ACA Blog

Jackie Torres
Jun 22, 2011

A Road To Career Counseling

Hi! My name is Jackie and this is my first blog entry. I am so excited! It is truly an honor to be a part of a community of dedicated professionals. I would like to devote my first entry to telling you more about myself and the events that led to my interest in career counseling. I will share my story in orderly chapter titles:
Chapter I: Coming to America
I was born in Honduras, Central America and I arrived in the United States with my family when I was five years old. Because my dad was in the military, we traveled to many parts of the country, including Alaska, California and Tennessee. We finally settled in beautiful Colorado, and we have lived here since 1996.

Chapter II: A High School Class, That’s Fun?
I signed up for a psychology class in high school and it turned out to be my most memorable class. In fact, it’s the only high school class where I can recall most of my classmates, the activities we completed, and the jokes my teacher told. She was a very talented teacher and I enjoyed the enthusiasm she brought to the classroom every day. I remember asking myself at the end of the semester: where can I continue to learn about humans?

Chapter III: An Enlightening Class Assignment
I went on to major in psychology and I remember waiting anxiously for my psychology classes to start. Yes, I was the student in the center of the first row of the lecture hall, taking in every word about human sleep cycles, the impact of the environment on well being, and the formation of personality. In my basic interviewing and counseling skills class, I was captivated by the art of interviewing and ways rapport could be built. I still remember the initial terror felt when I learned that one assignment would be taping a 15 minute practice session with a classmate, to showcase interviewing skills we learned in class. I expected this experience to be terrifying and that time would go excruciatingly slow. But imagine my surprise when I forgot there was a tape recorder, and the only thing I wanted to do was help my classmate figure out the core of her problem.

Chapter IV: You Mean I Can Actually Do This For A Living?
I was hooked with the field of counseling and particularly, I was fascinated with the human relationship with work. I mean, we spend 40 hours a week in a place besides our home. How could I not want to know more about that? I loved seeing the different roles one could have in a company, how workers came and went, how teams were formed, what made one team work more in sync than another team, how one chooses which jobs to apply for, the art of interviewing, etc.

Chapter V: Am I In The Right Place?
Since graduating from my counseling program, I sometimes wonder if I am in the right field. And then I remember that not many people are as fascinated with reading job descriptions as I am. I read them all the time and never get bored. I think this is a good indicator that I am in the right place. It never feels like work when studying and practicing career counseling.

So that’s my story and I am sticking to it. It’s very nice to meet you!

Jackie Torres is a counselor in Colorado with a particular interest in the world of work. She enjoys helping people find what makes them feel strong and energized at work. She is also learning to play the guitar.

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