From Vocational Decision Making to Career Building: Blueprint, Real Games, And School Counseling. (Special Issues: Career Development and the Changing Workplace).

School counseling’s foundations developed from vocational decision-making models. As schools, the workplace, and career development change, so does the need for school counselors to demonstrate leadership in helping students prepare for the future. As D. E. Redekopp (personal communication, November 13, 2002) stated, “Increasingly, career development is about leadership. It’s about the personal leadership required to take action, take risks, and learn new skills. It’s also about the leadership required to help others develop, grow, and learn. Creating things that don’t yet exist is now part of career development, not just choosing among existing options. Preparedness for an environment that does not yet exist is key to adaptability and leadership–therefore, it’s key to career management.” The new knowledge economy is changing the way people work. The very notion of “job” is shifting dramatically as workers increasingly seek meaning, purpose, and fulfillment from their work roles. With growing frequency, career is viewed as something every human has for a lifetime (Gysbers, 1997). According to R. E. Straby (personal communication, October 31, 2002), “Work is now defined not by occupational rifles or categories, but by skills and values. Effective career builders know how to shape and build their careers project by project. This is a new competency, still largely unrecognized by most adults in the workforce.” As a result, a new paradigm is needed to help students make informed career choices and gain the necessary employability and self-management skills. This article describes the characteristics of the evolving workplace and offers a career-building focus to help students learn the skills they now need to become healthy, self-reliant citizens, who are able to prosper in rapidly changing labor markets, and maintain balance between life and work roles.

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