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Career Counseling (Case Study)

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Discuss about the Career Counseling.



Career counseling is a way through which Counselors and guides help one to understand and know oneself and their world of work better. This aid in making better career decisions which in long term promotes great development in career and life (Heppner & Jung, 2012). Career counseling enables a person to choose a career which is tuning in, completely with the skills and interest he has.

This report addresses Mr. Tan who is the counseling supervisor. The report throws a light on career counseling of a 44 year old teacher. Here we will follow and discuss the theories and assessment tools related to career counseling. In context with that we will examine the professional and ethical responsibilities in the counseling process.

The report has been divided into separated parts where first part thoroughly studies the case of Mr. John whereas second focuses on analyzing theories which relate the most with the present case. The third part discusses all the assessments methods and procedures which would be applied the client.

Case study on client’s situation

This report closely studies John and his present conflict and dissatisfaction with work. John is a teacher and has been working since last 15 years. He seeks for career counseling because of an unsatisfactory work appreciation which raises a question in his mind of whether he should continue with teaching profession. Furthermore, to make his situation worse his 17 years son was recently diagnosed with personality disorder. These issues are leading to conflicts between him and his spouse. This all is making John feel that he is not justifying with his work or his works are not being appreciated well. In fact, he feels he is not enjoying what he is doing. He senses lack of intellectual challenge in his present job and suspects a need to explore a new road. John is really confused with whether continuing with job will be fruitful or not. He finds it sickening. It seems that he has lost the urge of being a passionate teacher. Now, it becomes counselors’ responsibility to assist the client in a way that he may grow a liking towards his job or may discover his new interests towards some other profession. This career counseling of John was divided into five sessions over a period of three months. During counseling sessions he mentioned about the parents of his students who do not involve in their children’s activity and assessment, yet expect him to work beyond his level. John considers his to job really tedious which makes him feel an extra burden of being responsible with less freedom and less satisfaction.

Career counseling theories considered

On the first session itself, the client was communicated about the theories and ethical duties of a counselor under the guidance of counselor’s supervisor. The most prior objective of career counseling is to support a client in the upheaval from the exploration of their interest, traits and abilities till making decisions related to career. It is a counselor’s duty to study the client well and apply only those techniques or procedures which are coherent with the case the procedures or modalities that are applied should have grounded theory or proper scientific foundation (Ivey, Ivey & Maquett, 2013). Counselors should be aware of the client’s case and should not proceed with any such modalities which may prove to be harmful to client. One should not opt for any such harmful methods also if the client has asked for it.  The goals developed in course of the counseling helped John in the later sessions to analyze himself better and be ready to accept the internal psychological movement. The client was made aware of the phases which he will go through during the first counseling procedure which includes the above mentioned exploration phase up till the final decision-making phase (Robert & Kelly, 2014). The first day of counseling allowed the client to discover and test every possible option which was available and would help him in decision making in the later stages of counseling. A Career Diamond model was followed to achieve the expected outcomes. Further it was explained clearly to Mr. John if, he does not follow the model accordingly and that is if he takes a straight-line move (from A to D) not deeply exploring the external and personal factors it may lead him to future dissatisfaction (Robert & Kelly, 2014). This model was chosen for a reason that is a step by step revelation of Mr. John’s assessment towards his understanding of himself.


