Adult Career Guidance and Adult Career Advice
1. What is typically involved in a Career Guidance session for an Adult?
The typical career guidance session for an adult would involve exploring the client’s background and experience from a work
, academic, family and possibly community perspective. By exploring these areas of your life we will highlight interests, values and other aspects of the client’s personality that are important in their working life.
It may be beneficial to the client to take a personality or an interest inventory. This comprises the client answering a number of questions which help the career guidance counselor to highlight and give feedback on aspects of the client’s personality that will point to specific types of work that would suit their personality and skills set. An important part of an adult career guidance session is career planning. This typically involves highlighting all the necessary steps/stages (education/training) involved in attaining the chosen career and weighing up the pros’ and cons.
2. How does a Career Guidance session differ for an Adult as opposed to a School Leaver?
Both sessions are very similar in that it is the career guidance counselor’s job to highlight the client’s potential (skills, personality values, etc) and to support them in achieving their desired educational/career goals. However the Adult client does come to the session with considerable life experience and more responsibilities which have to be taken into consideration when making major decisions regarding their career change and career advice.
3. What importance do you place on further study/re-training for an Adult who is looking to change careers?
The importance depends on the client’s hopes/expectations and what they want to achieve in their new career. The amount of education/training the client will engage in will depend on their own financial/family/time constraints.
4. What career advice would you give an Adult who never sat second level School Exams or an Adult who has been away from education/training for some time?
After exploring their general ability, their interests, personality attributes, experiences and successes with the client we would then be in a better position to decide on possible options. These options can vary from short evening classes to full-time practical courses to courses in their local colleges or for some they may feel they are ready to apply for university as mature candidates. However not all clients will want to return to education/training therefore it is important to highlight their knowledge and transferable skills and support them in their own non-formal learning.
5. Is Age a barrier to career change?
No! I do believe that if the client really wants to do something then s/he should do everything in their power to fully realize their goal. Of course ‘age’ is an important factor that needs to be acknowledged and discussed realistically, similar to family commitments and location. It is the career guidance counselor’s responsibility to highlight ‘age’ if it is relevant. For example, a mature adult in her 50′s returning to study law with the aim of practicing needs to be fully aware of the length of time she will be studying for and the amount of time she will have to engage in internship. The career guidance counselor also needs to highlight ‘age’ to an 18 year old who wishes to become a psychotherapist as this is a career geared more towards the more the mature adult.