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Lifestyle and Career Development

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By ferndog
Words 1308
Pages 6
Lifestyle and Career Development
Fernando De La Cruz Jr.
Webster University


Counselors should let people choose their own careers. By doing this, counselors allow their clients be who they are. No two people are alike and therefore they will make their own decisions even if it is a mystery. Instead, counselors can help the client by asking direct questions, using mental imagining, and focusing on their accomplishment Counselors should use their skills as an art by applying, adapting, and integrating a counseling style that works best for them while working along with and helping their clients. Key skills of the career counselor include, but are not limited to clarifying content, reflecting feeling, open-ended questioning, skill identifying, value clarifying, creative imagining, information giving, role-playing, spot-checking, summarizing, task setting, and establishing the “yes and buts.” Some other skills include an open invitation to talk, focusing, leading, and encouraging. However, counselors should use the “client-centered” theory approach of Carl Rogers; refraining from giving advice to their clients because it encourages the client to be dependent on the counselor’s insights, and the counselor cannot know what is best for the client.

Keywords: counselor, client, career

Objectives of Career Counseling

Career counseling objectives focus on the counselor-client relationship that helps foster the best possible quality of life and overall welfare of the client. Counselors ensure this by assuming responsibility and accountability for their actions. They also imagine career ideas that help promote creative ways of helping their clients by relating their experiences, asking questions, and sharing dreams. Counselors can build trust through an honest, open-minded, and empathetic attitude. They can also use their favorite functional and adaptive skills in helping clients build their confidence.

In the article by Lara, Kline, & Paulson (2011) they stated that counselors who focused on career development concerns must be prepared to address stress, wellness, change, performance, occupational health, satisfaction, interpersonal and intrapersonal issues, family, leisure, technology and communication issues with their clients.

“Because many undergraduates who come to counseling have both career and socioemotional concerns, we believe that various aspects of their lives should be attended to simultaneously in counseling.” (Gibbons & Shurts, 2010, p. 169). Counselors must deal constructively with negative emotions and thoughts that inhibit career progress. Clients will have depression, anxiety, fears, and self-defeating thoughts. Counselors can help clients work and overcome negativity. Negative emotions, if not coped with properly, can dissolve the helping counselor-client relationship. By listening to the client’s concerns, counselors can help them develop strategies for overcoming their issues and managing any negative emotions.

Counseling should help the counselor-client relationship determine steps to a career goal. Counselor should help their clients get from point A to point B by directing them to outside sources like the internet and other sources. Hughes, Gibbons, & Mynatt (2013) mentioned that career counseling can help unprepared students make educated career decisions based on their situations. They should also encourage their clients to see that motivation and skill development are important for career progress. By showing clients the steps towards a goal, counselors can help their career progress.

A counselor should choose work that has a good sense of meaning, value, and purpose in their lives. Meaning and purpose gives value to a person’s life and can lead to satisfying career choices and lifestyle development. The counselor-client relationship needs to have a strong sense of career purpose that expresses their feelings associated with them. “As a result, counselors may need to help students understand their callings and how to meet these through school, work, and other life roles.” (Adams, 2012, p. 65). This helping relationship will have the benefits of acquiring new skills and the maturity to establish a lasting career commitment that will foster a good sense of satisfaction and spirituality.

Counselors must not let their ego overcome the counselor-client helping relationship because it can stop and/or break a person’s career motivation. Counseling should focus on the person’s career and not the counselor’s; so it will not become an approval-seeking task that can rob a career of its happiness. The career counseling process should focus on the clients being themselves (Essence), rather than seeking the approval of others (Ego). Egos can ravage and wear down a person’s career by becoming an addiction that will turn to worry and stress where the pleasure of the “doing” disappears.

The traditional view of career counseling has been one or two meetings with a counselor, wherein clients decided on the occupation in which they would be employed for the rest of their lives. However, over the past 2 decades, the profession of counseling has move toward a view that career development is a lifelong process rather than a one time choice. (Krumboltz, Foley, & Carter, 2013, p. 15).

Researchers Lara, Kline, & Paulson (2011) have addressed counselors’ interests and attitudes regarding career counseling realizing that lifestyle and career development should primarily dispense information, impart knowledge, and share wisdom that fosters spirituality. Information provides what is available through symbols like charts, graphs, and diagrams and in silence (not knowing and finding out the facts) of what to do for a person seeking a career. Knowledge is information that is organized (what, where, and how) and applied towards acquiring a career. Wisdom derives from the context (reality, attitude, coping) and weight (priority, management, planning) of information available and organized knowledge applied in lifestyle and career development. These goals all culminate into the essence of spirituality, therefore enhancing the counselor-client helping relationship and providing the client with the necessary tools for obtaining the best quality of life.

Careers are in agriculture, manufacturing, or information/services. They work with things, data, or people. Careers deal with fields of knowledge like health, construction, and products and/or services. There are different preparation times for career development/on-the-job-training through private/public vocational schools, technical institutes, community colleges, universities, proprietary schools, armed forces, and even online or by mail correspondence. Careers have different places to work at either indoors or outdoors and/or both. They can be either prescribed and/or discretionary. Careers can be a lifestyle of development with the values and purpose of action, self-pleasure, or character. “Thus, counselors must be aware to attend to these issues rather than assume that all students are equally free to follow their life’s calling.” (Adams, 2012, p. 75).

Overall, lifestyle and career development counseling is a lifetime process of changes. Life’s changes affect people and society in many various, complex, and dynamic ways. It is vital the counselor-client relationship should adapt and improvise lifestyles and career development to capture the essence of satisfaction of acquiring, maintaining, and promoting quality careers. Counselors and clients must keep up to date with career training/continuing education and obtaining any or all current degrees, licenses, certifications, insurances that are required in their respected career fields. Career development between the counselor and client should also focus on the ‘here and now’ with a positive attitude of transparency and transference between relationships resulting in a healthy lifestyle for all.


Adams, C. M. (2012). Calling and career counseling with college students: Finding meaning in

work and life. Journal of College Counseling, 15, 65-80.

Gibbons, M. M., & Shurts, W. M. (2010). Combining career and couples counseling for college

Students: A narrative approach. Journal of College Counseling, 13, 169-181.

Hughes, A. N., Gibbons, M. M., & Mynatt, B. (2013). Using narrative career counseling with the

unprepared college student. The Career Development Quarterly, 61, 40-49.

Krumboltz, J. D., Foley, P. F., & Cotter, E. W. (2013). Applying the Happenstance Learning

Theory to involuntary career transitions. The Career Development Quarterly, 61, 15-26.

Lara, T. M., Kline, W. B., & Paulson, D. (2011). Attitudes regarding career counseling:

Perceptions and experiences of counselors-in-training. The Career Development Quarterly, 59, 428-439.

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