A few odd decades ago, when the world was not considered a global village and there was not a vast array of careers that you could explore, the concept of “career advice” was rather unheard of and uncommon.
With the vast advent of technology and communications throughout the world, has become easier, as well as convenient. If you had a hundred competitors for a job once you now have thousands! As a result, we are able to explore an endless road of vocational opportunities that can be worked upon and made into successful and life long careers. But how do we decide which road best suits our capabilities and aptitude? What is the right time and age to know that we are best fit to be engineers, doctors or artists? How do we decide which college or university we need to apply to in order to pursue our dream job and career? And most importantly, how do we limit the risk that comes with making career decisions that compel us to say “yes” to a given option and “no” to another career option presented to us at the same point in time.
Due to the increasing amount of options available to students and professionals, career counseling and advice is a concept that has become common. It is practiced by many educational institutions, corporations, as well as individuals who are trying to help us make informed decisions about the direction that our careers will or can take in the long term.
According to Bowman, Kite, Branscombe & Williams (1999), lack of professional career advice is considered one of the major hurdles in career development. Moreover, a study by Preston (2003) showed that one third of the women who left science related fields felt that there was a lack of guidance in the field, while the men did not consider this an influencing factor.
Who can be a career advisor?
In many ways, career advice can be similar to mentoring of young adults as well as professionals. In the same capacity, there are many forms of career advice that can be given to you, based on which stage of your career you are in and what level of professional development you require. In general, if you are a student or a professional seeking help in terms of what direction your career should take, you can turn to professional advisors, people with experience who are willing to share their knowledge of the professional world.
- a) Cohorts, people who are there to give emotional and ethical encouragement
- b) Career Coaches, people who give positive criticism on your performance.
- c) Bosses or experts to whom you are reporting to
- d) Information Consultants who maybe the source of information about obtaining career opportunities.
According to a report by the University of Michigan, an advisor is a person who helps career development of people by providing advice and counseling, psychological support and encouraging, promoting and sponsoring the career of a person who seeks it.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAREER ADVICE
Career advice is usually relevant if you are an adult in college or university or a professional who is already present in the job market, but is seeking guidance as to how you can climb the ladder to achieve fast track promotions or a potential risky switch from one company or career path to another.
So the question is how do you find professional career advice? The first and foremost source of career advice for professionals is to seek information and guidance from their peers. This may include peers who have more experience than them in the same field and also those who are from different fields which the professional may seek to pursue a career in. however, there are several ways of giving professional career advice. These may include the following:
In this kind of advising, individuals are focused upon in terms of their specific positions in the company and their prospects of moving horizontally or vertically in an organization. It also involves giving direct feedback from the supervisor to the professional. In this type of advice, the professional’s current activities and future plans are discussed. Moreover, there may be a review of the professional’s documents such as the resume, annual reports and required professional statements. There also may be a session of critical feedback given to the professional prior to this session of advising which may focus on any missed promotions, salary reviews etc. Focus may also be on the sensitive issues that individuals may not be comfortable in discussing in groups. Lastly, in one-on-one advice, the advisor and professional may discuss the opportunities of growth into higher, leadership roles that the professional may take in the coming times.
In this kind of professional career advice for adults, benefit of multiple individuals can be achieved concurrently. This kind of a session can be conducted by one advisor or a few advisors who may focus on different aspects of professional development of the individual. Broad issues relating to the department, administration and management may be discussed in this sort of advising session.
Zone advising relates to interaction sessions with professionals who have a particular area of expertise within a broad career field or within a company. In this sort of group advising activity, there can be one moderator or discussion leader who can represent multiple professionals relating to a particular field of expertise.
Another stretch to group advising sessions is peer advising. In this type of advising session, career- relevant interactions are encouraged amongst peers. Peers can assist each other by sharing information with each other, strategies and knowledge of different resources and moral support to each other. Peer activities include sharing of information on company policies, guidance in carrying out the everyday activities in professional’s job description and discussions of the level of achievement expected in order to get promoted or qualify for internal and external awards.
In order to reach professionals for career advice, the following media can be used:
- Informal office visits
- Phone calls
- Meals and coffee breaks
- By agreements
- Touring a workplace
- Recreational activities
TIPS FOR ADVISORS
How to handle professionals
As an advisor, it is important to realize that you can help professionals in shaping their careers and encourage successful outcomes. You are able to point out opportunity areas, shortcuts to success and strategies which will make professionals into well rounded and successful individuals who are focused on where their career is going in terms of professional development. By giving valuable advice, you can build a connection with people who are in touch with the latest advancements of the different career paths. Moreover, you can help professionals by giving your own valuable input, based on experience and knowledge of a particular field so that your career advice for adults is beneficial in the long run of their career.
Do recognize that even though professionals may seem focused and confident, it is rather difficult for them to articulate their queries and needs, and to approach career advisors. The advice that you may give as a career advisor, may lead professionals to become more nervous, feel insufficient in their current role and anxious about their future in the company or the professional world, i.e. the job market. In that sense, it is necessary to give advice that is well thought out, constructive and contextualized.
How to handle students
Just as professionals seek career advice, students too need career advice in order to figure out what they need to do once they step out of the comfort of their classroom and into the jungle of career options. As a career advisor, you must make sure that you tell graduates that there will be success as well as failure in their hunt for the perfect job and career. Hence, they must focus on their strengths and try to channel their weaknesses into strengths. Moreover, you must tell them that it is okay to make mistakes, even in your career choice.
The key is not to get demotivated and “just keep swimming” by moving forward and learning from these mistakes. As a career advisor, you must motivate your graduates by guiding them about the difference between success and excellence – everyone wants to be successful, however, excellence is what they must be striving for. You must first try to probe into what these fresh minds are passionate about and try to find career paths for them that are relevant to this. You must advise graduates that while they are young, they must have a clear vision of their future. It is only then that they will be motivated to move forward and ward of any thoughts of “what if I fail, and be open to all kinds of opportunities that come their way. Lastly, as career advisors, you must tell them that people who aim for success don’t wait for opportunities to come at their doorstep. Rather, they shape their own opportunities and reap the benefits. This way, they accomplish their life goals on their own.
As a Career advisor your job is to find the perfect fit for your clients and to think of solutions that will aid them in “knowing” what they love. Make sure that they end up working but not toiling.
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@ Copyrights 2015. All Rights Reverved. Furkat Elmirzaev