Career counseling theories applied

In demand of above mentioned model, the most appropriate theories of career counseling which can be utilized was reviewed on the second counseling session. First being the trait-factor theory, proposed by Frank Parson which matches people in a static way with the environment (Muratori & Smith, 2015). The three main postulates which describe this theory are individual’s traits, attributes, talents (Creager & Deacon, 2012). Putting emphasis on these traits and then comparing with the available jobs increase the chances of a person being successful and performing with complete passion. Nevertheless, this kind of talent matching will be profitable only with help of counseling. Whilst second was the Career ladder of the famous theorist Donald Super. It describes the career development stages of a person over a lifetime presenting the view of psychological movement. This process shows an overall evolving process. The Super’s theory divides lifespan development into 5 stages that is growth (4-13 years), exploration (14-24 years), establishment (25-44 years) maintenance (45-65 years) and disengagement (65 and above). The trait-factor theory was assumed to be helpful to examine John’s abilities and skills and thought it would help recommend him more likely successful profession which would finally help him move forward in life (Di Fabio, Palazzeschi & Bar?On, 2012). Besides, Super Theory was thought to target John’s career development and would aid Counselor to scrutinize John’s career growth up till now, also offering an insight to his future stages. Towards the end of the day, john was able to express his attributes and skills which being a bit carefree attitude towards work. It was also observed with help of theory that john is more keen towards some creative work than being into a monotonous work day after day.  Study in reference with Super theory suggested a minimal growth in John’s career which was most probably result of weak exploration of interest during the age of 14-24.


On the third counseling session John conveyed the counselor of his childhood being full of hardship. His father died when he was quiet young because of which his studies were affected very badly. He went through many hardships from then. He was not able to pursue higher degree and had to go with a teaching career to support his mother. This made counselor understand his dislike toward his work and why he was not able to enjoy his work. Being close to his mother he developed a liking for cooking and baking. He developed this skill with growing age and now loves to cook and bake. This gradually has become his hobby. It was found suitable this day to make John understand RIASEC a career choice theory by John L. Holland. As of now, John was clear with his exploration of skills and talents. He now could be showed a way towards environment choice in regards with his skills. He was made to understand how important it is to make an environment choice in accordance to once traits and personality which the Holland code clearly suggested. RIASEC referred to as a representation of different personalities as Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (Nicodemus, 2012). Counselor with the help of his supervisor Mr. Tan guided John in selecting his work environment priority. John being much of artistic and enterprising personality was suggested of initiating with a business of his own. Being financially stable now and also in want of being his own boss, John was seen to agree on this with less hesitation.

Self-Esteem: An important aspect

Fourth session was started with emphasis on a counselor’s responsibility of understanding and guiding a client well. Keeping a client’s case study confidential also lies in professional and ethical responsibility.  At this point counselor did considered self-esteem of John at work. It is a very important driving factor which motivates a person at work. Self-esteem achieved in work suggests a person being accepted, recognized and safe in his working environment. This in turn boosts up the self-esteem even more providing that energy and strength to work even harder (Cai et al., 2015). Hence considering this view proved to be important as John has earlier mentioned about his work not being appreciated which may have affected his self-esteem. This was further explored as to make the reason for his unhappiness clear. His satisfaction in being his own boss lightens up the point of not being recognized for his present work.


Assessment tools applied

On any level of counseling, counselor can opt for assessment tools. The time when counselor planned to assess the client he did explained all the measured risks and benefits which the client would get (Hseih & Huang, 2014). Here, after going through the whole case it was realized that the theories applied were the best suited for the client to achieve the satisfaction and clear picture about his profession which initially was the basic requirement. Counselor did proceed with two of the assessment tools which analyzed the theories and John’s choices well.

On the fifth and the last session Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was used where of several question was posed to John like is he inwardly or outwardly focused, on what basis does he take decisions (Lloyd, 2012). Another assessment tool Thomas Johnson Temperament Analysis (T-JTA) was conducted which carried 180 questions considering 9- bipolar traits (Johnson & Carver, 2012). These test resulted in confirmation of the analysis based on theories discussed be true with the assessment conducted. At this stage John’s personality and his choice of career was clear. According to MBTI he falls under the category of INFP (introversion, intuitive, feeling, percieving) which suggest John being idealistic, sensitive, caring and loyal. Also he is someone who values inner harmony and is warm and empathetic. The T-JTA revealed him to be depressive, quite and an impulsive character. These traits have to be looked into so to pull him out of such state of mind. His priority for now was to explore new field and opt to enter business field with his skills in cooking which would satisfy his longing for self-esteem and be his own boss. Yet it was advised to John by the counselor to take advice from certain experts for his opportunities and chances in this field.


