Russian Woman Journal
Family matters
Monday  15 December  2008
Natalia Tkachenko

  Career Counseling for Women

By author of the book “Married to American: Russian wife stories” on http://www.amazon.com

Starting in the 1960s, work outside the home has played an increasingly significant role in the lives of women.

In the past twenty years journal articles addressed various aspects of occupational pursuits and career choices and decisions pertaining to women, which show real importance and topicality.

Various books have appeared, bringing contemporary topics designed to help vocational counselors in their work with women facing career choices.

What really are Women’s Choices: Family or Career in their 20’s? Marry and raise kids in their 20’s so the kids will be independent in their 30’s? Work, at home, or in college in their 30’s & 40’s with a possible over-dependence on a partner? Women in their 30’s who choose the family track, face risks such as: lower education, less earning power, dependence on spouse, disproportionate child care responsibilities and as a consequence, depression of stay-at-home moms, with probable re-entry to jobs at lower levels.

Career Counseling evolution and growth during the past decades demonstrate their unique ability to respond to the major social, political and economic changes experienced by women. Centers all over the USA have championed women's rights to non-traditional employment through training programs in many male-dominated fields. Today, the Centers provide a wide array of services and programs which every year touch the lives of thousands of women of all ages, economic social and educational backgrounds.

Many of the Career Counseling Center's programs have a long and successful history. Career counseling is a highly individualized and supportive process through which women and counselors work together helping to define their career/life path. The mission of Career Counseling for women is to enable female individuals to identify and explore life choices and empower them to attain their career goals through counseling, education, training and support.

A quick guide to Career Information includes choosing the main matter of interest, contacting the nearest Career Center for current workshop offerings, checking out information on the job market and employment trends on the Internet, exploring various Internet-based career links, checking out bibliography of career books, magazines and other printed resources, finding assistance in creating resumes, developing interviewing skills and of course visiting specialists for Individual Career Counseling.

Career counseling helps women to meet a professional career counselor for one or more one-hour sessions to make or evaluate career decisions in the light of her or his personality, talents, interests and skills. A career counselor also helps a client to make career decisions and carry them out through by providing individual counseling to help clarify life and career goals, administering and interpreting tests and inventories values and skills, helping the client to write or revise a resume, encouraging and guiding the client in the job search process.

Using a variety of worksheets and assessment tools, professionals may help women clarify their skills, values, interests, personality traits, preferred work environment, desired people, interactions, talents, and career development needs. One of standardized assessment tools is the ‘Strong Interest Inventory’ that is used widely. Through various worksheets and the standardized assessment inventories, a career counselor will help women identify career options to consider.

Learning about career choices is an important step for women returning to the job market. Helped by a career counselor, women will set goals and take action to pursue those goals. Some may decide to seek further education and enhance their skills; others might make changes in their current job, or seek a new job.

Career counselors can help with any of these steps. Preparing for a job search, planning for networking, writing your résumé, and practicing and preparing for interviews are all actions where career counselors can help.

winterThe college years are traditionally a time when students experience increased personal growth and maturity through their encounters with different people, values, and concepts. Learning to balance the resources of time, energy, and freedom with academic responsibilities and interpersonal relationships can be difficult for even the most successful students.

The staff of Counseling and Testing Centers are ready to assist student-women to identify, assess, and resolve concerns which may interfere with their academic, social, career, and emotional growth and development. Individual counseling in the same facilities may help with such issues as relationships, unplanned pregnancies, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual orientation.

Career counseling is understood to include services and programs designed to facilitate individuals' development and their ability to make optimal choices regarding their roles in occupational, familial and social structures. Responsible professional practice requires counselors to be knowledgeable about the effects of gender in human development and to apply such knowledge in career counseling with girls and women.

 Women's Career and Job Sites that advance women in the workforce market, specialized in women networking are:

 • American Business Women's Association, whose mission is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.

• Bella Online - the career channel of BellaOnline.com, a comprehensive multimedia network created by women for women. Subjects include career planning, networking, skills inventory, conflict resolution, and much more.

 • CareerBabe.com, which provides up-to-date and insightful advice on the hottest career opportunities as well as providing the most useful career information. Job-seekers can also write for answers to specific questions.

 • career-intelligence.com - another online resource for women by women, offering multiple tools, including assessment and career planning information; resume and cover letter tips; career counseling; and more. Free to job-seekers.

• Career Women - online career center for women, including a job bank, resume bank, career resources, advice.

• Dress for Success - a nonprofit organization that provides interview suits to low-income women seeking employment. No fees are charged, ever, either to the member organizations or to the women served.

 • Feminist Majority Foundation's Feminist Career Center, which is designed to help feminist employers and feminist job-seekers find each other. Job-seekers can browse through job listings and post their resumes. Also includes a database of internships.

• National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) - the largest women's professional association and the largest women business owners' organization in the country, providing resources and services: through education, networking, public advocacy to empower its members to achieve career success and financial security.

