Adult Career Counseling in a New Age

argumentative Essay
2081 words
2081 words

Adult Career Counseling in a New Age

The changing workplace - a by-now familiar litany of economic, demographic, organizational, and social changes - has made ambiguity the only certainty in work life. Many adults had little or no career education, guidance, or counseling when they were "in school " and often seek such help now, making job or career changes spurred by their personal stage of development or by the "postmodern" workplace. Although career development is a continuous lifelong process, "media and some scholars continue to dramatize crisis in midlife" (Lea and Leibowitz 1992, p. 8). Crises and transitions can occur at any period, however. Hoyt and Lester (1995) found that the career needs of adults aged 18-25 are particularly not being met. The issues and implications of career counseling for adults in the kaleidoscopic context of today's workplace are the focus of this Digest.

An Adult Perspective on Career Counseling

In this era of organizational restructuring and technological change, individuals can no longer plan on spending their entire working lives with one organization. Life no longer follows a linear path: schooling, work, retirement. Career paths, too, are no longer a linear rise up the ladder to the top. Some analysts proclaim the "new rules of work" : everyone is self-employed and the concept of "job " is disappearing (Hall and Mirvis 1995). Such fundamental changes mean that people need more help than ever with career issues. However, a recent survey of 1,046 adults (Hoyt and Lester 1995) showed that 40% would turn to family or friends first; 37% to counselors. Only 30% had discussed career choices with school or college counselors; only 36% had made a conscious career choice or plan; and, for 4...

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In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the changing workplace has made ambiguity the only certainty in work life. many adults had little or no career education, guidance, or counseling when they were "in school," and often seek such help now.
  • Explains that the job club is an effective network of information exchange and social support for others adrift in the same boat of midlife transition.
  • Explains that "one-stop career centers" are being developed in 16 states with federal funding to bring together comprehensive, integrated career services, such as information on job training, education programs, and financial assistance, in accessible locations like libraries and malls.
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