Happy National Career Development Month! Each November, the National Career Development Association (NCDA) reminds us of the importance of lifelong career development and the role that career development professionals play in supporting clients’ self-awareness, goal-setting, and personal empowerment.
Creating career interventions to break barriers: empowering lives and achieving equity.
NCDA is the recognized leader in developing standards for the career development profession, for the provision of career counseling programs and services, and for the evaluation of career information materials. As a proud NCDA member and Kuder associate, I’m thrilled that the president of NCDA is Dr. Spencer Niles, senior vice president of research for Kuder, and dean and of the School of Education at the College of William and Mary.
This year’s Career Development Month theme is “Creating Career Interventions to Break Barriers: Empowering Lives and Achieving Equity.” According to Dr. Niles, the theme “captures the essence of our work." I couldn't agree more.
Dr. Niles says that we each empower others to break through the barriers they encounter in their careers – whether they're systemically based or internally generated. "As career development professionals," he says, "we realize that helping others clarify and achieve their goals requires creative interventions that keep pace with the challenges people experience today.”
The career development practitioner's role in supporting clients facing barriers.
In my work as a career coach, I find an increasing number of middle-aged adult clients are redefining their career identities and leaving careers they’ve had for many years to enter careers that are more fulfilling and aligned with their interests. These clients encounter barriers associated with entering a new field for the first time, which means they often lack the particular training, certification, and work experiences to secure employment.
But there are strategies that we can put into motion to mitigate these barriers. We begin with a thorough self-discovery process in which we evaluate the client's personal interests, skills confidence, and work values. We discuss things like nurturing their social networks, investing in professional development or re-credentialing, and tailoring their resumes to the positions for which they're applying, paying particular attention to highlighting transferable skills. We identify strategies and develop resources to put them ahead of the competition and highlight the incredible value they bring personally to the field. To say that I find this work fulfilling is an understatement — it's truly an honor and a privilege.
Career development practitioners—get involved!
Are you a career development practitioner looking for ways to get involved in Career Development Month? Here are a few easy ways to do so:
Managing the Challenges Associated with Career Advancement
Fear: A Common Theme in Private Practice