Self-Assessments for Career Counselling

The purpose of a self-assessment helps clients to clarify their values, skills, personality and interests that can identify options for client’s future career.

Assessments are also important for assessing talents, interests, skills and values and identify potential careers that match personal profiles. Exploring careers with a client is essential as it helps to develop ideas and offer advices on researching careers and job search.

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The objectives for assessment in career counseling are to understand the importance and the role of assessment in counseling. Secondly it helps to identify psychological constructs and associate operational definitions. It distinguishes between standardized and non-standardized assessments. It also identifies relevant historical issues of assessment and implications for assessment. It recognizes the role and importance of professional organizations with respect to the practice of assessment. It identifies competencies related to assessment practices and also identifies ethical and legal codes affecting assessment

The importance of an assessment entails the collection of information in order to identify, analyze, evaluate and address the problems, issues and circumstances of clients in counseling relationship. Assessment is used as a basis for identifying problems, planning interventions. Career counselors can help to evaluate and diagnose clients and inform clients and stakeholders. Many counselors make the mistake of identifying assessment by providing a label or diagnosis to client. Assessment will be viewed as a process essential to all elements of counseling. This plays an integral role. Assessments moves beyond the administration of measures involving identifying statements, actions and procedures to help individuals, couples and families making progress in the counseling environment. Although career counselors have the opportunity to limit their scope of practice with respect to modalities, theories and type of clients, a counselor cannot function without an understanding of the process and procedures of assessment in counseling.

Career counselor can also access individual by personality inventory test.

A good career planning process begins with a self-assessment. Each inventory is unique and offers different facets of innate abilities, skill sets, interests, motivating factors, organizational fit, values and aspirations. Conducting an assessment helps to understand the variety of personality types and greatly helps to identify a suitable career options and chart on educational path towards an effective manner.

Career counselors will have to inform individual and also offer advices and review cover letters and resume for the individual. Career counselor will also prepare individual for interview skills helping them to boost their confidence in their interview.

A career counselor can help clients to understand the business-related elements of work that will inspire, motivate and determine what type of business-related careers client’s interests are suited for. It identifies three major elements most important in career decisions, which consist of their interests, values and abilities. It provides the best career path matches with the information on the organization culture one would fit best. This is highly recommended for those considering a career in financial institutions, consultancy firms etc.

Using personality tests such as DISC, MBTI, TJTA can help measure the different personality traits of clients to see if the career they choose suit their personality and this is an important assessment as it is helpful in their choice of job scope.

Using DISC evaluates the four key factors which of an individual behavior. DISC stands for, Dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance. The instrument offers a description on the individual general approach. Includes one’s likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness and basic assumptions and what attracts them to a career. (SMU,2014)

MBTI stands for The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, it is an assessment which is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

The MBTI is used for personal development, employee and leadership training, marriage counseling and group dynamics. This instrument helps to classify personalities into four distinct types such as introverts and extroverts, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving. (SMU,2014)

Another personality test, career counselors can take in consideration is to measure interests instead of skills and abilities. This tool comprises four scales of assessment such as the general occupational themes where the six areas comprise of realistic, Artistic, social, enterprising and conventional.

The basic interest scales suggest areas that are more motivating and rewarding for an individual. An occupational scale indicates individuals potential compatibility of interests likes and dislikes measured against those who manifest job satisfaction. Personal style scales with insights on preferences in relation to work style, learning leadership, risk taking and teamwork. (SMU,2014)

Career counselors can use the five-factor model to achieve a higher degree of consensus than any other trait taxonomy in history of personality trait psychology. The five broad factors that have to be considered are extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness. The five factors are reflected in behavior is when extraversion is prominence in social organizations. Neuroticism is when there is poor marital functioning, impaired academic performance when characteristics are manifested by characteristic of anxiety, moodiness, worry, envy and jealousy. Agreeableness is when there is conflict resolution tactics and greater social support from others. Conscientiousness is the avoidance of risky behaviors, an higher academic achievement. Openness to experience is when there is a greater engagement with existential challenges, artistic expression.

