How can you become a Counsellor

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Alan Cleaver

Counselling psychology  like many modern psychology specialities originated around World War II as the U.S. Military has a strong need for vocational placement and training. As far as rewarding careers go, if you are good with people then you need not look any further than a career in counselling. Counsellors help people to explore their emotions that are often related to their experiences. This helps clients reflect on how these experiences can affect their lives and may offer insight into an alternative means of dealing with these issues. Counsellors do not typically give advice, more that they help clients to reach their own conclusions and decide their own course of action. There are many different models of counselling depending on what institution you work within. Some experiences and situations almost all counsellors will find themselves in include;

–        establishing a relationship of trust and respect

–        encouraging clients to discuss sensitive or embarrassing subjects

–        actively listening to their clients and emphasising with their situation

–        accepting without bias the issues raised by the client

–        challenging any inconsistencies they notice the client saying or doing

–        undertaking personal therapy

Counselling jobs are extremely varied and it is guaranteed that each day will be totally different and new challenges will arise constantly. Currently there is a swell in demand for counsellors and psychotherapist. Whether you choose to train in counselling or psychotherapy mainly depends on what work you see yourself doing in the future. If you wish to work somewhere such as a GP practice or school where you will be dealing with issues such as health problems and depression then chances are you may wish to train as a counsellor. Alternatively, psychotherapists will deal with more private individual based therapy over a longer term with clients. Psychotherapy training takes longer, and you will be required to undergo your own personal therapy, counsellors are also advised to but may not be required to. A British student can typically expect to find themselves studying to become accredited for up to 3 years, whereas psychotherapy can take up to 5 years. There are also introductory courses available that may help you deciding whether counselling is the right path for you. Lasting about 80 hours covers many modules related to counselling and is ideal for people with little to no prior experience or knowledge of counselling. More information on the different specialities available can be found at the counsellors guide or for more advice for counselling students visit BACP. Online learning centres such as NCC Home Learning offer a wide range of courses including an amazing counselling course.

There are many different types of counsellor, from marriage counsellors, grievance counsellors to therapists dealing with sexual health or mental health problems. You will not really need to decide what area suits you best until you are on a course, chances are you will find your niche while learning. You can perform a test online that may help you decide what kind of counsellor you should be, check it out here http://www.quotev.com/quiz/568049/What-kind-of-therapist-should-you-be/. Alternatively if you want to find an accredited counsellor near you there are a many directories or search engines online such as the counselling directory.

Counselling really can cover an extremely large range of topics including career counselling,  credit counselling, crisis management, emotional therapy, existential counselling, genetic counselling, intervention, postvention, relationship counselling, suicide intervention and telephone counselling to name just a few. It is truly a diverse and wide ranged career path with many options available to those willing to train. If you enjoy helping people and are a good listener capable of viewing topics as objectively as possible then counselling may be for you.

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Ten tips for integrating parenthood with your career

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Cosmic Kitty

Striking the right balance between career and family life is a struggle for millions of people – and at a time when there’s such widespread financial uncertainty, it’s a problem more and more of us are currently having to face. Co-operative employee benefits, such as Midcounties Co-operative childcare vouchers, can help to ease some of the strain. Nevertheless, the demands of work frequently intrude on our family life, which makes it even hard to get that balance right. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that you don’t just have enough time to face the duties of your work, but also that you don’t simply neglect your family. Here are ten suggestions you might wish to bear in mind if you’re having trouble maintaining that equilibrium between work and family life.

1)      As Todd Smith writes, the most important thing you need to do in advance is set out clear career goals and ensure you have the support of your family in advance. Your family needs to be aware of what sacrifices all of you will have to make so that they know what to expect. It would be unfair for you to keep them in the dark about this. It’s best to be honest and up front from the start.

2)      Careful scheduling can help you maintain a healthier balance between work and family life. Obviously, there will be times when you find yourself so overloaded with work that it becomes tempting to let it encroach on your family time. However, this would be a mistake – and once you’ve done it once, it becomes tempting to do it repeatedly. Maintain that separation between work and leisure time.

3)      When spending time with your family, don’t answer work e-mails or phone calls. Cut yourself off from work entirely and make sure you give your family the attention they need and deserve.

