Topic 7: Assessment in Career Counseling {by 7/12}

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 7/12.  Post your two replies no later than 7/14.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Vear
    Jul 07, 2021 @ 19:29:15

    1.) In career counseling, it is extremely important to assess interest, abilities/skills, and values altogether. One domain is not enough because they all have their own important factors. Interests are important for describing the client’s general career interests. They can have expressed interests, which are things that they might want to do but do not yet have the skills for. There are also manifest interests, which are interests that are based around how the client spends their time and activities that they engage in. Interests form the general basis of which direction they want to go in for a career. Abilities and skills are also important because these aspects help the client determine occupational possibilities where they could be successful. For example, aptitude tests can help predict occupational success in a particular area. Sometimes it can also give the client a general idea of what the career actually might look like. Then finally, values should correlate with the area of work that the individual chooses to determine their satisfaction. If a particular career or job goes against someone’s values, they might not last or feel satisfied with their career path. Overall, each of these aspects is important for career counseling because determining their interests, current skills, abilities, and values can help narrow down what career path will get them toward their future goals.

    2.) In life, work is not everything. Sometimes just choosing a job or career and then doing it without making any decisions is just not possible for everyone. Some people can pack up their things and move across the country for a career without a second thought. Others have to take relational influences into account for the decisions and choices they make. Relational influence is very important in career assessment because sometimes there are careers that might not even be an option for some people because of other responsibilities with loved ones. If someone really wanted to work at Disney Land in California, but had obligations with taking care of family members or a significant other that could not move, they might choose to not take that position. Relationships with family members should be treated as values that someone has to take into consideration when determining a career path. If these things are not taken into account, relationships can be damaged and the career path might be less rewarding. That is why career assessments need to determine if relational influences are values that are important for the client’s consideration.

    Reply

    • Valerie Graveline
      Jul 09, 2021 @ 12:31:27

      Hi Jenn,

      I really liked your point about relational influence being important considering an individual might have personal obligations or responsibilities with their loved ones that may impact their career choices. I agree with you in that if relational influences were ignored, it could damage their important relationships and cause more harm than good. Hopefully with relational influences taken into account, a career counselor could better match an individual’s personal responsibilities and interests to an occupation that would still allow them significant satisfaction.

      Valerie

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Tonkin
      Jul 10, 2021 @ 18:05:06

      Jenn,

      I really liked your response to the second question. I had not thought about relational influence in that way, especially in terms of jobs that require you to move. It is very true that certain occupations may put a strain on some relationships, especially if big sacrifices are made, like moving across the country. In your example, you mention that if a family member was not able to make said move, then the person would probably decline the job offer. I think it is important to think about how that might affect the person who declined the job and then to think about their relationship going forward. It is very important to take into account relational influence when doing career assessments. Thank you for your response, Jenn!

      -Kaitlyn

      Reply

    • Frayah Wilkey
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 11:37:15

      Jenn,
      I love your sentiment about how work is not everything. A lot of the time, we get caught up with career paths and how to be ‘successful’, but that doesn’t negate the importance of relational influences. As you said, a person may find a rewarding career at Disney but it isn’t always applicable to their life and relationships. A person’s entire microsystem should be considered due to its influences.

