M6 Written Assignment – Case Study: Career Counseling
Career Counseling: The “System” and the Client
“Shen Chanjuan” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Jonathan Kos-Read
You are a career counselor for Anne, a 35-year-old Chinese American woman who is working as a project engineer for a small semiconductor company. Anne recently applied for a management position and, after interviewing, was told that she was not the right fit for the job. She is frustrated because she believes she has the qualifications and there is not another person in the company who meets the requirements in years of experience, technical expertise, and project leadership. She has applied for management positions several times and each time was given a different excuse for not receiving the position. Anne says that from her knowledge of the other managers, she has equivalent qualifications, but the other managers are all White men. She reports that a number of other Asian American and Latino engineers have left the company because of lack of opportunities for advancement into management.
In the process of career counseling you learn that Anne has been in a committed relationship with Dalia, her partner, for the past 5 years. Dalia is a 37-year-old White woman who is a well-established chef. Anne has considered leaving her job, but that would mean that she would need to relocate, and she does not want to disrupt Dalia’s career. Anne has not disclosed her family status at work because she has been concerned that her coworkers and manager would be intolerant of Anne’s being a lesbian.
Anne is the only child of Chinese immigrant parents who live 2 hours away near Los Angeles, California. She does not have extended family in California, but her parents are well established in their community. The community Anne grew up in was predominantly Chinese American, and the university she attended was predominantly White.
Anne is frustrated and angry about her situation at work. She would like advice from you regarding what she should do.
Answer the following questions:
- Summarize all of Anne’s concerns and emotions?
- What internal (psychological) and external (systemic) strengths and concerns did she mention?
- How might you collaborate with Anne to gain a greater understanding of her experience?
- How might you then explore her strengths, and barriers she encounters?