It is true that career counselors must be aware of the client’s needs and issues that are specific to him or her culturally; where he or she is along the career decision making process. Additionally, it is worth knowing “where they are in establishing different levels of confidence” so that as counselors we can “enhance self-efficacy” (Laureate Education, 2007). This theory embraces the idea that confidence, interest level, and the belief that one is capable of the task at hand play a pivotal and integral role in deciding career-paths.
The developmental approach to career counseling, in specific, Super’s Life-Span Theory acknowledges that influences other than chronological age influence career development. The instruments associated with this theory examine interests, values and skills. I believe that it is important to be aware of the issues involved in this kind of assessment because until a client is clear about the values s/he possess, s/he cannot achieve satisfaction, in my opinion.
Special populations like those in recovery from drug addiction, and who in many cases are starting over, are often just finding out what are his or her true values. Some individuals are so conditioned by strong external influencing powers and are not even aware of having values, let alone what it is that they are. The Minnesota Importance Questionnaire (MIQ) (1981), measures needs and values in order to predict satisfaction. I am a student who has never been in the field but I will hang my future license on the theory that one’s values and beliefs must be in sync in order to feel purpose and lasting happiness. In my opinion, satisfaction also depends on living a life that is harmonious with one’s beliefs and values.
Values are backed-up by behavior, in my opinion, because no one does anything again and again without some perceived or real benefit. Therefore, if I am a traditional Roman Catholic, working at an abortion clinic, presumably, I would be experiencing various forms of unhappiness and dissatisfaction because what I do from day to day conflicts with my core beliefs. It is when my values and beliefs are not harmoniously synchronized, that I am feeling out of balance. My entire life could end up compensating for this inner conflict and result in a host of illnesses as a result. Therefore in conjunction with a values assessment I believe one must also look at the client’s underlying beliefs.
The Career Beliefs Inventory (CBI) helps clients to understand the perhaps ancient and hidden beliefs that a person still adheres to even when those beliefs hinder satisfaction. Krumboltz (as cited by Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2006) said: “What appears to be inappropriate or self-defeating behavior may become understandable when one discovers the assumptions and beliefs on which each person operates” (p.127). Straightening out a client’s beliefs is essential in determining how to assist him or her in career choices. I believe that these two tests are especially beneficial to my special population because when people are rebuilding their lives, doing so with a strong and self-aware foundation is more likely to produce lasting success.
Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2006). Career counseling: Foundations, perspectives, and applications. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2007). Vocational psychology and counseling. Baltimore: Author.