Q: I graduated with my master of science in rehabilitation counseling in May 2002. I have some volunteer experience and 1,200 internship hours. I worked in my field for eight months but left because I did not like the company. I am so frustrated right now and wonder if obtaining a degree was worth it. I am now working as a security guard. I am very unhopeful at this time. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
–C. Franklin, Houston
A: Regret is a waste of time and energy. You have your master’s, for which I’m sure you worked hard. But believe it or not, getting the degree is the easy part. A degree says that you’ve successfully passed all the academic requirements to perform in a given area. It doesn’t guarantee you a job or great work experiences. You’re responsible for making everything else happen. If you’re unhappy with one company, apply to others through referrals from professors, counselors, and classmates. Contact the job placement resources at your alma mater. A rehabilitation counselor is a motivator. He or she is inspiring, encouraging those who have disabilities to look past their shortcomings to see opportunities. You haven’t done that for you. How do you expect to be successful doing it for someone else? The real question is if you’re really cut out for this line of work. Maybe you’re more suited for administrative duties in this field. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start doing the work. One place to start is www.rehabjobs.org.