Practitioners Guide to Unchartered Waters of Career Counselling

Thursday, January 20, 2022
Jane Artess
We bring you a readable review of our new book dedicated to career counselors. Written by Jane Artess, University of Derby.

On a blustery Autumn day in a staff room near you …

 

Molly

What are you reading?

 

Jo

An amazing new book aimed at empowering and inspiring career practitioners – it’s in three parts focussing on practitioners’ relationships with their practice, those they work with, and the wider structural context of career guidance.

 

Molly

Wow you sound enthusiastic, why is that?

 

Jo

I like it partly because the list of authors reads like a who’s who of the careers world and partly because it’s written in a very accessible style, is well researched, and is full of suggestions how to improve and extend practice.

 

Molly

So what are you learning?

 

Jo

Strategies to become a critical reflective practitioner lie at its heart …

 

Desmond

Nothing new there then?!

 

Jo

But it’s much more than that. Chapters take you through not only the theoretical place of critical reflection but also deal with the need to learn from mistakes as well as achievements, how to cope with burn-out through mindfulness, practicing ethically, how to recognise oppression and how to challenge it, for instance.

 

Molly

But how does that improve and extend careers practice?

 

Jo

Many chapters offer a range of specific techniques and exercises and importantly confront serious questions about how to make sense of the current complexities facing students making career decisions. Topics such as how to communicate with parents meaningfully, how to build networks and communities of practice, how to help those who don’t know what they want to do, and how to utilise digital technologies – apparently young people are digital natives and I am a digital migrant!

 

Desmond

Does that mean I’m a digital dinosaur?

 

Jo

Possibly!  The final chapters particularly resonated with me. In this post-Covid environment, we are seeing more anxiety, uncertainty and change. Authors show how concepts such as ‘positive uncertainty’ and ‘philosophical guidance’ can be used as approaches to supporting students under pressure. The situation of refugees and immigrants is considered and we know numbers of both are likely to grow, not least because of climate change.

 

Molly

Does it say anything about green careers?

 

Jo

One chapter advocates for sustainable values in career guidance, making choices that avoid jeopardising the needs of future generations, and others discuss conflicts between the needs of individuals and the economic system.

Overall, the place of critical reflection comes to the fore in lots of creative ways, and the importance of practitioner impartiality, transparency and trustworthiness is emphasised. There is even a CRAAP test for practitioners to assess the accuracy of information sources.

 

Desmond

There’s a what?!

 

Jo

You’ll have to read it for yourself…

 

Molly

Should Desmond get this book then?

 

Jo

Definitely yes, he’ll find it very useful.

Actually you can both access it free from here.