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Characteristics of Quality Career Planning

Characteristics of Quality Career Planning

While some rehabilitation programs have done an outstanding job assisting persons with disabilities with career advancement and job mobility, the reality has been limited career planning support for most individuals with disabilities. In the past, career planning has consisted of professionals to taking the lead. Too often, barriers to career development by relegating job seekers to menial, entry level jobs with limited career advancement potential. Often, individuals with disabilities express frustration that professionals:

  • Listen but they don't hear.
  • Want to fit you into some stereotype they learned in school.
  • Undermine their choices by not providing information.
  • Prescreen what the individual job seeker needs to know.
  • Make choices for the job seeker based on what they (the rehabilitation professional) feels is most appropriate.
  • Phrase questions as "false choices," such as "would you like to work as a pot scrubber? Or not work at all?
Studies show that the average person served by a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) receives less that two hours of assistance per year in Career Planning. So what should happen? Career planning should be a flexible; action oriented process that leads to multiple job opportunities for individuals. Have you every asked: Where do you start in assisting a person to find employment? How do you decide what jobs to explore? What if the person has no preferences? Well, the starting point is with the individual job seeker.

Pursuing an individual's employment interests and career path using a career planning approach can create a road map for making the necessary job choices and career advancements that are critical to achieving the job seeker's goals. Career planning begins by focusing on the individual's employment dreams, and how those dreams can be realized. The following are characteristics of a quality career-planning program.

Characteristics Of Career Planning

Many customers of supported employment services are beginning to elect to use support teams to assist them in identifying a career path. The support team assists the job seeker with:

  • identification of the kind of career/job the job seeker desires;
  • identification of a list of businesses who employ people in the job seeker's career area of choice;
  • identification of potential businesses the individual would like to work for;
  • identification of job openings where the job seeker's skills and knowledge meet the need(s) of the employer;
  • scheduling of interview(s) with employer(s) for desired positions; and
  • negotiating acceptable employment terms.
Only those individuals selected by the job seeker participate as a member of the team. Typically the support team is made up of friends, family, rehabilitation professionals, and other persons involved in the job seeker's life. For example, a team may include the job seeker, her or his employment specialist, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, case manager, friends and family members. The employment services should be guided by the job seeker needs and career aspirations not those of the rehabilitation service program. Remember that the job seeker will be working at the job, and a critical step in being successful and satisfied at work is choosing what you are doing.