Topic 7: Assessment in Career Counseling {by 10/22}

Based on the text reading and lecture recording due this week consider the following two discussion points: (1) Explain why it is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether when engaged in career counseling (i.e., why is one domain not enough?). (2) Discuss the importance of relational influence in career assessment.

 

Your original post should be posted by 10/22.  Post your two replies no later than 10/24.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

 

(Prepare for Class [do not blog]) – Like you did for the previous weeks, complete the following assessments and then take some notes using the “Assessment Review Reflection Questions”: (1) Strong Interest Inventory, (2) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and (3) Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS).

63 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zoe DiPinto
    Oct 15, 2020 @ 18:03:56

    1) It’s important to assess interests, skills, and values as qualities that add together to make an individual’s cohesive preference in a career. Instead of finding a career to fulfill one quality completely, a career counselor should aim to explore multiple avenues of fulfillment in each of these categories. On some level, a job should 1) be something the individual is interested in doing, 2) be within the individual’s skill range or be something the individual has potential aptitude for, and 3) match the individual’s morals and values. When one or two of these qualities are fulfilled and the other(s) is left unfulfilled or ignored, an individual may find themselves in a career that they experience little pleasure from, they are unprepared for, or cause them to question their morals. A job is often seen as an extension of the self– many people identify and describe themselves as their profession. A career counselor must make sure the client is not ignoring an important set of their own characteristics when making a large life change. At worst, this could result in a school teacher that hates children, a plumber that doesn’t know how to work a wrench, or an environmental lawyer working for an oil company. We must work to explore the many ways our clients will need to feel satisfied in their jobs.
    2) Relational influence is very important in career assessment. An individual can take as many assessments and standardized tests as they want, but it will never take all the individual’s context into account. Maybe a client has a great job offer in Boston, but has promised to stay close to their mother in Chicago. Maybe a client scores high in an artistic aptitude test and wants to try developing a photography business, but is living paycheck to paycheck and is providing for a two-year-old child. Sometimes choosing a career is a life decision that incorporates more than what an individual is interested in, skilled in, and their values. A career counselor also must facilitate the exploration of a client’s life priorities such as relationships, locations, and finances when making a big transition.

    Reply

    • Tanya Nair
      Oct 20, 2020 @ 11:36:40

      Hi Zoe! Thank you for your post. I think it is important that you point out that an individual’s career should also align with their values and morals. Choosing a career is an important aspect of an individual’s life and one that often takes help and is also influenced by others. I also think that it is interesting that you mentioned priorities. Although life is constantly changing as now with COVID-19, a career that was once suitable for a client may not be the case now. It is good for the therapist to address what and who is influencing the individual to make certain decisions and changes so that they are able to make the best decision possible.

      Reply

    • Destria Dawkins
      Oct 20, 2020 @ 16:40:10

      Hi Zoe! I like how you broke it down for us. Each quality must be fulfilled in order for an individual to be truly satisfied within their career path. If an individual is interested in becoming a teacher, but does not have the correct skills and ability to do so or does not really value the career, they will not be very happy and will end up wanting to switch careers.

      Reply

    • Christina DeMalia
      Oct 25, 2020 @ 13:18:08

      Hi Zoe,

      I agree that by looking at only one or two elements when choosing a career, you could end up with someone in a job that is a bad fit for them. The example of a teacher that hates children seems like a perfect example. A person could love a certain subject, such as English and have an interest in it. They could also be great at helping and teacher others. For that reason, a job teaching English might seem like a good fit and maybe some aptitude tests would even suggest that. However, a job as a school teacher would require the individual to have the skills necessary to work well with children. Therefore someone who hates kids would not only dislike the work they do, but they would also likely lack the skills to educate those children effectively. I think this is a great example of why multiple elements have to be examined in choosing a career.

      Reply

  2. Lina Boothby-Zapata
    Oct 16, 2020 @ 22:08:34

    When Dr. Whiston describes Career Counseling, she goes beyond the Counselor’s ability to select the appropriate instruments, administrate, and provide feedback to the client. As well, the process of choosing a career is not as simple as performing a task or chore. Dr. V describes Career Counseling as an identity that produces meaning and value to our lives. Hence, one of the Counselor’ functions is to offer the client multiple paths to make a well-informed decision. This information is collected with assessments such as Strong Inventory, Campbell Interest, Skills Survey, and Values Scale. These instruments provide information that needs to be incorporated in the therapeutic process to support the client to make the decisions that better fit her/him.

    Dr. Whiston states that Career Counseling has three domains; interest, abilities/skills, and values. These elements are interwoven, and one domain is not enough. These are the following arguments that brought to my attention; First, Career Counseling cannot separate from personal counseling. Spoke (1991) describes career counseling as the client’s possibilities need to be congruent with the client’s attributes. Spoke (1991) also refers, career counseling as having the functions of assesses conflicts and problems, motive constructive behaviors, acquire a cognitive structure for evaluating career alternatives, clarify expectations, plan interventions, and establish a range of abilities. Second, let’s have the scenario where the client gains a deep understanding of his/her after implementation of the Strong Inventory and Counselor’s feedback. Now, interest alone doesn’t guarantee that the client will find satisfying his career either will successfully perform the job. Then the next step is to explore the client’s abilities/skills to know what occupation is related to his/her own interests. Dr. V provides an example of a client who wants to be a surgeon, this is an ambitious and high demand career. The first question for the Counselor and the Client will be; does this person has the abilities and attributes to accomplish this devoted career? is this something that the client can do? This is the moment where limitations and strengthens take place. The value domain I see useful, especially from immigrants coming from different cultures and traditions and being able to adapt to the American Society Workforce, where sometimes American values can create a conflict with traditional values such as a female raised in the Muslim religion. In summary, these three domains are interconnected and necessary to explore to obtain a thorough assessment of the client in terms of his/her career election.

    During this process of doing the client’s career assessment, it is also essential to consider how this life decision will affect the client’s direct relationship such as; parents, wife or husband, and even children. Questions like; is the client able to move to another state? Is this decision feasible in the client’s life? Is the client putting at risk his marriage by asking to move out of the country? Or how is family/ parents affected if the client decides contrary to his/her parent’s desires.? This is important because the client is not alone. It is crucial to assess what is behind this decision, mostly if it is a drastic choice where other individuals will also be directly affected in a positive or negative manner by the client’s new enterprise.

    Reply

    • Anna Lindgren
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 09:34:11

      Hi Lina!

      You raise an important point with how work values might vary with cultural norms. The cultural background of the client should always be taken into account by the counselor and they should empower their clients to share their point of view so that they can get a full comprehensive picture of the client’s life and which career paths may be a good fit for them.

      Reply

    • Connor Belland
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 19:58:40

      Hi Lina, I like the points you made about the importance of relational influence in career counselling and how decisions made about peoples careers can have lasting effects on client’s relationships with their families. Its also important because these influences can influences the making of those decisions in the first place. Family or peer pressure is a big factor on career decisions.

      Reply

  3. Bibi
    Oct 17, 2020 @ 18:15:00

    1. It is important to look at all these things together because they have different impacts on what you decide to do as a career. I might be really interested in art but if I don’t have any artistic ability, I should probably consider against pursuing a career as an artist, even though it is something I am really interested in. I think its important to take all of these things into consideration when looking at career assessments and career counseling in general. You want to know what your client is interested, how they might be able to apply those interests to a job that works well for them, and how they might have certain abilities that already apply to those interests. Additionally, what a person values are important when considering career counseling. If a person’s number one value is family and their ultimate goal is to become a stay at home mom, it wouldn’t make sense for them to pursue an intense degree where they wouldn’t be able to achieve what they want.
    2. Your relationships (both work and relationships with family members and significant others) can impact where you decide to pursue education as well as where you chose to pursue a career. A lot of the decisions you make in your career don’t affect just you but those around you. You must make decisions in terms of your family sometimes. For example, if your parents get sick, you might have to move home to take care of them. Or if you have kids, you might not be able to uproot your life to pursue a career in another place just because it pays more than your current career. Additionally, it you have a significant other, you might have to make decisions for your career based on what their career is. It is a complex process and there are other factors involved in making career decisions other than just the aspects of the career that we traditionally focus on.

