Career guidance is the guidance given to individuals to help them attain the knowledge, information, skills, competences and experience necessary to identify career options, and narrow them down to make one career decision. This career decision then results in their social, financial and emotional well-being throughout. Since, it is widely known that more than 4.2 millions of young people under 25 in European Union are unemployed, with almost 3 millions of them being in the euro-area, it is more than a simple need the existence of a Guide on consultation and mentoring basics for online career guidance. This guide is online, based the fact that young people use the internet and social media more and more in order to have an access to the labor market. It is a considerable fact that many of them are searching also remote jobs to work as digital nomads throughout the world, on the grounds that there are few opportunities in their country. This guide will include methods and activities, which will help young people recognize their skills and competences, evaluate themselves and be ready to apply for a job, they wish to have.
The target group of this project includes all the young people that cannot find a job, or are not able to think of and evaluate the skills they have and how they can use them in order to have a more competitive CV or a nicer and more professional profile so as to have more opportunities of selection in their future dream job.
The importance of career guidance is high, especially during this period of time with a huge economic crisis especially in the south European countries and Balkan states. There is a big range of services that can refer to career guidance:
Professional career counseling, which is provided through this online guide, can support people with career-related challenges. Through the expertise of a counselor in career development and labor markets, they can put a person’s qualifications, experience, strengths and weakness in a broad perspective while also considering their desired salary, personal hobbies and interests, location, job market and educational possibilities. Through their counseling and teaching abilities, career counselors can additionally support people in gaining a better understanding of what really matters for them personally, how they can plan their careers autonomously, or help them in making tough decisions and getting through times of crisis. Finally, career counselors are often capable of supporting their clients in finding suitable placements/ jobs, in working out conflicts with their employers, or finding the support of other helpful services. It is due to these various benefits of career counseling that policy makers in many countries publicly fund guidance services. For example, the European Union understands career guidance and counseling as an instrument to effectively combat social exclusion and increase citizens’ employability.
All these features that are actually part of the job of a career counselor are incorporated in this online guide, so as to provide online all the necessary information and help, which a young, unemployed person needs in order to find a job that he/ she would like to have.
LABOR MARKET IN EUROPE
It is not a phenomenon of coincidence that the economy in a global scale experienced a grossly severe case of unemployment making this economic crisis one of the worst ever happened in the world. Unemployment is totally connected with economic activity; actually, economic growth and unemployment could be considered to be two sides of the same coin. This means that since the beginning of economic crisis in 2008 and due to the low economic activity, the unemployment rate has become bigger than before.
To be more precise, the countries that belong to the south of Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal) and new members of European Union like Croatia face the most severe economic crises compared to the central and northern European countries.
Unemployment phenomena in European Union is connected with the fact that the skills and competences that young people in EU have, do not usually match with the skills and type of training for new types of work. Sophisticated skills will be needed for science and engineering jobs.
An important element of a successful career (from an early age) is the existence of adult education programs for continued learning (which does not exist in a high rate in southern countries). Northern European countries are particularly successful at lifelong learning, with over 60% of the adult population participating in adult education in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
At an EU level the labor market demands include a wide range of jobs that can be considered as new kind of jobs or jobs that did not exist 10 years before. These are jobs in terms of social media (and the network) and the usage of them, jobs, which demand ITC skills or jobs, which should include in many ways the new media and network.
|Have the labor market demands changed recently? How? The labor market is facing 3 major developments in the last two decades. First of all, the appearance of the internet and new communication technologies opened up new markets and new skills required to work within this setting. The second big change that goes hand in hand with the first one, is that the tertiary sector increases in importance. Nowadays most of the employees work in the third sector, which is the service sector. Additionally, the globalization is speeding up those processes. The European Union tries to face this big task and included in its 2020 agenda the “Digital Agenda for Europe” under the initiative of “Smart Grow”. The Union realized the change that the new technologies bring with them. European citizens have to use their “digital competence or literacy” (Andreea Burciu 2014, p.269) in order to use the Information and Communication Technologies. The demands of the labour markets show the needs of digitally competent employees. The European Commission makes out digital competence or literacy as the following competences: * Information and data literacy * Communication and collaboration * Digital content creation * Safety * Problem solving (Source: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/digcomp/digital-competence-framework) https://ac.els-cdn.com/S2212567114003025/1-s2.0-S2212567114003025-main.pdf?_tid=f6356a75-109b-4873-97b1-28763c8dcab6&acdnat=1539251751_20bca9c568b3fefb579e57363f7e6f41|
The truth is that Social media is changing the world; it affects how we communicate and share news, how we do business, and how our careers evolve. The secondary and higher education studies should include trainings or specific education for this new kind of labor market that exists.
