Career counselling — the new agent of change in a pandemicTuesday, August 31, 2021
Career counselling is more valuable now than ever before, especially during this period of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In this changing world, in which jobs are emerging that weren't in existence five years ago, people are more open to career exploration.
But, what is career counselling?
You may associate it with guidance or vocational counselling. As a career counsellor, let me enlighten you.
Career counselling is very vital today as millennials are agents of change and innovation. University professor, researcher and author Kobus Maree states that, “Career counselling entails much more than merely choosing a job and hoping to stay in that job for the rest of one's life.” Today, choosing a career is far different from 20 years ago. Now, many choose careers as a way to integrate into society and make a social contribution.
Career counselling is very important as it helps people to navigate crossroads in their lives. One such crossroad is the pandemic. Maree further asserts that, “People consult with their career counsellors when they face a natural crossroads: having to choose a school, university, field of study, or one from a number of employment opportunities.” This pandemic brought about social distancing, exam postponement, event cancellation, online teaching and learning engagement, virtual working and studying, flexi-week, anxieties, emotional breakdowns, employment uncertainties, layoffs, job loss, and career decision issues.
It is my humble opinion that Jamaica's Government and the relevant stakeholders need to institute avenues from which its people can access career counselling either for free or at an affordable price; be it virtual or otherwise. This is essential as from time to time the people of the nation come to a crossroad and need help to navigate their career decisions successfully. It is high time that the Government provides real career counselling, career options, career talks, and career development for people in dire need.
Change is the new normal. And, although Jamaica is a developing State, technology makes it easy to change in a global world. We must not be left behind in our career development and advancement. For this reason, career counsellors must do their work in such a way that they can help their clients to become career adaptable, flexible, and employable.
It is vitally important that students acquire those skills that will help them to not only survive, but also flourish in times of change, such as the crisis we are currently facing.
In a crisis like this career counsellors should be as essential as the medical teams, because people have become separated from their jobs, education, and mindset.