    Reply

    • Cassie Miller
      Oct 18, 2020 @ 16:49:23

      Hi Bibi,

      I really like this idea that you brought up about an individual’s “number one” value. Perhaps they are very interested in a certain career and possess the interest and skill set to be successful it, but can no longer spend time with their family. If this is their number one value like you mentioned, their career will not bring them satisfaction. Thus, it is important to consider what is most important to the client and in turn alter the assessments to fit their needs. It is also important to remember that the clinician moves in the direction that the client wants. Therefore, if the client in your example was ready to change their number one value to a profession that brings them happiness, you as their counselor should be open to exploring this transition with them. Like Professor Volungis continues to tell us, assessment in counseling is a continuous process and open to lots of changes.

      I also think that it is interesting that you mentioned changing life circumstances. We often forget that life can change within the blink of an eye and a career that was once completely suitable for a client may no longer be. Your example of a loved one getting sick reinforces this point rather well. Many clients will need to switch to jobs that are more suitable as their values and relationships shift.

      Reply

    • Zoe DiPinto
      Oct 19, 2020 @ 14:59:56

      Hey Bibi! Your post reminds me of an interesting study one of my friends did for her senior thesis. She had college-aged individuals in serious relationships rank their life priorities. She found that there are competing narratives of pursuing a stable career vs maintaining their relationship in the near future. For me, I believe an interesting part of this dichotomy is the aspect of socioeconomic status. I wonder if someone from a lower-income background feels pressure to pursue a career and may ignore the happiness they receive out of other relationships because of a duty they feel to themselves or their family financially. A therapist should be aware of this and work to make the individual feel like they can balance their priorities.

      Reply

    • Destria Dawkins
      Oct 20, 2020 @ 16:30:09

      Hi Bibi! I agree that each domain has a different impact on what a person decides to do as a career. I like that you brought up the fact that just because someone is interested ina certain type of career, does not always mean that they are exactly fit for for that type of career.

      Reply

    • Connor Belland
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 20:03:13

      Hi Bibi, I like your example of how someone with no artistic ability shouldn’t be an artist, it hits close to home for me. I think this point is important though because when looking at these factors its important to make sure a person is actually capable and possesses the ability to be in a certain career when making decisions and giving them counselling.

      Reply

  4. Tanya Nair
    Oct 17, 2020 @ 19:03:06

    When engaging in any type of counseling, a whole-person approach should be considered as this looks at all the possible aspects that could impact an individual both positively and negatively. When taking the whole picture into account, interests should not be the only thing that is looked at but also the individual’s skill set. For instance, an individual may love the idea of being a doctor and fit all the personality characteristics to become one, however, they may struggle in their Biology class. This would mean that although the individual has a strong interest in becoming a doctor, they may not possess the necessary skillset or potential aptitude for it. Therefore, it is important to consider the whole aspect of an individual instead of only focusing on their interests as it may not line up accordingly. Additionally, evaluating the person’s morals may also be a good way of considering a good career path for them. This may include diving deep into understanding what it is that is important to a client as their perceived career interests may not align with it. For instance, some career counseling therapists may involve analyzing others in a current job and seeing if they have similar interests to the individual wanting to pursue the same career path.

    Relational influence is an important aspect of an individual’s life when it comes to making choices about their career. For instance, although my family is in Tanzania, I still decided that I wanted to pursue an education and that it aligned with my goals of success for my future. It was a very difficult decision to make and often I am stuck thinking especially about my grandparents and if they get sick while I am not able to go back to see them. Many individuals refuse an amazing job offer in another country so that they can stay with their mother or may even move elsewhere if they have a significant other there. An individual’s career path not only influences their own life but many people related to them such as their child, spouse, mother, father. Due to certain circumstances, career decisions may not only be chosen according to interests but according to flexibility, time, money spent, as well as job scope after completion of their degree.

    Reply

    • Cassie Miller
      Oct 18, 2020 @ 17:05:43

      Hi Tanya,
      I first wanted to thank you for being so open in your response. I really liked the personal example you provided for relational influence. This is a really good example of cultural influence as well, since some cultures tend to take a more individual approach, while others tend to be more collectivistic. Thus, the pressure to stay and take care of your family in certain collectivistic cultures can be very strong and often make you question the choice to focus on improving yourself/following your own goals. Also life changes, such as Covid, can add pressure on an individual and change their values for that period of time. Thus, it is important for a clinician to consider this and provide their client with additional support and options during these uncertain circumstances. On a side note, I hope everyone in your family is well and I think you are very brave for pursuing your goals!

      Reply

    • Abby Robinson
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 13:12:58

      Hi Tanya,
      I think your explanation of assessing the individual as a whole rather than just certain aspects really stood out to me. It is important to assess specific areas of a client but if other areas are overlooked, serious consequences may occur in their career choice. I like that you used the term “whole-person approach” because there is so much information that is important pertaining to picking a career path and it is important to utilize all of it to consider certain professions. Your example of someone wanting to become a doctor was a great one because they may have great personal skills and are smart and nurturing but if they can’t pass their biology class then that shows it may not be a right fit. That was a great example of making sure the counselor uses all the assessments in all the domains to ensure success for their client.

      Reply

  5. Lilly Brochu
    Oct 18, 2020 @ 11:02:30

    In career counseling, there are several areas that should be considered as a whole, such as one’s interests, abilities or skills, and values when facilitating a client’s decision-making process in choosing a career that is best suited for them. The key to finding the right career is measuring the client’s interests, the skills they have, and the values they feel strongly about and want to share with others. If these three domains are not considered together, then the client may be finding themselves in a position or job that they may be unfit to perform. Looking at a client’s interests are important because they can be a good predictor of what path they see themselves on towards their ideal career. However, interests alone may not be helpful because one may be interested in a specific career, but they may not have the sufficient abilities or skills to be successful. For example, if one wanted to become a singer or comedian, but did not have the skills or abilities (e.g., tone deaf, not funny) to fulfill that role, then it would not be a great fit. This is not to say that the client does not have any strengths, but that there are limitations in one’s abilities or skills that may lead them to choose a different career path in an area that may be a better match for their skillset. Lastly, if a client is placed in a company where they do not share the same values, it may lead them to have disagreements or feeling disheartened to work in an environment that does not share similar views or values.

    Relational influences are an important aspect of career counseling. The three domains above are stressed in choosing the best fit for a client, but it does not provide the entire framework of the client’s life that may sway them from choosing one job from another. For example, one may be offered their dream job across the country but has been in a long-term relationship. The client must then take into consideration the possibility of moving their partner across country with them, a long-distance relationship, or even declining the job opportunity. It is important that the career counselor considers the other relational influences of the client outside of their career and guide them by providing a “big picture” overview of their options and help them through a major life decision.

    Reply

    • Zoe DiPinto
      Oct 19, 2020 @ 14:53:59

      Hey Lilly! I really enjoyed your language around explaining relational influence as a “framework.” I think many people may view their relationships such as the one in your example as negotiable. Especially when there is a modern narrative about career vs marital priorities. I think there could be a gender difference here as well– women and men have different experiences when given the option of pursuing a family vs a stable career. In therapy, I can see how the individual’s framework should be addressed AND your response also made me think about the societal messages different demographics may be receiving when trying to make career choices.

      Reply

    • Abby Robinson
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 13:22:19

      Hi Lilly
      I really think your post about tying in relational influences to the other important domains of assessment is so important! It showed me that it is important to pull in all factors that help create an individual rather than just looking at their interests or what they are good at. Relational factors are so important when considering a major career change or move because the important relationship(s) in someone’s life help make up who they are as a person and having significant strain on those relationships may have serious consequences for that individual. I like that you suggested the counselor give their client many different options but also give the client the “big-picture” idea of their career choices because their choices are going to affect many areas of their life!

      Reply

    • Tayler
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 17:06:07

      Lilly, I like that you emphasize strengths. In the example of the singer or comedian, I think you’re right in that a person can’t necessarily perfectly cultivate those skills (especially if they’re truly tone deaf), and so not only does a skill have to be considered, but the effort to gain that skill. Also, in jobs like that, relational influence would be really important – what would sudden stardom (if they made it) do to a person’s life? What about if they never make it? Would that hurt their self-perception or the people around them? How much might it weigh on someone if their mom really wants them to be a singer and they just can’t make it? I find these puzzles so interesting, but also a lot to handle!

