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Consider this excerpt from a recent story in the workplace:

Kyle Hammond, a 24-year-old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is in many ways a dream employee. He doesn’t goof off while working as a grocery store bagger in Ohio. When he’s sent out to collect shopping carts in the parking lot, he does exactly that. He doesn’t chat on his cell phone or play games, like some employees do when they’re sent to round up carts.

But his mother, Cheryl, still worries that his misunderstanding of social rules – a symptom of autism – could get him fired. When the manager puts out doughnuts for the employees, she said, Kyle doesn’t realize that he is only supposed to take one or two. Also, he may make comments to shoppers that they find puzzling. One time he told a shopper that her car was a Decepticon, a villainous robot from the Transformers science fiction series. Fortunately, she was not upset by the unusual remark. She said she bought the car because she liked its color (Sarri, 2017).

Many traditional career counseling methods were not intended to address the needs and challenges of individuals like Kyle. How should career counselors approach Kyle’s specific needs to ensure he finds appropriate and meaningful work in a safe and accepting environment?

Individuals with communication disorders like autism, and other socially marginalized groups, may be ill-served by mainstream methods of career counseling. This week, you will examine how career counseling and development can address socially marginalized groups within society.

Reference: Sarri, M. (2017, August 24). Autism and the workplace: How well are we doing? Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Retrieved September 6, 2019, from…

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Apply career development theory to the background and story of a professional in a counseling or related field

Skillfully interviewing a person regarding his or her career story and conceptualizing this story using career theory takes time and practice. This week, you will gain experience conducting these career conversations by interviewing a person whose career you admire and applying a career theory you believe best fits this person’s career.

To Prepare:

  • Identify someone whose career you admire and schedule a time to conduct a 30-minute interview with this person to explore his or her career development history.
  • Review and print the “Someone You Admire Interview Protocol” for use during your interview. It is located in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Review career development theories.
  • Conduct the interview and prepare a summary of the interview.

By Day 3

Post a summary of your interview, providing:

  • A description of the person’s background
  • A conceptualization of the person’s story using one of the career development theories discussed this quarter
  • Highlights of relevant sociocultural factors


Brown, D. (2002). The role of work and cultural values in occupational choice, satisfaction, and success: a theoretical statement. Journal of Counseling & Development, 80(1), 48–56.

Hansen, L. S. (2001). Integrating work, family, and community through holistic life planning. Career Development Quarterly, 49(3), 261–274

Niles, S., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (2016). Career development interventions (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Chapter 4, “Providing Culturally Competent Career Development Interventions”

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