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Student Q&A: Lei (Larry) Li

Community Services Faculty Student - Counselling

Starting something new during your midlife isn't easy but for Lei (Larry) Li, he relished in the opportunity to study Counselling with Upskilled because he had a burning passion for helping others outside of his day job.

While it has been a challenge for him to juggle his work and family commitments, online studying has given him the opportunity to pursue an entirely different career pathway, as well as improve his English since it is a second language for him.

In this Q&A, Lei shares more about his coaching business, his course progression and what he hopes to achieve after he completes his counselling qualification. 

Why did you decide to study Counselling with Upskilled?

I experienced a big life challenge in 2008. Since then, I became interested in psychology and life management. Until 2011, I started systematic learning of coaching and applied psychology (NLP) and set life coaching as my side project. I started my full-time coaching business in 2019. 

With my coaching experience, I realise that many clients have unfinished business or irrational beliefs. Counselling will help these clients release the emotional pressure and support them to find potential resources and solutions they need, which is why I decided to expand my knowledge and skills in counselling education. 

I browsed the internet and came across Upskilled. The education consultant gave me a very professional introduction of the course and the learning methodology. This definitely helped me with the decision to engage with Upskilled.

It’s interesting that you have a qualification in mechanical engineering. What encouraged you to pursue a different career path?

I have a mechanical engineering background and I’ve been working in the mining industry in both China and WA for years. While I don’t feel a deep sense of purpose or fulfillment with working at the mining site with pumps, valves and rocks, it's basically a job for money. Life is short, isn’t it? Why not do something you really love and is meaningful for your heart? 

I chose to pursue a new career journey as a coach and counsellor, which helps people to be successful and happy. It’s awesome to evolve from a mechanical engineer to a soul engineer. The best job on this planet! counselling concept

What are you doing for work at the moment?

I work as a life coach and engineering consultant at the moment so I can keep a balance of setting up my new coaching business and supporting my family financially. I find it’s an interesting journey to shift your career path midlife

It’s not just your personal choice - it also needs to be supported by your family, especially your better half. It’ll take years to grow and accumulate experience in the new field to be successful. While a big bonus is “you don’t need to work anymore if you love it.”

What have you enjoyed about your studies so far?

At the beginning, It was pretty challenging. I have my education in China, which has a very different teaching methodology and system. This is my first opportunity to learn a new major in Australia. Language is a natural obstacle for me, and online self-study is another one. 

I felt sort of lost in the ocean in the first three months, however, I’m now used to the new style of learning and self-discipline. I’m now learning the counselling skills in modular two. With my coaching experience, I picked these new skills quite quickly. I’ve just finished all face-to-face counselling assessments. I’m very happy with the outcome so far. couples counselling

What do you think are the benefits of studying online?

Firstly, it’s a learning style that gives you big flexibility. It’s much easier to continue my current coaching business and allocate time for counselling study. Secondly, I can watch the webinars and videos more, which help with my language barrier. It’s convenient to make more effort to study. Finally, it relieves me from the pressure of finishing within a fixed time frame. The time allowance is very important for me to increase my confidence.

Do you have any short or long-term goals you’d like to achieve once you finish your course? 

As I’ve done some research already, there is a niche mental health market for the local Chinese community. I have a very unique position for this market. Mandarin is my first language and I was born in China and grew up in the culture. 

Both language and culture will help me work with the local Chinese community. I’m specifically interested in couples and youth counselling. I’ve seen quite a few marriage breakups around me, making it a sad ending for both the couple and kids. 

Counselling will help them increase awareness of their emotion patterns, inner needs and effective communication skills. There is also an urgent need to support parents building positive connections with their teenagers during their rebellious life stage. So, it is a very interesting and fulfilling goal in both short and long term.

Study counselling with Upskilled 

If you're like Lei and have a passion for helping others, consider studying Counselling with Upskilled. This two-year diploma will give you the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge to help clients in vulnerable situations.

This qualification is also comprehensive in both theory and practical elements. Alongside the theory-based assessments, you'll participate in simulated online counselling sessions with your assigned trainer. Get in touch by calling 1300 009 924 for further information. 

Enquire now

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Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.

*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.