Cultural Identity: Finding a Culturally Competent Counselor

  • How can you succeed in a diverse workplace?
  • What is your own cultural identity?
  • Is your career coach culturally competent?
  • Can you share details of your work and life with him/her?
Not every career coach will connect with every client. Not every client will connect with every coach. I firmly believe that career advising is personal advising. To be effective, I learn about my clients'  social context, background, culture, and outlook on life.
I would encourage anyone seeking a career counselor to ask questions about cultural competency. What is the counselor's background and/or exposure to diversity and multi-cultural clients? They do not have to be exactly like you.

I have lived, worked and studied in several countries. I came to the USA as an international graduate student. English is my third language, in the sequence of languages I was exposed to. I couldn't do my work if I wasn't culturally sensitive to the needs of my clients and my recruitment partners. There are many "culturally-bound" ways of doing business which are often overlooked. This is an ongoing learning process and often all that is required is curiosity. Ask about people's backgrounds, preferences and ways of operating in the world. Be alert to your own  culture-bound style" of conducting business. Explore information about inter-cultural competency and international IQ intelligence. These tips are also useful for any business professional working in a diverse environment.

Definition of a Culturally Competent Counselor

"Possess the ability to recognize their self-values, assumptions, and biases. Ability to understand their own level of identity development (Janet Helms White Racial Identity Model) Effective, multicultural career counseling requires a much broader world-view and broader exposure to a variety of cultures."

Additional Reading:  Cultural Identity and Stages of Minority Identity Development Look at the interplay of identity and your close inter-personal relationships. Each of us must understand where we came from in order to effectively plan where we are going. Understanding our stage of identity development will help us interact effectively in an increasingly diverse workplace

Author: © 2013 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon Cohen, MA,CPRP, Global MBA Career Counselor.

1 comment:

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