We live in a world where there is a great career out there for everyone. If you want to work, you need to do plenty of research to determine just what career is going to be the best one for you, and although this might sound daunting at first, the reality is that you’ll soon be able to narrow your options down. Once you take into account your likes and dislikes, your ambitions, where you want to work, your qualifications, and anything else that might impact your choice, most people find they are pointed in a specific direction, even if that direction offers a broad range of options to pick from.
For some people, the idea of having a rewarding job is the most important aspect of choosing the right career. Of course, all jobs – assuming you enjoy what you are doing, that is – offer some kind of reward, but there are some professions that some people consider to be more rewarding than others. This can often be a personal and subjective idea, so it will depend on what ‘rewarding’ means for you, but if this is what you are looking for, you need to research the right careers. If you want a rewarding job but find yourself working in one that doesn’t offer you what you want, it could be that you become disheartened, miserable, or even depressed.
This is not how things should be. Remember, you are working for, on average, 40 hours a week. That’s a long time to be unhappy. Plus, the more unhappy you are at work, the more unhappy you’ll be at home. So take your time and find a job that works for you – and if the one you’re currently working in doesn’t do that, it’s time to make a change.
The profession of mental health counselor might not be one that springs to mind immediately, but in terms of a career that offers plenty of rewards and satisfaction, it ranks very highly. So if that is what you are looking for, here are some of the best reasons for becoming a mental health counselor.
Being A Positive Force
There are many people in the world who are suffering from mental health issues. You might not realize it because a lot of these people keep their issues hidden or don’t understand what it is they are feeling. However, the fact is that mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. Sometimes the reason is linked to something that happened to them or to someone they know; sometimes it’s because they witnessed something (even if whatever happened, happened to a stranger), and sometimes it could be a chemical imbalance causing them to suffer from depression or anxiety. There are many other reasons for mental health problems too, and it is highly likely that more than one person you know suffers from at least one issue in this way.
When someone is suffering from mental health problems, it will have a negative impact on the rest of their lives. They won’t be able to do the things they want to do; their goals won’t be met, and they won’t feel as though they can try for new things or perhaps that they deserve happiness. Their lives will only be partly lived.
If you become a mental health counselor, you can help people who have mental health issues through their problems. You might not be able to ‘cure’ them (sometimes there is no cure), but if you can minimize the problem or help them to see past it, you will be doing so much good. You will make the biggest difference in someone’s life, and you’ll see it all unfolding in front of you. This is massively rewarding, and a big reason why mental health counselors do what they do.
Your Own Life Will Improve
As a mental health counselor, your job is all about helping other people. That’s the entire point; you’ll be talking through your clients’ mental health issues, understanding what is causing them (if you can – it’s not always possible), and coming up with solutions to help them tackle those problems in the most positive way you and they can.
This could be the reason you decided to go into mental health counseling to begin with; you get to help other people and improve their lives dramatically. Yet did you know that while you are doing this, you can also improve your own life at the same time? It might take some time to realize this, but it’s true; when you are helping others, you will also benefit.
One of the ways in which you can improve your own life as a mental health counselor is that you will be taking on a rewarding job. When someone has a job in which they can really see they are making a difference and they are needed, they will feel positive and happy. Just like if you have a job you hate, the rest of your life will be negatively affected, the opposite is true; if you have a job you love, your life will generally be positive as well.
As well as this, when you are a mental health counselor, you are able to have a much deeper insight into mental illness. You’ll potentially be able to spot these traits in yourself and because you know how beneficial counseling can be, you can get the help you need before it becomes too damaging.
A Job For Life
Not that long ago in real terms – certainly in our parents’ or grandparents’ generation – when you left school, you got a job, and that job was what you worked at for life. Today things are different. There are so many options that you can switch from one thing to another when you want to (assuming you do the work and get the training and qualifications that are required). Plus, there is better education than ever before and more chances for people to obtain it (online learning is a great example), meaning that you can truly do the job of your dreams if you want to, even if it means doing something else while you train.
Yet, although this is certainly positive, some people aren’t looking for a lot of different careers. They know what they want, and they have worked hard to obtain the certification and qualifications – and experience – they need. Some people are actively looking for a job for life because they want to be settled and know what they are doing, and they want to progress in their career without constantly having to think about the next job they might train for.
When you choose to become a mental health counselor, you will have a job for life. Many medical jobs are jobs that you can stay in until you retire (although progression is very possible in all of them, which is a great thing), and counseling is no different. The fact is that as the population grows and mental illness becomes more and more understood, there is actually likely to be a rise in the need for counselors. This is why programs such as the SBU Online clinical mental health counseling degree exist. This course offers you the chance to study to become a mental health counselor in your own time, ensuring that even if it’s something you come to later in life, you can see your dreams come true.
You’ll Be Challenged
Life is full of challenges, some big and some small. As a mental health counselor, you’ll perhaps know this better than anyone. Some people avoid challenges and obstacles as much as possible, and they are very happy to do so – they want an easy life, and they like to sail along untouched by anything going on around them. If this sounds like something that appeals to you, then going into mental health counseling is probably not a great idea. That’s because this career is full of challenges, and you will need to devise ways to get past them and through them every day. In fact, this is all part of the job, and whether those challenges are your own personal ones or they are your clients’ obstacles to deal with, you’ll need to be there for them and work out solutions.
The job of a mental health counselor is a challenging one. There is no getting around this fact. After all, you will be talking people through their traumas and problems, and there is no way that this won’t affect you, at least a little. So you’ll need to not only be able to help people but to ensure your own health is kept safe too.
Plus, there is always a lot to learn. You can start with a degree, and then there are additional courses you can take to stay up to date and be the best you can be. You can also learn in other ways, such as by reading journals and attending industry conferences or even networking with other counselors. It’s crucial to keep learning, and this is another challenge linked to being a mental health counselor.
Are you ready for a challenge? Do you enjoy them? If so, becoming a mental health counselor could be exactly the right path for you.