November is National Career Development Month - so naturally Couragion is excited to celebrate! Did you know that career development and school counseling dates back to the 1800's and began as a means to provide vocational guidance to assist in the shift from an agrarian to an industrial society? In the 1960's, counseling shifted from being focused exclusively on career development to include personal/social issues. This was a sign of the times as social justice and civil rights were paramount. In the 1990's, the three core domains of counseling were established as academic, career, and personal/social.  

All told, that's a seriously demanding charter for school counseling. Now add on top of that globalization and technological innovation – and the colossal impact it's having on our evolving workforce. It's no wonder education struggles to understand the needs of the labor market and emerging careers available to our students. With all these competing agendas, we just don't have enough focus on career development and readiness. Career literacy is an imperative! Our students need to understand the opportunities available to them. Families and educators need to support that decision making as students select career pathways. Couragion was created in part to provide solutions to these challenges.  

In the spirit of making National Career Development Month actionable and productive, here are a few activities that we can all benefit from:  

  • Reach out to someone who has supported you in your job or career and THANK them! Be specific about how they inspired or backed you. A few weeks ago, I participated in a 'STEM Women from Egypt' event and recently received this message from Rana (pictured above with me), one of the amazing teachers I worked with.  

"It was an honor to meet you. It was an amazing time and I had great benefit from our conversation. I introduced my ideas about STEM schools and fusing it with an American system and now have an appointment to speak with the owner of our school."  

  • Continue to build your network of mentors. Mentors are not singular – you'll find that you need many in order to ask for and receive the support you need. In the AT&T #WomenInTech Talk that I participated in last week, my advice in 140 characters was as follows. 

"Map your mentor goals, seek wisdom + experience not celebrities, date before asking to go steady" 

November is National Career Development Month. November 13th - 17th is National Career Development Week. November 15th is National Career Development Day.  

Do you have any other advice on how to celebrate? We'd love to hear your stories and ideas.   

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