Making the Most of Career Counseling

There are lots of services at the CCD to help you with making decisions about your academic and career development, including career counseling. But we often hear from students that they aren’t sure what to do at a career counseling appointment, or even what a career counselor does. In an earlier post, we answered the question, “What does a career counselor do?”

If you’re getting ready for your first appointment with a career counselor, you might be wondering how to prepare. While you don’t need to have a precise agenda or specific questions ready for your appointment, individuals who take the following tips into consideration might find that their appointments are more fruitful.

Actively Participate. Career counseling really is a team effort. You will not only participate during the session, but will leave each session with action items that will help move you forward. After the appointment, take some time to follow these steps. Otherwise you might become stuck in the thinking phase.

Speak Up. Your counselor is well-equipped to ask questions and get conversations started if you aren’t sure exactly what you are hoping to get out of your appointment. However, if you have specific things you want to accomplish, let your counselor know!

Be Open. Be honest with yourself and your counselor. It is okay to express your concerns, frustrations, challenges, likes, and dislikes.

Understand the Process. Counselors don’t have a magic wand that they can wave and give you all of the answers, but they can help you to gain clarity. By participating in the process (which may take more than one meeting and will require some work outside of those meetings on your own), you will learn valuable techniques for the future.

Have an Open Mind. Many of the choices that you will be making about choosing a major, internship, career path, etc. can be stressful or emotionally charged. We understand and will listen to your concerns, but we will also challenge you to think about different perspectives. When you are open to new ideas and willing to step out of your comfort zone, you open up possibilities that can move you forward and help get you “unstuck.”

Make a career counseling appointment in Handshake.

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