Career Counselling has always been important but only recently, got the recognition it deserves. Earlier, people sought out career counselors, for a change in careers, only after they got a job and were unhappy with it. Now, people recognize that this isn’t ideal. What is noteworthy, is to consider why people change careers. It doesn’t take much thinking to understand that someone who does that was never convinced of what career they should take. Such a decision usually stems from school. Many students make career choices based on the most picked career among their peers. They don’t, for once, consider what they like until it’s too late.
Picking a career usually, comes after picking a course. If a student doesn’t pick the right course, it would inadvertently affect their career choice. A recent study showed that 1 in 3 students are unhappy with the course that they picked. That is nearly half a million dissatisfied university students! Such figures only point to one clear truth – The importance of career guidance in schools. To find the right career, there needs to be an understanding of what course to take and if capabilities match interests. A student might want to get into architecture thinking he’s good at math and that drawing a building isn’t too difficult. In reality, there is much more to architecture than that and there is a high possibility of him wanting to pursue another career at the end of the first year itself.
Students have the ability and opportunity to make career choices for their lives. The amount of freedom in choices is partially dependent upon the social, economic, and cultural context of individuals. Opportunities and choices should be available for all people, regardless of sex, socio-economic class, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, or cultural background. Individuals are naturally presented with career choices throughout their lives. They are generally observed a wide range of work roles across their lifespan. These roles include both paid and unpaid work. Career counsellors assist students to explore, pursue and attain their career goals. Career counselling basically consists of four elements: (a) helping students to gain greater self-awareness in areas such as interests, values, abilities, and personality style, (b) connecting students to resources so that they can become more knowledgeable about jobs and occupations, (c) engaging students in the decision-making process in order that they can choose a career path that is well suited to their own interests, values, abilities and personality style, and (d) assisting individuals to be active managers of their career paths (including managing career transitions and balancing various life roles) as well as becoming lifelong learners in the sense of professional development over the life span. The reasons why individuals enter particular occupations vary according to the amount of importance placed on personal preferences, such as interests, or external influences, such as labour market trends or parental expectations.
Career counseling in Sri Lankan School Muscat ensures the right kind of help to overcome such thinking and stop students from making such mistakes. Students are given an opportunity to participate in career guidance seminars and workshops conducted by schools, educational institutes and professional bodies. The objective of giving such an exposure is to ensure that the students are aware about the situation of the current job market before selecting their course. The catch is, their aptitudes and interests don’t necessary have to match. Meaning, they can be good at Math but have an interest in Arts. So which career option do they pick? The answer should be supported and justified in a descriptive manner to cater the demand in the job market strengthening the interest and enthusiasm of the student.
The most valuable asset to any parent is his or her child. Investing in the higher education has become one of the most vital decisions in their lives. Therefore the school has taken a worthy attempt to guide the future generation with much more responsibility and adoration by bridging the gap between unawareness and access to information to make sure that the candles we lit may light some corners of the world one fine day. All the best!
Dimuthu Senadee Pathirage
Career Guidance Counsellor
Sri Lankan School Muscat