People who are injured on the job or have to quit a job due to medical reasons often seek the help of a vocational rehabilitation counselor to ensure that they get back to work again. The primary role of a vocational rehabilitation counselor is to reduce the impact of an injury or illness on return to work process by rehabilitation so that a person can have restored function, enhance their skills, and return to work with some modifications.

Several methods, like exercise, physiotherapy, counselling, etc., are used to restore function. To help enhance existing skills, a transferrable skills analysis can be done. Similarly, imparting of new skills is done by formal training or re-education. The counselor can also help with modifications at the workplace by suggesting changes like change in job role, change in duties or workstation modifications.

A vocational rehabilitation counselor will make use of interventions that vary from vocational assessment to counseling and skill development to interview training.

The Aim of Vocational Return to Work Counselor

The core aim of a vocational return to work counselor is to ensure that a person returns to the same job with the same employer. The advantages of doing that include allowing you to work with the people you know, work in an environment you know and to help you retain your designation, compensation, and benefits.

In case returning to the previous employment is not possible as the job offered by that employer is not suitable or viable due to a medical condition, the counselor would help you to retrain for a new job and help you restart your career in a field you prefer and can work in for the long term.

Essential Qualities of a Vocational Return to Work Counselor

When you are looking for a vocational counselor that can help you return to work and restart your career, you should look out for some essential qualities or skills that would help the counselor to help you in a better manner and prove to you that they are competent enough to handle your case.

Here is a list of qualities/skills that you need to look for.

Communication Skills

A vocational rehabilitation counselor needs to have amazing communication skills. They should be able to talk to you openly from the first session. They should use different methods of communication like phone, emails, and one on one sessions to help you get comfortable with them and share your thoughts freely.

Persuasion Skills

It would also be good if the counselor has persuasion skills as they might need to pursue you to share the entire story with them and persuade your employer to give you a job again. Persuasion or convincing skills would also help them to ensure that they get the best possible deal for you when it comes to restarting your career or helping you to return to work.

A Practical Mind

A practical mind is a quality you cannot overlook when seeking a vocational counselor. A practical person will accept your situation and look at a brighter future. They will not give you an ideal scenario and always be honest with your situation and future options.


It would also be good if the vocational counselor you have chosen has empathy for your situation. It would allow them to understand your situation better and understand your limitations. They will not push you beyond your limitations and will never force you to take up a job that you can’t manage to do for the long term.

Networking Skills

It would also be good if the counselor you have chosen has good networking skills and a network already. They can use this network to help you get new job opportunities and land interviews. So, the more contacts the counselor has, the better it might be for you.

Language Skills

It is also wise to seek a counselor who is not just fluent in English but also in a language you are comfortable with. For instance, if you are Spanish, seek a counselor who can talk in Spanish too. It will help avoid misunderstandings and establish clear communication.

Problem Solving Skills

It would also be great if the counselor you are hiring has problem-solving skills and never give up kind of attitude. You should know that the return to work journey is often filled with obstacles. So, a counselor who has a problem-solving approach will come up with solutions that can help you get on with the journey. They will find alternative paths if one path is not working.

Honesty and Integrity

These qualities are essential in any counselor or a person who intends to help others. An honest counselor who believes in integrity would give you real and not false hope. As a result, you will always know what’s next and never dream of more than you can achieve.

Critical Thinking

It would also be good if you choose a vocational rehabilitation counselor who can think critically and help point out your weaknesses. It will ensure that you improve your skills and abilities to the maximum extent before seeking a job again. It would further help in improving the chances of your success

Helpful Nature

It would also be wise to choose a counselor who has a helpful nature. Doing so will ensure that your case is not just another job for that person but something more.  A helpful counselor would keep your interests on top and even follow up with you to ensure that you are happy with the new job or work arrangement.

All in all, it can be said that choosing a counselor is a big step, and you should make sure you choose the right one by remembering the qualities mentioned above.

Connect with Laura M. Wilson & Associates Inc.

If you want to get in touch with a counselor that has all the qualities mentioned above, you can get in touch with the team of Laura M. Wilson & Associates Inc. We have a team of best vocational counselors in California who work with you on your return to work journey and make things as easy as possible.  You can choose a vocational rehabilitation counselor in CA from the team and get started with your return to work journey today. Call us toll-free on (800) 531-5608.