I became a career counselor by chance. As an undergraduate, I majored in French with no goals, strategies or any direction what-so-ever. Why French? Do you want the real answer? Well, I don't recommend this strategy but, I picked French because I had to graduate in 4 years. My advisor looked through the classes I had already taken and, based on that, said (my senior year no less), that I could complete a French degree. Incredibly, it still worked out for me.
The Journey To A Career in Counseling
I joined the Peace Corps and lived in a French speaking country for 3 years. I still didn't know what I wanted to do, besides travel, so I moved to Japan where I joined the JET Program and taught English for 2 years. I decided to go back to school, based on a friend's recommendation, and get my Master's in Human Resources. I took one HR class and realized in no short order, that was not for me. Fortunately, it was an HR/Career Counseling track. I never imagined myself as a counselor but once I took one class, I was absolutely hooked. I couldn't wait to go to class, do my homework, go to my internship....I had never experienced that before.
If I had to do it over again, I would have taken some assessment tests and had a career counselor go through the results with me. I also would have gotten an internship. Although I don't regret traveling at all, I think I could have been more strategic if I had someone to help guide me. I could have really figure out some goals for myself before I left the country. I would have done informational interviews with expats who lived in the country; maybe even position myself for a career in international business. I am not sure what doors being intentional would have opened for me. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20.
A Track Record of Success
My own personal experiences are what have really helped me enjoy my current job. I love having clients come to me without a plan. I don't tell clients what to do but I really, really listen and then ask them questions about the information they have provided me. For example, I had a poli sci major come to me thinking he had go to graduate school in order to work in health education. We started brainstorming together and I referred my client to an educational health conference where he made connections and is now interning. I think what I love the most about my job is helping others and brainstorming possibilities with them.
Something else I love about my job is the fast pace, the variety, the social contact with others and the satisfaction I gain from working with others and seeing that I was helpful. My services include:
Job search strategies
Clarifying career goals and objectives