This month’s topic for our ongoing series highlighting the breadth of services offered by The Women’s Center highlights Career Services. These programs are aligned with The Center’s comprehensive approach to supporting mental health and wellness in our community.
The subject-matter-expertise for this month’s blog comes courtesy of Laura Winkler:
Whatever our vocation may be, our work lives are important. Many of us spend significant amounts of time working, and, beyond the obvious benefits of having a good job and a successful career, our work and personal lives are intertwined. Your work life can impact your mental health (and vice versa). Because the Women’s Center believes in a holistic approach to positive mental health and well-being, offering programs around career services has been a natural extension of The Center’s offerings.
The modern workplace
It is well-documented that the nature of work is changing, particularly of late. What human resources and industry professionals refer to as “digitization acceleration” has evolved how we work. These trends include factors such as the increase in remote work, new forms of collaboration (video, mobile, social media-inspired forms of communicating), automation of business processes, and the ever-growing incorporation and reliance on big data and analytics in all fields of work. Additionally, the trend of hybrid work (a blend of on-location and remote work) is now defining the work world.
All of these changes are affecting how we define and value our employment. For example, regarding the hybrid work environment, most people would agree that there are many considerations. Increased remote work has led to a greater appreciation of being on-site for in-person meetings, socializing, brainstorming, and making human connections. Our recent experiences with remote work have forever altered our perception of what is important when we go into the workplace. We now place a higher value on things like undistracted time, quiet/private space, access to technology not available from home, specialized on-premise resources, and scheduled meetings.
The Great Re-Evaluation
The global pandemic and immediate aftermath drove a global trend in which a significant number of employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs. Throughout 2021 and 2022, this was known as The Great Resignation. In 2023 Great Resignation has dramatically slowed due to inflation, a more competitive hiring market, and other factors. However, many of the underlying causes of the Great Resignation have not disappeared. Replacing this trend is what some are calling The Great Reevaluation, where many workers, instead of simply quitting, are taking a more introspective look at their careers and possibly adjusting their careers and work aspirations.
All of this leads to the fact that many of us are (and should be) thinking about our careers as part of our overall well-being. The most general advice that Laura Winkler, Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Career Coach at The Women’s Center gives is to make sure your career choice lines up with your values (what you care about) and make sure you are getting what you what out of your job. This sounds like obvious advice, but Laura sees many people make career decisions based on other factors such as prioritizing jobs that seem “hot” in the market at the time, making decisions solely based on pay, or trying for jobs that someone else thinks they should be in. While these factors are all important considerations, Laura encourages self-reflection and asking yourself what is important in the context of your overall life, where you are in your career, and what sorts of job roles and organizations might bring you purpose.
Career Services from The Women’s Center
For those seeking more in-depth support, the Women’s Center offers a variety of career services. In broad terms, these services include:
- Career Workshops – on topics ranging from career guidance, resume building, interview skills, networking
- Career Counseling and Career Coaching (one-on-one sessions) – include a broad range of topics (everything from starting a career, decision making, changing careers/industries, pursuing an education or advanced education for your career, clients who are re-entering the workforce after a break. Additionally, career counseling and other resources from The Women’s Center can also help address more complex work-related issues.
It is important to note that the career services offered by The Women’s Center not only include traditional “career coaching” but may also include a broader set of career counseling that is not limited to activities immediately surrounding your job search. Whereas traditional career coaching tends to focus on goal setting and action steps towards a future-focused job and career, career counselors, because they have a counseling background, can help with other work-related issues and their underlying causes, and support you with treatment. Career Services at The Women’s Center offers both.
Work is the second biggest mental health stressor for adults in America (second to finances, which is related). Career counseling at The Women’s Center has assisted clients address broader health issues related to work including challenges such as ADD, work performance due to mental health, communication issues with supervisors, stress and anxiety due to bullying in the workplace, and overcoming fears and interactions with co-workers. The type of engagement you receive depends on what your needs are.
Last year (2022), over 329 community members benefitted from career counseling services at The Women’s Center. The Center has nine career counselors on staff and offers seminars and workshops throughout the year. 80% of these clients reported that the information they received helped them gain confidence in their skills to find paid work, achieve financial stability, and improve work-life balance.
To learn more about Career Services at The Women’s Center, please visit our Web page.
Additional Popular Career-Related Resources*
- My Skills My Future is an integrated, easy-to-understand workforce information that helps job seekers, students, workers, workforce intermediaries, and employers develop their capacity and make sound economic decisions in the new economy.
- My Next Move is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. My Next Move has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook is a publication of the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings, and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations in the United States.
- O*NET Online – The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration. The O*NET program is the nation’s primary source of occupational information
- Peterson’s is the world’s leading educational services company dedicated to furthering education after high school and beyond. Peterson’s helps users discover, prepare for, and fund their education.
*The resources listed are only intended as useful career-related information. All of the Web sites listed above are third-party entities that are completely unaffiliated with The Women’s Center. The Women’s Center does not endorse or sponsor (nor is it sponsored by) any of the above resources.