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Cultural awareness in career counselling

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Career professionals play a key role in helping people unlock their future. Career guidance is even more important for historically marginalized communities facing greater barriers in the labour force. Check out these articles, videos, books and more that aim to help career professionals practise culturally responsive career development.

CareerWise blogs

This resource compilation is part of a CareerWise article series on Culturally Responsive Career DevelopmentFind those articles, and more great CareerWise reads on the intersection of culture and career development, below.

Addressing Cultural Competency in Counselors: The Photovoice Project (NCDA) [Article]

Career counselors and practitioners who practice within a more culturally competent framework have been found to hold fewer biases related to systemic barriers faced by clients. This article explores how photovoice – using photographs as a tool to develop a visual narrative about a selected topic – can provide a visual bridge between the counselor’s perspective and the client’s experiences.

Allyship terms, tips and tools to support career development work (Careering magazine) [Article]

This article explores the application of a social justice lens to career development work while challenging the status quo as allies and advocates. It provides definitions of terms including cultural awareness, cultural agility and cultural humility. It also gives career practitioners advice such as recognizing the effects of historical trauma and engaging communities.

Breaking Down Barriers to Career Development (Blueprint & Future Skills Centre) [Report]

Historically marginalized groups face heightened barriers to the labour force and career guidance. This paper explores the key barriers that limit access to and restrict the impact of career guidance services. It also looks at promising practices in breaking down barriers. Pages 12, 19, 22 and 28 discuss cultural competence.

Career Development for Diverse Clients: Beyond the Basics (Cognella) [Book]

Individuals from a variety of populations may face unique challenges as they move their careers forward. This book, from Dr. Dr. Roberta A. Borgen, aims to support career development professionals in customizing their approach to helping clients across cultures, conditions and contexts. Section IV focuses on Ethnicity and Culture. Here is a preview of the book.

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Gaining Cultural Competence in Career Counselling: Book Review (Career Convergence) [Article]

The reviewer gave glowing feedback on the second edition of Gaining Cultural Competence in Career Counselling. The book intentionally focuses on cross-cultural career counselling. The first part of the book covers foundational skills needed for cross-cultural counselling, while the second part focuses on implementing key competencies.

How Tradition And Culture May Affect Career Advancement [Podcast]

Ever wondered how culture affects life planning or what culture and career development have in common, or even types of cultural influences on career choices? This conversation between host and recruitment thought leader Jennifer Tardy and career strategist Linda Raynier is centred on Asian cultures and explores the influence of culture on career choice.

Inter-cultural competency in employment counselling (Deetken Insight) [Article]

A list of advice to help employment and career professionals understand ways that culture can influence an individual’s attitude toward career development. These tips include understanding what employment, expression of confidence in one’s abilities and asking for help may mean or signify in different cultures.

Career Theories and Models at Work: Ideas for Practice (CERIC) [Book, webinar and podcast]

This book, written by Drs. Nancy Arthur, Roberta Borgen (Neault) and Mary McMahon, is a go-to guide outlining core foundational principles that every career practitioner can apply in their practice. It includes a chapter titled “Career Development Practice Occurs in Cultural Contexts,” which explores client worldviews, pathways, assessment practices and more. A podcast shared on the same page shares an overview of this chapter.

The authors also produced a free webinar, available for viewing, on Bridging Theory and Everyday Practice.

Systems Theory Framework: A Culturally Responsive Model for Career Guidance (Career Convergence) [Article]

In the context of culturally responsive practice, the Systems Theory Framework (STF) presents a basis for understanding individual social identities to form an individual’s positioning within society as it relates to career development. This article explores the practical applications of STF as a qualitative career assessment in the intake process.

The National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals (Canadian Career Development Foundation) [Document]

The National Profile is a curation of competencies from the Pan-Canadian Competency Framework for Career Development Professionals (Competency Framework) that details and describes effective performance, knowledge, understanding and abilities for career development professionals. The importance of culture is referenced throughout.

The Value of Cultural Intelligence (Career Professionals of Canada) [Article]

This piece offers 10 different points about perceptions on culture, as well as 10 tips for enhancing cultural intelligence. These tips include asking relevant questions to challenge your own stereotypes and assumptions about people in different cultures and listening with empathy and non-judgment.

Additional resources:

Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
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Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
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