A person’s worldview allows them to navigate easier in the complexity of the surrounding environment. Various factors shape one’s set of fundamental beliefs about the world, and family is one of the most influential among them (Wong et al., 2010). Intergenerational transmission of beliefs about groups, professions, social institutions, physical reality, and spirituality is a significant way in which my family formed my belief system.
A complex relationship with religiosity is one of the most prominent observable consequences: for multiple generations, Christianity has played an organizing role in my family’s day-to-day life. As relatively pious people, my grandparents aligned their major life decisions with the faith they practiced. Although the role of Christianity decreased with each generation, the extent to which it is manifested indirectly in my worldview cannot be overestimated. The multigenerational theme of religiosity contributed to the confrontation between religiosity and atheistic perception in my life.
Another contributory multigenerational theme is a strong preference for the health fields, which is manifested throughout the career choices of several generations. The combination of such family values as practicality, hard work, responsibility, and search for social prestige contributed to the fact that occupations in health fields are common on the genogram. The same values, to an extent, are present in my worldview.
The values of service for others and cooperation are at the center of my belief system and directed my career interest into the sphere of counseling, which seems like an extension of the multigenerational theme in question. Close relationships with my aunts and uncles only consolidated my desire to provide counseling services and thus realize my need for people-oriented work. Consequently, another descriptor for my worldview would be “people-oriented” despite my introversion.
In this way, based on the multigenerational themes and relationships with relatives, I would describe my worldview as human-centric, pragmatic, family-oriented, rational, dualistic, secular, and, at the same time, Christian. It is worth noticing that my Christianity is chiefly cultural. This coexistence of religiosity and atheism makes my worldview fragmented. The enlisted worldview elements were internalized through my family as the central driving force in early childhood socialization (Soehl, 2017).
For instance, social axioms and values regarding the importance of femininity and masculinity standards and their roles in occupational choices were transmitted to me considerably through the relationships inside my family. Although relationships with my close relatives greatly shaped my worldview during my childhood and teenage years, since then, it was refined and modified by a liberal university environment and progressive social circles in which I functioned outside it. Elements of atheistic and postmodern world perception began to cohabit with the listed descriptors and supplant them.
Other Personal Information
Disclosing personal information is essential for a productive counseling session. In addition to family background and careers, multigenerational themes, skills, and competencies, occupational themes are instrumental for efficient career counseling. The assessment could help the counselor determine whether my educational and occupational choices were the most optimal. Additionally, it could facilitate locating the source of career-related concerns, showing the alignment or misalignment between my interests and reality, and discovering career options that may have not even been considered.
A counselor could establish my preference for social and enterprising careers using such personal information as prominent occupational themes. Consequently, based on the themes and corresponding values, work activities, and interests, a counselor could develop a list of more beneficial occupations if the career-related concerns are associated with dissatisfaction with the current job. Thus, occupational themes are a comprehensive source of useful personal information.
My early socialization and relationships with my primary caregivers also could be a source of valuable information for more effective career guidance (particularly, what attachment style I developed). Attachment theory has strong implications for career behavior, rendering caregiver-child relationships of heightened interest for career counselors. For a client who struggles with a commitment to their career choices, exploring relationships with their parents and attachment to them would be instrumental for identifying the source of career-related concerns.
Such a problem as fear of commitment to a profession could result from a lack of parental attention and security in early childhood (Adams & Szepe, 2017). Insufficient level of vocational clarity and self-concept in terms of vocation similarly can be attributed to attachment anxiety (Adams & Szepe, 2017). Therefore, relationships with my caregivers and the type of attachment connecting us could help a counselor locate the roots of my career-related concerns more easily.
Career Development Through the Lens of Theories
Career development is a life-long process involving advancement as well as regression. From the perspective of developmental career theory, time and experience influence a person’s perspective on their professional activity, career values, and goals (Zunker, 2015). I can observe this phenomenon in my personal career development. During childhood and adolescence, my career values and desires were in the process of formation. Early on, I did not consider becoming a counselor or even working in related fields and preferred more typically artistic activities. The desire to self-actualize in vocational psychology was established during my late teenage years.
According to the theory, currently, I am supposed to be in the phase of exploration. Yet, the possibility of selecting another specialization within the same domain or a different occupation altogether does not sound appealing, as I feel secure in my career choice. Developmental career theory seemingly suggests that MBTI and SII results are changeable. My SII assessment shows very similar high scores in conventional, social, and enterprising themes. Based on the theory, the results could somewhat change with one of the themes becoming more or less pronounced, as change is a part of career advancement.
Understanding one’s strengths and talents is a basic but instrumental element in choosing a vocation. Trait and factor theory operates entirely on a similar premise – the necessity to match individuals’ inherent talents to a particular job for the fullest professional satisfaction (Zunker, 2015). Exploring my aptitudes and abilities in order to work on those that are insufficient for the career of my choice is an essential element of trait and factor theory applicable to me. Nevertheless, in my case, relying on the theory, counseling is not necessarily the best vocational match, as it demands advanced interpersonal and communication skills.
While I do not lack social skills, I would not consider myself as naturally talented in this sphere either. Therefore, based on the theory, pursuing a vocation within psychology is not the most optimal choice for me. Since SII results primarily demonstrate interests, its results do not significantly inform the theory’s use: the assessment concentrates on skills rather than personal preferences. My MBTI results could be more helpful within the framework of the theory in question as MBTI identifies potential skills. Yet, competence assessment would be more inappropriate for trait and factor theory.
