Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pick a card, any card

Today I administered a SkillScan to one of the clients. This assessment tool is actually offered as part of a two week group workshop at my placement but it can also be given during individual counselling sessions. It's self-directed and comes in the form of a card sort. Each card is color-coded and has a skill and its definition written on each. There are also additional ivory cards which identify categories that the client will use to organize their cards.

The client goes through the set of cards and identifies whether the skill listed is one they are competent in or have minimal or no ability in. The pile of cards with minimal or no ability is then set aside. The pile of cards that have been placed in the competent pile are then categorized according to varying degrees of interest from major, secondary, minor to unwilling to use. From there, the client then transcribes their results onto a SkillScan Profile. The colors on the cards represent a particular skill category (e.g. Humanitarian, Communication, Creative Expression) which are reflected on the profile. The client then identifies the top 3 skill categories they're interested in and records it on the profile. There are also sections to record skills that the client wishes to develop, as well as those they are unwilling to use. Once the client has filled out their profile, they can cross-reference their results with the Skill Wheel on the back of their profile which shows the various skill categories as they correspond to particular professions and jobs.

As with all assessments, the SkillScan is merely a tool and will not determine what a person should do or what they're supposed to be. This assessment does have many benefits, though, as it can be particularly useful to help build confidence in a client who may be out of esteem as it provides a gentle reminder of the skills that they possess. It is also a helpful tool when creating resumes because it provides terms for the client to use which can help them expand on their content. Finally, the SkillScan can also be useful in career decision making as it identifies areas of interest and potential jobs for the client to explore and think about or it may act as a confirmation to something that they've been already considering.

I really loved being able to work one-on-one with the client - to be able to explain the assessment tool, provide guidance along the way and then, debrief the experience with her. On Friday, I'll be administering Personality Dimensions to two people which I'm looking forward to. It'll be like facilitating a mini-workshop.

Tomorrow, I get to see my friends from school again and listen to them share their experiences about their placements. At noon, there's a brown bag lunch event. It's a video featuring one of the leaders in the Career Counselling field in session with a real client who is going through career exploration showing the power of metaphor. Should be interesting.

[My favorite part of Thursdays is catching up with my friends! Sometimes we go for extended lunches which end up feeling like free therapy sessions. Heh heh. I love it!]

Hope you survived Hump Day! Talk soon. xo

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