Book Reviews

Book by Robert Reardon, Janet Lenz, Gary Peterson & James Sampson
Review by Matt Eng
Academic Advisor
University of Hawaii at Mānoa

In what ways do career development and academic advising overlap?  For many students, career planning begins during academic advising appointments, and progresses through career services offices.  But do all advisors have an understanding of the career practices needed to support these conversations?

The fourth edition of Career Development and Planning: A Comprehensive Approach provides a solid foundation and framework from which to discuss issues of major exploration and career validation.  Many advisors would be well served reading the text, to establish a common language between students, advisors, career services, and recruiters.  As the subtitle claims, appendices included in the text are helpful aids for a comprehensive approach to vocational behavior.  Advisors may want to consider if any tools can be implemented in advising sessions.

Career Development and Planning is directly targeted for college students.  However, the text is written to be accessible to any person interested in learning more about the career development process and advisors at all types of institutions will find the concepts applicable to their students.  Since the authors are located in Florida, many of the examples of community resources are specific to the state.  However, a state-specific perspective is not necessarily a limitation of the text, rather it should encourage the individual to locate the specific services offered within their own context.  Advisors can take the examples from the state of Florida and find branches or similar offices specific to their own state.

Advisors and student services professionals in tertiary educational institutions outside of the United States will find the concepts within the text applicable to their students.  In the final third of the book, the authors also identify the skills and strategies focused on the job market within the United States.  Some topics—such as discussion and negotiation of heath insurance benefits—will need to be adjusted to the specifics of the country.  Discussions of these differences will benefit all students considering employment within the United States.

But does an advisor have the need—or time—to read the entire 314 page book?  Not necessarily.  The book is split into three specific parts, each spanning five chapters: Part One explores the process of exploring the self and careers; Part Two explores the world of work at a macro-level; and Part Three explores the world of work at the individual level.  Part One would serve as a strong foundation for conceptual understanding of many factors that influence career advising.  If time is a factor, I would only recommend the reading of the first five chapters to advisors in offices solely dedicated to academic curricula.  For advisors within combined academic and career offices, I would encourage the text to be read in full.  Overall, Career Development and Planning is an informative read in the issues students face when selecting careers, and an understanding of these issues is important for effective advising.

The companion instructor’s manual is also available from the publishers.  This supplemental text provides the lesson plans, syllabus, PowerPoint slides, quizzes and rationale to teaching a course on career planning.  If you are considering creating a career exploration course, I highly recommend contacting the publisher for the instructor’s manual and adapt the content to your specific institution.

Supplemental Material:
Career Development and Planning: A Comprehensive Approach (4th Edition) Instructor’s Manual. (2012). Robert Reardon, Janet Lenz, Gary Peterson & James Sampson. 205 pp. Kendall Hunt, 4050 Westmark Drive, Dubuque, IA 52004.800-228-0810. (paperback). ISBN 978-1-4652-0777-7

Career Development and Planning: A Comprehensive Approach (4th Edition). (2012). Book by Robert Reardon, Janet Lenz, Gary Peterson & James Sampson. Review by Matt Eng. Dubuque, IA. Kendall Hunt. 314 pp. $70.00 (paperback). ISBN 978-1-4652-0006-8
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