From Education to Counseling: Transition Steps into a New Career

Are you wondering what tools you’ll need in order to enter a new field?  Crystal is a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) student who left a twelve-year career in K-12 Special Education to transition into Counseling.  After obtaining her counseling licensure, Crystal applied to numerous positions with no results.  She then contacted Career Services for assistance with her resume and cover letter, and improved her professional branding and networking skills.   She learned how to communicate her qualifications to potential employers, uncover career opportunities, and become actively engaged in her new field.  Crystal’s activities included:

  • Experiential opportunities to gain experience: Obtained a Teaching Assistant internship at Walden and a part-time position as a Group Therapist at a residential home.
  • Professional engagement: Delivered a poster session at the Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA) Conference.
  • Proactive job search and networking strategies: Tapped into her network of former colleagues and supervisors, attended career fairs, and connected with potential employers and interviewers through LinkedIn.  Through this process, she built her confidence and branding message to employers.

When Crystal attended a recent career fair for Education professionals, she brought a stellar CV and prepared her elevator pitch.  She had 4 interviews after the event that led to a temporary School Counselor position she will be starting this fall.  She is very excited about the opportunity to return to the school system in a professional counseling role.

Crystal attributes her successes to her Walden faculty and Career Services who provided encouragement and support during a difficult time.  Crystal’s advice to other students who are faced with challenging career transitions is to “start working with Career Services and seeking out positions in your field early in your program.”  Crystal is looking forward to a bright future and plans to teach counseling skills to other professionals as she continues to advance in her career.

Are you looking for ways to build your experience while pursuing your Walden degree?  Watch the video, Finding Experiential and Job Opportunities

Written by Senior Career Services Advisor, Dina Bergren