Career Discovery Path
Key Themes of Career Guidance
A comprehensive career education programme is made up of four interlocking themes. For easy understanding Jiva describes these aspects of career counselling as the Career Discovery Path, schematically described in the figure below.
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 or popular. Such choices are often influenced by prevailing career beliefs and attitudes. Effective career counselling begins by helping the young person become more self-aware. Discovering oneself is the beginning of discovering one’s career. Self-understanding for effective career decision-making focuses on the following themes:
- Personal interests, desires and motivations.
- Personal talents and aptitudes
- Personal cognitions, values and beliefs about work and career.
Understanding the World of Work
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 young career chooser’s horizons. and helps develop skills to plot educational pathways.
A second dimension to the world of work describes factors associated with a career within a specific field. This includes characteristics of a career, its projected scope, eligibility criteria for entry, entrance procedures and so on.
A fundamental objective here is to help the young person learn to interrogate a career before committing to it.
The next step in the career education process is closely connected with decision-making skills. During this part of the Jiva workshop, the career aspirant arrives at a set of careers that he/she would be most comfortable with and for which his/her interests and aptitudes are best suited – these are her Career Alternatives. Career Alternatives are a set of two to three options that provide backup options should the first choice fail to materialise.
Once Career Alternatives are identified, the career aspirant must begin career preparation. These are exercises to help the career aspirant realise his/her career alternatives. This includes skills for course selection, course completion, understanding the labour market, self-presentation skills, and job search skills. Sharing Career Alternatives with the family is vital to help adults collaborate with the younger career aspirant. Developing a career development plan with the family makes career preparation more effective.
The Career Discovery Path describes the universal principles of career counselling. Almost all types of career counselling programmes would in some way address these 4 aspects of career development.