What does a guidance counselor do?
Everybody struggles to find direction at some point in his or her life. And when they do, they often come to Guidance Counselors for advice. Whether it be an issue with a friend, confusion over college choices, grief over the death of a loved one, or indecision about a career path, a Guidance Counselor listens, offers support, and presents solutions.
As a Guidance Counselor, you commonly work for a school district, ranging from elementary school through college. You deal with a lot of hurt feelings, grief, or troubles with schoolwork. When someone comes to you for help, you listen, evaluate his or her needs, and offer advice.
Another aspect of your job has to do with assisting students with developmental problems. If a child suffers from a learning disability, for instance, you refer him or her to a specialist. And you do the same thing for someone with a physical handicap. Sometimes, this requires coordination with [career_link teachers], other [career_link counselors], friends, and parents. Needless to say, you’ll need a positive attitude, a compassionate demeanor, and an ability to relate to all types of people.
In addition to emotional and learning issues, you also help students make life-directing decisions. You help them answer such questions as “Should I transfer to the community college after graduation or go straight to the university?” or “Is the military a good choice for me?” or “Which classes will help me get into the engineering program?” Once you’ve involved parents and the student makes a decision, you facilitate any required testing, such as the SAT (college) or ASVAB (military) placement exams.
The military is another common workplace for a Guidance Counselor. In this position, you help [career_link soldiers] deal with the transition to the military, choose a field of study, and set goals for the future.