Personality of Client

Growing counseling revealed John as an emotional person. He is very much attached to his family. Recent, ongoing disturbances were making him weak inside which adversely was affecting his work as well. His son’s condition was stressing him out more and more. He is a man for whom relationships matters a lot. The conflicts with his spouse are like loss of support for him. The Personality Type Theory suggests, he being a type D. D refers to Depression. People who are type D are very gloomy, easily irritable and have anxiety problems (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). Nevertheless, further conversations helped to calculate that he was not Type D earlier this happened to him with course of time.

Mr. John’s case history throws a clear light on his personality. He has a loving and caring nature. His love for his family is immense, any trouble with them disturbs him badly which shows he has a medium to low concentration power. Besides, he seems not be willing enough to do whole load of hard work instead it seems he wishes to do something which satisfies his interest and longing. In the above mentioned sessions he showed clear interest in cooking and baking which was imparted to him by his mother.


Each and every client for a counselor is a different individual all over. There are no such cookie cutter counseling procedures available which may fit exactly (McIlveen, Beccaria & Burton, 2013). Henceforth, many different paths was be analyzed where John could be taken to. It entirely depends on the counselor on which paths he may wish John to lead connected with his case study closely. The above counseling sessions advocate John a change of profession as the current job profile does not lie under his interests and likings. He may opt for going on with his bakery love. Nevertheless he may also elect to go for some other job but in same profession under the guidance of some expertise.



Cai, Z., Guan, Y., Li, H., Shi, W., Guo, K., Liu, Y., ... & Hua, H. (2015). Self-esteem and proactive personality as predictors of future work self and career adaptability: An examination of mediating and moderating processes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 86, 86-94.

Creager, M. F., & Deacon, M. M. (2012). Trait and factor, developmental, learning, and cognitive theories. Career counseling: Foundations, perspectives, and applications, 43-79.

Di Fabio, A., Palazzeschi, L., & Bar?On, R. (2012). The role of personality traits, core self?evaluation, and emotional intelligence in career decision?making difficulties. Journal of Employment Counseling, 49(3), 118-129.

Heppner, M. J., & Jung, A. K. (2012). When the music changes, so does the dance: With shifting US demographics, how do career centers need to change. Asian Journal of Counselling, 19(1), 2-27

Hsieh, H. H., & Huang, J. T. (2014). The Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Proactive Personality on Career Decision Self?Efficacy. The Career Development Quarterly, 62(1), 29-43.

Ivey, A., Ivey, M., & Zalaquett, C. (2013). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society. Nelson Education.

Johnson, S. L., & Carver, C. S. (2012). The dominance behavioral system and manic temperament: motivation for dominance, self-perceptions of power, and socially dominant behaviors. Journal of affective disorders, 142(1), 275-282.

Lloyd, J. B. (2012). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and mainstream psychology: analysis and evaluation of an unresolved hostility. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 33(1), 23-34.

McIlveen, P., Beccaria, G., & Burton, L. J. (2013). Beyond conscientiousness: Career optimism and satisfaction with academic major. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(3), 229-236.

Muratori, M. C., & Smith, C. K. (2015). Guiding the talent and career development of the gifted individual. Journal of Counseling & Development, 93(2), 173-182.

Nicodemus, K. M. (2012). Personality type and job satisfaction. In Physicians’ pathways to non-traditional careers and leadership opportunities (pp. 11-17). Springer New York.

Perdrix, S., Stauffer, S., Masdonati, J., Massoudi, K., & Rossier, J. (2012). Effectiveness of career counseling: A one-year follow-up. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 565-578.

Robert, T. E., & Kelly, V. A. (2014). Career Issues Over the Life Span. Critical Incidents in Integrating Spirituality into Counseling, 171-182.

Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2016). Theories of personality. Cengage Learning.

Sharf, R. S. (2013). Advances in theories of career development. Handbook of vocational psychology, 3-32.

Walsh, W. B., & Osipow, S. H. (2014). Career counseling: Contemporary topics in vocational psychology. Routledge.

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