COUN 5279 Unit 4 Assignment Job Loss Case Study
Counseling is an intricate discipline consisting of vital components. Careful consideration of each component is mandatory if the counseling process should be effective. This paper analyzes the case of three individuals of different ages who are having job loss. The author discusses the career developmental stage of each individual, impact of job loss, career assessment, appropriate career counseling strategies and advocacy.
Counseling consists of more than providing directions to clients facing life challenges. In a special way, the counselor must understand the client in terms of personality, phase of life development, problem-solving skills and appropriate counseling strategy for him/her. Ignorance of careful evaluation of the case would lead to ineffective counseling processes, which would be hurting to both the client and counselor. As such, the importance of keen consideration of the tenets of counseling before engaging in the process cannot be overemphasized.
Career Development Stages
Joe is 60 years old, hence, in the consolidation phase of career development, which consists of individuals aged at thirty five years and above. At consolidation phase, he should experience advancement followed by seniority in his career, according to Super Theory. It is expected that Joe has experienced the earlier four stages: crystallization, specifications, implementation and stabilization, at ages 14-18; 18-21; 21-24 and 24-35, respectively (Super, 2020). Angela is also at the consolidation phase of vocational development. At age 40, it is expected she has undergone the previous four stages as her father. Peter, the grandson, is in the specifications stage, aged 20 years.
The cultural considerations are varied for each individual. Joe is entering his senior ages, and the job loss could result in depression due to loss of self-esteem; anxiety owing to failure to provide for his family and negative self-image owing to imagined depressing perception from his peers who attained self-actualization at earlier stages of their lives. In particular, older citizens are more sensitive to respect from youngsters; and any gesture interpreted as disrespect would translate to failure to cooperate during the counseling process or total rejection of counseling altogether.
The cultural implications for Angela could not be ignored. She is a mother aged at 40 years, and at her age, she is expected to provide readily for her family. Also, she is expected to advance in career since she is within the consolidation phase. Such expectations would point her to becoming a senior employee or even part of the managerial team. Besides, female persons are particularly sensitive to emotional content of speech and social interactions. Thus, during the counseling sessions, the counselor should exhibit emotional intelligence. At some point, therapeutic conversations would yield remarkable results.
Peter’s cultural implications are equally significant. At 20 years, he has aspirations which are common among young adults. Also, acquiring the employment most likely imparted a sense of responsibility on him, which motivated him further towards achieving his life goals. Besides, at 20 years, his self-esteem is still developing while his personality is being molded before attaining self-actualization. Therefore, while counseling him, the professional should pay close attention to building the young man’s self-esteem. Also, young individuals tend to be jovial and open to social interactions, which means the counselor should try to make the session lively to encourage Peter’s active participation.
Impact of Job Loss
The implications of loss of employment for Joe are expected to be immense. At age 60, he is not far from becoming a senior citizen, which is highly associated with increased health risks due to a weaker immune system. Moreover, certain medical conditions such as prostatic cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia affect older men more than younger ones. The loss of employment brings into question the source of finances to meet Joe’s health needs in senior years (Hsu, 2019). Without health insurance, he is unlikely to meet the needs out of his own pocket. In addition, he is expected to leave substantial property as inheritance to his daughter and grandson. He will be incapable of giving them property if he has not been saving and making reliable investments. The mentioned factors are likely to drive him to depression and other mood disorders.
Angela at 49 years is the main bread winner and is looked upon to fend for her aging father and newly adult son. The aging father may not be able to partake in income earning in his senior years, and he might be fully dependent upon her support. Besides, the son has just entered adulthood and is yet to establish himself as financially competent. Thus Angela may be the family’s sole bread winner, and the employment loss may contribute to depression and other mental disorders.
Peter has just begun his life as an adult. He is expected to plan his future by acts such as saving capital to pay fees for higher learning and engaging in wise investments to increase the family’s financial power. Moreover, he could lend his mother a helping hand in meeting the family’s needs. Thus, the loss of employment would be detrimental to his well-being. He could develop depression, anxiety and similar mental disorders. Nonetheless, Joe and Peter may have better mental prognosis than Angela, as studies reveal individuals at the extreme of ages cope with emotional trauma better than middle-aged individuals (Hsu, 2019). Thus the counselor should note that more sessions may be required for Angela than Joe or Peter.
Self-Concept would be an appropriate assessment strategy for Joe. What Joe believes about his personality, his goals, achievements and failures would be instrumental for the counselor. Self-concept enables ruling out disorders such as depression and working out reliable solutions (Fouad, 2017). The Self-Concept would likewise yield remarkable results in career assessment of Angela. At forty, what she believes about herself, her achievements and pitfalls would point the counselor to what intervention to apply.
The Trait and Factor Theory would assist in assessing Peter. Assessing his traits and capabilities using a standard assessment tool might aid the counselor in finding reliable interventions (Fouad, 2017). The Trait and Factor Theory is particularly successful for younger persons for whom Self-Concept would yield dismal results due to fewer life experiences compared to older persons.
Career Counseling Strategies
For Joe, the most appropriate strategy would be creating and maintain a therapeutic relationship. Majority of career counselors apply career aptitude tests besides personality tests, but Joe is in the stabilization stage. His primary need would be expressing the fears, worries, desires and interests, which would yield more desirable results than aptitude tests or personality tests (Walden University, 2020). Angela would benefit more from defining goals. Since she is aged 40 and has attained the stabilization phase, she would need to know her desired place for the next five years.
An additional strategy in defining goals would be to ask her which other job she would enjoy doing, apart from the lost one. She may apply career adaptability to increase satisfaction and success (Hartung & Cadaret, 2017). Peter would benefit from understanding the job market. Owing to his young age, the counselor may engage him in a conversation that creates room for self-exploration such that Peter gets to understand his potential talents and abilities. At the specifications stage, self-exploration would enable him understand what tasks he handles perfectly. Also, an understanding of the job market would protect him from unprecedented career decline while engaging in a profession that is dwindling.
Counselors have a variety of means for advocating the career and educational development of their clients. Firstly, they could attend municipal and community meetings that discuss workforce and career development. The action would make them acquainted with career development approaches that could be extended to the clients’ service. Furthermore, counselors could testify at local hearings regarding legislations having direct influence on clients. The counselors may also assist clients who would endeavor to testify or write articles for local and international newspapers.
In a nutshell, counseling is a broad discipline with intricate components that should be considered for the counseling process to be effective. Various items that are evaluated include the client’s age, stage of career development, cultural identity and habits and the appropriate career counseling strategy. These facts have been well described in this paper.
- Fouad, N. A. (2017). The role of theory in improving evidence-based career interventions. Society for Vocational Psychology: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice. https://doi.org/10.17125/svp2016.ch7
- Hartung, P. J., & Cadaret, M. C. (2017). Career adaptability: Changing self and situation for satisfaction and success. In Psychology of career adaptability, employability and resilience (pp. 15-28). Springer, Cham.
- Hsu, H. C. (2019). Age differences in work stress, exhaustion, well-being, and related factors from an ecological perspective. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(1), 50. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fijerph16010050
- Super, D. E. (2020). Life-Span, Life-Space Career Theory and Counseling. Career Development and Counseling: Putting Theory and Research to Work, 95.
- Walden University (2020) Top Five Techniques of Career Counselors. Walden University, Education for Good. Retrieved from https://www.waldenu.edu/online-masters-programs/ms-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling/resource/top-five-techniques-of-career-counselors at 1230 H GMT, 29th January.