Career coaches in schools help students in process of self-discovery

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The Straits Times
Forum Page, Oct 27 2017

Career coaches in schools help students in process of self-discovery

The introduction of trained career counsellors in academic institutions is a long-awaited enhancement to the field of career coaching (Education and career counsellors assigned to all schools now; Oct 24).

It completes the entire value chain of public-career services support, complementing the existing schemes for workers at different stages of their careers.

The two important differentiators in the latest scheme are the intensive training and the business/corporate-related background of the counsellors. The ability to share real-life working experience can be useful.

However, students should keep in mind that the views and experiences of the counsellors may not represent the overall norm or the current state of affairs in the industry.

The role of the career counsellor is one of facilitating the process of self-discovery. The ultimate decision should be the student's.

There is every possibility that students may not get it "right" the first time. Counsellors and parents should resist the temptation to "lead" them to where they think they should go.

Instead, they should validate and challenge the students' decisions. The experience of making "wrong" choices is part of growing up.

Career management is a life-long activity. Students should adopt a mindset of periodic self-management, post-school.

Interests and motivations can, and do, change over time. It is perfectly fine to make changes when one realises that has happened.

Paul Heng




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