      Reply

  2. Kaitlyn Tonkin
    Jul 09, 2021 @ 11:46:25

    1. In career counseling, it is important for counselors to evaluate interests, abilities/skills, and values because only examining one domain is not enough. Determining a career path is challenging, so it is important that many aspects of someone’s personality are assessed in order to help them make the most informed decision that will benefit them the most in the long run. Each of the above domains is important in their own way. Interest inventories are used to explore and describe an individual’s general occupational interests. Furthermore, interest inventories have been found to promote career exploration because the individual might discover something they had not thought about previously. Interest inventories can be used to help direct the client, but it is best practice that career counselors also evaluate the client’s skills and values in addition to interests. Assessments of abilities and skills are useful in figuring out what areas the client has the potential to succeed in. It is important that abilities are assessed because as a counselor, you want your client to succeed where they are going to work and would rather not see them flounder just because you did not do a skills assessment. These types of assessments are also useful for showing clients what the career they are interested in might look like. Finally, values assessments are important because you want your client to partake in a career that fits their values. If a client begins a job that goes against what they believe in, they are likely going to be miserable and have more problems. Often, values are neglected when it comes to career assessments, however, it is clear how important they are to helping a client choose a career. Each of these domains work together and should be measured as such since they play such an important role in making a career decision.
    2. Relational influence is often ignored by counselors conducting career assessments; however, it is important to include relational influence in career assessment and career counseling because work and important relationships are interwoven. It is important to take into account these relationships, especially close family members and significant others because they are most important to the individual and likely have a great influence on them and their choices. Individuals may consult the other people in their lives regarding important life decisions, like choosing a career. For example, a high school student who is applying to jobs for the first time might consult their parents about what jobs to apply for. Similarly, a recent college graduate might also discuss career options with their parents because they value their opinions. In some cases, a young individual who is exploring career options may not look for careers that they really want because they know those who are close to them might disagree. This is important to notice in career assessment because the client may not be making choices based on their own ambitions and desires, but rather might be taking into consideration how others might react. Thus, taking into account how relationships might influence someone’s career choices or responses on career assessments is quite important.

    Reply

    • Valerie Graveline
      Jul 09, 2021 @ 12:36:44

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      You made a really good point in saying that interest inventories can help individuals realize they have interests in areas they initially didn’t recognize. I think that’s really valuable because a client might notice they have interests that aren’t necessarily work-related, and with career counseling and assessment could realize that these interests may be incorporated into various occupations. I also agree with you that it’s super important for values to be acknowledged in career counseling, and it’s really surprising that they are so frequently overlooked.

      Valerie

      Reply

    • Jennifer Vear
      Jul 09, 2021 @ 14:17:13

      Kaitlyn,

      I think you made a really great point about how important relational factors are in conducting career assessments and for clients when making decisions. For some people, simply making decisions on what to do with their life is more than just determining whether or not they want to do the job. Relational factors can influence these decision-making processes and prove them to be not all that easy. How someone reacts and makes decisions based on these factors can also tell you about how they are as a person and where their values and priorities lie.
      Overall, great job!

      Reply

    • Morgan Rafferty
      Jul 09, 2021 @ 15:57:15

      Kaitlyn,
      I appreciate how your response with regard to “relational influence in career assessment” takes the approach of how parents, etc might limit career options for an individual. I did not consider how the opinions of others (ie., parents) might hold back an individual. It makes me think that as a “helper” we might explore with a client this notion and the idea that perhaps he/she should not feel compelled to stay local (for instance) if it is not what he/she wants to really do. Thanks for sharing your take on this potential hurdle.

      Reply

    • Katie O'Brien
      Jul 11, 2021 @ 19:57:36

      Kaitlyn,

      I liked that you noted that interest inventories can also highlight areas a client had not thought about previously. I remember filling out an interest inventory in a high school class and thinking that an assessment likely would not reveal an interest I was not already aware of – how could I not know that I liked something? But I think it is interesting that the Strong Interest Inventory, for example, reveals interest patterns, which probably gives a lot more information on a client’s general interests than asking them to make a list of their hobbies, for example. I think it is harder to detect interest patterns in ourselves than specific activities that we enjoy, so interest inventories can be really helpful in that way.

      Katie

      Reply

    • Sergio Rodriguez
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 10:30:00

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      I consider it relevant to mention that interest inventories can help individuals explore and describe their general, occupational interests. Because many people can be lost regarding the path, they want to follow for their career. It is so interesting that inventories promote career exploration and open different options for the person to decide. It is possible to open the interest, and the person can research and try something that they haven’t thought about before.

      Reply

    • Lisa Andrianopoulos
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:27:37

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      I like your implication that pressure from others close to you can have a strong influence on one’s career choices. For some, I can imagine a huge conflict between the positive emotion of feeling pride from your parents, and also feeling dissatisfied with your career choice. This is why the role of a trained counselor is so important, both in processing this and making sound choices.

      Reply

    • Angie Petrella
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 19:48:10

      Hi Kaitlyn! I love the description and examples you provided for relational influence. I really like how you explained how an individual might not look for careers they really want because they know their loved ones might disagree. I feel like as we have been learning about relational influence, I overlooked this possibility and how sometimes relationships can negatively interfere with an individual’s career choice. Ironically, this is something that I have actually struggled a lot with when I decided to start a business. I was so hesitant and brushed off the idea for so long because I knew my parents would be worried about me taking this risk. Reflecting on all of this now after reading your response, I have a much better understanding of just how important relational influence really is and how it should be a necessary part of career counseling.

