life, but they will provide you with educated recommendations that are likely to fit your interests, qualifications, and goals. While a career advisor can guide you in the right direction, it’s up to you to make the final decisions.

Careers are hard, and no one understands that better than career advisors. They know how to determine which career options suit you, and they can help equip you with the tools and skills you need for success in your field. Ready to find a meaningful career? When you determine your goals with the help of a career advisor, you can also work with expert resume writers to help ensure your success.

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