      Reply

    • Pawel Zawistowski
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 12:15:29

      Lilly,
      Relation influence can have a lot to do with the decisions clients will make and we have to help them make such decisions. Sometimes the client might have to make sacrifices such as leaving their loved ones at home so they can do what is best for them and their career. However, some clients may feel like the sacrifice is not worth it. As you say, career counselors have to help guide and see the “bigger picture” and provide the client with an opportunity to explore their options and make the best possible decision.

      Reply

    • Christina DeMalia
      Oct 25, 2020 @ 13:25:55

      Hi Lilly,

      Your example of being offered your dream job in another country is an important example that shows the complexities of relational influences. Certainly, having a significant other who would either have to move with you, agree to a long distance relationship, or no longer be in a relationship with you is a huge factor to consider when choosing a career or accepting a job. However, just because taking that job in another country may affect relationships, it doesn’t necessarily mean the person shouldn’t take the job. Your example works well because it is possible that pursuing one’s dream job may be more worthwhile to that person, and could be worth the possible strain it would put on the relationship depending on the individual’s values. I think this points out how therapists and counselors have to leave out their own values and keep in mind the values of the client. If it is someone who highly values their relationships, its important to note what the decision to take that job could do to various aspects of their life and relationships. However, if another client in that position values their career and success more highly, it may make more sense for them to accept the job. Either way taking the time to consider those influences is an important part of the process.

      Reply

  6. Cassie Miller
    Oct 18, 2020 @ 16:36:24

    It is very important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values together when engaging in career counseling. Each domain possesses a certain quality that should be included in individual assessment, so it is crucial to incorporate all of them together. Interests help to identify an individual’s general career likes and dislikes. This can be done by using expressed interest or manifest interest measures. The first is what the client thinks his/her interests are and the second is found by having the client examine how they choose to spend their time. Interest inventories motivate the client to explore career opportunities and help them hone in on certain occupations. However, it is important to note that interests are not indicative of occupational success, as they do not provide a measure of ability.

    This brings me to abilities/skills which are similar to aptitude tests, in that they are good predictors of occupational success (unlike interest inventories). These inventories allow the client to examine whether or not they have the skills for certain occupations or the potential to obtain them. Thus, indicating the likelihood that they will be successful in that given occupation. It provides a reality check for the direction that the client may want to explore (often directed by an interest inventory).

    The last domain, values, may be the most important thing to examine in career counseling, since work values are more highly correlated with work satisfaction than interest. Values are often at the forefront of our life decisions and can be the basis of our goals for the future. The things that individuals value the most have been rooted in them throughout their entire life experience and tend to possess the most life meaning for them. Thus, most people want to work in an environment that is parallel to their own values. If you do not share the same ideals and values as your organization, it will not be a good fit for you. This can impact not just your overall work satisfaction, but your social life as well, since the individuals in this environment may significantly differ from you, creating feelings of isolation.

    After thoroughly examining all of the variables above it becomes clear that all of them are intermingled. You do not want to work in an occupation that you are not interested in, even if you have the skills to do so, and you also do not want to work in an area of interest if you do not have the skills/capabilities to do so. Furthermore, where you work must align with your own individual values. As a result, when assessing a client you must make sure that all of these domains are evaluated and that you also take the time to further explore each assessment in person to make sure you are not missing anything. You want to make sure that these results compliment the client you are working with because if they do not there may be an issue with the results of the assessment, or the assessment you chose to use. Thus, culture, gender, race, sexuality, etc. should all be thoroughly examined before providing a client with a career assessment.

    Relational influence is also very important in career counseling because it can limit the opportunities available to that given individual. We must, as counselors, consider the clients individual relationships, which may add pressure to their career decisions and significantly limit their options. The client you are working with may have a significant other in their life that restricts the location they can work, the hours they can take on, the occupation they can participate in, etc. Thus, the counselor must be aware of all of the significant individuals in the clients life that can affect their occupation choice. They must also choose assessments that factor in these relational influences. Furthermore, family ties and values may put pressure on a client to look in certain job fields, which can be observed in different cultures as well. Thus the clinician is responsible for obtaining a holistic view of their client when conducting career counseling.

    Reply

    • Elias Pinto-Hernandez
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 13:27:32

      Hi Cassie, I agree with your view on the relevance of relational influence in career counseling and how the counselor must consider family ties and cultural factors when assessing a client. I believe it is also pertinent to mention or clarify to the client the emotional impact that might have on them if a career offer is out of the country or far from their hometown. I have been living in Worcester for about three years now, and I still refer to where I lived as a home. It is a strange feeling. But yes, the client should be aware that there would be significant adjustments that might and might not require some effort if there were to move. Thank you for your post.

      Reply

    • Lilly Brochu
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 13:46:43

      Hi Cassie,

      I think that when it comes to career counseling, one’s abilities and skills are very important in finding the best job or career path. Narrowing down what career or job that is best fitted to your own abilities or performance is an essential factor in feeling confident and successful in yourself and your work. Not to say that the other domains are not important, but rather, that if the person does not already possess some sort of ability or skill set, it makes the job or career path a lot more difficult to navigate, and may lead to one feeling below par or have a decreased sense of achievement in their work life. Additionally, I agree with your emphasis on sharing the same values in the workplace. Differing values or morals of the company or your co-workers could lead to feeling like an outcast, cause work dissatisfaction, or make it difficult to socialize and work as a team with those around you. Not only do career counselors consider interests, abilities, and values, but they must consider the client’s personal life (e.g., love and familial relationships or other important obligations) that may sway their decisions or affect their long-term career paths. Also, it could be that many may consider their relational influences more than the other domains above and settle for a career that suits their personal situation best.

      Reply

  7. Cassie Miller
    Oct 18, 2020 @ 17:04:56

    Hi Tanya,

    I first wanted to thank you for being so open in your response. I really liked the personal example you provided for relational influence. This is a really good example of cultural influence as well, since some cultures tend to take a more individual approach, while others tend to be more collectivistic. Thus, the pressure to stay and take care of your family in certain collectivistic cultures can be very strong and often make you question the choice to focus on improving yourself/following your own goals. Also life changes, such as Covid, can add pressure on an individual and change their values for that period of time. Thus, it is important for a clinician to consider this and provide their client with additional support and options during these uncertain circumstances. On a side note, I hope everyone in your family is well and I think you are very brave for pursuing your goals!

    Reply

  8. Alexa Berry
    Oct 19, 2020 @ 14:56:04

    It is important to assess more than one domain in career counseling because counselors need to gather information about the whole person when assisting clients in their career planning process. If a counselor were to only measure a clients interests in career counseling they would be misguided because strong interests do not guarantee occupational success (Whiston, 2013). A clients results could represent what they are interested in, but this does not necessarily mean they will be good at it. Thus, in the case of assessing interests, it is important for the counselor to understand the relationship between interests and other career variables like abilities/skills and values. Assessing abilities/skills in addition to interests encourages the client to examine the interaction between interests and skills so that they can explore careers where the two intersect. As stated in the text, values should play a vital role in career decision making. For example, if a counselor only evaluated a clients skills/abilities to narrow a career path and landed on something that went against the clients values, the results would not be useful. Values are especially important and should be incorporated into career counseling because values serve as the basis for which life goals are established. Values also guide individuals in making personally consistent and meaningful decisions about the future (Whiston, 2013). In sum, it is important to integrate information on interests, skills/abilities, and values rather than focusing on only one domain to get the whole picture of a client.

    Relational influence in career assessment is an important consideration to make in career counseling. Personally, I would never pursue a career that caused me to be far away from my family. Another relational influence may be if a client has young children they may be less likely to be able to take a job that requires them to commute because they need to stay close to their children’s school and/or child care. Another example is a client who does not want to pursue a career path in which they would have to relocate, because they want to be near to their family members. Another way relational influence impacts career choice relates to family or loved one perceptions. A client may be more likely to pursue a career that their mother, father or spouse are supportive of and believe in because people want those close to them to share in their ambitions, goals and dreams. Thus, it is important to consider a client’s individual relationships during career counseling. If they are matched with a career they would not pursue due to relational influences, the assessment results are not useful.

