Career Discovery Equation

The Career Discovery Equation applies the Career Preparation Process Model to all counselling programmes implemented by the Jiva Project.

The figure below presents a schematic representation of the Career Discovery Equation.



Step 1: Self Understanding

Discovering oneself is the beginning of discovering one's career. However, in the absence of career counselling, the young person's natural instinct is to make a career choice based on what is most attractive and in consonance with prevailing career beliefs. Effective career counselling begins by helping the young person become more self aware. Self-understanding in this context is not intended to carry metaphysical or spiritual over tones. It refers instead to something that can be made concrete and real.

Self-understanding for effective career decision-making focuses on the following themes:

  • Interests, desires and motivations
  • Talents and aptitudes
  • Personal Potentials
  • Personal thoughts and beliefs

The Jiva counselling programme helps the young person discover personal potentials, as well as thoughts and attitudes that could prevent the flowering of these potentials.

Click here for more information on the meaning of interests, aptitudes, personal potentials and career beliefs.


Step 2: Understanding the world of work

The world of work is the other side of the coin of effective careers education. Simply put, the world of work comprises all the different career opportunities open before the young person. Career choices are often limited to the careers that the young person knows or has heard about. Facilitating an understanding of the world of work widens the career chooser's horizons.

A second dimension to the world of work describes factors associated with a career. This includes characteristics of a career, its projected scope for development, eligibility criteria for entry, entrance procedures and so on.

The Jiva counselling programme uses a variety of worksheets and careers dictionaries to help the young person gain deeper insights into the world of work and how different careers relate to personal potentials.


Step 3: Developing Career Alternatives

At this stage in the counselling interaction the career aspirant has reached the stage where one is able to identify interests and talents. Most importantly the person's personal potentials have been discovered. During step two, the career chooser has also gone through exercises to become more aware of the world of work.

The next step in the career education process is to help the career aspirant arrive at a set of careers for which his/her interests and aptitudes are best suited - these are her Career Alternatives.

Students sometimes commit the error of planning for just one career. Career Alternatives are a set of two to three options that provide a back up should the first choice fail to materialise.

Jiva helps the young person bring together information about self and about the world of work to discover a set of Career Alternatives.


Step 4: Career Preparation

Once Career Alternatives have been chosen, the next task is career preparation. It is important that parents are included at this point. Sharing Career Alternatives with the family is vital to helping adults collaborate with the younger career aspirant. Some of the specific themes for career preparation are as follows.

Plotting career paths: A career path shows the milestones from where the career chooser is at present to the point where he or she actually enters the chosen career as a qualified professional

The career development plan: This is a clearly enunciated blueprint for career development that the career aspirant develops along with the counsellor. The target before the career aspirant is to find out more about each of the Career Alternatives chosen. This includes defining the careers, developing a detailed description of the path leading to these careers, a listing of the eligibility criteria, entrance examinations, important addresses and dates and deadlines that the career aspirant must follow. It is important to remember that it is the career aspirant who develops the career plan - not the counsellor!

Jiva offers the resources necessary to plot career paths and develop a career plan.

Career development is a life long activity and is not over when a career path has been plotted. Successful career development is related to becoming Skill Literate and learning to use a Career Development Bridge.

Read more about Skill Literacy and the Career Development Bridge.