      Reply

  3. Valerie Graveline
    Jul 09, 2021 @ 12:27:10

    1) It is important to assess interest, abilities/skills, and values altogether when engaging in career counseling because one of these domains by itself is not satisfactory in understanding a client holistically. Whitson (2013) asserts that interests are a good predictor of occupational direction, however, they do not guarantee an individual’s occupational success. With this in mind, assessing an individual’s abilities and skills should come after identifying their interests, in order to identify occupations where the individual may be successful. Aptitude tests prove helpful in predicting occupational success, but should not be the only source of this information. For example, aptitude scores should be compared with the client’s grades, work performance, and their self perceptions of their abilities to identify if there were any issues with the testing procedure. An individual’s self perceptions of their abilities, along with their beliefs surrounding their self-efficacy, should also be investigated because these beliefs can strongly impact their choices and performance in specific domains. With respect to identifying values in career counseling, it is crucial considering values lie at the basis of how an individual decides to spend their time and establish their life goals. Values in career counseling should include those that are work related, as well as general values in order to improve the likelihood that an individual will be satisfied with their potential occupational path. Ultimately, each of these factors interact with one another, proving that one domain is not sufficient to make decisions in career counseling.

    2) Relational influence in career assessment involves the effect an individual’s family members, close friends, and/or significant others may have on their occupational decision making. Whitson (2013) states that work and relationship are “complexly interwoven constructs”, and therefore are crucial to address in career assessment. For example, an individual may feel strongly about a career in film or the arts, but their parents may feel strongly about their child pursuing business or law related fields. Furthermore, the influence of important relationships may sway an individual’s decision making with careers because they may feel they should pick an occupation they lack interest in because it ensures sufficient support for their family, rather than picking an occupation they have intense interest in as it may pay less. With relational influences, it is also important to acknowledge societal, cultural and historical contexts of an individual as stereotypes for certain occupations may persist depending on their gender, age, sexuality, etc. Overall, it is essential to investigate relational influences in career assessment as they can significantly impact an individual’s opinions toward potential occupational paths

    Reply

    • Morgan Rafferty
      Jul 09, 2021 @ 15:53:44

      Valerie – your answer with regard to what is involved is assessing an individual’s aptitude was thorough. It really helped me better understand how to come to a conclusion as to whether or not a person is indeed qualified to pursue a career path. I like how you mentioned taking their grades into account, in addition to work performance AND their own self-perceptions. Thank you for laying this out so clearly.

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Tonkin
      Jul 10, 2021 @ 18:00:43

      Hi Valerie,
      Thank you for pointing out that aptitude tests should be assessed along with other measures of ability so that one test is not the only thing ability is based on. This is something that I wholeheartedly believe, especially when it comes to standardized testing, however, I did not think about it in this context. So, thank you for pointing that out. It is important that a singular measure is not solely relied on since there are numerous reasons why someone might score the way they do. One of the best ways to combat third variables is by having multiple tests. Thank you again for your perspective!

      Best,
      Kaitlyn

      Reply

    • Giana Faia
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 19:39:06

      Hi Valerie,

      I really liked your response to the question about relational influence. Relational influence is crucial in career assessment, yet most clinicians skip over it. You made a great point in saying that certain relationships may sway an individuals decisions when it comes to occupation. I also thought you touched on another important point about understanding societal, cultural, and historical contexts involving the individual. These factors may have an impact on types of occupations and where they feel most comfortable. Keeping these factors in mind are essential in career assessment and counseling.