    Reply

  9. Destria Dawkins
    Oct 19, 2020 @ 21:04:33

    1. It is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether when engaged in career counseling because it helps to gather more information about the client and to steer them in the right direction when it comes to which career they choose to pursue. Only assessing one domain, such as one’s interests, will not tell you everything you need to know about that person. You must take the individual’s skills/abilities and values into consideration and help them find what they feel passionate doing. Its not just about having a career, but also about loving what you do. If one does not take these different domains into consideration, the client might end up working at a job that they are not fit for.
    2. Looking at the different relationships in a client’s life can help the professional understand some of the limitations that a client may have when it comes to choosing a career. For example, if a client has more than one child to care for in the home, working long hours may not be an option for them. The relationships in a client’s life are important because sometimes, others’ perceptions of us can hinder our own perceptions of ourselves. A client may feel passionate about becoming a hair stylist, but may have parents with high standards, who say the client must follow in their footsteps and work in the medical field. Looking at the different relationships in a client’s life can help to know what kind of support system that the client has outside of counseling.

    Reply

    • Tanya Nair
      Oct 20, 2020 @ 11:09:50

      Hi Destria! Thank you for your post. I think the point you bring up about individuals not only finding a job that fits with their skillset but also something they are passionate about is important. This is so necessary for therapists to take into account during career counseling because an individual that is not passionate about their job may lose interest and not perform their job to the best of their ability. Therapists should also make sure that they are finding the best reasons to why a client is leaning one way vs. another. It is important to make sure the individual knows who and what influences them so that they can make the best decision possible.

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    • Tayler
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 17:03:20

      Destria, I think your emphasis on passionate is so important. If a person feels lackluster about a job, that can be damaging to their long term well-being. But, like you point out, if a person feels like the job is the best thing ever, that doesn’t automatically mean everything will line up for them to take that job. I also like your point about the standards of other people in one’s life, as I think that is a big reason why people do/don’t take jobs (especially young people). Maybe as clinicians we should encourage our clients to consider making the decision for themselves as well, and not just follow the standards of other people.

      Reply

    • Cailee Norton
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 15:06:58

      Destria,

      I really love your points about the limitations that can influence an individual in their career choices and the weight that these relationships have. I think when I looked at the relational influences I simply thought of one view point of a single person with no kids with family and friend influences into their perspective jobs. However this is not a narrative that fits everyone! I appreciate you bringing up an extremely important point that those with children must make decisions that best fit their family not just their parents or friends ideals. These decisions have impacts far beyond just that individual, and by being aware of such circumstances a therapist is better equipped to provide direction and guidance to a client with more than just family squabbling as their issue of contention. Thank you for making this point, it definitely made me reexamine my understanding of this concept!

      Reply

  10. Elias Pinto-Hernandez
    Oct 21, 2020 @ 08:56:03

    Explain why it is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether when engaged in career counseling (i.e., why is one domain not enough?).
    Career counseling is the process where the client and counselor work together to identify fields, careers, or projects that could align with the clients’ interests, skills (or potential skills), and values.
    It is critical to assess the client’s interest to determine what ideas and pursuits keep them engaged, an essential element in satisfying work. The interests could be reflected in their activities and affinities, and the counselor must seek how the client’s interest connect with career options.
    It is also essential to appraise the client’s skills (or the potential to learn); and transferable skills. That is, competencies learned in one setting that can be employed in another environment.
    Assessing the client’s values, it is equally important. The main question to think about is: How do the client’s values align with the career option that it’s been considered?
    The career counselor must take into consideration all domains when assessing a client. Overlooking one domain could lead to failure in someone’s career.

    (2) Discuss the importance of relational influence in career assessment.
    The counselor should be aware that the client’s family, the socio-cultural and economic context where the client develops are essential factors in favor of or against the clients’ decision-making regarding career choice. The career counselor must identify the important people in the client’s life and make the client aware of the potential inconvenient that could arise, particularly with a significant other, if they do not agree with the location or position that it’s been considered. However, the counselor is not to take a side or to make decisions for the client. The counselor’s role is to provide guidance.

    Reply

    • Pawel Zawistowski
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 12:07:22

      Elias,
      I think that values may even be slightly more important than interests or abilities/skills. I like that you point out that values should align with the career options that are being considered. It may be difficult for someone to work with others that do not share a similar belief system as you do. I think it is so very important when deciding what you want to do as a career for the rest of your life because values help you really determine what you feel good about pursing as your career and you will also be more passionate about the job if values align.

      Reply

  11. Abby Robinson
    Oct 21, 2020 @ 13:24:41

    It is important to assess interests, abilities and values when engaged in career counseling because a career/profession is a major part of who a person is and makes up a big part of their life. It helps create an individuals identity. During the career counseling process it is important to assess interests because, if appropriate, the counselor can connect the individuals interests with specific careers that follow those interests. This is a good place to start in career counseling because it is a great way to gather a lot of information about the client, which can be helpful when providing alternatives in their career options. Assessing abilities and skills in an individual during career counseling because it allows the counselor to see what skills the individual is strong and weaker in and can connect those to particular career paths. This also helps predict how well the client will succeed in a particular field. It is also important to assess client values because working in an environment with values that mostly match the individual’s values will most likely have greater success in their work place than if they didn’t have matching values. This is important in career counseling because an individual will feel more comfortable and have a better work outlook if they agree with the work environment morals and values. Only evaluating one of these domains is not enough because the career counselor should make appropriate alternatives that are realistic for their client. Making a career suggestion only based off of one of the domains may not set up the client for success because there are important aspects to all of the domains of information.
    Relational influence in career assessment is important because meaningful/important relationships to an individual also help make up who they are as a person. Relationships are an important part in decision making during career opportunities because relationships have a very strong influence on what an individual can consider when making career choices. It’s important for the counselor not to overlook the important, developed relationships their client has because if a decision was made that seriously affected the important relationship, there may be greater consequences for the individual’s well being.

    Reply

    • Beth Martin
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 18:33:33

      Hi Abby,

      I really liked how you brought up “identity” in your response. Careers are a huge part to how individual’s view themselves, but so are their likes, dislikes, values, and their skills. Ignoring one part of them in order to “add” to identity, with a new job title or career path, could potentially lead to some identity issues in my opinion! I think you’re spot on with how assessing across multiple domains is also needed to make alternative suggestions for clients. I’d imagine that going in for career counseling, only to have a counselor suggest multiple positions that don’t fit because of a domain they hadn’t measured would be disheartening, to put it mildly. A counselor really does need as big of a picture they can get to keep that therapeutic relationship strong in this scenario!

      Thanks for posting!

      Reply

    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 18:53:23

      Hi Abby, I think you brought up an important point about the work environment values needing to match personal values to have a successful career. It reminded me of the news story from 2019. The dean of Rider University resigned because the university would not consider having Chick-fil-A as a campus restaurant. Chick-fil-A is a christian based company. It was offensive to the dean that they would not consider the company, despite student’s requesting the restaurant. Her values clashed so much from the university, that she walked away from a lucrative position! I think it’s important to also note that many clients may not even know what their personal values are. It may be an area that needs to be explored.

      Reply

  12. Tayler
    Oct 21, 2020 @ 17:01:05

    1. It’s important to assess interests, abilities, and values when looking at career counseling for a few reasons. First, having an interest in a job doesn’t guarantee that it’s a good fit; an example would be a person who really likes one on one tutoring thinking they want to be a teacher. A teacher has a lot more stuff that they have to do (classroom management, office politics) that the individual may not be well-versed in. Plus, it may be that they don’t like the teaching jobs they can find (for example, public vs. private schools). So, a catch-all teaching job wouldn’t be the right fit, despite liking teaching. I actually encountered having ability and values but not interest while looking for jobs this semester. I wanted to do something in psychology, but the jobs I could find I wasn’t necessarily interested in – even if they fit with my values and abilities. It just didn’t seem like me. Furthermore, a person could have matching values, like making the most money, but not the ability or interest in the actual position – which would make it a pretty miserable job for an extended length of time. The person can have any combination of interest, ability and values when it comes to any job, and only one that maximizes all three will be the most satisfactory job for that person. Career counseling is not a “match and go” type of process, where a person can just be told where they would match and go apply without any problems. Jobs are a big aspect of our daily life, and a job that doesn’t align with a person’s interest, abilities or values might be miserable!
    2. Relatedly, even if a job is the perfect job on paper, it may not be perfect for other reasons. Relational influence is the sway a relationship holds on whether or not that job works for the person. Maybe their spouse physically cannot be in another state or country, even if the job is great (for example, maybe they work in Texas for student loan forgiveness, or another reason). It also could be that a person’s extended family is the problem – maybe they want to be close, but not too close, or far, but not too far, from their parents/grandparents/siblings. Everyone has a lot more choice when it comes to jobs now, in the sense that there are a lot more variables that can be evaluated and chosen (location being one of them), such that it is important to consider how that job will impact your life. Relational influence can also involve looking at the job schedule – maybe the client has children who need to be picked up from school at a certain time, or whose awake time wouldn’t overlap with the job time. It is important to consider all of these factors, as not taking them into advisement could make the perfect job the worst job someone has ever had. What is truly best for a client is not always the “obvious” choice (based on type, money, location, etc.), and so the clinician has to be careful to ensure the client looks into every aspect of a job before accepting it (or even applying), just as they have an obligation to help them with other pieces of their life.

