Interpersonal Communication Skills

lients always have the right to make informed decisions.  With the internet being as pervasive as it is, it can be challenging to know what you are getting, what assessment you are taking, or what the results even mean.  When a client is taking a self-administered assessment on their own, they may encounter challenges interpreting the results.  For example, the results to the Interpersonal Communication Skills Test, abridged were challenging to understand.  Thankfully they were short, but the results used language similar to, “interpersonal skills are the essence of social interaction, and they play a significant role in the impression you make on others”.  If English is not the client’s first language, jargon like this may be challenging and it can be difficult to make an informed decision when you are not properly interpreting the results.  Without language barriers, and with the proper resources, I think clients can make informed decisions about their career goals.  This provided the resources are provided to them and they hold reliability and accuracy.

A benefit to widespread access to career assessments is the amount of people you can reach as opposed to only offering these assessments within an office setting.  Balke, Kruzic, and Way (2017) noticed how far and wide services were available once they were online.  They even mentioned that they cannot hold career fairs on campus at Capella University because their students are from around the world (pg. 55).  Much is the same about assessments, they are available around the world.  A weakness in the widespread access of career assessments is inaccuracy, or misinterpretation of results.  Individuals who do not seek career counseling can misinterpret the results of a self-assessment and it may lead them to a career they are not interested in, or worse, away from a career they were interested in and passionate about.  Unfortunately, we are also in a time where you can find anything on the internet.  Taking self-assessments when clients are unfamiliar with the assessment is dangerous because it may not be a reliable source, therefore making their results useless and not research-based.

It is important for a career counselor to have a comprehensive understanding of their culture so they can identify their triggers and better relate to clients.  Clients may find comfort and be able to build quickly with a counselor who is able to culturally identify with a client.  Ward and Bingham (1993) mention it is important for a counselor to know their own culture to know how it will affect a client.  They move to further explain that often times white individuals hold a lack of awareness (pg. 249).  Furthermore, during the highest point of the Black Lives Matter movement there appeared to be general tension between white individuals and members of the black community.  Without being current on world events or understanding one’s own culture, it may be challenging to understand how the counselors culture may affect the client.

Culture plays a large role in a client’s career choices, often.  Ward and Bingham clarify how important it is to identify with the individuals culture.  There are more women joining the workforce daily (pg. 246).  Ward and Bingham also urge career counselors to consider the reaction of the client’s peers.  They may suffer from backlash for joining the workforce or joining a specific career field.  It is important to understand that culture may play a large role in a client’s career choice.  This is essential for a career counselor to identify before beginning work with the client.  This is vital so the career counselor knows where the client’s comfort level is and they can properly place the client or help the client find a career they will be successful in.

Much like Balke, Kruzic, and Way said, I think the career counselor role is becoming predominantly internet based.  I chose online school because it fit into my schedule.  I can continue to work, I do not have to worry about rushing to class after a long day of work.  I can sit at home with my family and work on school work, I can also do it during my lunch hour.  Similarly, to working with clients, career counselors typically work days.  What if there is a client that also works days but would like to explore a new career path?  Their options are limited because they cannot meet with a career counselor due to their schedule or financial restrictions and obligations.  I once heard a quote that I think is really important to share, someone once told me, “we expect a lot out of the poor, don’t you think?”.  She was working with a client who needed a phone to get his benefits because he had to call the Department of Social Services (DSS) office, but he could not afford to get a phone because he had no income.  The client was disabled and just released from the hospital so he could not get out to go to the DSS office.  Essentially, the world was against this man getting services.  We want people to come into an office to meet with a career counselor but do not understand how challenging it can be for some to work this into their busy schedule.  Furthermore, I see these services being utilized online more frequently in the coming years, similar to online education.


Balke, S., Kruzic, M., & Way, S. (2016). Online career counseling at Capella University: Advantages, Challenges, and Opportunities.Career Planning and Adult Development Journal33(2), 52-56.

Bingham, R. P., & Ward, C. M. (1993). Career assessment of ethnic minority women. Journal of Career Assessment1(3), 246-257. (Sage Publications). Retrieved from the University of the Rockies Library. This link provides access to the Multicultural Career Counseling Checklist. (2017). Interpersonal Communication Skills Test Abridged. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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