Personal Goal – Road to Becoming A Counselor

 

by evelynishere

by evelynishere

This week I read the article “Sink or Swim” over at Writer Dad and it really made me think about which I was doing at this point in my professional life.  I think I’m actually treading water right now.  My arms and legs are getting tired and wrinkled from the constant motion and being under water for so long.  Time and energy wasted.  I feel stuck in this one spot.  I do look around me from time to time to see where some of the other locations are that I could be or to see if I can find a way of getting out of here.  I see the possible beaches of my life, but I choose to stay in this one spot.  Treading, looking, wondering.  

It’s comfortable.  But I’m getting really tired.  

It’s for this reason, and that article motivating me, that I’m setting another goal this week.  I’m going to move forward with the crazy thought that I’ve had in my head of becoming a professional counselor.  

Presently

I’m 35 at the time of this writing.  Divorced.  Two kids every other week, for a week.  I’m probably like you in that I have a house payment, truck Payment, ex-wife payment ((grrrr!) ok you may not have that one) and the normal bills of life.  I presently have a job making really really good money for the area that I live.  Good money for a lot of areas around here actually.  I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t make the same amount as a counselor, but I don’t know that for sure.

Why

“So why are you changing?”, you ask.  Because I don’t think I am as happy doing what I am doing now as I could be doing what I want to do.  Happiness is not the amount of money that I am making, it’s how I feel inside.  I’m not expecting to make this change right away.  I’m going at this goal a little at a time. Here is what I have so far as far as a plan goes.

The Plan

  1. Keep praying daily for guidance – Probably the most important of the steps that I will be taking.
  2. Google Google Google
  3. Research salaries
  4. Read blogs created by other counselors – Hey, if you have one or know of one, please please let me know.
  5. Speak to at least 3 practicing counselors
  6. Pray
  7. Look for certification programs or online programs where I can get a degree
  8. Come up with the funding
  9. Take the courses

Now, I know some of these are vague.  5,7,8, and 9 will or can be broken down when the time comes to start them.  I just wanted this out there so that there would be some accountability.

This Week

This week I am going to tackle 1, 2, and 4.  Why skip 3?  I guess I really want to make sure that counseling is something that I would enjoy, and not just one of those curiosities I get stuck in my head.  Of course, if I find that counselors are only making 10,000.00 a year, then maybe that won’t become a full-time profession, but a part time profession.  Remains to be seen.

I would love to hear your comments.  I would especially like to hear of suggestions.  Something I missed? Something you know that I don’t?  Just let me know.

Check back next week for a progress report.  

Let me help you help yourself!
SC

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3 Responses

  1. What about becoming a counselor appeals to you? I think you’re wise in getting a lot more information before making that, or any, career move.

    I’ve always been interested in personal growth, so when it was time to go back to work after staying at home with my daughter for 10 years, I seriously considered becoming certified as a counselor. I ended up refreshing my computer programming skills and getting the best job of my life using my background in physics (see http://cheerfulmonk.com/2008/09/08/making-hay-while-the-sun-shines/ )

    I didn’t give up on using my experience in personal growth–I taught classes at the local community college and led ongoing groups on the subject. It was a good choice for me.

    I notice you didn’t mention the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Have you ever taken it? It’s a great way of getting in touch with what you really like to do. It was designed to help people find jobs that matched their interests.

    Do me a favor and take it (or something similar) and share the results with us in a post. We’re rooting for you!

  2. Another thing I would add to the list is cut down on your material standard of living. Pay off your truck debt and start saving money. My husband and I have always lived below our means and it’s given us incredible freedom.

    You say you’re comfortable but unhappy. I have a different view of comfort zones: http://stresstopower.com/blog/2008/10/05/honoring-our-comfort-zones/ I was lucky enough to be depressed when I was a kid, and the experience gave me enough motivation to last the rest of my life. I realized then that material things could never fill the emptiness inside me, so I never fell into that trap.

  3. @Jean – Thanks for the response, information, and the question. Emphasis on the question.
    The most appealing idea about becoming a counselor is helping others with and through personal challenges that they are facing.
    The “idea” or desire to become a counselor stems from my 2 week stint at Cumberland Heights I think. The counselors there really touched a part of me that I feel necessary to spread to others. To “pay it forward” so to speak. I can’t recall a day since where I didn’t have this desire.
    And don’t worry. I’m not going to walk in the office and turn in my keys tomorrow. This is a long path for me and I’m just at the beginning. I may find, after researching, that this is just a phase or it’s just not feasible. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
    Take your pen or pencil and write 10. Take MBTI up there on your monitor in The Plan section. I’ve added it to my goals. I may have to modify that plan next week already.
    Again thanks so much for the input. Very valuable.

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