Ohio University

Brain Based Career Development (BBCD)

What is Brain Based Career Development?

Ohio University’s Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC) developed Brain Based Career Development (BBCD), a career development theoretical model based on cutting edge neuropsychological best practices. BBCD is a model that practitioners can use to guide clients to take action and identify solutions to their career development problems. BBCD also gives clients ownership and ensures the career development process does not become overwhelming. BBCD is a new way to work with clients; a more strategic and effective way to facilitate client action and engagement. The model provides practitioners brand new strategies for how to think about and complete their day-to-day career development work with clients. BBCD helps clients more effectively navigate the career development process, which leads to more meaningful outcomes. Research in neuropsychology has highlighted limitations in the processing power of specific areas within the human brain. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision making and imagining the future, is easily overwhelmed. Decision making is negatively impacted when the brain is overloaded with information; imagining the future, something you have not experienced, also takes a lot of mental effort. People spend more time thinking of problems (what they have seen) than solutions (which they have never seen). Knowing that decision making gets difficult when the prefrontal cortex is exposed to too much information, especially with future based decisions, career development practitioners can be strategic about how they provide services and resources to clients. Embedding neuropsychological strategies in career development fosters the well-being of clients by being intentional and holistic throughout the client’s career development lifespan.

How does BBCD enhance career development?

“For most individuals, the career development process is inherently overwhelming due to the sheer amount of information and future-based thinking that goes along with making life altering decisions” (Jaunarajs, Pavol & Morgenstern, 2017). It is imperative for practitioners to understand the brain’s biological limits and its impact on career development. BBCD was created to help clients effectively navigate the career development process to achieve meaningful outcomes. Current theories and methodologies are not as effective because they fail to acknowledge how our brains impact career development. BBCD is the cutting-edge model for how to best engage clients in effective and meaningful career development. 

BBCD Publication

CLDC staff members authored “Brain Based Career Development Theory”. The National Association of Colleges and Employers published this monograph in the summer of 2017.

learn BBCD 

BBCD Training

The CLDC team offer a variety of training packages to educate your team on Brain Based Career Development. Training is offered in half day (4 hour), full day (8 hour) or 1.5 day (12 hour) options.

What you can expect to receive?

  • Customized training to your institution
  • Experimental, dynamic, and challenging training
  • Engaged participants, with specific action plans for skill reinforcement
  • Key BBCD concepts
  • Demonstrations of the BBCD model
  • Guidance on how to implement the BBCD model
  • Practice the nine coaching techniques in BBCD
  • Latest brain-based coaching techniques
  • Examination of how clients “take action”, “make decisions” and become “overwhelmed”
  • Understanding of when being a “helper” is not helpful, when doling out advice becomes overwhelming and inhibits clients taking action

Who would benefit from attending a BBCD training?

  • Career Services
  • Student Affairs
  • Academic Advising
  • Leadership Development
  • Human Resources

Program Outcomes

  • Brain Based Career Development Theory was published by National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in 2017
  • BBCD is integrated as a best practice in NACE's coaching certification curriculum
  • CLDC staff regularly consult with other institutions. Recent consultations include: Bentley University, University of Kentucky, Northwestern University, SUNYCDO Consortium, Thomas Jefferson University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Western Kentucky University, George Fox University, Wheaton College, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • CLDC staff have presented BBCD 11 times at national and regional conferences since 2014
  • During summer 2017, the CLDC was one of three university professional development offices to be featured in a career panel presentation during a chief academic officer/chief business officer workshop in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the American Council on Education and the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Contact Information

To schedule a BBCD training, or learn more about BBCD, please contact Imants Jaunarajs, Assistant Dean of Students for the Career and Leadership Development Center.