4)      By the same token, you should avoid allowing your family to interrupt your time at work except in emergencies. Make sure you lay down the law and let them know what when you’re busy working, you’re not to be disturbed.

5)      According to WikiHow, it’s important to establish your priorities in order to strike the appropriate balance between parenthood and pursuing a career. You should be prepared for conflicting demands on your time – for instance, your children may be ill at a time when you’re expected to work – so it’s important to consider this possibility in advance and work out what you would do in such situations.

6)      If spare time appears in your schedule unexpectedly, take full advantage of it and spend time with your family. This doesn’t mean you should wilfully neglect your work duties, but don’t feel obliged to work when you don’t actually need to.

7)      Being able to manage your time effectively is crucial to balancing work and family life. The better organised you are, the chances are you’ll have more time to spend with those closest to you. This should leave you feeling generally less stressed.

8)      If you do have concerns about the imbalance between work and family life, discuss them openly with your partner and the rest of your family. Simply bottling things up is only likely to cause more hassle in the long run.

9)      According to Careerealism.com, you should be clear on what your employer expects of you – but don’t be afraid to stand up to your boss if you feel they’re taking advantage. You should be able to discuss the balance between work and family openly with your employer. A good employer will show some understanding in this regard.

10)  Socialising with workmates is also a good way to unwind at the end of a busy working week. Make sure, however, that your family knows when you’re planning to spend time with colleagues. Don’t just leave them in the lurch.

Why You Should Start Planning A Catering Career As Early As Possible

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Adam Freidin

Once you have decided you want to embark on a career in catering, you should know that experience is key. Qualifications of many sorts are important, but they will mean little to a prospective employer if not accompanied with some kind of workplace history.

Before you start scouring the internet for catering jobs from Blue Arrow, make sure you have thought about exposure to the heat and pressure of a working restaurant or café and getting a first-hand look at the responsibilities required.

A strong idea of the culture of kitchen work is essential; a budding chef should be prepared for long hours and numerous busy services.

Starting your career path early is also important as – although you may not need any academic qualifications to start work as a trainee chef – some employers will prefer you to have a good general standard of education including GCSEs in subjects like English and maths. Enrolling yourself in culinary education isn’t a prerequisite, though it can act as a good boost when attempting to get into a kitchen.

Some courses have links with local businesses who can offer internship positions. If this option is not available to you pursue it yourself. You can talk to the head chef at your local restaurant and ask if they would be willing for you to help out.

But you don’t need to worry about having it all meticulously planned out at once. Robert Pozen, of Harvard Business School, says you need not worry about some grand master plan and that you have no control over the particular trajectory of your career. So be patient.

Although he adds: “On the other hand, you can increase your probability of success by approaching your career with the right mind-set—one that recognizes that career planning is a continuous process that has to be actively managed. At each step in your career, you need to ask yourself: What can I do next that will maximize my options in the future?”

Mario Batali started his journey to the top as a dishwasher at a New Jersey pizza parlour. To become a chef you need a keen interest in food, even if that includes just being around it in the same kitchen while you wash the utensils. To get a taste, your first foray into restaurant work does not have to be prestigious.

Beyond experience you have to work your way up and prepare yourself for long hours. Establish at the very beginning whether or not you can commit to regular 16 hour days and swelteringly hot working arrangements. Once you start applying for jobs it is important to understand that you will start at the bottom. Even those with a culinary arts degree usually start with physically taxing work like peeling potatoes or processing meat.

A chef’s job is very demanding,” explains Masterchef judge and Michel Roux Jr’s soux chef, Monica Galetti. “It’s physically tough – there’s lots of carrying and lifting – it’s hot and the hours are long and unsocial. You have to have courage and broad shoulders, and when it’s time to work you have to step up to the mark.”

IT – Which Roles Are Currently Most In Demand?

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Image via Shane Pope on Flickr creative commons

The world of IT recruitment continues to move at a rapid pace as companies look to employ a huge variety of specialists to manage their IT systems and infrastructure. The type of people being sought by large companies changes regularly, but at the moment it appears to be technical roles that are pushing the market forward.