    Reply

    • Beth Martin
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 18:30:17

      Hi Tayler!

      I love that you brought up office politics as something that you need to be aware of when picking a career. A lot of friends and family members around me have gone for their “dream” careers, only to find that they cannot stand, or work within, the hierarchies or politics of their worksites. It can be extremely disheartening, and I think this highlights how important it is to look at career counseling from multiple angles, as there’s so many things that can impact an individuals happiness and success! I think you make a great point regarding locations when it comes to relational influence too. It’s something I often forget is a thing for other people, as I’ve moved around, but needing to be close to family/friends and your support network is huge when looking at potential careers. Especially as moving across the country (or even across town) can be hugely stressful, on top of starting a new job. If you rely heavily on your support system, moving away from them with these stressors could be a nightmare.

      Thanks for posting!

      Reply

  13. Beth Martin
    Oct 21, 2020 @ 18:26:50

    One domain is not enough when it comes to career counseling as careers are a considerable part of people’s lives. Only looking at one area, such as what the individual is interested in doing, ignores other very important parts that affect job satisfaction and attainability, such as the skill level required (and whether the individual matches it), and if it is a job that fits a person’s life values. All of these aspects are also closely linked to one another – someone’s moral stance, for example, will impact what jobs they may find interesting and fulfilling. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what your client wants to do, what they are capable of doing, and if it will clash with their morals and value set. Having this information allows a clinician to properly educate and suggest career paths for an individual. As one’s career can be a defining characteristic for some individuals (i.e. pride at being a nurse or an artist), and will take up a substantial part of a persons life (40+ hours a week for many years), knowing what a person wants to do, is capable of doing, and values in their lives helps to ensure that a career will not be miserable. Additionally, assessing multiple domains allows clinicians to be aware of areas that their client may be ignoring regarding their job search/assessments, e.g. not really thinking about how a position or career fits in with their morals. Without assessing across multiple domains, a clinician would be unable to see areas of conflict in a potential career for their client. The only way to find a meaningful career for an individual is through multiple domains.

    Relational influence refers to the relationships an individual has, and how they influence decision making; in this instance, decisions regarding career choices. Relational influence can differ in strength from person to person, depending highly on the depth and variety of relationships an individual has. Someone from a large, close-knit family would have stronger relational influence than someone from a small family they do not speak with. These relationships can mean an individual is less willing to travel for work, or hesitant about taking positions if they go against the beliefs held by the family – or, indeed, encourage them to go for a position they do not necessarily want. It is important to be aware of relational influence in career assessment as it can steer individuals toward or away career paths that may or may not fit them. If an individual has pressures from home, i.e. relational influence, to go into medicine, but they personally have no interest in it, picking a different career could cause discord in the family unit. A clinician needs to be aware of how career decisions may impact the support system of the client around them, alongside how said support system can encourage individuals to ignore their likes, abilities, and morals in order to achieve harmony and/or approval from family and friends. Ignoring the aforementioned domains could lead to an unfulfilling, unhappy career, and clinicians need to be aware of these conflicts and blind-spots when assessing.

    Reply

    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      Oct 21, 2020 @ 23:49:40

      You are a great writer! I agree with you that a person’s morals need to be in line with their work or it can lead to misery. However, I wonder if company culture isn’t just as important. I imagine as a career counselor that determining what to do can be just as important as finding out that you are working at the right place. I think that the more specific you can get about who you are, what you want to do, and what the ideal work environment looks like the closer you are to finding job satisfaction.

      Reply

    • Elias Pinto-Hernandez
      Oct 23, 2020 @ 20:57:43

      Hi Beth,
      Reading your pots reminds me of a coworker that, when I ask her how she is doing her answer, is “waiting for 4:30”. One can tell that she is not happy, and she has been working for the organization for over twenty years. I agree that to identify a meaningful career for an individual; the counselor must assess multiple domains. I enjoyed your post; thank you.

      Reply

    • Lilly Brochu
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 13:49:52

      Hi Beth,

      You made great points and examples that really painted the picture of relational influence well. As a career counselor, it is extremely important to consider the client’s family unit. There are several factors that may influence or sway the client’s career choice, such as familial expectations or obligations, a sick parent or spouse, and so on. Many clients may be forced into careers they do not have any interest in but are pressured to uphold the family’s image or title within specific professions (e.g., doctor, professor, lawyer). If a client goes against the wishes of his or her family, this could cause more contentment in their occupational life, but create a more dysfunctional or upsetting home life. It should be stressed that career counselors consider the relationships the client holds with those around them and see how well a career would fit for their family life or other relational “restrictions” that may have more of an impact than the major domains.

      Reply

  14. Connor Belland
    Oct 21, 2020 @ 21:34:56

    It is important to consider multiple domains and aspects of a client when conducting career counseling. Domains like values, skills/abilities, and interests are crucial to getting a full understanding of a client. Just like a regular therapy session, it is much more effective to get a complete understanding of a client before trying to help them get their best outcomes. It is important to assess the whole person before trying to give them advice about what to do with their futures. You need to get an understanding of their skills and interests so you can figure out what some optimal careers would be for them and what paths to take based on these skills and interests. You want to be able to give them advice based around their specific wants and needs. But it is also important to know the clients skills and abilities so that the therapist can make sure that the client is even capable and suited for the career they are interested in. Like if they hate math and are bad at math then maybe they shouldn’t be an engineer like they want to be just for the money. For many people, their job is their life so its important they do something that fits their values, skills and abilities so that they enjoy what they do, because that is whats most important for a career.
    Relational influence is also a very important aspect of career counseling. Relationships can be an important factor in a clients decision making especially when it comes to careers. The level of relational influence differs greatly from person to person based on the relationships they have. If a person is close with their family and their whole family are plumbers then they are more likely to want to become a plumber. Pressure from friends and family member can cause a client to sway one way or another when making a career decision. These influences need to be taken into account by the counselor in these situations because they are important to the client.

    Reply

    • Cailee Norton
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 15:11:04

      Connor,

      The point you make about family lineage is an interesting one in relational influence. I think that this can be culturally influenced as well, as some may find more weight to this influence than others depending on the culture they live in as well as the family dynamics. These are important factors to take into consideration as a counselor, and having a good rapport with your client enables this understanding. It can be very detrimental if a counselor knows these things but still decides to place greater emphasis on a clients abilities and skills even though the relational influences and even values don’t align. I think you did a great job of incorporating the material into how a therapist should effectively work with their clients.

      Reply

  15. Anne Marie Lemieux
    Oct 21, 2020 @ 23:28:19

    It is important to assess interest, abilities/skills and values to best assist a client in choosing a fulfilling career. I agree with the text that understanding our values may be the most important aspect in seeking a fulfilling career choice. I was not surprised to learn that there is a higher correlation between work values and work satisfaction, than there is with interest. However, only assessing a person’s values is not enough to formulate a whole picture. Assessing expressed and manifest interests are a great way to better predict occupational choices. However, strong interests alone don’t equal success in a specific field. It in no way accounts for ability. Understanding a person’s skills and strengths is also a necessary piece in creating a comprehensive assessment. However, assessments should only be used as a tool to assist in the process of career counseling.

