The topic of career growth and opportunities is one of the urgent parts of many people’s lives. The professional realization is not only about the money and financial gain but also about the fulfillment and joy of doing the job. I am no exception; for some time, that question has been bothering me, and I realized that I want to change something in my career. Although it is not the easiest path and requires a lot of analysis and self-work, it is worth considering the benefits. Therefore, the paper observes CASVE cycle phases and detects the professional decision-making process regarding plans and careers.
After the class began, I began thinking about my future and what I would do when I finished my studies. Although it is great to have some knowledge and education but equally important is to implement it into practice; otherwise, it will hardly be helpful. Eventually, I started to think about the further plan for my professional development and career opportunities to be prepared.
I felt that I was working without any specific purpose and going in my direction as a paraprofessional without any particular point of destination. Due to that fact, sometimes it was hard for me to remain motivated and focus on my duties and tasks. My spouse once casually asked me what my plans for the time when I was older were, and at that time, I realized that I had no clear answer to the question. This situation pushed me toward decision-making and systematically analyzed my desires and aspirations.
Although I enjoy my profession a lot, and I have been patiently working and assisting children with special needs all these eight years, I want to achieve more. I believe I can bring even greater use to society if I widen my professional field and specter of work. Therefore, I wanted to know how I could maximize the use of my abilities and skills to achieve more in the sphere that I enjoy.
Everything that I learn, I perceive through my viewpoint and morals. Staying true to my values and beliefs was the key to knowing myself better. One of the central guiding ideas to me is that people live in this world for a certain purpose, and during their lives, they should try to be better versions of themselves and positively contribute to society. Therefore, I was fascinated by developing and improving skills that will be helpful in this aspiration. Besides, based on my experience, I can undoubtedly say that my most outstanding ability is empathy towards other people and all living creatures in general. I can navigate my decision-making by having a more distinct view and understanding of the guiding values and internal impulses, such as a willingness to help people and create a positive impact.
The most important aspect of the world of work that I learned is that in order to succeed in the chosen path, whatever it is, I need to improve myself constantly. It also includes personality traits such as self-discipline, responsibility, and organization of my time and day. However, it is important to remember professional skills and regularly enroll in special training and courses to become a more valuable specialist. Additionally, a second language could be extremely helpful, and I could assist children as a translator if they came from another country. I can even do some pieces of training and become a teacher eventually, which will widen the specter of my specialty.
I am currently in the synthesis phase and attempting to clarify my possibilities at this step. In order later to condense them into a reasonable collection of options. In a sense, I am looking for alternatives to determine whether there are any other possibilities. Regarding my future choices, the major question for me is to decide whether I want to focus on growing in my current position or try to become a teacher.
Even though I am still a little indecisive regarding my options, I have taken some steps toward analyzing and choosing the most appropriate occupational alternatives for myself. However, I have had great help from an old friend who has worked as a paraprofessional longer than I have, and he contributed a lot to my decision-making process. They shared my experience and demonstrated some options to upgrade my professional knowledge. I also received contacts from other field specialists, including those who eventually got trained to become a teacher. Through those consultations and real-life examples of professional alternatives, I can determine my preferred occupation for myself.
I have identified three options for my educational alternatives, which seem to be the most applicable. The first one is getting trained to become a teacher. Although I am still not sure I want to switch from paraprofessional to teacher completely, this will still be helpful in my career path. The second option is to narrow the focus of my work and concentrate on some specific area, such as working with children with autism. I believe that it could widen the scope of my practice and allow me to deepen my knowledge. The final option is to become a behavior specialist and work directly with the child and their parents to help build more profound social, academic, and emotional skills. I also considered moving toward becoming a teacher’s assistant in special education. Still, I want to work with certain families and assist their children in general (Teaching assistant/paraprofessional certification, n.d.). Whether it is school or additional activities, I feel the need to create a bond with one particular child.
I make all my decisions in light of my values and worldview. Staying true to my ideals and ideas is essential to make the right choice. In that case, I also want t to challenge myself and attempt to achieve more through different work formats. It will enrich my professional capacity and allow me to present myself as a more qualified and skilled specialist. Additionally, it can positively influence my financial reward for the job I perform, which is beneficial for my family and my personal growth.
The option of becoming a teacher is great since I can provide a piece of knowledge to a bigger range of students and teach them all the necessary skills. Moreover, since I have experience working as a paraprofessional, I will have the capacity to help students with special needs (Paraprofessionals and substitute paraprofessionals, n.d.). However, I will no longer be able to assist them and pay more attention to their struggles individually. Choosing a specific area of work, such as autism, also has its advantages and disadvantages. I will be able to provide high-quality services specifically for that case, but at the same time, it will significantly narrow my sphere of practice. The final option, where I could be attached to the specific family but not an organization, gives many opportunities for children since all the attention will always be on them. Still, it will limit my options to communicate with other students and help people in different situations.
Those alternatives have certain limitations and advantages for me, and by choosing one, I should be oriented on my feelings and aspirations. Similar situations with societies because, for example, if I work individually, children at school might not get a specialist to assist them and otherwise. However, it will hardly influence my family, only in case of a financial reward since personal assistance can be higher than teaching at school. Therefore, I would prioritize individual work with the family. After that, I would work as a teacher in a specific field, such as autism.
In order to implement my first choice, I will have to do several steps. The first one is to contact the parents of the children I have previously worked with and have a conversation with them. Since I have known them for a certain time and understand their children’s specifics, it will be easier for me to create a deeper connection with them. Moreover, some of the family members previously asked me if I could provide individual assistance on a regular base and expressed the desire to work with me. Therefore, I will talk to the families and ask if they are still interested in my services. If there are no positive answers, I will turn to my friend, a paraprofessional who helps me a lot in the decision process and get a consultation from them on these matters. He has a decent base of clients and good service centers through which it is possible to find clients. I believe that I will have to work hard while implementing this alternative and consider all the potential difficulties that might appear my way.
I am now only on half of the path to achieving my dream career goal, but it is still already a great accomplishment. In a year, I would love to be more skilled and trained, especially with the new and useful knowledge that I can use in helping people and making their lives easier. Considering my priority option, working with the family and accompanying the children through their growth and social life would be great. Nevertheless, I am happy where I am now professionally because, at some point in my life, I thought this was my last career destination. Right now, I realize that there are many growth opportunities and that I have numerous chances to vary my practice and have an appositive impact on society.
Although I consider myself a great professional, I am open to new and ready to accept challenges and move in different directions. Therefore, it leads to further questions and issues that need to be addressed because changing the path is never easy, and I will have to deal with new challenges. For instance, I will have to reorganize my professional routine and leave all the familiar environments I have worked in for the past years. There is also in adapting to new circumstances and working with h new people.
Paraprofessionals and substitute paraprofessionals. (n.d.). NYC Department of Education.
Teaching assistant/paraprofessional certification. (n.d.). NYC Department of Education.