For the purpose of fulfilling the requirements for this assignment, I had the opportunity to interview Makeitha Shamburger. Growing up in rural Wilcox County, her parents had a very prosperous business of home renovations. Makeitha had a passion and love for interior designing every since she was a high school student.
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She enjoyed visiting home improvement stores, interior design stores, and researching hospitality and residential designing. She took home economics in high school to strengthen her knowledge /skills. She also took a course in graphic design so she could learn about creating logos for her future boutique. So, it wasn’t shocking that she decided to pursue interior design as a major in college. She attended the University of Alabama and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. The program of study included a New York tour, which allowed her to attend furniture fair and meet with professionals in the industry.
After completing the program, she thought it would be easy to obtain a job in Birmingham, Alabama.
To no avail, she was unable to seek employment within the field. Many employers told her they needed individuals with job experience. But being a recent graduate, she lacked the skill. After several months of searching for interior designing job in Alabama, she decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia to seek employment. She encountered the same problem, of not having enough experience. So, she decided to take some classes at the Arts Institute of Atlanta as a resume builder while she searches for employment. On an interview one day, an interviewer told her the story of wanting someone with experience. He asked her if she did an internship, which she did not. He later advised her to consider volunteering at a firm or at their business. She had never thought of the idea of volunteering as a means of getting experience. So, that is what she did. It was a great resume booster, which allowed her to gain experience and references. While doing volunteer work, she learned a lot about textiles and kitchen design.
While doing volunteer work, she had to move home due to a family situation. With the decline of unemployment and relocating to the highest economic challenging county in the state, the family business declined. With the lack of income and a dying passion, she questioned herself as if it really was a passion. After self -reflection and thinking, she realized she only pursued this profession due to family pressures and growing up in the industry. As an adult without any career path or idea of what she would do next, she considered joining the military.
However, she later decided that was not the best idea for her. She started working at a local grocery store in order to earn some money to pay her bills. Although she did not want to work in interior designing, she didn’t like working in a grocery store. She wanted to go back to college but she couldn’t afford to go and most importantly, she didn’t know what she wanted to major in. As the years went by, she received a few promotions on her job, started making more money but she still didn’t have enough money to make ends meet. She was content, but she didn’t want to be employed there. So, she found out a local paper mill was hiring.
She applied for a position there, and she received a job as a laborer. She was excited about the job because her income was triple what she made at the grocery store. As the time went on, she became tired of the long hours, inconsistent off days, shift changes, and working all holidays. Her job became more stressful and strenuous on her body. With the pollutants in the air at the worksite, she started to have health problems, such shortness of breath. She had to take several medical leaves due to her health. Some job vacancies came available in the human resources department and in the business office at the company. She read the qualifications and knew she could perform the tasks. After discussing the matter with her supervisor, she decided to apply for the positions. She received an interview, and did all performance skills, such as filing, budgeting, writing a letter, and calculating salaries/pay, during the interview.
Makeitha had a positive attitude about the interview; she felt that she would receive the position. Upon selecting people for the job, she was not offered a position. She was told she had the skills needed for the job, but she didn’t have the education and job experience needed to acquire the position. The applicants that were offered the job had both. Six months later, her job experienced a major cutback, and she was laid off.
She looked for employment but could not find a job. She lived in a county that had the highest unemployment in the state. After that, she went into a state of depression. According to Paul and Moser (2009), “being unemployed has been shown to be linked to reduced psychosocial wellbeing and life satisfaction, and increase the risk of affective disorders”. She felt sad for most of the day and her daily pleasurable activities diminished. She began to lose weight. She felt worthless. Sadly, she had suicidal thoughts due to unemployment and the stress of her family because of failed expectations. Her parents saw the signs and suicidal characteristics, so they took her to meet with a psychologist. She had to undergo individual counseling sessions once a week. Later, counseling sessions included the family to address some family dynamics.
After a year of counseling, Makeitha felt better than ever. Her mental state was better and she was ready to start a new career or job outlook. However, she was unsure about what career area to pursue. She wanted a profession that coincided with her personality and she also wanted to be a public servant. One of her friends encouraged her to consider going back to college. So, she researched a local college, applied for a scholarship, and was awarded financial assistance that enabled her to consider the option of attending college. She was extremely excited about starting a new phase of her life. Although she was slightly afraid of failure, she had the support of her family and friends.
From her previous background and experiences, I selected that she take the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality inventory used “to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives”. I thought this inventory would be beneficial for her going forward in her college major decisions to determine the best career, based on her personality traits.
Based on her results on the Meyers- Briggs Type Indicator, Makeitha identified as Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging, (ESFJ) type. This type of personality included strong practical skills, strong sense of duty, very loyal, sensitive/warm, and good at comforting others. They are well organized and often work best in environments that have clear task and duties. ESFJs are team players. They enjoy working on a team instead of working alone. They are the backbone of the team, assuring the task will be done in a timely manner. They do not have an issue in doing what is needed to be done.
Career paths included accountant, teacher, social workers, and medical care. They require interactions with people and emotional feedback to be satisfied in the workplace. They are good listeners and enthusiastic team members. Weaknesses are their beliefs, thoughts, or habits. They love to be appreciated for their efforts. If their efforts go unnoticed, they may start fishing for ways to get the attention to seek reassurance. ESFJs love people. This is reflective of Makeitha’s high school and college years. She was active in numerous clubs and organizations and enjoyed attending social activities. She was the friend that was always available to comfort a friend in need when things didn’t go as planned. She enjoyed working with the youth at church and in the community, prior to her state of depression. Her enjoyment for life and others has improved drastically with the help of her counselor.