    Working Americans tend to spend more of their time at work than at home. Therefore, the career they choose impacts the people in their lives. Career decisions can affect people’s time, finances, well-being, and social status. There can be gender and cultural pressures that need to be considered when career counseling. Whether it is the young person contemplating going into a different field from their parents wishes or a mother considering returning to school, there can be fall out from those choices. It is important to proactively counsel how a clients career may influence others around them.

    Reply

    • Maya Lopez
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 15:30:52

      Hi Anne Marie,
      I liked the last thing you mentioned about how assessments really should only be used as a tool to aid in assessment in career counseling. A client should not take an assessment and have it tell them what skills they are best at and that they would be a great chef and then go to culinary school. Assessments are only tools and are meant to be used along with a discussion with the therapist about what would make them happy and what they would be successful with. It really is all about helping them find a balance and should not be forgotten about during career counseling. Because I could see how some shady therapists give them an assessment and say here ya go, go be a doctor because your smart.
      I also think you brought up another good point in that some professions interact with people in society more than others and it is best to think about how the client will deal with them in different professional settings. Counselors should also be mindful of parental influence especially in non-westernized cultures because pleasing the family is more important. Whereas Americans are much more individually focused.

      Reply

  16. Elizabeth Baker
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 02:50:37

    1) When discussing career choices with clients, it’s important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether because clinicians need to make sure their client is focusing on a career path that is achievable. By that I mean, it’s important to attain the whole picture of the client’s general concept of the job. Sure, they have interests, but are they aware of the skills necessary for that job? Are they aware of the career pathway for that job (e.g., If they need a license; if they need to go to medical school; etc.)? Do they meet the requirements to pursue that career? (e.g., Do they have a high enough GPA? Have they taken the required courses to continue pursuing that career?)? It is important to assess their true knowledge of their desired career path, to then begin assisting them towards that career or providing alternative options.
    It’s also important to understand what they are interested in, doing so can allow the clinician to inform the client about various potential careers. It may also be helpful to provide the client with jobs that are different from their interests, to broaden their scope of what is available to them. Individuals may have yet to hear of certain careers or feel that certain careers are not an option for them. Again, it’s vital to expose every client to potential career paths, even if they do not think they want to work in that area.
    It’s also important to understand the values of the client; in other words, what having a job means to them. Sometimes individuals choose a career that is either exactly like or similar to careers in the family. This may be due to the individual admiring the work their parents do, or feeling pressured to choose a similar career path due to a family business or parental pressure (e.g., parents want the individual to choose a ‘practical’ job; or a job in the medical or engineering field). Some individuals may not feel that they can choose a career they want because they would rather fulfill their parent’s wishes over their own. That is, for example, some individuals may pursue a job in the medical field if their parents highly stressed that they want him/her to become a doctor. They may also not pursue a career of interest, like music for example, if their parents do not want them to do so. That being said, it’s important to understand what values the individual places on attaining a job; do they want a job that they are currently interested in? Or do they want to pursue a job that their parents highly boasted about? Learning this information can help the clinician guide the client to the best career choice, maybe even discuss what their feelings are about a job they want to do versus what they feel their parents want them to do.

    2) When choosing a career path, relational influence can do the following: Influence an individual to pursue a career or influence an individual to not pursue a career. When we are talking about relational influence in regard to affecting an individual’s career choice, we are talking about the parental, sibling, or authoritative (e.g., teacher) influence. For example, an individual may pursue a job in fashion if they want to be like their sibling who owns their own boutique. Or they may become a teacher because they were inspired by one of their own teachers. I believe this type of influence can be both positive and negative; the examples above are examples of positive influence, negative influence can be feeling pressured to pursue a career because they feel obligated to work in a family business. For example, an individual may not pursue a job in culinary because they feel that they need to help with the success of the family veterinarian business. The individual is not necessarily forced into this career path, but they hold their family wishes above their own, which makes them choose a career in the interest of their family.
    Relational influence that affects an individual’s choice to not pursue a career can also be negative and positive. A positive influence would entail the individual choosing a career that their parents continuously mentioned, over a career they really wanted to pursue, and the result being the individual actually enjoying the job. For example, even though an individual wanted to become an artist, s/he decided to focus on becoming a lawyer like his/her sister and ended up enjoying the work and became inspired to become a great lawyer. A negative influence would entail the individual choosing a career path because their family does not support their desired career. An example of this would be an individual wanting to become a teacher, but their parents threatening to kick them out of the house if they don’t become an engineer. Those examples are a bit drastic, but I believe parental (especially) has a huge influence on the career direction. It is important for clinicians to gain this information from their client’s too, if or when their client shows a bit of distress when it comes to choosing a career path.

    Reply

    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 22:20:07

      Hi Elizabeth,
      This is a good answer touching base in each of the domains of the career assessment; interests, abilities/skills, and values. There is no discussion that these three domains are interchangeable, and if the counselor wants to do a completed assessment in career for his/her client, the ideal will be to assess the three domains. I thought about it and my impression in career counseling is that assessment has a main role during the therapy process. I am wondering if for career counseling also the counselor needs to propose case formulation, treatment plan, goals and types of interventions or with the information provided by the instruments such as Strong Inventory, Campbell Interest, Skills Survey, and Values Scale it is enough to do an intervention and set up goals. Another situation could occur where during the therapy, clients could also express their challenges in career and become a part of the therapy goals. In summary, we know the type of instruments that can be utilized, but what type of therapy and intervention to use within career counseling?

      Reply

  17. Pawel Zawistowski
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 06:40:48

    It is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values because such information can provide the counselor insight about possible career avenues for their client. A counselor may assess areas of interest with either expressed interests, which is by simply just asking their client what their interest are. Or with manifest interest, which can be identified by looking into how the client spend their time and the activities they like to do. Interest inventories can promote career exploration and allow the client to start thinking about what they would career field they would like to pursue. They are good predictors of career direction, however, strong interests do not necessarily predict occupational success, because the client may still lack to required skills/abilities for the particular profession. Exploring abilities and skills can connect the client in which their current skills and abilities can be useful and allow them to be successful. Values are important as well because you want to work in an environment that has similar values as you. They’re actually a stronger predictor of work satisfaction than interest. Knowing your client values, you can help them make a decision in which career field they will enjoy being in based on their values. For example, someone who strongly values animals may likely be satisfied perusing zoology or veterinary career fields.

    Relational influence is hugely important to discuss with your client about making career choices. For example, certain career fields may require the client to move away from friends, family, and important relationships that they have. It may raise a lot of challenges to be away from such an environment and have to adapt to a new one. Someone who really values family may have a difficult time being away from their loved ones. Also, different life situations such as illness in the family, may keep someone local because they would like to stay and help the person that they care for. In such situations the client may not be able to choose career options that require them to relocate.

    Reply

    • Maya Lopez
      Oct 22, 2020 @ 16:00:03

      Hi Pawel,
      I’m sure being a career counselor is pretty tough given one must tell their clients how their passions and interests cannot lead the way entirely and their skills and abilities must also be assessed. It is for the best though, in order for our clients to be successful to assess them as a whole. I really liked how you brought up moving away from family. I had been mostly thinking about family pressure to be a lawyer or doctor but you had a different take of actually losing family influence and what that could be like in order to pursue one’s career. It certainly is another good aspect to think about when considering what path one may take. And in a way, moving away from one’s family is an influence in itself such as feeling guilty because someone on their family has cancer (as you alluded to) All these factors are important to assess and at times are not seen in assessments themselves.

