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Career Counseling For Young Adults Is Crucial

Careercareer counseling for young adults

Historically, people have chosen their professions to satisfy their own needs for financial security, esteem, or prestige. Many others choose professions to “make their parents proud.” 

However, what’s most often overlooked and undervalued in a career choice is a sense of personal fulfillment.  This level of self-actualization can only occur when one knows themselves intimately. 

Unfortunately, the average person does not reach this level of self-awareness until after they have already made their career decisions and sought out the training and experience to be successful in them.  Having a career that gratifies an individual’s sense of personal fulfillment not only improves their quality of life but will help them to persist and excel in their career choice as well.

In order to choose the path that’s best for them, I always suggest career counseling for young adults. Many college students are completely lost when it comes to selecting a post-college career that’s aligned with their purpose and interests, but there are several steps they can take to figure things out.

What’s Involved In Career Counseling For Young Adults

Where To Start

One of the best ways to start the process of defining a career field that would yield personal fulfillment is by taking a career interest assessment to determine which of the following career umbrellas your personality falls into.  John Holland’s career theory categorizes all careers into the following categories:  “Realistic (Doers), Investigative (Thinkers), Artistic (Creators), Social (Helpers), Enterprising (Persuaders), and Conventional (Organizers)”.

Once identified, the career umbrella can give way to a list of careers that would fit each personality type.  Not all careers under each umbrella will work for each person.  These will be easily identifiable and will help further narrow the list.

For example, someone whose career personality result is social may not have any interest at all in the work of a funeral director.  However, a deeper look at the role would reveal that a funeral director works with people going through difficult times and organizing events, and those two tasks would be appealing.    

Next Steps

Start by crossing off the careers that would obviously not be a fit.  Once the list is narrowed down to ten to twelve possibilities, research the following attributes: 

  • occupational outlook
  • basic certification and education requirements
  • growth and advancement opportunities
  • annual salary

Considerations for the working environment, the typical hours, and the working conditions should also be made.

When young adults conduct this level of personal development, they are much more likely to persist in their educational pursuits and find lifelong personal fulfillment.  You have to know where you are going in order to get there is a simple way of understanding the power of having a vision and an established goal. 

The ultimate goal of career counseling is to help your student marry their interests, skills, and aptitude.  It will help you avoid wasting time and resources on a career that will not satisfy your needs.

The counselors at My College Planning Team are available to help students conduct the self-discovery to achieve these goals prior to or during one’s collegiate journey. You can read more here about utilizing the Highlands Ability Battery and The Whole Person Model to help you discover what you do best.

Julie Bortoli Headshot

Julie L. Bortoli, MA, NCC, LPC, has been a school counselor in the southwest suburbs for 16 years. She has 23 years of counseling experience in total, with prior experience as a school based probation officer and a counselor at a homeless shelter.

Julie earned her BA degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a MA in Political and Justice Studies from Governors State University and a MA in School Counseling and Guidance from Lewis University. A life-long learner, Julie continues her education to maintain NCC and LPC licenses.

Throughout her years as a counselor, Julie has assisted countless students with their post-secondary plans and the college admission process. Julie has a passion for helping students find their purpose at an affordable, yet challenging university.

Having served as the ACT testing coordinator for over ten years, Julie currently collaborates with the Junior-Senior group guidance planning team and is the school liaison to Joliet Junior College. Presently, Julie is helping students with medical conditions obtain academic accommodations.

Julie enjoys speed walking, tandem bike rides and beach days. Julie also serves on the board of her local community pool and racquet club. She resides in Naperville with her three children.

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