Unconventional Careers for Counselors

Alternative Careers for Counselors

Mental Health Careers

Maybe you got a graduate degree in some kind of mental health discipline – social work, counseling, psychology – but you’re burnt out, disillusioned, or otherwise uninterested in pursuing a career path in this field. We have good news for you! A master’s in counseling or doctoral-level training in one of these fields may be applicable to a wide range of careers. With a little creativity, you may be able to transition your current skill set as a mental health worker to a job that’s related to counseling, but differs enough to keep you stimulated. Here are some examples of alternative careers for counselors that may get your wheels turning.

What alternative careers are available for counselors?

1. Writer: Writers with technical knowledge of mental health careers can translate complex terms and concepts for the layperson, or write for professionals with a sophisticated grasp of the subject. In this day and age, the armchair-psychologist has a number of platforms, from popular magazines to scholarly journals, self-help websites to memoirs.

2. Consultant: If you’re an expert on a particular population, a particular setting, or a particular therapeutic modality, consider going into business for yourself or joining a consulting firm. The right marketing and branding may connect you with people, agencies and companies that sorely need your expertise.

3. Talk Show Host: Whether it’s radio, podcast, webcast or good old-fashioned television, skilled talk show hosts understand how to draw out their guests, ask scintillating questions, and keep the conversations flowing. If you hold a master’s or graduate degree in counseling or a related discipline, these may be talents you possess.

4. Entrepreneur: The booming self-help industry combined with the internet’s vast reach means that any social worker, psychologist, or counselor might have the potential to create a thriving online business based on information products. If you’re not afraid of learning a little bit about marketing and technology, the sky’s the limit. Consider creating an e-book, CDs, or webinars that help solve a particular type of problem.

5. Administrator: Do you enjoy management and administrative work? An administrator with a mental health graduate degree might be the perfect fit for certain kinds of agencies, such as non-profits focusing on volunteer and outreach work. You’ll need to possess (or quickly cultivate) good leadership skills, organizational skills, and vision.

6. Nanny: Think the job of “glorified babysitter” is beneath you ‘cause you hold a master’s degree? Think again. In some cases, the salaries may even be comparable. If you’re a mental health worker, you’ve may have qualifications that may make you particularly well suited for child care, especially if your experience includes infant and/or early childhood development.

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