Psych 300, Unit 1, Reflection 1: Her StoryVictoria AllenPsych 300, Athabasca University IntroductionAs a society, we believe that family attitudes, teachers and even our colleagues, all have some impact on our career decisions (Sharf, 2013). A longitudinal sample of high school students from the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study (Eccles, Early, Fraser, Belansky, & McCarthy, 1997, as cited in Gao & Eccles, 2020, page 4), were assessed at the seventh grade and follow-up data was collected in eight waves from 1991 to 2014. Gao and Eccles (2020) questioned the individuals about their aspiration to attain a bachelor’s degree. The protective factors to maintaining high and increasing the aspirations of an individual were a combination of factors (Gao & Eccles, 2020). Increased parental education, increased performance, and increased belief that attainment can be successful were significant predictors of the individuals desire to achieve higher education (Gao & Eccles, 2020). Therefore, the purpose of this session is to understand the client’s influences, values, thoughts, and beliefs on many career-related factors that ultimately shaped a client’s current career decisions and future ideas of further educational success. Client PerspectiveYoung Career Development. As a young person, her teachers and her friends, and even celebrities had influenced her career development. Her first known exposure to stereotypes was made evident by her second-grade teacher, who had asked the kids in the class to make paper-bag puppets of what career they would eventually pursue. Her teacher’s incorrect association of assuming she made a paper-bag nurse puppet lead her to believe that her creation of a paper-bag doctor must only be a career expectation for boys. In third grade, she decided to conform to a group. She became a part of the “unicorn club” and the only way to become apart of this group was to believe that unicorns existed. These were intellectual peers. They created and distributed a weekly newsletter for the unicorn club and were always the first to finish assignments. These outshining peers were particularly motivating for her to do well in school. At the same time, she discovered music of her generation. Karaoke became one of her favorite past-times and she admired her favorite singers. However, her father always discouraged these discussions because musicianship was deemed an improper education. So, she thought she needed a different aspiration. Lifetime Career Development and its Integration. From initially aspiring to be a doctor at a young age, to thinking that it would be fun to become a singer, career ideas began to shift in her youth. Her friend groups changed and expanded. Her family also became a greater influence. She recalls her family and friends telling her “you are so easy to talk to” and “you are very understanding”. During this time, the Dr. Phil show filled her spare time. Watching how he dealt with a variety of people in multifarious circumstances was satisfying to her. Then, she developed a career path during her first year of university, she could become either a teacher, a nurse, or a psychologist. Although multiple options made the decision overwhelming, she graduated with a degree in psychology because that was what she believed to be her first choice for a long time.Awhile after graduation, she found degree-related employment and is currently working with this company for her third year. Although this job is giving her tremendous experience, collaborating with a multidisciplinary team, she is still dissatisfied because the job is sometimes more stressful compared to rewarding. Mental health days were taken proactively. Still, she did not know what career she would continue to pursue, and most higher education programs required 2-3 years experience anyway. Therefore, she is sticking with this job until she starts school again as a full-time student and is setting goals with big dreams. Patterns and Themes in Career Development. The pattern in her career development surrounds helping people and a recurring theme is having unchanged external supports. Many jobs are applicable to helping people. Occupations involving serving others include her aspirations to become a doctor, nurse, teacher, and psychologist. Her aspiration to become a singer could also be a vessel for healing others. Equally important to helping others are her reports of being constantly sought for advice by her friends and family. She has influenced them. Now, she is determined to help individuals professionally.Work Roles. The role of work in her life has largely been centered around the education needed to achieve an affluent lifestyle. Her family attitude toward money emphasized the importance of frugality as they grew up in the lower-class. Though, her parents did not disregard that work should be internally rewarding. She noted that work keeps her busy and boredom can arise when working excessively ceases. Now, that school is a priority, she feels that working the original 6-7 days is unnecessary and plans to work her regular five days per week. Still, she finds it difficult keeping her mind occupied in other ways when she has loads of time to herself.Life Roles. Other life roles she holds included taking care of her dogs, practicing her guitar, and spending more time with family and friends on weekends. Walking the dogs helps her destress and the physical exercise resets her body to feeling refreshed. Then, she can start reading a textbook and make some notes. Another way she feels accomplished and occupied is by practicing an instrument. Even though she would call it a mental break from the day, she is still using her mind to learn. When she plays, everything else around her stops. She ignores all other