The best careers out there often aren’t easy, and they rarely pay the highest salaries. That being said, great money and meaning are not necessarily at odds with one another, and these are things to keep in mind when choosing a career path.
Of course, passion is important. It plays into how you progress and wish to be seen as a professional. For some, wishing to help people is all they care about. It’s amazing how people could be so selfless, even if they do require a salary for such work to survive and make the endeavor worth it.
However, there are many principles to understand before you take this particular career path. For instance, counseling can often seem like quite an easy process. It’s not. It’s more than just talking therapy, but active listening, relational management, and is equal parts social science and art.
If you’re hoping to pursue a career this important, it’s essential to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Each Case Is Different
Remember that each case you take on, each client, will be different. Some may be suffering from real mental health conditions, others with life situations, and others with confusion. It’s always important to never allow your first impressions to dictate how you treat or speak to someone, and to understand that each person is infinitely more complex than you can know. Each case is different, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ‘fix’ someone, and so we must remove any naivety we have surrounding human nature and instead choose to learn from it.
Education & Principles Are Paramount
Our education, qualifications and principles are essential to set up as we move into this line of work. Becoming a counsellor requires a strict course and registration with the correct licensing bodies, allowing you to practice within official code and provide a standard of care worthy of the trust you are being given.
It’s also important to set your focus and consider what you hope to achieve as a counsellor. Do you hope to be a counsellor able to draw from their vast empathy with people to listen more than you direct? Do you subscribe to a particular school of counselling, such as becoming accredited in CBT help? These measures can help you get to grips with your practice, and will help you specialize.
This Is A Taxing Job
Remember that this is a taxing job. It’s often a job where you will bring the emotional residue of your interactions home with you. This is not for the faint-hearted, and sometimes, empathy for others also means having empathy for yourself in this field. Remember that you need to truly understand and wish to help people, in all their vulnerabilities and failings, for you to become a better professional. Furthermore, you will no doubt help many in this role, but never let that get to your head. Focus on the discipline, on your training, and you’ll have your priorities in the right place.
With this advice, we hope you can understand these most important principles before becoming a counsellor.