      Reply

  18. Cailee Norton
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 14:03:11

    1. When looking at the individual aspects of interests, abilities/skills, and values you are able to get a general sense of an individual. When examining these in the context of career counseling however, it is imperative that they be considered among one another to provide the best assessment of an individual. Interests are examined in career counseling to understand what an individual’s general occupational interests are through either expressed interests (interests indicated by what an individual talks about when asked about what they like) or manifest interests (interests the individual chooses to spend time on through activities selected in their free time). Abilities/skills are measured to identify what areas an individual could potentially be successful in. Values are often highly correlated with work satisfaction, as they relate to individuals finding meaning through the work they do and the future benefits of that work. Each of these domains have carry weight within a career assessment as they provide a glimpse into an individual. If you only pay attention to two out of the three, you have a distorted view of the whole picture. For example, when looking simply at an individual’s interests they may be interested in activities such as crafts, electronics, or exercising. However, this doesn’t tell us if that individual would find value in being a physical trainer or a painter or if that individual is a skilled with creative tasks or skilled in computer repair. The reason we can’t draw these conclusions is because they are only one part of the story of an individual, rather the entire picture of what the individual is interested in, what abilities or skills they have strengths in, and what they value they place on tasks they perform. By ignoring one part of this puzzle of career assessment, you run the risk of an individual seeking a job they have low interest in, find little value in, but may have high skill in. Ultimately this individual would be unhappy and makes our assessment inaccurate to that individual.
    2. Relational influence relates to qualitative career assessment and how our work choices and important relationships are intricately intertwined. The areas we seek employment or even educational training in a certain career can be directly influenced by family members or close friends. For example, an individual goes off to college and has decided to pursue a career in nursing, but their parents or friends express a lack of support and push for another career such as accounting. This individual may change their major to accounting to appease their parents even though they have expressed interests in nursing, but they value what their family and friends think and want for them. As a counselor it is important to be aware of these relational influences and how we can provide guidance through these influences in a way that balances that clients individual goals and the desires of others.

    Reply

  19. Carly Moris
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 14:55:55

    It is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values together when engaged in career counseling because each of them are needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the individual and what occupation they are likely to enjoy and succeed in. Assessing interests is helpful for finding out an individuals general occupational interests and can be a good predictor of career direction. However, just because an individual is interested in something it doesn’t mean they will do well in that particular occupation. This is why it is important to assess an individuals abilities/skills as well. You want to make sure they have the skills or will be able to learn the skills needed to succeed in a given profession. It doesn’t matter if someone is interested in an occupation if they don’t have the ability to preform that job. You also want to assess values in career counseling because work values have been found to have an even higher correlation with work satisfaction than interests. This is important because you want to work in an environment that matches your morals and values. If you are a highly empathetic person you may have a harder time in/not enjoy a job in a highly competitive or more “cut throat” field, or vice versa. For example my father is a great salesman, but would be a horrible counselor because he is not the most empathetic especially with strangers. You want to make sure the occupation is something the individual is interested in, they have the abilities for, and it is something that matches their values.

    In career assessment it is also important to look at relational influences. This is important because work and interpersonal relationships have an effect on each other. Your job has an effect on a number of areas of you life including your salary, where you live, and your schedule. These factors can have an effect on your relationships. Where you take a job can effect where your spouse works or where your kids go to school. Having a stable income, or being able to make a certain income may be important for someone who needs to support their family. Income can also be important in determining where you are able to live. For example if you have a job in a more rural area you are likely going to be able to afford your own house with property. Versus living in the city where with the same income you may only be able to live in a small apartment. It is important to look at these factors when assessing occupation because some jobs may only be available in certain areas, which can affect an individual and their families living situation. Your occupation can also effect your schedule. Certain jobs allow for a more flexible schedule while others require long hours or extended periods of travel. It is important to assess how this may assess an individual and their family. If someone has a family or young children they may want to look for a career that has more flexible hours and doesn’t require them to travel from home. While a person who doesn’t have a family may really enjoy a job that provides them with an opportunity to travel. This is why it is important to look at other factors of an individual’s life to see how certain occupations may affect it.

    Reply

  20. Maya Lopez
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 15:21:11

    Explain why it is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether when engaged in career counseling (i.e., why is one domain not enough?).

    It is important to assess all different aspects of a person when thinking about their career aspirations. One could only assess their interests and see what they are most passionate about however that will not be a good indicator of how well they would perform in said profession. Whereas if we only looked at one’s skills and abilities we may see they have an affinity for healthcare, but the person could be germaphobic or afraid of blood in which case this would be a bad career for them. Hence, it is best to get a comprehensive view of the client’s full abilities and passions. So that they may try to find a job that balances both.

    Discuss the importance of relational influence in career assessment.

    Relational influence is important to career assessment because it is more personal. It gives the client more of an active role in that they can feel their relations with family or friends matter and they aren’t just hearing results from an assessment. One must think about does the client work well alone or in group settings? Is the client more of an introvert or extrovert and which jobs would work best for a person like this. A look at relational influence has a more personal touch for a client to consider.

    Reply

    • Nicole Giannetto
      Oct 23, 2020 @ 13:18:00

      Hi Maya! I liked the example you used in your first response about the duality of interests and abilities in individuals. Someone who is very interested in being a doctor, or working in a hospital setting, but who is also unable to deal with the sight of blood would definitely need to think about how realistic their career plans may be. I also liked how you mentioned in your second response about an individual’s personality type, whether they are more of an extravert or an introvert. I would challenge this by arguing that perhaps it may be a good thing for an individual to force themselves out of their comfort zone to challenge who they believe they are and who they could potentially be. For instance, someone who is very shy, but is really great at writing speeches for instance may want to consider working in a more social and extraverted setting so that they could practice being more comfortable with themselves in that setting. Being in certain environments for careers could really push the individual to work on things that they may have viewed as a weakness. Obviously, there are people that are not interested in this type of experience, which is also fine, but I wanted to consider the other possibility. Great post!

      Reply

  21. Nicole Giannetto
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 17:07:10

    (1) Assessing interests, abilities, skills and values are ways to better understand the client’s relation to their occupation and career variables. You want to account for all aspects of the individual client in order to offer helpful guidance when engaging in career counseling. If only one domain is focused on in career counseling, there can be challenges the client may face when pursuing a career. For instance, if the clinician focuses on the client’s skills, rather than their interests, then the client may appear to be better fit to do accounting for instance. What goes unnoticed is that the client has many interests involving being able to teach others and travel. The therapist should gather all the aspects that make up their client in order to guide them in the right direction, so that they pursue a career that will complement each aspect as much as possible.

    (2) Relational influence in career assessment is important to explore in career assessment. Examining the relational influence of a client can offer a better understanding about who they are, who and what is important to them, where they are from and where they want to go, as well as so many other factors. All of these aspects that serve importance in a client’s life should be considered when thinking about and making a career decision.

    Reply

  22. Anna Lindgren
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 17:22:05

    When engaging in career counseling, it’s important to look at the client holistically and not simply in one domain. This is why we assess interests, abilities, and values altogether. For someone to be satisfied in a career choice, they of course need to be interested in what they are doing, but that isn’t the only or best predictor of satisfaction. They also need to be able to complete the tasks necessary to be competent at that particular job. If someone chose a career path based solely on their interests, but they couldn’t achieve the skill set necessary to do well in that position, they would be back to square one. Last but not least, the career path needs to align with their individual values. Work values are more strongly correlated with occupational satisfaction than interest, so this is a very important factor. When assessing values, it’s also key to remember that not all values will be listed on formal assessments, so you should also have a conversation with your client about what other values are important to them in their work. These three factors together: interest, ability, and values, will help give a full picture of your client and what career path might be right for them.

    Another key aspect of finding the right career path is your client’s relationships. Do they live with their family as a caregiver? Are they married with children? Are they single and unattached to the place they are currently living in? These details of their personal lives will help give a better sense of how a career change would fit into their life. Specifically, if a degree is needed to obtain a certain career, it’s important to discuss with your client if they are willing and able to relocate or if they have roots in a specific spot and need to stay there.

    Reply

    • Nicole Giannetto
      Oct 23, 2020 @ 13:10:28

      Hi Anna! I liked how you emphasize the importance of using a holistic approach in career assessment. It does seem to make more sense to look at all aspects of an individual regarding their interests, skills and abilities in order to offer the best guidance and support for them as a clinician. The same thing goes for relational influences which you mentioned as well. Who we are, where we come from, and who is important in our lives are just a few of the things that create connections within us. When considering a career, it is crucial to examine each piece of our lives that would influence our decisions, or that would be impacted by our decisions. It reminds me of the utilitarian perspective, because essentially, we want to consider all factors in order to make the greatest decision for the greatest outcome. Great post!

