Essential Elements of Career Counseling

Report
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF
CAREER COUNSELING
Ria E. Baker, Ph.D., LPC-S
CAREER COUNSELING DEFINED
A process in which a counselor works
collaboratively to help clients/students clarify,
specify, implement, and adjust to work-related
decisions.
 CC addresses the interaction of work with other
life roles.
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WHAT IS CAREER COUNSELING?
Frank Parsons (1909) – Father of career guidance and
counseling profession.
 George Merrill – pioneer and forerunner of career
guidance (acad./tech/voc. training)
 “Parsonian approach”:
 1. Develop a clear understanding of yourself,
aptitudes, abilities, interests, resources, limitations,
and other qualities.
 2. Develop knowledge of the requirements and
conditions of success, advantages and disadvantages,
compensation, opportunities, and prospects in different
lines of work.
 3. use “true reasoning” on the relations of these two
groups of facts.
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CAREER COUNSELING
Career counselors (CC) incorporate a variety of
interventions into their work with clients with
self-information.
 CC supplement the traditional approaches to
career interventions with counseling-based
strategies that actively engage clients in the
career counseling process.
 CC collaborate with clients to construct career
interventions that address each client’s concerns
and context.
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HISTORY OF CAREER COUNSELING
Contextual influences
 Late 1800s: Social reform interacting with the rise of
the industrial revolution
 Early 1900: Cognizance of individual differences
 1920s: The classification of military personnel and
issues of national defense
 Rising concern about people with disabilities and
mental illness
 1930s: Economic exigencies and needs to match
persons with available employment opportunities
during the Great Depression.
HISTORY CONT.
1940/50s: National defense
 1960s: Democratization of education, civil rights,
women’s rights, and occupational opportunities in the
Great Society programs
 1970s: Concerns for equity and special needs
populations in a climate of economic austerity
 1980/90s: Transformation from an industrial to an
information-based global economy and from military to
economic competition among nations.

HISTORY
First counseling related professional association
in U.S.: National Vocational Guidance
Association.
 Now: National Career Development Association
(NCDA) - 1913
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WORKERS IN THE U.S.
Tenuous employment security
 Anxiety about the prospect of being laid off
 Commitment to more hours of work
 Work longer hours, take less vacation
 Average working U.S. citizen works approx. 200
hours more per year than in 1970s
 Many people are deciding that it makes more
sense to work to live (rather than living to work).

SEVEN COMMON CAREER COUNSELING
MYTHS
Career counselors have at their disposal standardized
assessments that can be used to tell people which
occupation they should choose.
 Work role decisions can be made in isolation from
other life roles.
 CC does not address personal issues.
 CC do not need extensive counseling expertise to do
their work competently.
 CC does not address the client’s context and culture.
 CC is required only when a career decision must be
made.
 CC ends when a career decision is made.

CAREER COUNSELING
A complex activity that encompasses a full range of
clients’ life experiences – human development issues.
 Multicultural competence important – knowledge,
skills, awareness
 Understanding how race, ethnicity, socioeconomic
status, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities,
family constellations, geography… influence client’s
world view, career options.

CULTURALLY ENCAPSULATED APPROACHES (WRENN,
1962)
 Standardized assessment in CC lack cultural
equivalence, appropriate norm groups, and linguistic
equivalence (Fouad, 1993).
 Persons of diverse racial/ethnic groups guided into
narrow range of occupational options (Aubrey, 1977)
 CC attempted to fit clients to a particular career
counseling approach, rather than providing services
that fit the client’s context.
 Ignore those who approach decisions from a
collectivistic orientation or intuitive style
CC NEEDS TO:
Engage in ongoing activities that foster multicultural
awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity.
 Cultural immersion experiences are also vital to
fostering multicultural sensitivity.
 Career choice and adjustments are continual process
(Super, 1990).

CAREER COUNSELING COMPETENCIES
Career development theory
 Individual and group counseling skills
 Individual/group assessment
 Information/resources
 Program promotion, management, implementation
 Coaching, consultation, performance improvement
 Diverse populations
 Supervision
 Ethical/legal issues
 Research/evaluation
 Technology

THE ROLE OF NCDA
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Administers and interprets formal and informal assessments to help
client clarify and specify relevant self-characteristics
Encourages experience-based exploratory activities
Uses career planning systems and occupational information systems to
help individuals better understand the world of work
Provides opportunities for improving decision-making skills
Assists in developing of individualized career plans
Teaches job-search strategies, interview skills, resume development
Helps to resolve potential personal conflicts on the job, through practice
in developing relevant interpersonal skills
Assists in understanding the integration of work and other life roles
Provides support for persons experiencing job stress, job loss, and/or
career transition (www.ncda.org)

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