Emotional Intelligence and the Career Choice Process
Once seen as something avoided in making important life decisions, recent research and theories of emotional intelligence point to the interdependence of emotion and cognition in the decision-making process. Emotional intelligence as conceptualized by Mayer and Salovey consists of four interrelated abilities: (a) perceiving emotions, (b) using emotions to facilitate thoughts, (c) understanding emotions, and (d) managing emotions to enhance personal growth. It is hypothesized that such abilities facilitate the career decision-making process and lead to decisions that more fully satisfy career-related interests, values, and aspirations. Emotions experienced during this process have implications for the perception of risk related to specific career options, amount and kind of self-exploration individuals will engage in, and how information related to career choice will be processed. Also reviewed are issues of reliability and validity of the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale and the implications of emotional intelligence for the career counseling process.