Summary of Paul Stevens’ Model of Career Development

The Stevens Model of Career Development is very helpful for taking people through the whole journey of self–exploration and evaluation of their career options through to the successful implementation of their career decision, given their labour market opportunities and restrictions. It incorporates most of the aspects of a person’s work and way of life in their career and transition making.
The Stevens’ Model shows the sequence in which a person should proceed to resolve work-life direction problems. The model has six stages and within each stage there are specified activities. The activities that individual undertakes can be with or without the support of a career counsellor, coach or mentor. It is necessary to proceed through each of these discrete stages in the sequence described. To change this sequence could affect the validity, sustainability and qualitative success of the outcomes.
Stevens’ Model of Career Development

Stage One: Self–Assessment
Clarify issues and concerns — Assemble an information base through structured analysis — Review current job effectiveness — Check employment experiences — Abilities — Interests — Values — Primary wants — Employment environment preferences — Lifestyle considerations
Stage Two: Interpreting Data
Analysis — Transferable skills identification — Career requirements developed — Resolve ambiguities — Lifestyle integration — Monetary needs and considerations — Barriers to success — Identify perceived and real constraints
Stage Three: Opportunity Awareness
Collect information — Research — Organisation information gathering — Reality testing — Cultivate a network — Mentoring — Evaluate results — Select career action(s) options
Stage Four: Decision Learning
Evaluate career action options — Trade–offs — Decide on goals — Prepare Career Action Step Statement
Stage Five: Transition Training
Schedule career transition actions — Rehearse for negotiations — Develop strategies for success — Check career action preparation — Prepare requests for approval — Audit career transition progress
Stage Six: Transition Accomplished

Review of completed career action steps — Assessment of well–being
The model is essentially a client development concept leading to career self–resiliency, not a matching process. Users are not led to a list of occupations on which to base their career action decisions. They are led to initiate career exploration (Opportunity Awareness) using the conclusions from their self–assessment phase and then apply detective, communication and research skills to identify appropriate job role(s). The model requires the user to be self–sufficient, but does not preclude the need for—in fact, encourages—talking to and being helped by others during the self–search problem–solving and decision–making journey.
The use of the model proceeds more comfortably by using a structured framework into which lots of data can be fitted by the client and viewed from different perspectives both the by client and the career counsellor.

The Stevens’ Model is now widely used to assist adults in career counselling across Australia and New Zealand. It is also the foundation for pathfinding help to people in Nordic countries, Ireland, Singapore and South Africa. Career counsellors are using it for people in such diverse needs as: orders of religious women (nuns); military to civilian career changers; redundant personnel (outplacement); work injured (rehabilitation); women returning to the workforce; ‘hard–core’ unemployed; athletes terminating their sporting careers; those who have to or want to redeploy where they work; employers wanting a career self–reliant workforce; migrants needing new directions; the midlife confused; third–age transition makers; academe in their training of career counsellors; post–retirement personal fulfilment seekers.

The journey to career self–reliance the client traverse can be described as a crescendo effect—in the early stages they grapple with the myriad of factors which affect their decision making, then break through to enhanced self–understanding to arrive at a point of firm resolution and commitment to thoroughly considered action. The self–knowledge and information gained from the process guided by the six stages within the model increase the client’s self–confidence. This serves as a motivating force for overcoming constraints or previously perceived barriers .


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