Learning is a remarkably complex process that is influenced by a wide variety of factors. I have chosen the social learning and cognitive theories for Makeitha’s deficits. Makeitha believes that she has learned from her past and believes that everyone has a different view of the world. The world is extremely complex. No one knows what the future will hold. No one knows how interest will change, how new occupations will arise, or how new opportunities will be created. The social learning theory implies that people should not expect to know what they will be doing in the future. It advocates that people can create opportunities by their own action. Makeitha career path has not been successful. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design in which she has never held employment. She has always worked in under paid position that was not in her career path.
According to Zunker, “career choice also involves the interaction of cognitive and affective processes. Individuals must be able to process information effectively and think rationally” (Zunker, 2012, p.33). Makeitha’s career choice was based off the environment that she grew up in. She has taken personal responsibility for her career choices and is determine what her path should be through her past experience. According to Zunker, “In sum, social learning theory suggests that learning takes place through observation as well as through direct experience (Zunker, 2012, p.35). An individual beliefs and generalization can be determined by social learning. An individual, who has experienced problems throughout their career, must keep a positive mind and a passionate drive to keep striving for a better life.
Once an individual has experienced setback after setback, their drive and motivations affects their level of performance. Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.
Unplanned events and chance encounters often determine the path that an individual will take in their personal and professional life. According to Zunker, “the primary premise suggests that chance events over one’s life span can have both positive and negative consequences” (Zunker, 2012, p.36). Happenstance is a random occurrence; it is an outcome of an earlier decisions and behaviors, and it is a valuable tool that prompts an individual to take actions or make decisions that may have life altering effects. As we can recognize that Makeitha’s circumstances and events in her life were out of her control. Her genetic and environmental factor had an influence over her life, which are circumstances in which she had little or any control of.
Although many events are out of an individual’s control, they can recognize, create, and use these unplanned events to their advantage. I suggested to Makeitha to keep an open mind and to recognize the opportunities that may come available to her in the direction of her career path and to capitalize on all kinds of events and resources to maximize her learning. Her unplanned events can be seen as career opportunities to excel in life. To help her excel in life, clear attention should be paid to her desires for a satisfying life. It is important to listen to her past and present experiences to encourage her to recognize the potential opportunities in different events. I think that once an individual understand how their experiences in life affect their decisions, they will see how each decision open up the potential for new events. The learning theory of career counseling allows Makeitha to be her own problem solver in her career path.
Now that her life appears to be back on track, Makeitha’s ultimate reason for career counseling is to get an understand of what she wants out of her life, her education, and a true understanding of who she is after a period of unemployment. She has discussed her feelings and concerns as well as her perspective for the future. Based on the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, I have gathered feedback to help her move forward in locating the best steps for her future. She is scheduled to attend college in August 2018. Based on her previous experience, she has decided to pursue a degree in Public Administration. She is actively seeking employment at the local department of human resource as a family case manager. She had an interview and she seems confident she will get the job. Although this is not her dream job, she feels she will be successful at it based on her ability to work with the public. “According to Bryant (1995), whenever a change occurs in a person’s life, the individual traits and skills interact with both environmental and situational factors to produce a behavior that leads to the successful adaptation toward change, called resilience.
Resilience is when a person has the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, in which Makeitha was recovering from unemployment and depression. Her motivation is to re-enter the workforce and further her education. Makeitha’s difficulties have made her want to strive for improvements within her life. She wants to put her best foot forward in the Public Administration program. Makeitha’s goal is to complete the Public Administration program within two years. After completing the program, she would like to obtain employment in one of the following careers: Public Administration Consultant, Education Administration, Administrative Service Manager, or Program Analyst. She hopes that her experience, education and back ground of working with the public would help her to obtain a position in one of the mention career.
Makeitha states that her passion for helping people is what influenced her career development. She states that she is dedicated to her goals because of all the things that she has been through. One of the recommendations I would ask Makeitha is to continue with her journey to employ strategies to achieve further career goals and be successful. Since she has acquired a degree in the past, she is proven that she can obtain success in a postsecondary educational setting. So, she needs to stay focused and develop a balance of self-concept. She is very dependable, have people friendly personality, she will have the ability to work in any work environment. When she enrolls/ start college, she should seek assistance from the student support center when needed. If she feels overwhelmed or starts having difficulty with class or instruction, she should seek assistance immediately.
Since failure appears to be a setback, I think that she should also celebrate successes. Upon the completion of each semester, she should celebrate the successful completion by doing something that is enjoyable as a reward to her. She should not have an overload of classes to prevent her from becoming overwhelmed. As she moves forward with her educational career, her family will be encouraged to offer their full support. If possible, it would be beneficial to continue with family counseling to prevent setbacks. Her family should provide a stress free environment. As she continues to pursue educational endeavors, she should seek opportunities to work/volunteer in the public sector. Volunteering will increase her chances of acquiring a job in the workforce. She should also ask her professors if they know of any opportunities for job shadowing, internships, or its equivale.
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