Career Counseling During COVID-19

Article from American Counseling Association

Many people are navigating layoffs, furloughs, and reduction in the workforce as businesses close their doors or cut services because of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Although you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious to immediately apply for a new position, it is highly recommended that jobseekers take a few days to plan ahead and strategize on how to best proceed.

Think of your career — where you are currently and where you want to be in the future — and define your ideal role or position. Take this time to assess your skills, passions, and what you can offer the public, consumers, and employers.

Here are some career-related resources to assist during uncertain times.

Applying for unemployment benefits 
Consider applying for unemployment immediately to determine if you are eligible for those benefits. It will be a temporary means to assist with basis subsistence. Find out more about your state's requirements for unemployment, including exceptions made because of the pandemic.

Continuing professional development
Use this time to grow, develop and evolve as an individual and professional. Identify where you are in your career and what qualifications or professional development courses you need to undertake to reach that next opportunity and confidently apply for it.

Earn continuing education credit by taking advantage of ACA’s online professional development programming, which allows you access to innovative educational content created specifically for the counseling profession. Learn through online courses, webinars, podcasts, book chapters, journal articles, and practice briefs.

ACA recognizes professional counselors face unprecedented times as COVID-19 changes how we live, interact, and provide counseling services. We understand the time and financial flexibility needed during this crucial time, so we are proud to offer a unique package of 15 Continuing Education (CE) products for free.

Navigating your career 
Unemployment has spiked because of COVID-19. However, many companies are still hiring. Here are some tips for navigating your career in the midst of a pandemic: 

  • Continue networking while practicing physical distancing. Activate your professional networks. Gather letters of recommendations from your friends, family, and colleagues. Inside Higher Ed provides additional tips on at-home networking strategies.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile, website(s), and other social media platforms. 
  • Update your resume/CV. Remember the four C’s of resume writing: Keep it clean, clear, concise, and consistent. Your resume/CV should be 3–5 pages (never more than 5). Do not include discriminatory information such as dates of birth, marital status, and personal interests (but you can include your research interest if appropriate). Highlight your qualifications, skills, achievements, projects, and affiliations. And quantify your achievements.

The ACA Career Central provides sample career documents and job resources. Read tips on how to succeed at virtual job interviews at CNBC Make It. You can search for jobs on the following sites:

ACA’s Career Specialist also provides consultation services and assistance navigating the next steps of your career. To schedule an appointment or for more information on how we can assist you, email us at [email protected].

Recruiting and hiring 
ACA Career Central can also assist you with your recruitment needs. Our job board’s digital platform allows employers to independently post their positions and to set up automatic notifications — in which you enter criteria for your ideal candidate and the system emails you when qualifying resumes are uploaded. You can also enhance your job postings and search the resume database while you have an active job posting. Create an employer account with ACA Career Central.

For a limited time, employers have the opportunity to purchase a regular posting with a longer duration (i.e. a 90-day job posting at a 30-day rate).  Use the promo code: SPRINGSALE2020 at checkout.

Providing counseling services 

Many mental health agencies and practices now provide telebehavioral health services. Some professional counselors must resort to providing counseling and support via phone, and some agencies and organization continue to offer in-person counseling services.

Christine Forte shares her experience working with clients in parts of China and Korea who have been affected by COVID-19 and helpful resources in her ACA member blog “Counseling in a Time of COVID-19.” 

Teaching online

Counselor educators are moving their classrooms online, which can be challenging for both educators and students. Dr. Allison Levine shares tips on how to make online classes more accessible.

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