Where Can Counsellors Find Work?
Many trained counsellors have a narrow perspective when it comes to seeking clients; but in reality, counselling skills are in high demand in more places than one might think. If you are prepared to broaden your search for work; your opportunities for career and business success will increase a great deal!
Most qualified counsellors probably work in jobs that utilise their counselling skills; but where they are not actually working purely as a counsellor. Here are some examples:
Human Resources – They may be involved in working with staff, training staff, supporting staff in difficult areas, such as bullying, harassment, redundancies, termination of work and so on. Working in human resources can involve a great understanding of psychology and use of counselling skills within the work place. Human resources work can also involve work in other areas, such as careers counselling, recruitment services and so on.
Sales and Marketing – Marketing psychology is a large area of psychology which aims to tell businesses how to sell and market their goods. For example, the idea of pumping fresh bread smells into the air in supermarkets to make customers hungry was an idea from marketing psychologists. Marketing psychologists will use their understanding of the human mind and marketing to look at the most effective ways to sell products. Knowledge of marketing psychology can also help people to sell their products, decide how to do sales calls, advertise their products, display their products and so on.
Client/Customer Service – Customer and client service can also make use of counselling and psychology knowledge and skills. Client and customer service work involves jobs such as working on a front desk in a hospital, doctor’s receptionist, hotel reception and other reception desks. It can also involve working at help desks etc. When answering the phone or dealing with clients, the staff member may use counselling skills again – active listening, paraphrasing, non-verbal communication and so on.
Care Professionals – Every care professional will utilise counselling skills when dealing with their clients. This is an important part of gaining rapport, trust, and showing the client that you care. There are many different types of care professional work, such as welfare work, social work, youth work, geriatric care, end of life care, nursing, support workers, advocacy workers and more.
Teaching – People may be involved in teaching psychology and counselling, but teachers in other areas will often use counselling skills and psychology skills in their work. Psychology is used to help develop the most effective teaching and learning methods, and to understand the student – where they are at developmentally, what are realistic expectations for the student, how students learn, and so on. Teachers may also utilise counselling skills for behaviour modification, working with students with disabilities, supporting students to work through difficult situations, mediating conflict between students, supporting other teachers, and so on.
Communications – Psychology and counselling skills may be used within media professionals. For example, journalists may make use of counselling skills to get a good interview. Think of good interviewers you have seen on TV and how they may make use of counselling skills. Knowledge of psychology may also be utilised for media releases, and other PR activities to make sure that the best possible image of a business, person, and so on is being portrayed.
Psychologists – Psychologists work in a variety of settings. They may work with children, adults, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues, people with learning disabilities, behaviour modification, addictions, and so on. Psychologists can also work in other areas, such as marketing psychology, industrial psychology, child psychology, ergonomics, sales and marketing.
Police Force/Border control – People working in law enforcement, the police force, border control and other areas also have to work with people in a variety of different ways. They will need skills to manage people’s behaviour, and have knowledge to detect lying, suspicious behaviours, signs of aggression, and so on.
Coaching – Working with people can also involve coaching, such as business coaching, life coaching, sports coaching and in other areas. Coaching is generally to support a person or a business to perform at it’s best – whatever arena it is that they are working on. It uses strategies to set goals, move through obstacles, motivate, provide ongoing support, address issues and so on.
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