distractions to achieve an extent of mastery which she reported feels amazing. On the weekend, however, her family or friends might participate in an activity together. She reported comfort in spending time together with friends and family. Prioritization of Roles.Generally, she prioritizes family above all. However, if the demands differ and work or school has an approaching deadline, then she will prioritize that over everything else. In any circumstance, she will have the tendency to put herself second. It was a long time before she realized that about herself. Everyone always talked about their conflicts and never reciprocated to acknowledge hers. She felt her challenges must be unimportant. At this point, she started writing poetically and this helped her acknowledge her thoughts in ways others could not fathom. Writing had become a valuable tool for wholly understanding herself.Conflicts with Life Roles. Conflicts among her life roles included dedicating her time to everyone else before considering her well-being and boredom itself. While she does practice her instruments to allow time for herself, she spends less time reflecting on herself compared to situations where she is uninvolved. Therefore, she has limited knowledge about how she is feeling and why she may feel that way. However, she reports a feeling of calmness after writing. Although this outlet is an amazing tool for her, she has difficulty disengaging mentally. Consequently, her lack of self-care and unwarranted boredom are concerning because she does write and participate in activities.Values and Beliefs. She desires employment because she wants to be mentally fulfilled throughout her day. However, to achieve the occupation she aspires, further education is needed. Therefore, she values educational attainment the most. The education would provide her with more personal and lifestyle choices. She personally has experienced living in lower-class and middle-class communities and saw stark financial differences between the two socio-economic statuses. She reported money is needed to achieve personal and lifestyle values that are healthy. She values eating healthy, moderate exercise, job satisfaction, and increasing her social network. Therefore, multiculturalism is highly valued because it provides an environment where she is always learning, and the diversity offers perspectives that she would otherwise be ignorant to noticing. As she got older, mental/physical health and wellness has become of increasing value. Specifically, she noticed she needed to take some time to exercise and relax proactively throughout the working week. On the other hand, though context dependent, technology has become of decreasing value. Although technology is important for academic purposes, she finds it less important leisurely because of the detachment from her support group. She also believes women and youth are highly valuable to the workplace because they understand their demographic better compared to their respective counterparts and they can also achieve something greater in the workplace. However, workplace recognition holds less value to her because she believes the external motivation makes the reward from the work seem insignificant. Practitioner PerspectiveInsights and Benefits. During this discussion some insights and benefits were found. The influencers were persistent throughout her lifespan and so was her need to help everyone. Her teachers, family, and peer group always impacted her career aspirations and encouraged a career that involved helping others. Although, she had an early understanding that peers could be motivation for her to do well in school, her influences were still mostly external. Additionally, she did not spend much time to think about herself and her own desires. As she grew older, she believed she was more motivated by her own beliefs compared to other’s ideas of what they could visualize for her career. Still, these aspirations were still indicated and validated by external influences. Therefore, self-reflection remained incomplete until much later in her life.Enhancement of Self-AwarenessThe insights gained from this activity has enhanced my self-awareness as a career practitioner in the future. Not only do I realize the extent to which career aspiration is influenced over a lifetime, but I also understand how the values and beliefs held by the individual is significant. Equally important, is the self-awareness held by the client. It may be challenging to determine an appropriate strategy to guide them toward a career that is consistent with their ideals (Sharf, 2013). However, a career practitioner can ask appropriate open-ended questions and for reflections on those statements (Sharf, 2013). ConclusionThis session demonstrates the many factors that impact an aspiration held by an individual and the associated complexity that is unique to every individual (Sharf, 2013). A career practitioner was provided with a vast knowledge of morals held by the individual throughout this discussion. Similarly, thorough examination of the impact of continued supports over a client’s lifetime were necessary to understanding a client’s self-awareness. However, the client in this reflection had the tendency to rely on others when making occupational decisions. Therefore, as a career practitioner it is important to ensure the judgement about career decisions are made without their influence, but guidance on self-reflections made by the client. ReferencesSharf, R. S., (20130131). Applying Career Development Theory to Counseling, 6th Edition Gao, Y., & Eccles, J. (2020). Who lower their aspirations? The development and protective factors of college-associated career aspirations in adolescence. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 116(Part A).