Are you in Minneapolis or the Twin Cities and looking for someone to help you with your career? If the confusing and overwhelming number of options are freaking you out, I can help ease the discomfort and try to shine a light down a path that you may enjoy heading down.
My name is Ian Felton. I’m a trained career counselor and psychotherapist. I’m a member of the Minnesota Career Development Association, a state affiliate of the National Career Development Association (NCDA). The organization aims to provide professional growth and community, and promote the field of career development.
My career coaching is designed for anyone. Whether you are still in high-school, or seeking a career change later in life, we will work together to try and answer your questions and make a plan for change.
More about career counseling
We will work together to understand your background, including multicultural perspectives, interests, and strengths. We will explore different options by examining various assessments and how you feel regarding what they indicate. Helping people find meaning in their lives almost always involves finding a meaningful career. A meaningful career must provide the rewards that are important to that individual and be a good match with their abilities.
No, specifically, what will we do? (skip this if you don’t want the details of my theoretical approach)
I believe an emerging theoretical approach can best serve the needs and goals of my clients in the realm of career counseling. Specifically, I want to investigate the Career Construction Theory and Life Design Paradigm of Mark L. Savickas. The Career Construction Theory is based upon Super’s theory, but branches off toward a postmodern understanding of career in order to better handle the 21st Century’s globalized work-force and fluid nature of work and self-concept. “Critical to this theory is the notion that careers do not simply unfold but rather, they are constructed by individuals” Goodman (2015). The career paths and self-concepts of the 20th century were more stable. This has changed drastically and the Career Construction Theory aims to adjust a traditional model to account for how society has changed. “No matter how stable individual characteristics might be, the environment is rapidly changing. Therefore, theoretical models are needed that emphasize human flexibility, adaptability, and life-long learning. Moreover, future methods of career counseling should take a dynamic approach that encourages individuals’ imaginative thinking and the exploration of possible selves” Savickas et al. (2009).
The first variable of interest is self-construction. This variable is operationalized with stories. This shift is a critical change in this theory of career counseling. These client stories drive the counseling process rather than traits. The stories are obtained through the Career Style Interview. Heckman (2006) says, “The Career Style Interview elicits self-defining stories that enable a counselor to identify and appreciate the thematic unity in a client’s life. In addition to revealing the life theme, data from a Career Style Interview also manifest the client’s vocational personality and career adaptability.”
The next variable is career adaptability. “Career adaptability is about how individuals implement their storied self into work roles,” says Del Corso & Rehfuss (2011). Savickas describes career adaptability as being comprised of the ABC’s of: attitudes (for coping), beliefs, and competencies. These three attitudes influence four dimensions: concern, control, curiosity, and confidence. These variables want to address how concerned someone is about their path, their level of self-efficacy over controlling it, their level of curiosity about new paths, and their level of confidence about doing specific tasks, according to Del Corso & Rehfuss (2011).
Del Corso & Rehfuss (2011) discuss how each variable has an opposite variable. Opposite career concern is career indifference. Lack of career control leads to career indecision. Opposite career curiosity leads to unrealism. Lack of career confidence leads to career inhibition. A fifth variable, consultation, attempts to capture how much a person wants counseling about their career versus a more independent style.
The five variables are operationalized using a revision to the Career Maturity Inventory, called “The Adaptability Form.” Savickas & Porfeli (2011), the form’s designers, wanted to apply Savickas’ Career Counseling Theory to Crites’ inventory operationalizing the variables according to the following:
The end result for the CMI Form C is that each respondent receives five scores. The first score is a total score for career choice readiness based on the 18 items in the Concern, Curiosity, and Confidence Scales. It measures an individual’s degree of adaptability in career decision making and readiness to make occupational choices. The next three scores are for the Concern, Curiosity, and Confidence Scales. The Concern Scale measures the extent to which an individual is oriented to and involved in the process of making career decisions. The Curiosity Scale measures the extent to which an individual is exploring the work world and seeking information about occupations and their requirements. The Confidence Scale measures the extent to which an individual has faith in her or his ability to make wise career decisions and realistic occupation choices. The fifth score is for the Consultation Scale, which measures the extent to which an individual seeks assistance in career decision making by requesting information or advice from others. Higher scores suggest a more interdependent relational style and lower scores suggest a more independent relational style. The profile of five scores provides a good view of an individual’s attitudes toward career decision making and readiness to make occupational choices. (p. 360)
I believe that counselors should first be suitable models. As it relates to career counseling, counselors should be engaged with the state of their art and continue to grow in their role by attending conferences and networking with other local counselors. Counselors should perform ethically in their role at work and outside of work. In the community, this means acting as a considerate neighbor, patient commuter, and engaged citizen that seeks to make their immediate environment a more hospitable place for all who live in it. I believe this also means speaking in ways that seek to lift up the community rather than tear it down.
I’ve tried to be a contributor to the Minneapolis, Twin Cities, and Minnesota communities specifically by founding a nonprofit in 2008 that seeks to donate musical instruments to schools in distressed areas that need them. For example, in 2015 and 2017, my project donated many instruments to Olsen Middle School in North Minneapolis where almost the entire student body is eligible for free and reduced lunch.
Beyond these aforementioned roles, counselors can be central to communities by acting as healers. Through their engagement with the community they can help to inspire hope and even imbue the community with a kind of healing spirit. When engaged, a counselor’s presence can help provide grounding to the community and perform a valuable role for those seeking assistance and clarity.
I hope I can continue my service to Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, and other communities in Minnesota by helping people find careers and roles that are meaningful to them. If you’d like me to try and help you…
Del Corso, J., & Rehfuss, M. C. (2011). The role of narrative in career construction theory. Journal Of Vocational Behavior, 79334-339. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2011.04.003
Goodman, J. (2015). Handbook of career development: international perspectives. British Journal Of Guidance & Counselling, 43(3), 367-369. doi:10.1080/03069885.2015.1036230
Guindon, Mary H.; Giordano, Francesca G. Capuzzi, David (Ed); Stauffer, Mark D. (Ed). (2012). Career counseling: Foundations, perspectives, and applications, 2nd ed., , (pp. 399-428). New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor &
Heckman, L. (2006). Encyclopedia of Career Development, vols. 2. Library Journal, (14). 178.
Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2011). Revision of the Career Maturity Inventory: The Adaptability Form. Journal Of Career Assessment, 19(4), 355-374.
Savickas, M. L., Nota, L., Rossier, J., Dauwalder, J., Duarte, M. E., Guichard, J., & … van Vianen, A. E. (2009). Life designing: A paradigm for career construction in the 21st century. Journal Of Vocational Behavior, 75239-250. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2009.04.004
Swanson, J. L., & Fouad, N. A. (2010). Career theory and practice : learning through case studies. Los Angeles : Sage,.