The Benefits of Becoming a Youth Counsellor
Working with and safeguarding youths is hard, stressful work and your days are likely to be filled with unexpected complications. But it’s also one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences you can ever be a part of. You’re literally shaping lives, setting kids up for better futures. And it does wonders for your own skillset, teaching you to be patient, confident and totally organised.
So it’s no wonder so many people take on the challenge of working as a Youth Counsellor. You’re changing lives and changing yourself in the process.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the many ways working with youths can benefit you.
You’ll gain a strong sense of purpose
Youth workers are helping to build the next generation through their work, and there’s no greater achievement than caring, nurturing, and advising young people on how best to tackle the challenges they face daily. Not only are you there to listen to their problems, but you’re also helping to inspire kids to be creative, ambitious and forward-thinking.
By getting involved, you’re learning more about yourself and refining a clear sense of purpose in your life. According to a report in the Journal of Economic Psychology, British workers in the third sector derive more satisfaction from their jobs, and that’s due to the fact that they’re doing something socially useful. In other words, the more purpose you have in the work, the more driven you’ll be to succeed.
But that’s not the only rewarding aspect of the job; you’ll be at the frontline helping to keep youths focused and on track. The relationships you build while working with the youngsters will last forever, and you will gain eternal gratitude from the people you have helped throughout your time working with them. Although the work can be hard and stressful, you will attain an enormous sense of achievement and purpose.
You’ll be improving the lives of others
Youth counsellors are integral in helping the underprivileged, those with learning difficulties and abused youths in taking their lives to the next stage. There is no greater feeling of a job well done than seeing a young person overcome the hardships they face and turning into a valuable member of the community. The role is not just about saving youths today but is also vital in putting in place a set of values and ethics that will lead them to become successful and happy adults in the future.
A big part of youth programs is teaching kids to be active in their community, whether this involves building a local garden, helping clean up neighbourhood parks or just keeping kids from getting involved in criminal activity. The more they give back, the more likely they are to stay involved and be part of something bigger than themselves.
You’ll learn to be tactful in your communication
Perhaps the most crucial trait that you need and will develop while working as a youth counsellor is your communication skills. When kids come from a variety of social, cultural and economic backgrounds, it’s important to understand how to speak to them with both empathy and thoughtfulness. They’re at a vulnerable and impressionable age and saying something in the wrong way can do a number on their confidence.
Working hands-on with youths will allow you to finesse your language and learn to communicate in a clear and empathetic way.
And the best part? This is something that can carry over into any future job you have. Most CEO and business leaders have fantastic communication skills, and that’s what makes them the leaders that they are. Understanding how to listen or advise is the most valuable resource you have when working with youths, and these are highly valued in every job role.
You’ll gain practical negotiating skills
Negotiating with adults and peers can be tricky, but there is no more significant a challenge than putting those skills to the test when working with kids. You will learn to develop excellent negotiating techniques through listening and understanding what your beneficiaries are feeling and give them the best advice to tackle their situation.
Even though it may not be that obvious, most of us negotiate every day in our daily lives and having a heightened skill level in this area will inevitably help you in whatever role you choose in the future.
You’ll be starting off on a fantastic career path
Should you decide to make youth counselling your long-term career, you can benefit from many options depending on what you want to do and how far you want to progress. Becoming knowledgeable about addiction, abuse, education, and mental health can lead to fantastic salaries and excellent job opportunities. Having a robust set of skills that you will develop from being a counsellor can also open many other career paths should you decide to try something else.
Take the first step
If you believe you have the necessary skills and desire to help young people and children progress, you should search out local organisations that run youth programs. Look at what qualifications you need to progress in the field and volunteer alongside to build your confidence and skill set to achieve your dream job. Being a counsellor is not a 9-to-5 job, but it does have tremendous benefits to you personally and your local community, now and for the foreseeable future.
Ready to start giving back? Find out what Youth Counsellor jobs are available today.
Bethany Seton is a recent economics graduate, working for the last two years as a community counsellor. Before settling in an office again, she decided to follow her passion for writing and travelling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.