One skill in great demand is knowledge of HTML5, the fifth revision of the html standard code which is used to structure and present data through web pages. According to a recent report published by market research firm Forrester, some of the world’s leading online brands including technology firm Apple and US consumer electronics and technology retailer Best Buy have started to make use of HTML5 on their desktop websites. The aim is to improve the online experience for customers with the latest versions of web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. It is inevitable that more companies will follow suit and the uptake of HTML5 will gather pace as more businesses look to make use of its features. As a result, options for developers with experience of HTML5 have increased considerably.

Demand for people skilled in creating web pages has grown rapidly in recent months. The need for businesses to have clear, well laid out websites is as critical now as it ever has been and yet there are many companies out there that have inferior websites. As an increasing number of businesses recognise the potential for growth online and the possibilities that are out there when it comes to winning new customers, demand for skilled web designers will no doubt continue to grow as more firms look to build and refresh their online presence.

According to e-skills, the British sector skills council for business and information technology, approximately 129,000 people are needed to step into IT roles every year in the UK simply to keep up with growth in the sector. The organisation has said there are roles available across the industry, from positions for web developers to software engineers. Pay scales range considerably from around £350 a week for a database assistant to in excess of £800 a week for ICT managers.

At the start of the year US News published its report on the Best Jobs of 2012 and up there in the top 10 was computer programmer. A year on and this role is one that attracts a large number of people thanks to excellent job prospects, high satisfaction levels and competitive salaries. The February report also had web developer right up there as a top job, along with software developer.

However, despite the prevalence of jobs available via leading IT recruitment agency specialists and the impressive benefits and compensation packages attached to a large number of these roles, the industry continues to be highly competitive and experience is no guarantee of a job for life as a number of top executives have recently discovered. In November 2012, Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft’s Windows division left the company with immediate effect shortly after the launch of Windows 8 – the latest edition of the US company’s flagship product. A shake up at Apple took place shortly before, with Scott Forstall, head of the technology firm’s iOS software division leaving following the disastrous launch of Apple’s own mapping app.

Have You Considered Working In HR?

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Image via net_efekt on Flickr creative commons

Given the generally precarious state of the British jobs market at present, you could be forgiven for wanting to try your hand at something else. Many people are finding their ambitions are being thwarted as a result of the ongoing economic upheaval we’ve seen over the last few years, and so now could be a good time to learn some new skills and try your luck in a different profession altogether. There are of course many different paths you could take, but talented, hardworking human resources – or HR, if you prefer – workers are always in demand. So what is HR, and why should you consider a career in it?

An article from eHow.com points out that most medium or large-scale employers are likely to need an HR professional to help them keep things ticking over. Human resources involves a range of different tasks, mainly centred on staffing, remuneration and training. As an HR professional, you’ll find yourself attending to a number of important function, including but not limited to interviewing and integrating new members of the team, payroll administration and organising the ongoing training of employees. As HR encompasses a fairly diverse range of functions, it’s not hard to see why so many people are attracted to the profession. Workers with particularly outgoing personalities and who relate well to other people are particularly likely to be sought-after in human resources.

Another aspect to remember is that working in HR means you may need to be a Jack – or, of course, Jill – of all trades, so to speak. It helps to be adaptable, as you’re likely to have to keep on top of a wide variety of different tasks. You’ll need to be well organised so that you can keep tabs on all the various roles you’ll have to fulfil. However, not all HR professionals work in this manner. Some work as part of a large team, and so their role is more focused on one or a limited number of areas.

According to Monster.com, another key advantage of working in human resources is that it offers a range of different options for career progression – something which is likely to be music to the ears of anyone who currently finds themselves trapped in a dead-end job. The complex nature of some of the tasks involved means that skilled workers are usually in high demand. Among the other roles you’ll be expected to attend to as an HR professional, you’ll also need to have a reasonably in-depth knowledge of welfare and employment law. It’s not hard to see, then, how you can continue to progress and develop your own skills as an HR worker.

Whether you want to play an integral role in an organisation or you simply enjoy helping your colleagues match their full potential, a career in HR could open up a whole wealth of opportunities for you. If you’re curious about the possibility of embarking on a human resources career, it’s well worth finding out more about how you can go about obtaining the skills you need. HR courses are a great way to take that crucial first step on the road to a rewarding career in human resources.