A reader who is taking the first steps towards becoming a professional can face some stupidly high expectations. In most lines of work you're allowed to make a few mistakes but in this game your whole reputation is constantly under scrutiny.
Because this field is unregulated, there are no benchmarks for saying who is ready and who isn't. I do recommend that you practice on friends and family first, and once you are competent enough to do a session without reading it straight out of a book then you can start testing your wings on the masses.
Being genuine matters more than anything. If you don't feel comfortable continuing with a reading for any reason, have a bog-standard response planned out in advance. Even experienced readers will have occasions where they can't read for someone. There's no shame in this. Sometimes you just can't connect and at other times the reading will look messy or vague. I've had times where I've laid the cards down and just not had the energy to unravel what was in front of me. Some people are just plain difficult, and it's a waste of time to keep going. The reasons for not wanting to continue are unimportant, what matters is that you honour yourself by stopping the reading. You don't have to give excuses as to why you're not carrying on. Simple sentences such as "I'm sorry I'm not getting anything coming through" or "I'm sorry but this reading is looking too vague, and I'm not going to be able to give you a decent reading" are perfectly fine. You can back it up with saying that you think they'd do better with another reader. Appease them and tell them that it's important to you that they get a good reading, you're just not the man for the job. Tell them anything you want but don't sit there frying yourself out of your own mind. The fact is it could be either of you or neither of you or maybe it's both of you, but life's too short to worry about it. It happens. It's fine to assess yourself after it occurs because there may be some learning to do but don't dwell on it for too long. Do you want a time limit to dwell? A half hour or a quick chat with a friend...then get on with the rest of the day or night.
One thing that might be worth a mention is that you may need to reassure them that it's not because you've seen something bad. As humans, we find it hard to not play the blame game, and many of us will automatically assume that it's our fault or there must be something horrific they don't want to tell us. Even if you do see something that you think looks awful you need to lie, let someone with more experience deal with it. If you really can't lie (which I don't believe), you can say that you're not sure how to interpret this particular group of cards together. Blame it on your own inexperience but don't freak them out. There's always a chance you could be misinterpreting the reading. Even experienced readers will take cards out of context.
Unless you're a robot, you'll end up liking some of your clients. It's easy to preach the professional distance stuff but in reality when you open up to read for someone you're opening up to them as a person. Periodically, I found it impossible to detach from clients, and it used to happen when I know they had no one else to turn to, and they had a major life crisis going on. Sometimes I cared about how they were after a session ended. I'd worry. I'd spare them a thought whilst I was cooking dinner or doing stuff with my kids. I wouldn't have wanted to be any different, but it can be hard to carry at times.
If you get too close to your clients, you'll find it more difficult to take their money. I don't recommend becoming friends with people who start off as a client unless you can clearly see that you both give to one another. It's too easy in this line of work to attract people who just want freebies. If you're a natural giver, you'll attract the takers. If this is your profession, be professional. Think village priest or doctor! How much do you know about those types outside of their societal role? Try and maintain your dignity at all times. It's a sad fact that how you are seen will affect your reputation. You are allowed to be human, but most people appreciate a certain level of discretion. If you're known as the town gossip you're not going to get trusted with other people's secrets....and the bottom line is that a big chunk of this type of work is more about people telling you things they can't tell anyone else.
I have read articles by well-known readers who say we should go through cleansing rituals after each reading which is impossible unless you only do the odd reading. Some state no more than one reading a year (per person) is needed, and I think that depends on the reason people come to you. Personally, I see no wrong in speaking to someone every week if they're struggling (but coping) and getting a lot out of your contact. Be kind and be reasonable with your fees if you're helping someone through a crisis. Some clients will simply click with you and prefer talking things through with someone who isn't personally involved. If you're at the other end of a telephone and have no way of coming into personal contact, many clients will actually find it reassuring. They could be very private people that don't like airing their laundry in public and prefer the privacy and confidentiality that you can offer. Some will try to have frequent readings but use it as a means of avoiding reality. You will attract those with mental instability, and you'll need to learn to distance yourself once you realise. All I can say is you'll have to use your best judgement. I have no doubt you will get it wrong from time to time, but the only way to learn is through practice. You might be sensitive, but you're not omnipotent, and you are not expected to know everything. I would never speak to someone more than three times a week even if they have a major life crisis going on. It's draining. This phase should never last more than a couple of weeks until the intensity has passed and should be more support based. Try and avoid giving predictions if someone is desperate....for so many reasons.
Many years ago I assumed that it was one of those professions which didn't have to cope with jealousy and competitiveness (talk about being naïve). The truth was, the ones who had already established themselves as readers could be very condescending towards those who were new and negativity was rife. You need to have a thick skin or a decent coping mechanism to deal with any apparent rejection from your peers. It's the new kid on the block syndrome, but psychics and mystics work with undercurrents and vibes, and it's what they use to attack. If you get a bad feeling, please trust your instincts. People are not their profession, and this line of work is no different to any other. Just because they make claims - doesn't mean they're true. And finally...why do you want to do the work? You are not a mythical being living in an ivory tower; you are a real person who has usually had a lot of stuff to deal with. Often you'll have a compulsive need to communicate, share and care. You are allowed to have your own agenda; it's your life. You don't have to be a martyr, and you don't have to lose your individuality just because you're working for the collective. You don't even have to be spiritual. The only thing you do have to be is yourself.