Thus, and based on the example above, labor market demands in Europe have changed dramatically (actually in all developed and developing countries, the job demands have changed a lot the last decade).
What is really desirable in the labor market is the existence of work equilibrium. This, actually, means that the quantity supplied and the quantity demanded are equal. So, every employer who wants to hire a person with a “professional specialization” at this equilibrium wage can find a willing worker, and every person who wants to work at this equilibrium salary can find a job.
In general, young people tend to be more disadvantaged when entering the labor market due to limited or no work experience, a bad linkage between the skills young people have and those demanded by a specific job, a lack of career management / job search skills or access to professional networks, as well as a higher share of temporary contracts. This is the most usual phenomenon of unemployment, concerning the European countries. Most of the young people cannot match their skills and competencies with the job they would like to apply for, and although sometimes may have these skills, gained from their studies or internships, they do not think of that, since it is not gained from a real job (so they have no practical experience on that).
In the graphic above, you can see what the students’ priorities are after finishing their first / bachelor degree in a university or a college. The most of them are thinking that the best option for their future after college is finding a good job or having a high salary.
Link between education and labor market
The main question is about the drivers of high unemployment rates in Europe. Firstly, available data on unemployment shows that there is an existing link between the level of education and unemployment. Furthermore, research on the field suggests that there might be a relationship between mismatches related to skills and unemployment. According to the Eurostat data on the link between the level of education and unemployment, the rates not only differ on the educational level but also on a North-South division in Europe (see appendix 1).
The figure shows that in the European countries, unemployment between the age of 25 and 64 is higher among those who attains educational level below upper secondary. The rates of upper secondary but non-tertiary education are slightly higher than related to tertiary education. On a European level data suggests that there is an interaction between the two variables but it is not enough evidence to address the problem. In the case of youth unemployment (between the age of 15 and 24) according to Eurostat data, rates are higher which indicates that there is another possible linkage between unemployment and labor market. Several research revealed mismatch between attained knowledge and needed workforce skills. This problem is the most visible among those who are about to finish their education and start their transition to work.
The issue can be explained by the fact that people are often not learning those work related general skills which would be needed to find jobs related to their studies. Employers report that soft skills such as spoken communication and work ethic are missing among those who have no experience yet. According to this, who provide education has to match the given knowledge and skills to the needs of employers which requires communication.
The link between education and labor market is frequently researched recently. It is due to the fact that unemployment rates are still high on the EU and European level which means it has an important role not only in the future of the European Union but also in the growth of the European countries individually. The presented data and sources show that there is a link between education and labor market on several levels. Firstly, the economic and financial crisis affects the labor market causing several challenges which makes the recovery slow. Secondly, there is a connection between unemployment and the level of attained education showing that below upper secondary level the rates are higher. As a third cause, the mismatch between the provided education and needed general work skills can be mentioned. The linkages between the above indicated variables have to be addressed in order to tackle both youth unemployment and general unemployment in Europe.
Eurostat: UnemploymentStatistics, 2018. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics#Longer-term_unemployment_trends (Downloaded: 11.10.2018.)
McKinsey&Company: Education toEmploymen: GettingEurope’syouthintowork, 2014. Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/social-sector/our-insights/converting-education-to-employment-in-europe (Downloaded: 11.10.2018.)
BASIC DEFINITIONS OF CAREER GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
What do we mean by career guidance?
We understand career guidance to be support provided to young people so that they are better prepared to make decisions regarding their education, technical training or career, based on understanding their own interests, aptitudes and abilities, as well as the resources and opportunities around them.
Career guidance is: A process which involves much more than taking a test or learning about the selection of careers or occupations available. Rather, it is a well-defined process through which a youth receives information and support so that she/he can make realistic choices about her/his future in terms of career, further education and personal goals; Active since it assumes that young people should be active participants in the process of defining their goals and taking steps to meet those goals; Motivating in that in understanding better who they are and what they can accomplish, youth become more hopeful about the future.
Career counseling encompasses extensive activities that enable individuals to realize informative decisions that relate to their career development. These decisions may include the choice of long-term and short-term career goals, and the choice of education and vocational training leading to their accomplishment. Career counseling is a process of gathering information about the requirements of the world of work and simultaneous profiling of the individual’s specific predispositions based on his knowledge, skills and interests in the process of their mutual merging / linking (supply and demand). “Career counseling is a process in which a person creates relationships and a balance between himself and the labor market” (Career Counseling for Life 2002).
Career counseling is an integral part of the important documents of the Council of the European Union in part related to the issues of lifelong learning and employment. Career counseling today is ranked in areas with great dynamic development. There is a shift from the career counseling which was based primarily on psychology using psychology theories, to career counseling that has a multidisciplinary character and is one of the key trends in the development of career counseling services in today’s world.
