Career Counselors Confront a Critical Crossroad: A Vision of the Future (Career Counseling in the Next Decade)

The current challenges confronting career counselors require increased discourse regarding career counseling models. Some authors have initiated this discourse, but more participants are needed. The need also exists to communicate more aggressively the special expertise that career counselors bring to their work. As career counselors construct contemporary intervention models, they will need to engage in action research to demonstrate accountability and to document that their services are effective. Career counselors can embrace these activities by building on past practices to construct a vision for the future. Career counseling is the label used most frequently to describe how counselors and psychologists work to help individuals develop self-understanding and articulate a career direction that allow them to achieve their potential and find purpose in their daily activities. Career counseling is an honorable activity with a substantial history in the United States (Pope, 2000). For example, in his work with adolescents, Parsons (1909) described this activity as helping adolescents use true reasoning to “find a vocation rather than merely hunt for a job” (p. 25). Strong (1927) helped people connect their interests to occupations. Roe (1956) highlighted childhood influences that affect career development. Super, Savickas, and Super (1996) urged career counselors to help their clients “implement their self-concepts in satisfying occupational roles” (p. 139). Holland (1973) provided a structure for career counselors to help their clients express their personalities in congruent occupational environments. Vondracek, Lerner, and Schulenberg (1986) emphasized the need for career counseling to incorporate the client’s context. Savickas (1989) incorporated early childhood experiences to help clients clarify their life projects. Gottfredson (1996) illustrated that children can benefit from developmentally appropriate career interventions but that these interventions are not being systematically provided. Krumboltz and Vosvick (1996) reminded career counselors that sometimes clients’ beliefs about the world and about themselves impede their career development progress. Cochran (1997) helped clients find career meaning in their life stories. Amundson (1998) encouraged career counselors to actively engage their clients in the career counseling process. These are just a few examples of the rich resources that career counselors use to help their clients.

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