I many hours toward my Bachelor of Fine

Ichanged my major from Mass Communication and Electronic Media to GeneralStudies three weeks before I began the spring semester of my Senior year. Myparents thought I was crazy because I had completed so many hours toward myBachelor of Fine Arts degree, but I knew in my heart that Electronic Media wasnot what I wanted to pursue a career in. I didn’t have the correct guidance orcounseling when choosing a major. I focused more on what my parents wanted forme rather than what I wanted for myself.

I didn’t have an advisor, or a careercounselor ask me, “Is this what you’re passionate about?” I’ve decided that’swhat I want to be for someone. I want to guide people and help them discovertheir passions and what will make a happy and fulfilled career for them. I wantto be the college counselor for others, that I never had for myself. Thetitle for my occupation is Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors.The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code is 21-1012.

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00 and my chosenoccupation falls under the Education and Training work cluster. The descriptionof the occupation is, “counsel individuals and provide group educational andvocational guidance services.” (onetonlne.org) In petal #5 I wrote thatcounseling and teaching were fields, careers, or industries that interested me.I don’t have any experience from previous jobs I have had, other thancommunication skills which will often be used if I pursue a job in counselingor teaching. Thereare three work tasks and duties that are interesting about this occupation. Thefirst is having to teach classes or information sessions that relate to thecareer planning or education I will be helping students with. I will also haveto instruct students in techniques that will help with their career developmentlike interview skills, filling out applications, job searching, and writingtheir resumes.

The third interesting task is referring students to a degreeprogram which best fits their education, interests, and aptitude scores. Thework environment for this occupation deals with face-to-face discussions,freedom to make decisions, coordinate or lead others, a semi-structured workenvironment, and sometimes more than 40 hours per week. This matches almostperfectly with my preferred work conditions in petal #2, other than more than40 hours per week. I would want a strictly 40-hour work week, but I know mostjobs will require more hours to be clocked in. Thereare also similar occupations that I would consider.

My top choice would be aPostsecondary Teacher (Professor) because I would eventually like to teach at ajunior college. My second choice would be a Secondary School Teacher because ifI could not find work at a college, I would like to get a teaching certificateand teach at the high school I graduated from. My final choice would be aMarriage and Family Therapist because it sounds interesting. I don’t think Icould handle the depth of emotional and mental disorders, but it is something Iwould consider.Themedian annual wage for an Educational Counselor in 2014 was $54,560(onetonline.org) and it falls within the ranged I specified in petal #6. If thesalary was lower, I wouldn’t mind. The more work experience I gained, the moremoney I would make with any job in any field of work.

Midland/Odessa are thehighest paying cities in Texas for this occupation, which is where I am hopingto move to when I graduate in August. 93%of all counseling jobs require a master’s degree. 4% require a post-master’scertificate (onetonline.org). Since there is extensive knowledge, experience,and skill required for this occupation, many require more than five years ofexperience. There will also be on-the-job training. Since I am hoping to beaccepted into the graduate program that is offered at either UTPB or AngeloState University, I will obtain most, if not all, of the requirements. Thereare 34 schools in Texas that offer programs for a master’s degree in CounselorEducation.

Otherpossible job titles that interest me are Academic Advisor, Career CenterDirector, and School Counselor. Academic Advisor interests me because I would liketo work for a university one day. I think it would be great to work withcollege students and help them choose courses, majors, and minors that wouldbest benefit them. A career center director isn’t my ideal job, but it doesinterest me because I want to help people with their career path. Being adirector, I would oversee the actual career counselors, so maybe one day aftermany years of experience this could be a possibility. A school counselor isn’tsomething I considered before, but now that I’ve done more research into theoccupation, I think it could be fun. I would like to help high school studentsapply for colleges that have programs for their interests.

If I would have hada school counselor really guide me toward the university that best suited me, Iwouldn’t have gone to a junior college my freshman year. Mygoal is to work for Midland College. Midland College’s mission statement is “Acomprehensive community college that is dedicated to excellence, has acommitment to learning, and promotes a life-long quest for knowledge.”(catalog.

midland.edu) Their core values are Faith, Knowledge, Truth,Understanding, and Wisdom. I like Midland college because I attended it and hada wonderful experience there.

The location is great because I want to callMidland my home forever, and my goals as a counselor for students is for themto strive for excellence and enjoy learning. Midland college serves people ofall ages, but most people I will be helping are 18-22-year old’s which matchesmy response to petal one. I really like their core values because Faith hasalways been at the top of my personal values.

Therewere 273,400 jobs in 2014 for educational, guidance, school, and vocationalcounselors. By 2024, there is predicted to be an 8% increase in job openingswhich means there will be 295,900 jobs in this occupation. (onetonline.org) Theprojected outlook doesn’t concern me because there will be an increase in jobs.

I think this greatly benefits me because I will have more opportunities toattain the job I want.TheAmerican Counseling Association is a non-for-profit educational andprofessional organization that helps with the growth of the counselingprofession. On their website, their mission statement states, “The mission ofthe American Counseling Association is to enhance the quality of life insociety by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing thecounseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling topromote respect for human dignity and diversity.” (couseling.

org) I think thisassociation could help me improve my professional identity and network withother counselors around the nation. The Texas Counseling Association offers supportand guidance for people in the counseling profession. Their mission statementon their website is, “The Texas Counseling Association is dedicated toproviding leadership, advocacy and education to promote the growth anddevelopment of the counseling profession and those who are served.” (txca.org) Thisassociation has conferences held three times per year that could help my growthas a college counselor.              I’m meant to be a college counselor because I’m an activelistener, I am great at public speaking as well as interpersonalcommunications. I have good judgement and decision making and I’ve begun to usemore social perceptiveness once I decided counseling is an occupation I wouldlike to have. These are all skills required for a college counselor.

There are,however, three skills I do not have experience with or haven’t quite mastered.Time management, negotiation, and persuasion are these skills. I will acquiretime management skills within the following weeks by meeting with my CAFÉ coachand learning ways to develop this skill. I worked in sales for 3 years butnever quite developed a skill for negotiation. The best resource I can use tohelp with learning to negotiate is the internet. I found a great website by theNegotiation Experts which gives step by step guides to mastering negotiation.

(negotiations.com) Persuasion is also a skill I wasn’t comfortable using when Iworked in sales. As a counselor, I could get a student who is confident in the planthey have made for themselves and their future career, but the plan is notrealistic. I would have to persuade the student into considering differentoptions that would better suit them.

The internet is also a great resource Ican use to develop this skill. Skills You Need is a wonderful website thathelps you build persuasion as a skill. (skillsyouneed.com)             I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I need to do toget where I want to be by researching this occupation. Becoming a collegecounselor takes time, effort, and strong mental health. It is a job that willlead to a lot of satisfaction because I could help pave the way for someone tohave a fulfilling career.

Since becoming a college counselor is a lengthyprocess, it is not for everyone. But I am confident that it is the job for me. 

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