Familial relationships and early parent-child communication are significant yet sometimes overlooked elements of one’s career development. Roe’s personality theory bridges this gap, suggesting that one’s occupational choice is largely impacted by whether caregivers accept, avoid, or overprotect their child (Zunker, 2015). The type of parent-child communication supposedly forms a person’s preference for people-oriented or non-people-oriented professions. In my case, the theory could explain the choice for a career in counseling and my interest in people generally, by growing up with casually accepting parents who neither overprotected nor neglected me.
According to the theory, satisfaction of acceptance and love needs in early childhood prompts interest in other people, in contrast to interest in things or information cultivated by parents or overprotecting caregivers (Zunker, 2015). Loving and secure communication with my parents created a strong need to connect with others. The MBTI and SII assessments corroborate Roe’s Personality Theory, as jobs in the domain of social sciences are shown to be one of the most attractive for my personality type (INTP) and pronounced among my occupational themes (conventional, social, and enterprising). Although the MBTI assessment indicates slight introversion, it also demonstrates an inclination for psychology and counseling.
Potential Interventions and Direct Actions
The miracle question technique appears to be particularly useful in career counseling. This questioning method requires a client to envision their future after overcoming an obstacle that they consider the primary problem, for instance, obtaining a promotion or changing career paths (Cormier, 2016). The technique’s chief purpose is to facilitate a client’s career goal formation and enhance their understanding of their desires and how impactful these desires can be. Additionally, the technique serves to establish how far or close a client is to their ultimate career goals, diminishing uncertainty and bringing hope (Cormier, 2016).
The miracle question could be used with a client with my background and assessment results during one of the very first sessions after identifying the source of concerns. Notably, for INTPs, who, in contrast to ISTPs, focus on the future and the big picture, the miracle question could help clarify their career development vision. Hence, the technique aligns with the way my personality type perceives information, allowing me to make counseling more effective.
Another helpful intervention for clients similar to myself is voice dialogue. The intervention is based on the premise that an individual comprises a multitude of personalities or selves. Voice dialogue encourages a client to explore and reconcile their inner contradictions by initiating a conversation among several parts of their psyche (Degges-White et al., 2020). The technique is applicable when a client feels that they have several conflicting values systems, beliefs, or opinions. Voice dialogue could also be effective for persons who cannot decide how to feel about an experience or a situation (Degges-White et al., 2020).
In career counseling, a specialist could employ the intervention to resolve a client’s apprehension regarding the choice between two similarly appealing degrees or career chances. In my case, voice dialogue could assist in resolving a contradiction stemming from the desire to self-actualize in psychology and internalized family and societal expectations, tempting me to reconsider my occupational decisions. SII results reflect my almost identical interest level in jobs belonging to conventional and social occupational themes (particularly, counseling and helping). Therefore, voice dialogue is considered when working with polarities in perceiving one’s career.
Lastly, contingency contracting could be used to shape a client’s behavior and prompt their productiveness and career development. Although the intervention is typically used in family and couple therapy or treatments for physical and behavioral conditions, it appears to be also highly applicable in career counseling. The intervention is based on a reward system, and it involves identifying behavior that needs to be acquired or corrected and outlining the consequences of acting accordingly or failing to do so (Alwahbi, 2020).
Contingency contracting necessitates close collaboration between a counselor and a patient and could be employed at later therapy stages. This technique seems appropriate for clients struggling with implementing the change or progressing in their careers due to a lack of expertise or skills. Relying on my experience as a student, contingency contracting might be even more productive for clients seeking career guidance and counseling in higher education (Alwahbi, 2020). The intervention is effective for various types of clients – seeking to improve their academic results or work performance.
Firstly, growing up in a relatively religious family has considerably influenced my world perception and value system, even though currently my worldview cannot be described as entirely or even largely Christian. For a psychology specialist, taking into consideration such cultural factors as religion or past religious affiliations is not only significant for exploration in connection to a client’s personality but also for ensuring that culturally competent counseling is provided.
A client’s spiritual beliefs can, to an extent, provide insight into their career values, views, and opinions. Although religion is not a sole determining factor, in combination with others, it could, to a varying degree, predetermine an individual’s career path. Consequently, considering a client’s past or present religious commitments would allow a psychologist to tailor career counseling to their particular needs.
Secondly, my ethnicity is another element that a counselor should consider when working with a client such as myself. The significance of belonging to an ethnic minority has been extensively supported in counseling practice as the principle of matching clients and counselors based on their ethnicity became more widespread (Kim & Kang, 2018). For instance, the number of sessions and therapeutic alliance is positively correlated with the ethnical matching of clients and counselors (Kim & Kang, 2018).
This positive correlation could be explained by the bond more easily created between two people belonging to the same in-group. Additionally, a counselor of the same ethnicity could more in-depth comprehend and analyze specific career-related obstacles that a client encounters. Therefore, race as a cultural factor has the potential to directly influence career counseling outcomes.
Thirdly, cultural values as a factor should also be taken into consideration. Some nationalities or ethnic minorities emphasize the importance of collectivism, while others, on the contrary, of individualism. These ethnic values determine the decision-making process, including career-related matters. From the perspective of a counselor, considering the cultural values of an African-American client, for instance, would be beneficial for understanding their career choices and development (Smith et al., 2019).
It is suggested that African-American youth is prone to adopt individualistic values, prompting them to pursue material success and be more inclined to competition (Smith et al., 2019). Such cultural knowledge is particularly relevant to career guidance.
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Degges-White, S., Kepic, M., Hermann-Turner, K., & Killam, W. K. (2020). Counseling the contemporary woman: Strategies and interventions across the lifespan. Rowman & Littlefield.
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Smith, E. P., Witherspoon, D. P., Bhargava, S., & Bermudez, J. M. (2019). Cultural values and behavior among African American and European American children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 1236–1249.
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Zunker, V. G. (2015). Career counseling: A holistic approach (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.