Women Making Their Way Through Career Counselling

It is not so surprising to know, many women today are counsellors, who operate from their clinic/home with a centre/official setup or co-working spaces.

The value for the entire world population is 1.01 males/female, with 1.07 at birth, 1.06 for those under 15, 1.02 for those between 15 and 64, and 0.78 for those over 65, which is almost 45-50 per cent globally.

In the Indian context, India has 48.20 per cent female population compared to 51.80 per cent male population. In a much perceived male dominant country, men are supposed to be the bread fetcher for a household, however, we see a dramatic shift in the number of women who have opted for a bouquet of career options, full time roles or flexible ones to create a balanced ecosystem.

A study says, top women career choices are Entrepreneurship, Digital/IT industry, Medicine, Teaching, Human Resources, Psychologist/Counsellor, Interior Designing and Media. To help women to achieve financial stability, a sense of identity, break the monotony through the mundane household tasks, and many such reasons, various upskill programs exist that may help solve this purpose without any additional hazards.

It is not so surprising to know, many women today are counsellors, who operate from their clinic/home with a centre/official setup or co-working spaces. In fact, the number of co-working spaces itself has increased, with the balloon expected to grow to 5 million users till 2022, out of which just 1.5 billion being used by women in 2017. In return, spaces have garnered attention and utilization along the way with their women users. 

The opportunity for Indian women in career counselling

India has entered 37 years of demographic dividend. 23 per cent of Indian population is in the age group 13-23. That accounts for 250 million young students. 90 million of them in secondary/higher secondary schools and 140 million in colleges. We need to understand the relevance of this phase as a global phenomenon when we have the largest segment of youth in the workforce. This is a huge opportunity for India. 

A world economic forum report says that 44 per cent of students in India need career counseling and define it as the most important factor in demand-supply mismatch. Contrary 93 per cent of Indian schools do not have counselors. The recent skilling report by Michael & Susan Dell Foundation states that only 1 out of 10 students in India receive career guidance. The result is that India sees 77 per cent drop-out among students at secondary education. The 250 million young population of India need career guidance, but the current schooling system does not provide it. There is an absolute gap in providing career guidance to students at early stage of education in schools. The current ratio of counselors to student is 50,000:1 in India and to achieve the standard ratio of 250:1 (students: counsellor) prescribed by International School Counsellors Associations (ISCA), we need 1.4 million career counsellors. 

Identifying this demand, women are moving to building themselves as a Guidance and Career Counsellor. A career counsellor as a profession is attractive. For a student, Career Counselling helps them understand the career options that they have, and how to pursue them. Career Counselling helps them understand their own strengths and weaknesses with regard to their present course or profession, and lets them know what career they would be suited for. 

Similarly, for a women, it helps them identify their own untapped potential, give exposure to the many not so explored challenges a women may face unless stepping outside the household, a sense of belongingness, an objective to look forward to the day, a valued opinion during household conversations, and the so many obstacles created by the society against making them feel dis-empowered.

Women making their career through career counselling experience financial stability, a sense of belongingness, discover themselves, and overall empowered. In addition, it creates an impact on the daily working environment, and many get engaged with projects as freelancers for corporates/NGOs and other educational institutions. Many career counsellors are hired by local school districts, private schools, rehabilitation agencies, and social welfare organizations.

It is also a deemed fact that women are implicit to possess better communication skills, have a greater empathetic attitude. A number of career counsellors come into the profession as psychotherapists, and many professionals make the transition to career counselling gradually. From the entry level to spending a few years in such a profession, salaries go up, hours are significant, and satisfaction is strong. 

However, not all seems rosy at times. Becoming a career counsellor invites inculcating reading habits, through journals, articles, newspapers etc. and creating your clientele. Marketing, Operations and administration of conducting the sessions, information absorption and impartment, all go hand in hand. It brings a lot of responsibility, and a noble profession to pursue.

Women ready to accept such a challenge, finally end up in 'making their way through career counselling' and feeling 'empowered'.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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