      Reply

  4. Morgan Rafferty
    Jul 09, 2021 @ 15:49:54

    *It is very important to include all three domains: interests, abilities/skills, and values when assessing an individual with regard to career search. Assessing the individual’s career interests promotes career exploration and can really be a great first step in terms of opening one’s eyes to the options out there. Within interests are two domains: expressed (directly asking individual what they are interested in) and manifest interests (how clients spend their time/activities they engage in).
    *Assessing interests is important because interests can be a good predictor of career direction (despite not guaranteeing occupational success or ability).
    *Assessing abilities/skills is necessary in determining occupational possibilities. Abilities/skills are a good predictor of occupational success.
    *Assessing values is a critical aspect of the career counseling process despite sometimes being neglected. Work values are more highly correlated than interest with work satisfaction.
    *Relational influences are of utmost importance when conducting career assessments. An individual makes a decision like career choice but it is rare that the decision does not impact others (ie., family members; romantic partners; friends, etc). Work and important relationships are complexly interwoven constructs. If these are ignored during the career assessment process, the ramifications could be painful and damaging. It is best to try to eliminate strain placed on relationships when making career choices.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Vear
      Jul 09, 2021 @ 20:42:58

      Hi Morgan,

      I really liked how you mentioned that it is best to eliminate any strain placed on relationships when making career choices. It is so true and something that counselors need to consider when giving career assessments to their clients. If a counselor leads their client in a way that ignores this important factor, the client might not feel fully understood. If they feel indecisive about a career goal mainly because of a relational factor, the counselor should look for this. Sometimes when someone has to forgo an important dream because of familial obligation, they want to hear ideas and careers that are actually within their range of capabilities. If all the counselor can talk about is getting that job in Disney Land, when the client told them that’s not an option, they might feel not listened to.

      Reply

    • Katie O'Brien
      Jul 11, 2021 @ 20:07:13

      Morgan,

      I had not considered relational influence in the way of how a career choice would impact significant others in a client’s life. I sort of thought of it in the opposite sense, more in terms of how the beliefs of one’s family or culture might influence the client’s thoughts and decisions regarding a client’s career choices. However, in the “here and now,” the direct effect the client’s decision has on loved ones would also be a huge factor for the client to consider, like if a client quitting their job would put a huge financial burden on their spouse, or if taking a job meant their spouse cutting back on their hours so someone could be home with their young children. Of course the effects experienced by loved ones would be something the client has to consider. Thanks for pointing this out!

      Katie

      Reply

    • Sergio Rodriguez
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 10:16:03

      Hi Morgan,

      It is definitely important the way you address the relational influence in career assessment because in counseling the impact that an individual’s decision has on their different areas of the important relationship as family members; romantic partners; friends, because and the influence of a parent, a partner or a best friend is very often a crucial marker and if it not considered in terms of pros and cons the individual might result affected and not prepared for it.

      Reply

    • Lisa Andrianopoulos
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:33:19

      Hi Morgan,
      I like your comments about the impact of your career choice on others in your life. Ultimately, we not only want work satisfaction but also satisfying relationships (perhaps the latter is even more important). None of us exists in a vacuum, and the decisions we make are bound to have an impact on others around us. I suppose this becomes particularly important, depending on your life stage. For example, this consideration might take on a different level of significance for an unattached 20 something versus a someone who is married with young children at home. So much to consider and know about your client!

      Reply

  5. Giana Faia
    Jul 11, 2021 @ 16:43:25

    1. It is important to assess interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether for career counseling rather than individually. Assessing interests is important for gauging an individual’s broad occupational interests. When assessing interests, both expressed and manifest interests are measured. Asking clients about their general interests is expressed interest. Identifying how clients spend their time and what activities they partake in is manifest interest. However, despite interests being a good indicator of career direction, these interests alone do not guarantee success in a career. Next, assessing abilities/ skills are important for gathering information about the whole person and in identifying career possibilities where they would be successful. Identifying skills is helpful in knowing what the individual is capable of doing. When assessing abilities/skills, aptitude tests are often used along with interest inventories to see if their interests and abilities align. Assessing values is another important aspect in career assessment. Values are considered to be the foundation for setting life goals. There is a high correlation between values and work satisfaction which is important when engaged in career counseling. However, when assessing values, it is important to note that not all values may be accounted for in the instrument being used. Interests, abilities/skills, and values all contribute different information about the individual that is needed when engaged in career counseling. Identifying interests, abilities, and values is helpful for evaluating occupational success of the individual.