• Negotiating Women -- provides innovative training and consulting to professional women; a company of women committed to helping other women. Provides practical advice to help women at every stage of their careers to claim value and create conditions for success in business. No cost to job-seekers.

9 to5, National Association for Working Women - the Web site for the 15,000 strong organizations. Deals with issues of job problems, family leave, sexual harassment, job redesign, and other issues related to working women.

 The Organization of Women in International Trade - offers a job bank for its members. OWIT is a non-profit professional organization designed to promote women doing business in international trade.

 • WomensMedia.com – is a great site for working women, this site provides the latest in-depth material to help working women advance by promoting a positive attitude in women, a respect for women’s talents, and a way out of the cycle of seeing women as victims.

 • WomenSportsJobs.com – other Internet resource, for women interested in the sports industry (including sports marketing, event management, community relations, coaching, athletic administration, health & fitness, broadcasting, and more) Sign-up for subscription-based (and fee-based) job listings as well as to submit your resume. Free to job-seekers.

• Women's Village - this site provides valuable information on career opportunities as well as the tools needed to survive and succeed in America 's workplace.
• Women's Work - self-titled, "the business site for business women," this Web site includes all sorts of resources and links for women, including business resources, forums and chats, shopping, and feature stories.

 • Working Moms Refuge – this is a site by and for working moms. All sorts of information, resources and advice, with special sections related to career management and opportunities, being a single mom, juggling work and parenthood, and other topics.

• WWWomen - self-proclaimed premier search directory for women, which includes a rather large directory of issues relating to women beyond career and employment issues. Has one of the most vibrant and dynamic online communities for women, with more than 50 different topics.
Katharine Hansen wrote a book “10 Powerful Career Strategies for Women”, where she discussed the difficulties a woman may have in facing the job market.

We will quote some fragments below:
“Have you come a long way, baby?.. The general impression is that women are becoming incrementally more successful in the workforce…

Women represented in the workforce are holding a higher percentage of managerial and executive jobs than in the past. Women-owned businesses have doubled in the last dozen or so years...

The Government Accounting Office reported that in 1995 and 2000, full-time female managers earned less than full-time male managers in 10 industries, after allowing for education, age, marital status and race. Female managers in the communications industry made 86 cents for every dollar earned by male’s managers in 1995, but by 2000, the figure had dropped to 73 cents on the male-earned dollar. Similar drops were reported in entertainment and recreation services; finances, insurance, and real estate; business and repair services; retail trade; and other professional services…

But women have secret weapons, opportunities to deploy their special strengths, and the ability to adapt talents typically thought to be men's domain. Here are 10 strategies women should consider for advancing their careers: get as much education and training as you can! Education is, by far, women's most powerful secret weapon, and we have been preparing for a sneak attack for at least the last decade.

 In 1975 a majority of the college degrees awarded went to men. By 2000, a majority of degrees were awarded to women, according to the Postsecondary Education Opportunity Research Letter… The story told by the data describes an extraordinarily broad and long-term shift in the proportion of higher education earned degrees from men to women. There you have it. The workplace may not quite have caught up, but women are making serious inroads in the "knowledge is power" equation, and our best hope of crashing through that glass ceiling is to keep doing what we're doing… Consider informal ways of educating yourself through, for example, joining professional organizations, attending conferences, and keeping up with trade publications in your field…”

“Be a surfer girl! Women are in the majority, not only in most realms of higher education, but also in Internet use, comprising at least 52 percent of Internet users, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings. In an age where the amount of information available to us by 2010 is expected to be 10,000 times what it is today, it's hard to avoid the notion that knowledge is power, and women are well positioned for the power afforded by their efficient use of the information superhighway.”
Numerous recent studies have noted differences in the way men and women communicate and relate interpersonally. Women's way of communicating is not necessarily better than men's, but it may be better suited to newer styles of management. So-called "feminine attributes," such as the ability to build relationships with customers, strike up joint ventures, and partner with suppliers are increasingly important.
In her book “Successful Woman's Guide to Working Smart”, Caitlin Williams lists the changes in the workforce: more team-based work, increased customer contact, multiple demands, greater workforce diversity, higher expectations, and tighter timelines. Generally speaking, women should deploy their strong interpersonal and communication skills at every opportunity and tout their accomplishments in this realm.

Selected women's professional organizations are listed here

25 Networking Tips:

Never stop learning ... Never stop networking: Continue education and networking

• Getting on boards: Joining boards is a great way to network
• Find a mentor, the ultimate network contact
• How to capitalize on gender differences when networking

 Choose the right networking style by learning how to read people
Maximize the potential of alumni clubs, associations, and networks

• Temporary work: A great arena for networking and much more
• Out of the mouths of babes' parents: Networking through your kids
• Start a job or networking club
• Include the gatekeepers in your network
• Speak and write in your area of expertise
• Publicize your every move.


Natalia Tkachenko

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Announce of the new books of Natalia Tkachenko (USA)


Published in Russian Woman Journal  15 December  2008

Family matters



Your emails, replies and comments address lana@russianwomanjournal.com

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