A Top Ten List for Self-Evaluation
Career counselors work every day to help others with self assessment and evaluation. How often do we do that for ourselves? If, like me, you need a reminder to take stock, this article is for you. Step back and ask yourself: What do you expect of your career counseling future? How will you begin or continue to thrive as a career counselor?
I respectfully offer the following top ten considerations for career counselor self-evaluation. What rings true for you? What would you add? What would you change? In what areas will you seek improvement?
Is my motivation for counseling values-driven, clear, strong and focused on helping? Am I able to articulate my motivation? Do I articulate it? Is it apparent to my colleagues and clients?
Does my work with individuals, groups and/or organizations focus on clients? If my self-interests regularly outweigh clients' interests, what kind of changes do I need to make? Who will help me make them?
3. Basis of Relationships
Are my relationships with clients and coworkers built on mutual respect, good will, clarity of purpose and hope?
Do I ask appropriate and useful questions to ensure understanding of my clients? Do I listen a lot? Do I generalize or make assumptions too quickly? Do I seek to understand values, worldviews, styles and opinions unlike my own? Is my self-disclosure appropriate?
Professional and Personal Development
Do I keep current with best practices, information and data in career counseling? Do I commit to and learn from regular professional development activities? Do I pay attention to those who are different from me, so as to learn (and relearn, every day) appreciation and tolerance for diverse ways of being, doing and thinking?
Are my reservoirs of professional confidence and competence, generosity of spirit, trust and compassion mostly full (or, at least, nowhere near depletion) and ready to be tapped? If they need to be replenished, how will I do that?
Am I able to laugh and experience joy - to celebrate life - regularly?
8. Understanding of Self
Do I promote my skills and experience accurately? Do I refer clients to others when I cannot meet clients' needs? Is my referral network strong and active?
9. Feedback Loop
Do I seek the counsel of other professionals? Do I request feedback and integrate it into my work? Do I voice gratitude to others for their contributions to my success? Do I accept responsibility for my mistakes and work to correct them?
10. Review of Expected Behaviors
Do I know and practice the ethics of my profession? Review NCDA's Code of Ethics .
May the Counselor Force be with you.
In honor of NCDA's 100th anniversary, Career Convergence is publishing articles of historical significance. This article and bio were originally published on March 1, 2003.
Nedra Klee Hartzell, PhD, NCC, MCC, is a career management consultant who has been counseling, coaching and training adults-in-transition for over 15 years. She is currently a Senior Counselor in the Transition Center of the Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State, Arlington, VA. Nedra's favorite career counseling setting (so far) was the middle of the Belize River with Peace Corps volunteers. The weather was so hot and humid that consultations in the river were preferred over those on land. Nedra can be reached at: