Trying to find a rewarding career can take a lot of time and effort. They say now, that you go through at least three careers in your lifetime, so it is the equivalent of kissing so many frogs to find your prince. However, there are a few lucky people that have found their career which they find incredibly rewarding. The old adage of “find something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is something we are all striving for. So, the career of being a counsellor is one that tests your limits and stretches your mental capacities, but it also makes you feel like you have done an honest day’s work at the end.
By starting out in counselling, or even psychotherapy, it is a very large step to take. It can take time and dedication, and it can also cost a lot of money, depending on the courses. Plus it is challenging on an emotional level in many different ways, so my recommendation is before starting out on this path, you may wish to think how it will impact you on an emotional level as you will be experiencing many conflicting emotions on a daily basis.
As far as the personality traits that you need to display, you would need to be open, empathetic, warm, and trustworthy. The nature of the counselling setting is one where you encourage the person to open up and discuss their problems although they may be originally reticent to do so. Other traits include being patient, tolerance, sensitivity, and being non-judgemental. Due to the nature of things you may hear you will also have to be discreet.
Another important trait that you may need to think about as a counsellor is when you are unable to help someone. You have ultimately chosen this career as a means to help people, and it can get the better of you. The temptation to solve people’s problems for themselves when they cannot see the resolution is something that present itself. In counselling you need to encourage them to solve the problem.
When it comes to career options in counselling, you may wish to set up your own practice after you have qualified, or you may want to develop a certain skill set, such as dealing with employees in settings such as employee assist programmes where you can help employees deal with common working stresses, and looking after their physical and mental well-being so they can work more productively.
Other career options include going down the personal coaching route where you may wish to help people in group scenarios or one on one with general anxiety or stress-related problems. Helping them achieve certain life goals is a very popular method that athletes and performers choose to employ, and so it can be a lucrative prospect if you were able to get into those circles.
All in all, counselling, in whatever facet, is an incredibly rewarding career choice, and by helping others, you can help yourself also!