Career, Counselor, Seattle, Bellevue, WA 98005

Genogram - Genetic and Family Influences on Careers


Taking a closer look at the evaluation process conducted by the Licensed Career Counselor, one begins to note the significance of family history and personal style in determining an appropriate career path. 

For instance, a common practice prior to the industrial age was for a son to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Children often were expected to follow the family tradition of a particular trade, and the family business assets were passed along from generation to generation.  Family names often referred to its given trade, such as Cartwright, Smith (a worker in metals) or Carpenter.  Upon the formation of guilds and trade unions, it became easier for young men to learn a trade other than that of his family through apprenticeship.  However, a lad often was limited to family “connections” in obtaining a coveted apprenticeship position. 


Family career traditions remain evident today.  Certain personality traits, behavioral patterns and personal preferences often influence the type of work we do and the type of people with whom we wish to associate.  Genetics and environmental conditions both play a role in these tendencies.

For this reason, a holistic approach to career development—taking into consideration many facets of an individuals lifestyle and personality as well as training, education and past experience—promotes understanding, fosters greater long-term success and job satisfaction.

During the Personal Vocational (referring to one’s “calling”) Evaluation stage previously outlined, analysis often begins with a Genogram to map an individual’s family work history.  Trends in style and vocation are noted.  For example, a woman who comes from a family of entrepreneurs and who exhibits a self-motivated, leadership style with high professional expectations; may be well suited to owning her own business.  Another woman, whose family history is especially strong in the health care field, may take pride in her ability to nurture others.  Her skills may be both inherited and learned through family role modeling.  This woman may choose to become a counselor, nurse or physical therapist.

As we gather information about the family history, we look for patterns about career, expectations, values, beliefs about monetary reward, education, and training.  A holistic approach allows the client to view his/her opportunities in light of their individual strengths, belief systems, motivations and personal expectations.  Consequently, the Personal Vocational Evaluation stage delves deeper into an individual’s capabilities than even the most thoroughly prepared resume.  Sorting external pressures from internally motivated desires releases ambitions that can contribute to long-term success, thereby contributing to increased financial independence and self-determination.

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"I was going through so much trauma and Jan was very supportive emotionally and personally. She did all of the career and personality testing to identify my interests. She looked at my family's career background. Then she identified the jobs that fit my interests and my background. She is aware of what is going in the workforce and of the demand for jobs. She kept me motivated and looking to the future, guiding me to immediately take classes at the community college and to start thinking about working for temp agencies that hire for the companies I would eventually be interested in working for." -Valerie, 43, Renton;

Career Discovery Inc., 217 5th PL, South Kirkland, WA 98033 | (206) 327-7470
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