Adult guidance workers specialise in working with adults who are adjusting to new circumstances, careers or life changing situations.
They may concentrate their efforts on working with marginalised groups, such as adults who have been made redundant or have found themselves unemployed due to economic fluctuations. They may also provide support and guidance to people with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.
Adult guidance workers are employed by organisations which function in the information, advice and guidance (IAG) sphere, including local, regional and national government authorities and agencies, not-for-profit organisations and commercial advice consultancies in the private sector.
If you pursue a career as an adult guidance worker, you will be interacting with affected individuals, groups and families, offering them guidance and support over the telephone and in face-to-face interviews.
You will then be designing and implementing skills development programmes and educational schemes to address clients’ needs. You will be managing these programmes and assisting clients using modern technology and tools to enhance their individual capabilities and career prospects.
Furthermore, you will be liaising with government and non-government agencies to secure funding for the work that you do.
Salary & benefits
Starting salaries for adult guidance workers range from £18,000 to £30,000 per annum, while salaries for senior professionals with over five years of experience are usually somewhere between £27,000 and £40,000 a year.
Your potential earnings will depend on the kind of organisation you work for, your location and your qualifications.
In the slightly amended words of Dolly Parton, “working nine-to-five is the way you’ll make your living.”
However, it’s highly unlikely that you will be tied to your desk all day. Sure, you’re likely to have a central office that will act as your HQ; however, you will spend your time travelling around from time to time and leading sessions in a variety of different working environments.
Apart from face-to-face contact, adult guidance workers also carry out a lot of their advice work using remote electronic tools, such as email and instant messaging systems.
Your academic background is not as important as having qualities such as empathy, excellent communication skills and a staunch dedication to the job.
Graduates and candidates with HNDs are eligible to apply for adult guidance worker positions. However, you don’t necessarily need to be a graduate to work in this area.
Once you have gained a bunch of experience, you may wish to boost your skills and your CV by obtaining the Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG), which is offered by the Career Development Institute (CDI).
Training & progression
In addition to on-the-job training, you can enhance your career prospects by obtaining the aforementioned QCG.
Alternatively, you could work towards obtaining a Level Three or Four NVQ in Advice and Guidance, which can be completed on a part-time basis while you are working. However, if you’d like to take a short career break, you could study for this full-time.
If you choose to take a more independent approach to training and skills development, you could participate regularly in relevant networking events or take shorter advanced courses.
To thrive in these careers, you need to stay on-the-ball and dedication to your own personal development is, therefore, necessary for career progression.
Eventually, you could progress into project and team management roles or expand into other related consulting areas, such as higher education and career consulting. Alternatively, you could work for a private HR consultancy, work on a freelance basis or set up your own business.