    2. Relational influence in career assessment involves examining relationships with family, friends, partners, and other important relationships. Relational influences can sometimes be overlooked in assessments, but the two are intertwined. It is important to take relational influences into account in career assessment because they have the potential to affect aspects of a career such as location and the amount of hours they are available. A person seeking career counseling who is the main provider of care for their family shouldn’t be led in the direction of a very demanding job, as that does not coincide with their family dynamic. In contrast, someone who lives on their own with no one to provide for will be led in a different direction with different occupational opportunities. It is important to take relational influence into consideration with career assessment so that the individual can find a career that is best for them and their most important relationships.

    Reply

  6. Katie O
    Jul 11, 2021 @ 19:45:05

    1.) In career counseling, it is important to assess interests, abilities and skills, and values in an integrated way. Accessing interests using interest inventories is helpful in understanding an individual’s general occupational interests, whether that be the client’s expressed interests (those explored simply by asking the client about their interests), or manifest interests (those interests identified by examining how clients choose to spend their time and the activities they select). An example of a well-known interest inventory is the Strong Interest Inventory, aimed at identifying interest patterns over 6 general occupational themes. However, while interest inventories are good at predicting future academic and career choices, it is important to note that strong interests indicated by clients does not necessarily mean strong occupational success in these areas of interest. This means that the results of interest inventories simply reflect what a client is interested in, but not necessarily what they may be good at. Because of this, it is helpful to also assess a client’s abilities and skills to identify occupational possibilities in which the client may be successful, given that the results are consistent with other information about the client such as their grades, work performance, and other types of evaluations.
    Values are also important as they serve as the basis for a client’s life goals and provide a framework for the client to make meaningful decisions regarding their future. It has been found that values actually are more highly correlated with work satisfaction than even a client’s interests. Because of this, it is important to remember that clients may use this information to make significant decisions in their lives, such as to quit a job or make a career change, and it is important that these changes are consistent with their values.
    In order to guide a client to making a decision regarding their future, it is important to look at all three domains. If a clinician only assesses one domain, such as interests, and not the others, they may lead clients in a direction they will not be successful in, or one that may not align with their values, leading to poor work satisfaction down the line. Clinicians must assess all areas to help clients make decisions that are in line with their interests, abilities and skills, and their values.
    2.) Research has found that how a client feels about a “career” may be culturally or socially influenced. Because of this, it is important to understand a client’s social context and how that influences them. As work and important relationships, such as those with family members, are interwoven constructs, it is important to look at the relational influence on the individual. For example, for some people in various cultures, the responsibility to family may be viewed as more important than working long hours at one’s job, whereas in other cultures, an ambitious work drive may be viewed as desirable, despite the reduced time with family in favor of long hours spent at the office. Similarly, one client may be very independent in making educational or career decisions, whereas another may value the opinions of their family very highly, to the point of pursuing certain career goals because they are important to their family. Clinicians must be aware of and account for these differences in their individual clients so that they can help the client make decisions best suited to them and their situations, as there is not a one-size-fits-all list of career / life values and priorities.

    Reply

    • Frayah Wilkey
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 11:33:35

      Katie,
      I liked your examples in question #2, especially relating to the cultural influences on a person’s career path. It’s seen so frequently and the influence can be huge but each person is different so the counselor should go in depth with that. I also feel that those influences shouldn’t be assumed though- it’s possible that a person’s goals differ from their traditions or upbringing so career planners should be open minded as well.

      Reply

  7. Sergio Rodriguez
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 10:00:42

    1.) By the time individuals have to make choices about their future career development, it is relevant to address all areas that may be part of a person’s professional development. This involves interests, skills, and values. It may be easy to believe that the most effective inquire about a person’s interests, likes, and dislikes is not enough to provide a complete assessment of an individual’s career future. For example, a high school student may have many desires and wishes to be a singer. Still, if he does not have the skills for singing (i.e., good voice, good musical ear), it can be much more complex than his skills for the task he wants to develop. However, it is possible to weigh these skills against other skills that may also be part of a singer’s repertoire, such as body expression, charisma, and a deep interest and desire to learn singing techniques and theories. Hence, each element mentioned above is part of a different evaluation area but can complement and make an evaluation of the career much closer to what can be the reality.

    2.) Relational influence in career assessment is an element of major consideration since interpersonal relationships constitute us as individuals and mark a large percentage of our tastes, interests, language, and social development. To this extent, family history in terms of children whose parents are lawyers, doctors, or athletes. This exerts a great influence on the decisions, tastes, and interests that the person has concerning their professional career. Likewise, the context in which the person grows up, the opportunities provided in institutions such as the family, school, peers, or society itself are determinants of a person’s choices.

