The Complexities of Career Development Page: 4

Complexities of Career Development 4
and received interpretations of standardized interest and skill assessments. Those assessments
may or may not have accurately portrayed who the clients were as individuals or captured the
breadth of their interests and capabilities (Lewis & Sabedra, 2001).
Assessments are not foolproof but they are often the starting point when working with a
client who is trying to make decisions for the future. It is also important to realize that career
development is not just about tests or quick fixes; it takes time and effort for the client to learn
about themselves and their interests (Lewis & Sabedra, 2001). Career service professionals and
clients should not stop after they receive the career assessment results, but use them as a starting
point for further reflection, discussion, and discovery. One has the opportunity to benefit from
career interest, skill, and personality assessments; however, one must realize that interests and
skills do not necessarily reflect actual abilities (Smith & Campbell, 2003; Miller, 1999). For
example, perhaps a student decides to become a doctor because she loves helping people;
however, she cannot endure the sight of blood and has failed biology and anatomy. Despite the
student's interests, her abilities reflect a need to pursue a different profession. The abundance
and variety of career choices can lead individuals into a state of confusion, frustration, and
"career indecision" (Osipow, 1999, p. 147). These clients may not know where to begin. It is
important to note that career assessments can also be a helpful way to narrow down possibilities
for an individual who is choosing among several career options.
Many populations do not have career development services readily available. If one does
not have access to career assessments, reflecting on one's hobbies and natural inclinations can be
a beneficial area to begin brainstorming ideas (Lewis & Sabedra, 2001). For instance, if a client
loved making pottery—loved working with her hands, working independently and then sharing
her work, creating new ideas and implementing them—perhaps she could open up a shop in a

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Hennes, Sarah E. The Complexities of Career Development, thesis or dissertation, Summer 2006; Denton, Texas. ( accessed June 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library,; crediting UNT Honors College.

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