Career counseling over the lifespan has more than an occupational focus, it deals with the person’s entire being with a vision that includes one’s lifespan. Career counseling takes into consideration character development, character skills, life roles, individual life and work history, goals, and obstacles. A career counselor not only assists a client with a career plan, but also with a life plan. This paper focuses on two categories of career counseling. The first focus is the history of career counseling as a field of study with the emphasis on when and why career counseling began (1800s as a study of how the shape of one’s head relates to vocational choice), who and what influenced it (Sizer, Parsons, and Davis), and how it has changed (from an individual/community vocational view to an individual/world lifespan view). The second focus is on the application of career counseling by researching two leaders, John Holland’s and Donald Super’s, contributions to career counseling, their theories and assessments and on the biblical aspects of career counseling and how each theory relates to the Bible.
Career Counseling Over the Lifespan
Seeking the services of a career counselor can provide many benefits. One can gain a deeper understanding of him/herself, gain information on education and careers, gain sills in decision-making, gain support in conducting a job search or applying to higher education, and gain support coping with career transitions (NCDA, “Why Seek Career Counseling, 2007). How a career counselor provides services depends on his or her theoretical approach to career counseling.
Documented career counseling dates back to the mid 1800s with forward thinkers such as Nelson Sizer, Frank Parsons, and Jesse Buttrick Davis (Gummere, 1988; Hershenson, 2008; Pope, 2009). The focus at that time was social reform and vocational guidance. This has progressed to an approach that deals with career development throughout a lifespan (Pope, 2000). Theories and assessments have developed that look at the many variables of work, personality, interests, and needs (Whiston, 2003). The study has broadened with the use of technology and has been challenged by the many considerations of multiculturalism (Lewis & Coursol, 2007; Whiston, 2003). A creative God who modeled work and rest created man and his relationship with work. Career counseling provides an opportunity to cultivate the relationship of God and man, assists with the discovery of one’s callings and talents, and enables one to fulfill God’s plans for his or her life.
The History and Development of Career Counseling
Pope (2000) describes how social reform, economic change, and federal legislation were significant factors in the evolution of career counseling. The development of career counseling began as a social movement linked to economic changes. In the early 1900s, young people were leaving the family farms and moving to cities to find...