    Reply

    • Yoana Catano
      Jul 13, 2021 @ 10:31:04

      Hi Sergio,
      What you mentioned in both questions goes along with our text book, it states that career counseling should include multiple domains of development, personality, psychopathology with detailed knowledge of interest, abilities, personality dimensions and values and even cognitive. Counseling in career shouldn’t be only job-related issues because an individual should be seen as holistic and integrated with all personal information.

      Reply

  8. Frayah Wilkey
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 11:28:39

    1. Career counseling is meant to be wholistic so it should include assessments of the individual’s interests, abilities/skills, and values altogether. First, interests can be a helpful starting point when looking at career options. Expressed and manifested interests may help the counselor understand what some good vocational options are by looking at what the individual is enthusiastic about and spends their time doing. This can be broad though, so taking into account the individual’s abilities and skills can also help narrow down what careers may be possible for them to be successful at. For example, the ASVAB may help supplement career planning by narrowing the individual’s strengths and weaknesses in different military MOS’s. The assessment may show that a career in intel will not be possible but the individual shows great strengths in other areas, such as mechanical work. These results need to be verified with other information though, and it important to consider all aspects of the individual. Lastly, values must be considered because they guide the individual through life and decision making about their future. Work values are also highly related to work satisfaction so they should not be neglected in assessment by career counselors. Taking all of these areas into account can create a more accurate and wholistic picture of the individual and what careers would suit them.

    2. Relational influences are important to consider when working with an individual on career planning. An individual’s choices may be effected by their family members, friends, and/ partners so counselors should take those relationships into consideration when creating a possible career plan. For example, if an individual is responsible for providing their spouse’s health insurance and brings in the only paycheck, it would be ill advised to suggest a career in the service industry where benefits are scarce and hours/wages can change regularly. Another example of influence could be seen in working with a college student who would like to work in a white collar career at the suggestion of their parents. Because the occupational choice effects more then the individual, a comprehensive career counseling session will consider those relationships. Neglecting a person’s important relationships in the career counseling process would hinder the process and make for a less comprehensive assessment.

    Reply

    • Angie Petrella
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 19:57:32

      Hi Frayah, Your answer to the first question really stood out to me because I love how you described career counseling as a wholistic approach. I completely agree with you on this, it is so important to take all domains into consideration to fully understand the whole picture!

      Reply

  9. Francesca Bellizzi
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 12:56:27

    1) When engaged in career counseling, it is important to assess interests, abilities/skills and values all together because it is crucial to gather information about the whole person when assisting with the career planning process. While gathering a client’s interests it can be beneficial in indicating where their vocational interest lies (expressed interest), and how they choose to spend their time (manifest interest). Although interest is useful and good at predicting an individual’s occupational choice, strong interests do not guarantee success and satisfaction. For example, an individual could report that they have a high expressed interest in medicine and a manifest interest in spending a lot of time with animals, yet they may not find satisfaction in being a veterinarian. Similarly, work satisfaction involves multiple variables – including abilities/skills and values. An individual’s abilities and skills are useful in identifying potential occupations in which the client could be successful; however, the most important variable that comes into play are the individual’s values. Values are a critical aspect of the career counseling process, and are the foundation for establishing life goals and making meaningful decisions about the future. Moreover, values are seen to be the most important element for the decision making process and are highly correlated with work satisfaction. Overall, it is important to assess all of these variables when assisting in the career counseling process because it is the evaluation of the person as a whole that makes a career path more direct, satisfactory, and geared towards future career choices.

    (2) While it is believed that interests, skills and values are main influencers when it comes to career choices, many overlook the importance of relational influences. The role of an individual’s relationships with their parents, siblings, and significant others have a large impact during the career development process. During a person’s “coming of age” it is relatively common for them to discuss their future interests, careers, education and goals with others who they find to be an important part of their life. During this decision making process, their choices may be influenced by the opinions and careers of others. For instance, someone might choose to go to medical school and be a doctor just because “everyone in my family are doctors”. Likewise, it is important to examine relational influence because an individual’s interests and values may change due to the introduction or deterioration of significant relationships. Often, the interests of others can be influential on individualized interests, making it ever evolving. Understanding how the interests of others interact with that of the individual is important in discerning potential occupational paths. Moreover, there is always more to life than work and family is found to mean everything to many.

