Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Brian Howard from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Howard

Guidance Counsellor

Department of Education and Skills

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  Brian Howard

This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.

Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.

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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Role of Guidance Counsellor

The Guidance Counsellor is responsible for providing a range of career education and counselling interventions in your child’s school. She/he helps the young person move from a general understanding of life and work to a more specific understanding of the realistic life, learning and career options available to them. Their work combines the role of Personal Counselling with that of Careers Guidance.

In the career guidance context, the Guidance Counsellor is the dedicated specialist and school liaison point with universities, colleges, faculty heads, academic staff and admissions offices. They know their way around access programmes, psychological assessment services, counselling & referral agencies, grants and other financial support measures and procedures, key online careers and educational websites.

The School Guidance Counsellor typically provides a careers and counselling support service across the school student population. As your child proceeds into senior cycle (4th-6th Year) they will often meet in groups and individually with the Guidance Counsellor to look at options, opportunities, educational routes, and to complete career and psychometric assessments as part of their career development plan. Note: With recent changes to second level guidance provision each school operates with differing levels of this service.  

Guidance Counsellors are professionally qualified with obligatory degrees and obligatory post graduate qualifications. They are also required to partake in on-going professional development as part of a professional network that convenes on a regular basis. Qualifications are strictly regulated by the Department of Education & Science and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors www.igc.ie They will have full Garda clearance and work within a recognised Code of Ethics http://www.igc.ie/About-Us/Code-Of-Ethics

Why is the Guidance Counsellor important to my child’s career journey?

The Guidance Counsellor is the primary and official source of key careers and further education information in your child’s school – including college courses in Ireland, Europe and further afield. They continuously monitor entry requirements, dates, deadlines, exemptions, application procedures and processes. They are trained in career assessment and psychometric testing. They are also trained in counselling techniques. They provide impartial and confidential support to your child and they play a key role in your child’s career planning and development.

Why is it important that they are impartial and confidential?

To see why an impartial and confidential Careers Guidance Counsellor is important, let’s look at the example of Harry.

HARRY

  • Dad wants him to follow in the family tradition and take up an electrical apprenticeship
  • Mam thinks he should study engineering at college for more career options.
  • He’s top of the Maths class and Maths Teacher is advising Pure Maths at University.
  • His girlfriend wants him to do Sound Engineering at her college.
  • Best mates want him to travel to Australia on a gap year with them.
  • Harry’s football coach has high hopes of winning the Schools Cup so training is taking up a lot of time. 
  • The school principal knows Harry is essential to winning the Cup and has observed that at seventeen Harry could easily postpone college for a year.
  • A complicating factor has been the tragic death of a good friend from primary school in his old home town. This has left Harry feeling depressed and unsure about things. He decides to attend the guidance counsellor for some help and support with that.
  • In these sessions it has come up that Harry secretly dreams of being a sports Psychologist.

The importance of having an impartial, confidential, well-informed and professionally trained advisor and counsellor at his disposal will hopefully help Harry navigate most of these conflicting issues successfully and guide him through the process of planning and setting out on the right career journey for him. 

CareersPortal Guidance Counselling Service

What is Guidance?

“Guidance facilitates people throughout their lives to manage their own educational, training, occupational, personal, social and life choices so that they reach their full potential and contribute to the development of a better society.” (National Guidance Forum Report 2007)

CareersPortal provides a professional guidance counselling service for students and adults who would like support in making career, educational and/or employment decisions.

This service is of particular benefit to students career changers, jobseekers,  and those looking to explore their career and education options.

To book an appointment contact bwalsh@careersportal.ie or phone: 01-2090797. All guidance counsellors are fully qualified professionals and members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.


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