One of the defining features of nontraditional students has to cope with the strain of multiple roles that students experience while attempting to complete educational objectives. Nontraditional students must incorporate an additional role strain and transition to being a student. Career construction theory (CCI) offers a framework for assisting nontraditional students in shaping and articulating career identity. More so, CCT interventions aid career specialists working with individuals to construct their self and their identity. The link between career counseling and identity development is clear in the literature. Nontraditional college students in the midst of making career changes may need assistance in reconnecting with past identities or constructing new identities. The CCI is one postmodern intervention that respects the perspective and authorship of the student’s narrative and presents a nontraditional approach as called for in the literature.
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This chapter describes career counseling considerations for African American Men, Latino Men, and Asian American Men. Interpersonal and systemic discrimination are still prominent in society, leading to elevated social and health risks for African American males. Creative career interventions could be beneficial for African American males. Narrative therapy allows clients to tell their unique stories to counselors open to learning new contexts and ways of dealing with challenges and problems within the clients’ realm of possibilities. Counselors using career counseling strategies should remember the unique needs of the populations with which they are working. Feminist theory has been extremely useful in working with marginalized populations, and this orientation can be expanded by the use of relevant career assessments. Asian Americans encounter counselors who promote individualism and focus on the needs of the client without consideration for the impact on the family.
Community colleges serve a critical role within higher education. An open access system can be both affordable and flexible; community colleges prepare students for the increasing need for skilled and educated individuals in the workforce. Although community colleges serve different goals, two primary goals are academic and vocational preparation. The vocational-technical pathway was developed to prepare individuals for entry-level positions in business and industry. Academic advisers support community college students who are preparing to transfer by advising in courses that will transfer as well as assisting with the application processes. Career centers and career counselors at community colleges offer all students a range of services. These services include providing career assessment and counseling, offering job and internship search assistance, reviewing resumes and cover letters, and sponsoring mock interviews. Regardless of the community pathway a client participates within the focus remains providing support to individuals pursuing their personal and professional aspirations.
A vast body of academic research addressing working parents has been completed in an attempt to understand how mothers and fathers approach responsibilities central to both work and family domains and how their perspectives impact career outcomes. Building on role theory, three related constructs offer a continuum to describe the relationship between one”s work role and family role: role conflict between work and family, role balance between work and family, and role enrichment between work and family. Parents experiencing role enrichment may have many of their career development needs met. Working parents may evaluate the degree to which career development needs are being met and find support systems to address any unmet needs. Working parents may be experiencing successes and challenges in both careers and families, which can lead to conflict or enrichment. For this reason, it is inappropriate to separate work and family from career counseling dialogue and interventions.
Caregiving is the act of tending to the needs of children, elderly adults, or sick or disabled individuals. Caregivers may perform duties such as cleaning, shopping, cooking, managing household finances, administering medication and other health care-related duties, and helping with activities of daily living. For those who have mostly or only performed unpaid caretaking duties, career transitions can be difficult to navigate. Caregivers who have to work outside of the home and maintain caretaking responsibilities are often perplexed by the logistics of balancing the two sets of competing responsibilities. Some caretakers may be at greater psychological risk due to the factors that triggered the need to seek employment along with the interruption this change may have on their identity. Career counselors are in a position to help caregivers traverse this new and unfamiliar occupational terrain.
Dual-career households are composed of couples in which both members are committed to professional occupations. Regardless of the phase of the life cycle, dual-career couples face unique stressors related to time constraints, and work responsibilities. In addition to time working at an office, a common arrangement affecting couples’ decisions and family life is working from home. A crucial barrier to couples maintaining an ideal career trajectory is the availability of meaningful employment within a confined geographical area. An additional constraint on working families is availability and accessibility to childcare. When funding childcare becomes a concern, couples may seek financial assistance through government-funded childcare subsidy programs, such as the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). An ideal focus for clinicians working with dual-career couples is on sensitivity, positivity, and intentionality. Couples may also take the therapeutic process as an opportunity to develop a healthy lifestyle to cope with dual-career obligations.
There are many different subgroups of “stay-at-home moms” and “stay-at-home dads”, and members of each of the various groups may face unique obstacles to employment. Although men”s career trajectories are expected to follow a specific path, women”s paths often show a great deal of variety. In some cases, a stay-at-home mother”s partner may prefer that she stay in her role as full-time, primary caregiver. The clash of values between traditional gender roles and economic necessity creates personal difficulties that can be frustrating for women trying to get back into the work world. When mothers are able to secure jobs once their children reach school age, they may still find it difficult to relinquish the caregiver role. As women”s career aspirations shift, their preparation for the return to work may require additional education, which can delay the return to work and create its own set of challenges for the family system.
This book offers chapters with case vignettes in which creative career interventions are applied. Each of these chapters provides a thorough exploration of the career-related challenges and needs of each unique group. The book provides an overview of the unique needs of several populations including high school and community college students; dual-career couples; stay-at-home mothers; working parents; midlife and older adults; caregivers; unwed and teen mothers; formerly incarcerated individuals; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals; veterans; culturally diverse men and women such as African American, Asian American and Latino persons; and other populations. Each population chapter opens with a case vignette in which a client’s story is presented for readers to consider. These cases highlight the diverse array of career and lifestyle-related concerns that clients may bring to counseling. The vignettes are revisited at the close of the chapter to illustrate potential ways of helping clients resolve their concerns. The book contains more than 50 innovative career interventions that are located at the end of the book. These interventions can help one to have greater insight into how creativity can be used when working with clients facing career changes and challenges.
This chapter presents a case study to illustrate the challenges faced by veterans in adjusting to civilian life. Due to differences between the military and civilian life, many veterans struggle with understanding others in a work environment and adapting to changing demands. In fact, most veterans who need mental health treatment never seek it out. Disability is not uncommon among this population. In fact, there are numerous disabilities among this population including both physical disabilities and psychiatric disabilities; posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries are among some of the more common disabilities. There continues to be a stigma regarding seeking out mental health services. In addition to relationship issues, Cornish found that veterans struggled with anxiety, anger, depression, and thoughts of suicide. The numerous challenges faced by veterans in adjusting to civilian life are impacted by a loss of identity and the loss of support.
The occupational opportunities for high school graduates have changed in the past few decades. In recent decades, the educational requirements for jobs across the career spectrum have increased, changing the types of available positions for individuals without postsecondary education. Young adults who understand themselves and the demands of the world of work are better able to make career choices congruent with their values and interests. High school graduates who are adaptable and open minded in their job search will retain employment in a workforce that is constantly changing. It is important for high school students to receive realistic information about their skills, interests, and the job market so that they can make effective career decisions. Recent high school graduates could access the employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Career counselors help high school graduates establish realistic expectations and develop strategies to remain flexible into the working world.