Book by Robert C. Readron, Janet G. Lenz, James P. Samson, Gary W. Peterson
Review by Stephanie Hamington
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising
University of Colorado Denver

Teaching a career exploration or career decision making class is more than just helping students learn about themselves. Students should also learn about the work world. This book takes a comprehensive approach. It provides traditional information on interests, skills, and job searches as it covers the economy, industries, and partner/family issues. 

When I co-taught a career decision making class, due to time constraints, we concentrated on the career exploration phase. Since enrollees in this class were mostly for first and second year students, we did not address job search or general work issues. After reading this textbook I realize that our students missed out on an important piece of the career exploration process.  

Even exploring students will find that it is valuable to learn about topics such as those covered in Chapter 7 “Working in the New Global Economy” or Chapter 9 “Alternative Ways of Work.” However, while the information included on working in a global economy is useful, a print text such as this one is it already out of date by the time students read it. Thus this book would be more effective if it were supported by supplemental, Web-based information. 

The authors of this book have a counseling background –so the book has a different approach than many career textbooks. The book asks students to look at personal issues when considering careers and job searching. One example is how to work through negative self talk when going through a job search. The authors use the CASVE Cycle (Communication, Analysis, Synthesis, Valuing and Execution) through out the various chapters to help students learn the concept of a decision making cycle.
This text is geared toward the traditional-aged college student, and might not be as relevant for a course that draws adults with work experience. The Appendix has assignments that can be used in class as activities that connect to the various chapters. However, many teachers would probably adjust the various points assigned to the activities to fit their own class needs.

Overall, Career Development and Planning:  A Comprehensive Approach is a fresh effort at engaging career exploration that is worth considering for course adoption.

Career development and planning a comprehensive approach (2009) Book by Robert C. Readron, Janet G. Lenz, James P. Samson, Gary W. Peterson, Review by Stephanie Hamington. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning 352 pp, $79.99. ISBN 9781426631351
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