career counselor

Hi there, can anyone recommend a local career counselor for a struggling high school senior that has many questions about careers and life choices? Thanks in advance.

Pumpkin43 Pumpkin43
October 28th

Is the schools guidance counselor available? Maybe he or she an help or refer.

For reals For reals
October 28th


Seriously though, have they chosen whether to work, college, or community college. Obviously, you can school an work at the same time, but generally not the same as starting work, skipping post High School collegiate activities.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
October 28th - reality of jobs out here and the pay - may help with job prospects and pay history

Love2020 Love2020
October 28th

Perhaps chat with an armed forces recruiter. They have all sorts of advice for young folks- not just a military route.

"Perhaps chat with an armed forces recruiter. They have all sorts of advice for young folks- not just a military route."
Well, this answer is for poor people. The wealthy don't send their children into the military.

If you have a girl, college is the answer. Colleges will bend over backwards to help girls succeed.
If you have a boy, a trade is good enough for him. Of course, if he ever becomes disabled his lack of a college degree will hamper him for the rest of his life.

callitlikeIseeit callitlikeIseeit
October 28th

I think HS counselors might not be your best bet, but certainly a good start and maybe they might suggest other sources. And certainly the military is a great option, not only for the service, but also to put your stuff in very good order while someone else does the training and found.

Here's what I would tell my kids: first, what do you want to do?

Then, college, community college or work? In ANY case, I might suggest Solar as a field of endeavor. Whether the installer for residential out to the design engineer planning a city-wide ginormous facility, or anything in between ----- my belief is that big bucks will be thrown there for at least 4 years, probably 8, at minimum, and there's a good chance that the market will continue for a lifetime. It's pretty clean, safe, and very useful for people and the planet. Most important, good chance it's a global skill set that will serve your senior until he becomes a old age senior with much room for growth, change, and advancement.

There's my two cents, and FYI, been pretty good at guessing ever since that "just go DeLorean" mistake.....

strangerdanger strangerdanger
October 28th

hi, my friend has a degree in counseling and has helped many students.
She is computer savvy and can do a consultation over the phone or on screen (Zoom/Facetime) etc.

Please let me know if you are interested, I know she is under $50 I believe for one hour.

There are several things I would recommend. The first two of these can be done concurrently, or in whatever order your child prefers.
The first is to take one or more occupational aptitude tests. Doing that would give them an idea of what their personality, aptitudes (mechanically, mathematically, verbally inclined, etc. as well as hands on or "mind" work only), interests, etc. make them most suitable for. It would allow them to see where they may best "fit in" with what their interests, skills, talents & habits match. Here are some links to what are claimed as free tests. I haven't taken them, so I don't know for sure if you can take them for free, then have to pay to get results or not:

They should take as many as they can, though not do it to the point of test burnout. Space it out a bit. The more they take, the better you and they will be able to see one or more patterns and intersections between the tests and the better the accuracy in my opinion. They are normally also available in colleges' career centers once a student enrolls. That's mainly to help undeclared students figure out what major towards a career path they wish to follow. Visit your local libraries too. They normally will have a career section where you can not only find copies of tests similar to what I've mentioned as well as books on different career areas to explore. You usually can also find...
My next suggestion is to check out the "Occupational Outlook handbook". This is a U.S. Government Publication that your tax dollars have been spent on that is normally available in libraries. It shows all manner of jobs and professions. It breaks down the jobs by type, and lists the qualifications and education needed for each job. It also lists the expected starting salary as well as typical range of salaries. Best of all, it also lists the expected outlook for the future of each occupation, both short and somewhat longer term. If they want to browse or search careers, using a number of parameters, the online Handbook is available for FREE at this link:

Funny enough, the featured occupation at this moment is "Pharmacists", which is one of the occupations I tested as suitable for.

Continued on next post

Last, but not least either is...yes, the military recruiter. I have a reasoning behind this, part of which is the fact that my Dad spent over 30 years in the U.S.M.C. He had numerous advantages because of this, since he worked his way up to "Gunny" Sergeant, then was accepted into Officer's Candidate school and retired as a Lt. Colonel. Someone staying in 20 years has a fair pension and after 30 years a pretty nice pension, especially for someone willing to work hard. Assuming they aren't in any particularly dangerous MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), or were lucky enough not to be maimed, injured or killed, they can "retire" at a young enough age that they can qualify for a number of occupations.

