Some of you may know that I am working on my master's degree in school counseling. Below is my reflection of my latest course: Career Counseling.
The chapters I enjoyed most in this course were chapters seven and fourteen. Chapter seven offered information on using technology to support career counseling and planning. I thrive on technology, so I enjoyed learning about tools and guidelines that I will be able to implement in my future. Chapter fourteen discussed ethical issues in career development interventions. Learning strategies to overcome ethical issues is valuable to my learning experience.
The chapters I enjoyed the least were chapters one and eight. Chapter one was simply an introduction to career development interventions. Although introductions are often necessary, I felt the reading was tedious. Chapter eight discussed career counseling strategies and techniques for the twenty-first century. I have been in my current career for over eight years, and although careers and marketable skills have changed since I first entered this field, I feel job searching is the same.
I currently work on a middle school campus, so I anticipate my future as a school counselor on a middle school campus as well. The main skill I will look at in students is leadership. By this age, students most likely show leadership skills if they are a natural leader. Leadership is a skill that categorizes occupations. If a student does not have or desire to have leadership skills, he will be unsuccessful following a career path that involves leadership. On the other hand, when a student naturally leads others, he will be unhappy in positions that do not involve leadership.
In order to determine students’ leadership capabilities, I must utilize my own skill of observation and evaluation. I plan to be in the classrooms and common areas as much as possible in order to gain insight on the students. My coordination and organization skills will help me manage teacher input on students as well.
Career counseling can be addressed adequately at the high school level when parent involvement is present. High school students are not ready to make vital career decisions. My first example is an honor student, involved in sports and clubs. Due to her economic hardship and lack of parental involvement, she decided early in high school that her local college was her only option. She was too overwhelmed with responsibilities to place career as a priority. She decided, without help, to teach high school math. This resulted in two changes in her major.
Another example is similar honor student involved in sports, clubs, and cheerleading. Her parent involvement was high. Her parents discussed career with her throughout high school. She was equipped with the necessary knowledge to make a wise decision. When visiting her University, she was able to easily make a split decision on specific part of her major because of her parents’ guidance.
Our precarious economy makes it imperative to provide students with a financial education. My first goal in preparing students for college is to develop an understanding of budgeting. My generation dreamed of careers that fulfilled our interests and needs. Today’s generation of students must also consider the salary as an important decision making factor. I am a firm believer that money is not everything, but a stable income is vital.
Another awareness I plan to promote is marketable careers. Students need to know which careers are stable and which are not. I will engage students in higher level thinking to determine career that will always be necessary. Students need to understand that just because a career may be robust now, the success may be short lived. If students are adamant on choosing a career that may not have longevity, it is important for them to consider a backup plan.
In completing the final project for this course, I learned an abundant amount of valuable information about my sister. It was very interesting to see how her inventory led to careers and fields of study. By completing the summary report, it gave me a greater understanding of how her family and background has influenced her life.
Choosing my sister to complete the Self Directed Search heightened my interest in the project, and this gave me valuable experience. I know have a concrete understanding of what all is involved in career counseling.
I learned that my ambitious personality has led me to achieve my goals quickly in my career. My current job duties fulfill my needs and interests, and I am on my way to gaining even more fulfillment with counseling. My children and husband have led me to pursue the counseling career because I feel that I need to grow as a person in order to be a better mother and wife.