    Reply

    • Lindsay O'Meara
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:23:48

      Hi Francesca,

      Your response regarding relational influences really stood out to me. It is really important to find out what influences are impacting our clients decisions so that we can give them the best help possible. When first starting college I was a business student, but I was doing that based on my work experience previous to school. Once I realized what I was passionate about it completely changed my direction. You just never know what will happen!

      Thanks,
      Lindsay

      Reply

    • Giana Faia
      Jul 12, 2021 @ 18:59:12

      Hi Francesca,

      Your explanation for both expressed and manifest interest was very clear. I liked how you included the example of how being interested in medicine and spending time with animals does not directly mean that they will find satisfaction in being a veterinarian. Along with this, it doesn’t directly mean they will be successful in the veterinary field just based on interests. I also liked how you highlighted that values are the most important factor when making decisions about career choices as they correlate with work satisfaction.

      Reply

  10. Lisa Andrianopoulos
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:18:05

    1) When conducting career counseling, the counselor must always keep at the forefront that each person is unique not only in their interests and abilities but also in the personal values they bring to their goals and views about work, professions, and general life aspirations. None of these exist in a vacuum, as they all are naturally interwoven. The counselor and client work to determine where the client falls within each area and also how they interact for the client. Assessing client interests gives the counselor and client a general idea of occupational interests and is a good predictor of career directions. However, while understanding occupational interests are good at narrowing areas of further exploration, they tell nothing about whether the client could be successful in those areas. Therefore, it is important to also assess abilities and skills with the purpose of matching interests with areas of strength. For example, a client may express an interest in medical occupations such as doctor or nurse but display a relatively weak aptitude for mastering science topics such as biology and chemistry. As such, the client and counselor may steer towards less science-based occupations. There are many standardized instruments for assessing interests, with the Strong Interest Inventory being one of the mostly widely used. Examples of ability or skill measures include tests of aptitude or achievement as well as other inventories such as the Campbell Interest and Skills Survey. Using the example above, let’s say that perhaps said client does in fact demonstrate excellence in science related topics. However, this client is also of a strong religious background and is steadfast in adhering to religion and cultural values. As such, they are adamantly against abortion and/or birth control of any kind. It is likely then, that this particular client would be unhappy in a medical career related to pregnancy prevention, sexual health, etc. This example may seem extreme, but it brings home the point that assessing values is also very important in helping the client choose a satisfying career path. Indeed, in the chapter we read, it was noted that assessment of values is an often ignored but critical aspect of career counseling the helps guide the client into making meaningful decisions about the future. Moreover, studies show that work values are more highly correlated with work satisfaction than interests. Based on the above, it is important to assess all three areas in order to help the client make a sound decision about a career path that will be the most successful and satisfying for them.

    2) Successful career counseling is very much a collaborative process. More modern approaches emphasize a qualitative approach to career assessment in which the client is given a more active role in the process, rather than the client making decisions based on the only counselor’s interpretation of test results. In this type of assessment, the client and counselor work on helping the client to develop their own narrative about career choice and preparation in the context of socio-cultural factors that are specifically meaningful to the client. It is this interactive relationship between the client and the counselor that brings about individualized and purposeful choices about career goals. As such, the process is as important as the outcome. Unfortunately, with the advance of many internet-related career assessments, this relational aspect can be lost and, according to Whiston, such types of assessments are significant less effective than going to a counselor. Moreover, given that the internet is unregulated, there is even potential for them to harm the client. Face-to-face processing and interpretation of test results with a trained professional is, in my opinion, part of the process of making meaningful connections between aspects of the self and career choice. Doing this over the internet could never be an adequate replacement.

