Career Assessments and Family Dynamics (#57)

No matter how often we listen to others, it often requires a different perspective to hear what others are saying. This week’s story from Elizabeth Moore describes how that maxim strengthened the bonds between a student and her mother.

Inspiring School Counselors
Inspiring School Counselors
Career Assessments and Family Dynamics (#57)

This Week's Storyteller

Elizabeth Moore is a trainer representing Kuder Career Planning Systems®.  A frequent presenter at workforce and education conferences, Elizabeth leads training sessions for school counselors, career coaches, classroom teachers, college advisors, and adult education professionals.  Prior to joining Kuder in 2014, Elizabeth worked as a career coach, where she engaged secondary and postsecondary students, adult education students, and job seekers in career and college planning, career exploration, career assessments, and employability skills.  Elizabeth holds a Master of Science degree in human development & family studies and is a Certified Career Advisor™.

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Matt Fleck:
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the Encouraging Words for School Counselors podcast. I’m Matt Fleck with Inspire Success. Thanks for being with us and for subscribing to our podcast.

This week’s podcast is sponsored by Kuder, Inc. Kuder ensures that people of all ages can unlock the power of their own potential and create a bright future. 

This week, we feature Elizabeth Moore who works as a trainer for Kuder, Inc at the Alabama Statewide Systems out of Birmingham, Alabama. Before working as a trainer, Elizabeth was a career coach with Alabama’s Community College system using a variety of online career tools with middle and high school students. It was about this time when Elizabeth encountered an interesting parent of one of her students.

Elizabeth Moore:
I was at a parent night and we had a Kuder booth and students were coming up to the booth with their families and this mother and daughter came up and we started having a conversation. The mom said, you know, what is this? And I started explaining, and the daughter, I was watching her body language, and she went from looking very relaxed to looking very tense. And I’m thinking to myself, what is going on? You know? 

So mom’s asking some questions and I’m explaining these assessment results and what it means. The mom says to her daughter, have you taken it? And the daughter said, yes, I took it at school. So they hadn’t talked about it at home yet. Mom didn’t know that this existed. So I said, well, let’s just pull up your assessment results. There on the spot I accessed the system. I pulled up her assessment results. Mom’s looking at them for the first time. 

And this is where the story takes a turn because the career assessment result mom is about to look at touches on something that’s very near and dear to the girl’s parents.  

Mom starts to share that there’s been a lot of really hard conversations at their house. Mom and dad are both engineers and have seen the value of going into that profession. It’s been impactful in their own lives and a lot of conversation at their house because their daughter doesn’t want anything to do with engineering. So I pull up the assessment results, hand them to mom, daughter is standing there looking at this, tears are filling up in her eyes, right? And the mom says, oh my gosh, engineering’s last for you.  

Sometimes it takes an outside perspective, a piece of data, or something like a career assessment result for many of us — including parents — to see things from a different perspective.  

And so she said, “What’s first?” She’s scrolling and she’s looking and it’s education, it’s human services. It’s being in a helping profession. Not that engineering isn’t helping, but those social professions that we tend to see with education and that kind of thing. And at this point, mom looks at the daughter and she says, “Sweetheart, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. We didn’t know. We didn’t know.” At that point, the daughter’s looking relieved, right? It was an incredible moment. 

The daughter’s looking relieved. And she said to her daughter, “Tomorrow, I’m going to reach out to your counselor. We’re going to sit down and have some conversations and let’s figure out what we need to do and what you need to be thinking about majoring in.” It was a moment of change for their family. That’s the power of knowledge, right? And the mom had access to it, she took advantage of it, and she was all over it. She wanted what was best for her daughter.  

Elizabeth says she has the best job because she gets to teach something she truly believes in. It’s such a gratifying feeling when you see that light bulb go on with your children, or your students — even fellow adults — when they discover a career area that they love.

Thanks again to Kuder, Inc for sponsoring our podcast this week. To find out more about Kuder, visit them at Kuder: leading the industry in career guidance and college readiness. 

And thanks to all of you who have taken a moment to drop us a line saying here’s a short, interesting story you might want to hear. We hope you’ll do the same at

That’s all for now. Have a great week! We hope to see you next time.