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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three Skills

Okay, boys and girls, this is the rewrite to yesterday’s post so you tell me if it’s a win or lose.

Systematic Career Intervention may help clients by teaching or reinforcing skills they need in the workforce.  Three skill that can be verified both by our text and my work with the homeless the ability to find search for and find a job, the ability to evaluate and make career decisions and the development of a proper work ethic or attitude towards their work environment.

The majority of the clients entering my facility come from unstable situations, have suffered some form of abuse normally both mental and physical, and often self medicate with drugs. Each of these factors makes them poor job candidates. When in residence we often first must make clear to them to need for stable employment and how to become gainfully employed. Things addressed in this area are, how to fill out the application, write the résumé, speak during the job interview, and even how to shake hands with a perspective employer.  Without these most basic skills no other skills are at all useful to many of my clients.

In the normal life in modern time the average person will need to make career decisions and may seek intervention for them. This includes finding an education program, finding a job, or requesting a transfer at work. These decisions may be short or long term and will vary depending on the need of the individual. Two college students may come to the same counselor’s office seeking a job one just needing a few dollars to go out with their friends and the other needing help with tuition.

Some weeks ago a client came to my works station with just this issue. At twenty two he was having trouble deciding what to do with his life both in short and long term. He expressed to me that he had worked in housekeeping and might stay in that line of work, considered joining the Navy, and had a desire to be involved in politics.

A few questions revealed that he had no clear view of what it meant to work in government. This prompted my suggesting he gain and education in this area and return to it later in life. That left two options leading me to first ask if he had spoken to a recruiting sergeant. He responded in the negative, and I advanced the young man research janitorial work then speak to a Navy recruiter. On doing this I suggested he way the options so that he could make a decision.

I expressed that the way to way his options is to take two sheets of paper and divide each in half. On one sheet place on the first half all the advantages to his first job choice and on the second half all the disadvantages. He was then to do the same thing with his second job choice and assign a number value to each positive and negative. Subtract pluses from minuses and then compare how the two jobs had scored. To close this conversation I explained to him that this would not be the last job of his life and that if he made one decision it was by no means permanent. When counseling a client with high anxiety reminding them that they have that option is very important.

Maintaining a healthy work ethic is difficult in the modern world of downsizing and layoffs. It is a large issue given that many of my clients work until they have money then live off that until they absolutely need a job.  A poor work ethic will slow development and reuptake into the economy. It should be noted that “optimal human functioning” and “fulfilling human potential” (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p.3) would be nearly impossible without an appropriate work ethic.

I often inform clients that they should work as if they had the job they want so that when they get the job they want none of their previous behavior will hamper them. Back in two thousand seven I worked with a man who wanted to be a wrapper and had spent hundreds on building his studio. He worked as if he had no desire to be there and likewise rarely could report having laid down tracks for a new song. What he took to work was what he brought home.

Niles, S. G., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. G. (2009). Introduction to Career Development Interventions. In Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century (3rd ed., Ch 1).