    Reply

  11. Lindsay O'Meara
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:18:22

    It is important to assess interests, abilities/skills and values in career counseling, because there are a lot of factors that contribute to choosing an occupation. Assessing interests is necessary to develop ideas regarding what the client likes to do. If a client loves to be in nature, they may find that being a park ranger is something that they are interested in. It is important for many individuals to have an interest in the work that they do, so defining interests gives the client a direction to go in. It is also important to assess the client’s abilities and skills so we know that a client is capable of performing a role that they are interested in. Some clients are not capable of performing particular jobs, therefore we can rule out some of these professions and look into others. Values are the most important factor to consider when career counseling. A client will want a career that aligns with their values, so it is important to find out what values they have and explore what careers contain those values.
    Relational influence on career assessment includes family, friends and spouses who are close to the client. For example, a client may want to go to a school across the country when they graduate high school, but it is possible that their parents might want to keep them close. The clients opinions surrounding occupation may also change due to their families opinions on what they would like to do. It is important to find out what influences are affecting your clients decisions and to work with them.

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  12. Lindsay O'Meara
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:29:56

    Hi Frayah,

    Many of my decisions on where I’ve gone to school, and when I began attending school depended on my closest relationships. My decision to stay in Worcester, and to wait for stability to being school. When creating a career plan it is so important to take a clients closest relationships into consideration. Your examples are so real and I really enjoyed your response.

    Thanks,
    Lindsay

    Reply

  13. Angie Petrella
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 14:30:09

    In career counseling, it is important to assess interest, abilities/skills, and values altogether rather than each individual domain to ensure optimal work satisfaction. For example, if an individual pursues a career that they are not interested in, but is parallel with their abilities/skills, they may excel due to their expertise but feel unsatisfied and disappointed with the work they are doing. On the other hand, if an individual focuses solely on finding a career baed on their interests and values, but does not have the skills or potential skills necessary for the job, they may fall short and not have many opportunities presented to them. Ultimately, the goal is to find a somewhat even balance among all of these domains through various assessments to make sure an individual is satisfied with their chosen career path.

    Unfortunately, relational influence is sometimes neglected when making career decisions. However, it is very important to examine the complex interactions between work and personal relationships. For example, an individual will want to be sensitive when applying for jobs that require relocation if their spouse already has an amazing job local to where they currently live. The reason being, if that individual does land a job in a new location this will ultimately affect their spouse. With that being said, an individual should take they relationships and responsibilities to loved ones into consideration when determining a career path.

    Reply

    • Yoana Catano
      Jul 13, 2021 @ 10:20:46

      Hi Angie, I like the way you present an example of having only one domain to choose a career, it is definitely necessary the balance to have a successful performance in an occupation with interests, values and skills. Also the point you made about the client’s family if need relocation, that’s why is important to consider not only formal assessment with the variety of instruments we have, it is also important to supplement the assessment by interviewing to gather a wide range of information and integrate comprehensive results to better help the client.

      Reply

  14. Yoana Catano
    Jul 12, 2021 @ 21:20:28

    (1) Career counseling is an important part of counseling. The decision to enter or not to a career that could be the occupation for life, put effort and money to complete, needs to be accurate with the individual’s motivations and abilities. It is important to know an individual occupational interests, because it is a good way to predict occupational choice and connect them with specific activities. But not only interests would be sufficient to predict success. A client could have interest in a specific field but might not have the abilities or skills to complete it. In career counseling it is important to identify what the client can do and corroborate with other areas like grades, work performance, self-perception and others. This will provide a more holistic view of the client’s areas of interest and aptitude. Values has also been mentioned as an important area of assessment in the process of decision making. It is also related with work satisfaction.
    It is also important to highlight that the prediction of occupational success doesn’t depend only in the result of tests as a magic prediction of the future, it includes the ability to increase the client understanding of the process of choosing an educational or vocational occupation and self-awareness of their potentialities and the importance of integrate different aspects in the decision making as interests, abilities and values.

    (2) Choosing a career as explained in question 1, will need a combination of interests, abilities and values, however the relational influence could play a big role in this decision-making. There are many cultural, family or social interactions that influence the occupation and why not, even economic conditions.
    An individual belongs to a society and the interactions provide meaning to their actions, the knowledge about certain careers, the family heritage about other ones, or the social perception of certain roles, will interfere in the process of making decisions.
    The process of assessing career choices, is not only decided by the questionnaires, it is also important to provide the holistic analysis, including personal factors that could not be considered within the tests. This is why, this tests should be applied and interpreted by a clinician and results should be communicated in a professional setting, utilizing other clinical tools like interview and third part information.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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