**This is an updated post**
R U OK? Day is held on 9 September every year in Australia. It’s a day that reminds us to check in on our mental wellbeing as well as that of our loved ones. R U OK? Day is an important reminder of the need to talk about mental health.
Counsellors help people doing it tough every day. They help by listening to their clients, providing advice and giving people a voice when they need it most.
If you’ve thought about following a career in mental health, are driven to help others live full and happy lives and have endless reserves of patience and compassion, a career in counselling might be for you.
In this blog, we take a look at what it takes to be a great Counsellor and how you can discover if a career in counselling is right for you.
5 signs why you should consider a career as a Counsellor
1. You like to help people
Do your friends often come to you for advice? Do you find joy in helping others?
People who make good Counsellors tend to be genuine people persons. They actively listen, understand and support others. They are driven by a desire to help others make a positive change in their lives. If this sounds like you, then you’ve not only got some great personal qualities, but qualities you could use to help support others in a professional environment.
Find out about different careers in mental health. Read our blog, “What’s the difference between a Counsellor and a Psychologist?”
2. You’re a good problem solver
Do you look at tricky or challenging situations and try to figure out how to fix them? Are you constantly coming up with new ideas and ways to tackle a problem? If so, you may already be a Counsellor without even realising it!
The first rule of working as a Counsellor is that no two people are the same. Everyone has their own unique challenges and ways of responding to difficult or stressful situations. Having the ability to think on your feet and find creative solutions to problems will help you come up with different tactics for people to use in their everyday lives. This will help put the power back in your clients’ hands when it comes to addressing and dealing with the issues they’re facing.
3. When someone’s talking, you really listen
As humans, we tend to only listen to half of what is being said to us. Most of the time, it’s only the parts we want to hear. This is often referred to as passive listening.
Active listening is the opposite of this. It’s about listening to all the parts of a conversation and not just the parts that you find interesting. Active listening means that you’re able to hear everything that’s said and ask the right kinds of questions to get more information. Good active listeners will also be able to pick up on non-verbal cues as well as verbal ones. This is a very important skill to have as a Counsellor.
4. You’re a strong communicator
Part of being a good listener is about how well you communicate with others. And what sets a good communicator apart from everyone else is the ability to be able to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise way.
Good communicators will seek to establish a rapport with others. To be a good communicator, you often need to be empathetic. It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and talking to them in a way that is relatable and easily understood, but never condescending.
5. You’re understanding and patient
As a Counsellor, people come to you when they’re at their most vulnerable. They place their trust in you to help them through difficult times in their lives. To be able to do right by them and provide them with the tools they need to help themselves, you need to be passionate about helping others and also patient.
Are you ready to make a difference?
You can turn your passion for helping others and your natural communication skills into a worthwhile and fulfilling career.
OC’s accredited CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling will equip you with the skills and knowledge to guide and support people through tough times in life. Developed in consultation with industry experts, this course has been specifically designed to teach you in-demand skills that will help get you job ready.
This course also includes 160 hours of work placement, which will allow you to experience first-hand what it’s like to work as a Counsellor.
And if you’re contemplating further study, the Diploma of Counselling can act as a pathway to university.
Still not sure if online study is right for you? No worries. You can start a 7 day free course trial today and discover what it’s like to study counselling with one of Australia’s leaders in online education.
Don’t sit back and wait for the chance to help others – take charge and start making things happen today.