      Reply

    • Elizabeth Baker
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 18:41:09

      Hello Anna,
      I liked your explanation of relational influence! I hadn’t thought about the caregiver, child, or living aspects when analyzing relational influence, and I definitely believe all of those can influence an individual’s career path. I believe this is vital to ask clients, because the client may not know if their career choices will influence their home-life (with their kids, parents, or marriage). Also, the individual may not understand how their disabilities may impact their new career choice. I think talks about these relational influences can be helpful to both the clinician and client. Both the client and clinician can gain a better understanding of how the client’s personal and familial values/aspects come into play when choosing a career.

      Reply

  23. Tim Cody
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 17:50:56

    It is important in career counseling to consider all three areas assessing individual differences because you do not wish to rely on one variable alone. If one is to consider only selecting one’s interest levels in choosing a career, but they do not have the necessary skills or abilities in that particular field, it could become chaotic and illogical. Strong interests alone do not guarantee occupational success, nor does a particular skill in a field, or certain values centered around a particular job. Prodigious skill alone does not guarantee success if a person does not have a particular interest in a career, or they do no value their work ethic. It is important to assess one’s interests, skills, and values as a group in order to determine a career that undermines all three areas.

    While it is important for individuals to excel in their professional careers, it should not provide a hindrance to one’s familial life or relationship with others. On the contrary, relationships should be interwoven within the career counselor and client relationship. When assessing careers, counselors should be aware of any familial statuses that would hinder a certain career decision. For example, if a career was offered but required the client and their family to move, the client should first discuss it with their family before making the decision. They should assess whether the move would impact their relationship with others before following through with any career decisions. I find this to be a central theme in many Disney or Family-oriented movies. For example, in Mighty Ducks 2, Coach Gordon Bombay originally was focused on the members of his hockey team, but as his career advanced, he put more of his attention on what he was gaining from the experience, and this deeply impacted his relationship with his players. They lost trust in his abilities as a coach, and he was on the brink of losing his friendship was them as well. Luckily, he realized the error in his ways and began to understand that his job as a coach was more than just about the money and the perks that came with it, but rather it was about his relationship with his players and helping them to progress in their hockey skills. His team was his family, and he should not put his career above his relationship with them. So, when clients approach counselors for assessments on choosing careers, they should not only consider the best benefits for themselves but for their families as well.

    Reply

  24. Christina DeMalia
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 17:56:13

    (1)
    When trying to determine what career may be best for an individual, it is important to consider multiple different aspects because of the complexity of a person. There is no doubt that interest plays a big role in what someone may want to choose as a career. Someone who has no interest at all in math or numbers might feel miserable if they spent their life working as an accountant. However, someone who loves numbers and enjoys that pace of work might love that career. Interest isn’t always enough to determine if a career is a good fit, though. An example that came to mind for this is wanting to work for the FBI. This is something I had considered after speaking with a representative of the FBI at my college and discussing internships. I thought being a behavioral analyst or psychologist within in the FBI would be interesting. However, I quickly learned there were many requirements and expectations that would be difficult to meet, and didn’t align with my goals.

    Someone with an interest in the FBI may have seen TV shows about FBI agents and thought that the job would be fast paced and exciting. However, the FBI has a very high bar set for both physical and mental abilities for people interested in a career with them. It wouldn’t be beneficial for someone with an interest in the FBI to continue to pursue that career if they were unable to perform well in basic subject areas, or had a disability that would prevent them from meeting physical requirements. Some of those skills could be learned over time if the client showed enough commitment, but things like learning or physical disabilities could prevent them from meeting the requirements.

    Even if a person were to have a general interest and have the necessary skills and abilities, their values may not line up with the work. In a career with the FBI, an individual may be placed in positions where they have to follow orders, whether or not they agree. Since you have to begin as a field agent, you may be placed in a position where you have to pull a gun on someone or even shoot them. If you are morally not comfortable with this, it might not be a good career choice. Similarly, you would have to enforce rules of the government, so if the client’s values didn’t align with the governments, they might be put in positions where they have to sacrifice their values for their jobs. This could lead to dissatisfaction with their career and that unhappiness could spread to other aspects of their life. This same formula could be applied to any career choice. Just an interest does not necessarily mean the person will be capable of doing that job or that the aspects of that job will line up with their values.

    (2)
    Relational influence is another important aspect of choosing a career. To continue with my example of a career with the FBI, there are outside aspects that can affect the fit of that career for an individual. In order to work for the FBI, you have to dedicate a large portion of your time and freedom to the job. A field agent not only has to be away from home for a long period of time to complete the training program, but then they have to move to wherever they are assigned to, move again any time they are reassigned, and be on call 24/7 365 days a year. If a client was trying to start a career with the FBI at the same time as they were trying to start a family, or if they already have a spouse and children, this could cause a lot of difficulty. The individual would have to expect their spouse to move with them every time they are relocated somewhere. The spouse would also have to be okay with the individual working a variety of hours and days. When the job calls for it, the individual could be gone for important holidays, life events, and possibly miss out on important aspects of their child’s life.

    An individual in this situation may end up with an unhappy spouse, or a child that feels they do not receive enough attention. An unhappy family and home life could lead to difficulties in many aspects of an individual’s life. Even if the client loves the idea of working for the FBI, meets all of the requirements and has all of the skills, and agrees with the values of the FBI, there is still a chance the career could lead to unhappiness due to the relationships they have and the influence of those relationships.

    Reply

    • Anna Lindgren
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 09:51:11

      Hi Christina!

      That is a really interesting example with the FBI. I didn’t know that everyone starts out as a field agent, even psychologists. That combined with the hours and demanding aspects of the job you described leads me to think that the only people who could possibly join and be satisfied with working for the FBI are probably young, athletic, single, and unattached to where they live. Otherwise, that would be a lot to ask of a family to move around constantly and not know when their loved one might be called away for a job. It sounds like you dodged a bullet by not working for them (pardon the cheesy pun). Great post!

      Reply

    • Lina Boothby-Zapata
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 22:14:12

      Hi Christina,
      The value domain for me looked pretty obvious and I was not attracted much by that I was seeing it in the side of immigrant individuals coming to the United States and want it to join in the workforce. Sometimes this can create issues especially for a woman that belongs to the orthodox religion. The FBI example is great, the FBI profile is not easy and conditions like being single, athletic, young, and having a profession are ideal. It is clear that if you don’t fit with these requirements is like you are setting up for failure in the selection process and in your career. In summary, your example helps me to understand better the domain about value how important it is, as well as the interest and skills/abilities.

      Reply

  25. Brianna Walls
    Oct 22, 2020 @ 20:31:59

    1. It is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether when engaged in career counseling and not just one of these domains. For example a person can have an interest in becoming a professional baseball player but he/she doesn’t have the skills/abilities to become one. For instance they might find baseball to be a fun activity but they are unable to throw a fastball which is one of the skills you need to have in order to become a professional baseball player. In another scenario he/she might be really good at playing baseball but they may not have any interest in making a career out of it. It is also important to take someone’s values/ morals into consideration while determining a career. For example an individual may be interested in pursuing a doctoral degree but they find family to be their number one value. This will probably not work out for them because it will cause them to go against their values/morals. A doctoral degree takes up a significant amount of an individual’s time and therefore he/she would not be able to make their family their number one priority anymore. In conclusion it is very important to take interests, abilities/skills, and values into consideration while trying to find a career to pursue. You wouldn’t want to end up with a teacher who dislikes children or a chef who dislikes food.
    2. Relational influence in career assessment is very important. It is important to take into consideration the three domains as discussed above but it does not cover everything about the individual. For instance someone might not take a job they are interested in because their mother is sick and they have to stay home and care for them. It’s also important to take into consideration someone’s relationships. For instance maybe the individual was offered their dream job but it is in another state and their partner already has a great job where they live currently so they don’t want to uproot their family and move to another state causing their partner to have to quit their current job. Overall an individual can take as many assessments as they want but they do not take into consideration the individual’s whole framework. Therefore it is important to take relational influence into consideration when taking career assessments.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Baker
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 18:30:57

      Hello Brianna
      I enjoyed reading your post! Your example of values was one I didn’t think of. Familial values and personal values seem to be the most internal conflict an individual can experience. Having to figure out whether attaining personal goals is more important than caring for family is extremely difficult, I wonder how clinicians help their clients understand how to prioritize them both (or if that doesn’t work, how to not feel selfish or frustrated when prioritizing one over the other). I also wonder how clinicians help guide clients that are disabled (either physically and/or mentally).

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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