Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Career Counselor

  • Start-up cost: RM10,000-RM15,000
  • Potential earnings: RM30,000-RM65,000
  • Typical fees: RM350 and up per session
  • Advertising: Yellow Pages, classified ads, job fairs, human resource newsletters
  • Qualifications: Many states require certification
  • Equipment needed: Computer, assessment software programs, TV/VCR (for educational videos), cellular phone, answering service or pager
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Any type of counselor must keep an eye on the clock if he or she is billing by the hour. Remember that time is money; clients often needto be told when their time is up
  • Lowdown: There are literally thousands of careers out there—and many people simply can’t follow the road signs. As a career counselor, you can assist them first with personality assessment, then with matching your client’s motivations and interests to a potential career. Next, map out a success plan for achieving that new job or business (yes, many people do discover through career counseling that they would really rather work for themselves). You can use formatted questionnaires or conduct personal interviews (or a combination of both) to arrive at some career-forming conclusions. But your counseling efforts don’t have to stop there; you can also offer résumé services, viewing of motivational videos, cassette tape rental, and a library of resource books. The best part is, your business is recession-proof and corporations often contract with career counselors during periods of downsizing. The difficult part is reaching those who may need your services but are currently unaware that these services even exist.
  • Start-Up: Your start-up costs primarily reflect your office furniture and assorted resource/testing materials (RM10,000-RM15,000 is about right if you don’t already have a computer). But the going rate for career counseling services is RM350+ (depending on whether you’re in a metropolitan area). With at least one good corporate client and a few stragglers, you should be well on your way in your own career path!
  • Bottom-Line Advice: You will be working with many different types of people, but they do have one thing in common: they have no idea what direction to take their careers. This can be frustrating to them, and no doubt that will translate into work for you which is part information-giving, part hand-holding. If you’re well-adjusted enough yourself to help others deal with a career catharsis, you’ll probably get a lot professionally and personally from this type of service.
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