Lesson 5 — Five Practices for Working with Clients

Take 5 is the term I use for the five take-home ideas, skills, techniques, etc. that I wish for students/ participants to leave with when they attend any of my presentations/workshops/ courses. I am excited to help you take 5 techniques for working with clients home with you today.

Is anybody out there? Have you made it to the fifth and final class session? If so, welcome to what I hope is the big payoff for this course. We will be walking through five Take 5 techniques for working with clients from a justice perspective.

The end of last class has me connected to my penchant for global commercials so let’s begin by watching my favorite commercial from Singapore, Dream for My Child. You will notice that it has a compelling work/career element as we learn about this father’s most salient value.


Am I the only one with tears in their eyes? The question before us is how would we work effectively with the father as a client? Or anyone who may share different lived experiences and identities than ours?

Having a point-of-view based on an overarching framework is important to understanding the career service professional’s position in the helping relationship. The point-of-view from which I will be sharing today is that of Advocating Workers-within-Environment (Hutchison, 2015) which uses Albert Bandura’s work as its basis. To further clarify the foundation of Bandura’s Agentic Theory of Self  read 

And now with a primer video describing how I use the Agentic Theory of Self to build my Advocating Workers-in-Environment approach, I ask you to view:


From the foundation described above, and using the guidelines shared, I would like you to view the following video where I introduce the important concept of creative uncertainty before sharing two techniques that I find most helpful in the beginning of career services relationships.


Please take 3 minutes to write in your journal one last time. Think about the way you currently complete intake or process your clients into your practice. What aspects of this might focus clients onto a single story?

Now that you have finished journaling for this course, I do hope that it is something you might continue as your justice-oriented practice develops or at least refer to at points in the future when it might be helpful.

In my reflection of intake/ processing in of clients I think about intake forms and the questions they ask, I think of many ways that this communicates a bias towards a single story such as:

  • Gender? If only two options are given, non-binary individuals may be excluded.
  • Married? If you work in a state where same sex couples cannot get married, LGBT partners may be excluded.
  • Race/ Ethnicity Pick One? May exclude multiracial individuals.
  • Employer? May trigger those who are unemployed, underemployed, or gigging their way through this world-of-work.

I am sure if we were to meet as a group, we could come up with dozens of such examples.

Let’s roll forward now to later sessions with diverse clients. I would like to share 3 final techniques that have worked in my practice over the years.

 View the video below.


So, that is what I came here to teach you in this course Career Work is Justice Work. My sincere hope is that you found it compelling, useful, and most importantly engaging of your will to change your practice in fundamental ways.


I leave you with one last 90 second commercial from the United States to view on the left.

Be well and strive to be just!

Please complete items 17-18 on your worksheet.