There are also trait orientated theories that career counselors can consider which is accomplished first by studying the individual, second by surveying occupations and then matching the individual with the occupation. Career decisions are based on measured abilities and it is considered as a major theory of career development.

Before an assessment is conducted, the responsibilities of a career counselor are to maintain assessment security and integrity. Upon receiving the assessment materials, career counselor must protect security and value by guarding them against improper use and distribution. Materials should be stored in locked files or storage places that cannot be easily accessed but only by authorized personnel. This avoids reproduction of test materials both electronic or mechanically. Materials can only be released to career counselors who are qualified to interpret and use them properly and also able to safeguard materials securely and with integrity.

Career counselors have to prepare clients for assessment. Career counselors are responsible in making clients to give their hundred percent on performing on their educational assessment as it is a huge factor that may affect the result of the assessment. Career counselors have the duty to administer the assessment and provide them with basic information that they require inclusive of the assessment administered. The content and abilities will emphasize on the standard or level of performance scored and how the results of assessment will be use to make decisions. (Mehrens & Lehmann, 1991; Nitko, 2004).

Skills such as paying attention to oral and written directions, writing responses or marking answers in a orderly manner is a important procedure for career counselors to achieve maximum require tasks. (Nitko, 2004; Oosterhof, 2001).

Career counselors also have to prepare test administrators and other materials for testing for accurate test results.

Testing periods should be scheduled at a time that encourages maximum performance from client. It is recommended that no more than two subtests be administered in one sitting and a brief rest period should be given during the subtests. A 10 minutes rest period is recommended. For planning purposes, a time schedule for each subtest is needed. Test administrators should also plan for sufficient time for client to complete the test. Selecting a testing environment is an essential procedure because clients are more comfortable and familiar in their environment, thus giving optimum result. Varying the number of clients, vary to the administrators needed for testing as well.

During the test assessment, testing materials is extremely important as to supply sufficient materials for the assessment conducted. The testing room should be carefully controlled during testing. Clients should be seated in an arrangement that prevents them from seeing the assessment conducted by another person.

Administrators have to collect the testing materials at the end of the test sitting. Test administrators must immediately collect all of the test booklets in order to maintain the security of the testing material. This practice ensures that the testing materials are kept together so that they can be easily accounted for and checked after test administration.

After the test assessment, administrator should preserve the integrity and validity of student results. Checking the answer documents should be examined and clearly marked. Administrator should check answer documents thoroughly and should not alter client’s answer. Administrator should check for stray marks in bar code or sheet registration areas, as these marks can cause test documents to be misidentified or rejected. The identifying information on each client answer documents should be checked for accuracy and completed with required information where necessary as specified by the directions of the administrator.

Career counselor should be organized and when shipping of answer documents, it should be shipped in a assembled order.

The professional responsibilities of a trained counselor are that they should not discriminate their clients. Career counselor should not condone clients of age, religion, ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation.

Career counselors should not disclose confidential information that could lead to the identification of a client or another person’s organization. This is disrespectful and not professional of a counselor.

Counselors should also have the knowledge and have a responsibility to read and understand and follow the ACA code of ethics and adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

The ethical responsibilities of a career counselor are not to misuse assessment results and interpret it wrongly. The reason is to prevent others from misusing the information provided. It is also ethical to respect clients right to know the result.

Counselor needs to monitor the client’s mental health and avoid impairment. Career counselors need to forget about the professional responsibilities when it comes to client’s safety. Another ethical responsibility a career counselor must processed is that before allowing them to resume work. Counselors have to maintain the integrity and security of the assessment. They are not allowed to reproduce another copy of the assessment without the acknowledgement of the client.

Career counselor have to take into consideration of the cultural sensitivity hence need a proper diagnosis of mental disorders

A career self assessment is an important tool that helps to identify possi le avenues on a career path. People who take the assessment can take more ownership for their development and use the system to demonstrate that there are different routes to another organization as well.

James Eastwood, HR director Cable & Wireless

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