Just going to a recruiter doesn't mean that they have to enlist. Normally what happens (as in my case) is that they set them up for...the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This is a measure of what military occupations they may be qualified for. It's an excellent test and measure of general aptitude and abilities. Once the score is received by the Recruiter, they normally have a list of occupations they qualify for. Since I took mine in 1976, I imagine that the test may be administered at a computer in the Recruiter's office now and a list of possible occupations generated onsite. Once they've reached that point is when the pressure sell usually comes on, especially for someone who scores highly. Obviously, the more and better qualified recruits they find, the better it looks on their record.

If they are still under 18, you, as a parent, has to be in on any discussions the recruiter has with your child. That gives you an advantage in being able to oversee the conversation and terminate things of there's too much pressure in your opinion, whether that be from "guilting" them for having used their resources, but the fact is, that MAY be a career path they wish to take, if only for a shorter time, both for training and discipline and learning to work as part of a team. It may help them be able to "buckle down" and have a firmer idea of what they'd like to do in the future.

Best of luck! I've gone through a number of career areas, but finally settled on working with my hands doing skilled and semi-skilled work, though I could go back to some of the ones I've been in should I have that desire. None of them were bad and I enjoyed all the jobs I had or maybe I just tend to see the positive side of each and work towards that. A good attitude towards what you do is important in being satisfied in whatever they do.

Looking back and analyzing my child experience, I would take him/her to psychologist first, right away. Most career counselors ask "What do you want to do?" when the actual issue is that child has absolutely no idea what he/she wants except "to be happy at work and succeed". The aptitude tests might reveal some abilities but not child's personality and life values that affect career success in a greater degree. I would not recommend substitute psychologist by a family member or clergy, you need someone absolutely unjudgmental and unprejudiced.

I agree with Lena!!! Most likely the true answer is more than just an aptitude test! Confusion about our needs and wants is not going to be sorted out and finalized in a test.

Gardenfish Gardenfish
October 29th

Thanks everyone!

Pumpkin43 Pumpkin43
October 29th

A school counselor may be able to provide you referrals to a psychologist who specializes in teenagers. Aptitude tests are good for exploration but not the end all be all. Nobody really knows what they want to be when they grow up even some grownups!

For reals For reals
October 29th

Why does an eighteen year old need to know what they want to do with the rest of their life?
Get a part time job ( not a career ) and start learning how to be a good employee. Go to a local community college and take those basic courses everyone needs no matter what their major is.
Make friends, talk to them about their career goals. You may find a classmate who’s major interests you.
You have those two years in Community College to decide the direction you take.
And probably when you are around 35 years old you will change your mind and go in a different direction.
The point is, start out with the basics. Sometimes a career just lands at our feet without our even had considered it.

As JBJSKJ mentions, they may wish to change later down the road as some people tend to do. I got out of retail, where I enjoyed working with people and helping out customers find what they needed to do their projects as well as to help people get their cars repaired properly without needless work being done or them being overcharged. After that I went into working with my hands, because even when I was managing an auto parts and service store, I was always a hands on manager and wouldn't ask anyone to do any task I wouldn't do myself.

Part of the reason why I suggest the tests and handbook route first is to see if they have motivation on their own to figure this out once you give them the online and other tools needed. If they come to you and say "Wow, I really think this or that area is interesting", or if they seem enthusiastic that they seem well-suited for another area of professions, that's a good sign. If they don't seem motivated to take any of the tests or just don't want to get involved in the process, then I would think that there's an underlying issue that would be helped by a career counselor. That's what you can be looking into while they are doing the other activities. They may be apprehensive about the state of the world right now and the U.S. in particular. There may be other reasons, even down to that they won't be in the familiar school environment (especially since they're already experiencing that now) anymore and they're nervous about that. There are a whole host of possibilities, including a possible undiagnosed learning, sensory or other disability that may be affecting them, or not. There could even be a undiagnosed physical or dietary issue they don't know about that could be leading to confusion or inability to concentrate on their schoolwork to begin with. Have they had their eyes and hearing checked recently, for example? They could even have a speech or auditory discrimination issue that nobody knows about or realizes (or not).

But then, also as "JBJSKJ" mentions, it's not imperative that they set their sights on one life goal yet. It's great for people that know what they want to do or who they wish to be or to achieve starting from a young age, but many people aren't like that and our opinions and outlook changes over time and a career that appealed to us years ago may not be what we're looking for now, re: my move from retail to manufacturing. Don't get me wrong, I still love ethical retail work, but it doesn't fit me as well these days.

Again, best of luck to you both!

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