In professional activity, a person always makes a choice, and career growth and related decisions can be influenced by the sociocultural factors that a person faces as part of marginalized communities. Generalized sociocultural factors such as family, environment, and religion can influence decisions related to a career since these factors shape a person from childhood. They fix certain attitudes in mind that can limit a person’s desire and a set of necessary characteristics. If these individuals are people of color; women and transgender or gender non-conforming individuals; the LGBTQ population; individuals in poverty; youth and elders; or individuals with physical or mental disabilities, they may face discrimination in their careers. The task of the counselor, in this case, is to soften the acceptance of these factors and to indicate to individuals how to resolve the situation, eliminating the consequences of the influence on career development.
Career counseling provides society with the assistance it needs. The current demands for the removal of uncertainty in choosing a career, increasing the efficiency of activities, overcoming stress, help in adaptation, assimilation of professionals, and several other problems must be resolved (Savickas, 2019). A qualified specialist, using knowledge of theories and approaches to a career, its choice, combining knowledge, can “determine the request” and resolve critical issues. (Cohen-Scali, 2018, p. 25) At the micro-level, access to information on careers and employment opportunities should be provided, this will be relevant in rural schools. At the meso-level, it is possible to introduce knowledge and competencies about the various phenomena and “effects of racism through activities” and educational lectures. (Wang, 2020, p. 442) The macro-level includes changes in society, involving national policies, and the introduction of specific laws that encourage fairer recruitment practices.
Culturally Sensitive Career Counseling
Working with cultural minorities is specific, so counselors must consider several factors while at the same time helping people to overcome artificial and real barriers that prevent them from realizing their full potential. For example, a certain proportion of African American youth who have spent their entire lives in poverty is disadvantaged in their professional opportunities. These people have little positive professional experience, limited educational opportunities, and often a lack of positive professional role models (Lindstrom, 2013). To change the situation of these population groups, it is necessary to turn to positive role models and show practical evidence of their cultural or ethnic heritage and abilities, working with overcoming traditional limitations.
By demanding to resolve the uncertainty that arises among marginalized minorities as a result of insecurity due to centuries of discrimination, a development-centered approach will help individuals to believe in themselves and take action. A developmental, lifelong career theory suggests that “the process of self-assessment does not stop in adulthood”, in determining how a person is influenced by other people and how they act on these variables. (Milot-Lapointe, 2018, p. 19) A sound assessment of one’s individual qualities will provide an opportunity to take a sober look at the situation and overcome the traditional limitations of cultural and ethnic heritage for career opportunities.
To conclude, in career issues, choice, and professional growth, there are socio-cultural factors that have a significant impact on certain groups of people in marginalized communities. Discriminated people face several career restrictions such as the “glass ceiling”, low salaries, inability to move up the career ladder, and personal preferences of employers. A career counselor comes to the rescue, using his knowledge, experience, various strategies, and approaches, and helps to resolve people’s situations. The role of a counselor can be assessed as significant because the process of career development begins in the preschool years and is relevant throughout life.
Cohen-Scali, V., Rossier, J., & Nota, L. (2018). New perspectives on career counseling and guidance in Europe. Berlin: Springer.
Lindstrom, L., Doren, B., Post, C., & Lombardi, A. (2013). Building career PATHS (postschool achievement through higher skills) for young women with disabilities. The Career Development Quarterly, 61, 330– 338.
Milot-Lapointe, F., Savard, R., & Le Corff, Y. (2018). Intervention components and working alliance as predictors of individual career counseling effect on career decision-making difficulties. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 107, 15-24.
Savickas, M. (2019). Career counseling (pp. xvi-194). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Wang, M. T., Guo, J., & Degol, J. L. (2020). The role of sociocultural factors in student achievement motivation: A cross-cultural review. Adolescent Research Review, 5(4), 435-450.