Assured Psychology | Calgary, Alberta

Career Counselling : What is it, and When is it a Good Idea?

Career Counselling : What is it, and When is it a Good Idea?

 With the growing conversation around mental health, more and more people understand what personal counselling is. We also have a greater appreciation of how it can be helpful for our well-being.

Despite this growing awareness, career counselling is a specialization of counselling that isn’t as well-known as personal counselling. It also has some common misconceptions. When we think about career counselling, the image that often comes to mind is sitting in the school guidance counsellor’s office planning your future after graduation. While this is an important type of career guidance, it isn’t the only kind of career counselling available.

Let’s bust some career counselling myths. One common misconception is that career counselling is only for recent graduates and isn’t worthwhile if you are already established in your career.

In reality, career counselling is for anyone wanting to focus on how their work is impacting them, or anyone needing support while navigating big career changes. 

One-on-one career counselling with a knowledgeable therapist can be helpful at any point in your career. Times you might want to consider career counselling include: 

  1. Exploring at the start of your career (including options of entering the workforce, or starting post-secondary education) 
  2. During a period of transition (such as returning to work after a long time, or finding work-life balance following significant life changes) 
  3. Career transitions, including planned (e.g. moving into a new job of your choosing) and unplanned (e.g. losing a job due to company budget cuts)

Career counselling can help you explore your interests, identify your values, and help clarify your goals. It often includes assessment (formal or informal), as well as exercises that help you and your counsellor understand what work means to you. They can also help plan next steps to reaching your goals.

Another common myth is that it is detached or divorced from your personal goals and doesn’t take your personal life into account. However, career counselling takes a holistic approach and carefully considers your personal context as well. 

A career counsellor works with you to: 

  1. Identify your strengths and resources
  2. Navigate challenges or barriers to meeting your goals 
  3. Takes your unique circumstances into consideration

Work takes up a significant portion of our life, but it isn’t the entirety of our day-to-day. Great career counselling recognizes you as a whole person, and not just a working professional. 

If you are considering if career counselling is a good fit for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out, ask questions, and find out for yourself!


For additional information or other questions please connect with a mental health
professional of your choice, or in Alberta you may contact Health Link (811) to
be connected to mental health support. 

Lisa Gust, M.Sc., R. Psych.