Now the most commonly used definition of career guidance, introduced by the OECD, when in co-operation with the World Bank and later with the European Commission, they have begun systematically map existing policies and approaches in career counseling, starting in the OECD countries, and later in countries of the European Union and countries that are at the beginning of the 21st century are candidates for EU accession:
“Career guidance refers to services and activities intended to assist individuals, of any age and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. Such services may be found in schools, universities and colleges, in training institutions, in public employment services, in the workplace, in the voluntary or community sector and in the private sector. The activities may take place on an individual or group basis, and may be face-to-face or at a distance (including help lines and web-based services). They include career information provision (in print, ICT-based and other forms), assessment and self-assessment tools, counseling interviews, career education programmes (to help individuals develop their self-awareness, opportunity awareness, and career management skills), taster programmes (to sample options before choosing them), work search programmes, and transition services.” (OECD, 2004)
The definition of terms “career growth” and “career development” are shown in the following figure: Figure 1 Graphic presentation of the terms “career development” (curve line) and “career growth” (straight line)
Career counseling is implemented in different surroundings, it is interdisciplinary and multidimensional. The content and form of the advisory process depend on the needs and problems of the clients. Psychological theories of career development and choice arise from differential psychology, from the psychology of development, from the theory of social learning and from the theory of constructivism. Today, major career theories (Parsons, Super, Holland, Krumboltz, Savickas) are connected into an integrated framework and represent a basis for their application in practice, in optimizing career development, choice of studies / occupation, seeking a job, etc. An essential part of career counseling is professional information (for yourself, the world of work, opportunities for education), the use of information databases in printed or digital form.
Scope of career guidance
The range of services that refer to career guidance can be understood at three different levels:
- Career information – covering systematic labour market information, (occupational outlook) as projections of the labour market, Jobs on demand, labor market survey, numbers and ratios of unemployment, future career and job opportunities, courses and occupations
- Career guidance (education, professional orientation) – services related to the choice of a profession or education, making decisions at key transition points, supports managing career pathways and opportunities throughout life. It helps students understand their motives, their values and how they might contribute to society. It provides them with knowledge of the labour market; skills to make education/training, life and work choices;
- Career counseling – deeper counseling with elements of therapy, classical interactive advisory relationship between counselor and client, one-to-one basis or in small groups, in which attention is focused on the distinctive career issues faced by individuals. It helps people clarify their aims and aspirations, understand their own identity, make informed decisions, commit to action, and manage career transitions, both planned and unplanned.
These areas can be interrelated and adapted to the needs of youth. This interaction is especially important when the guidance targets disadvantaged youth who require a comprehensive approach that combines different resources, such as the use of psychometric instruments, sharing information on educational or job opportunities, psycho-pedagogical assessments, and the detection of psychosocial risks, etc.
With this new understanding, career guidance should be concerned not only with the matching of the existing attributes, but also with self-development and growth. Furthermore, the aim of career this process is to help people make decisions for themselves. In other words, careers are commonly not “chosen” at a single point in life, but “constructed” through a series of interrelated learning, experiences and work choices throughout life.
Box 1 summarises the definition of career guidance:
- What? Activities: e.g. information giving, advice, counselling, assessment, teaching, advocacy
- For/with whom? All citizens
- When? Any age and point in their lives
- Focus? Making meaningful life choices on learning and work. Empowerment to manage learning and career
- Career? Individual life paths in learning, work and in others settings in which these capacities and competences are learned and/or used
- Where? Education, training, employment, private
Career Counselling focuses on longer-term career goals and more individual-centred in nature. This process could be also conducted with groups and unemployed/job seekers, students, employed adults and marginalized groups could also benefit from counselling services. There is also a need to distinguish employment counselling from career counselling. Employment counselling focuses mainly on assessment, on developing and implementing an agreed action plan aiming on pathway for effective and rapid labour market integration.
Why provide career guidance?
The ultimate goal of career guidance is to contribute to the holistic development of young people, supporting their transition to the world of work and decision making as they strive for continuous improvement throughout their lives. For this reason, career guidance should not be restricted to the formal education system or to choosing an occupation, as has traditionally occurred. It can also help youth better define their dreams and interests and the importance of staying in school and participating in their communities.
Recent research by the OECD, the World Bank (WB), the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Education and Training (CEDEFOP) and the European Training Foundation (ETF) confirms the importance of career guidance, counselling and information in helping to achieve three main goals:
- Lifelong learning goals: Combating early school leaving and ensuring an adequate knowledge and skills base to meet the challenges in creating knowledge-based societies in the context of economic globalization, and promoting adequate linkages between education, training and the world of work.
- Labour market outcomes: Reducing mismatches between supply and demand for labour, dealing with unemployment and improving labour mobility.
- Social equity and social inclusion goals: Promoting reintegration of marginalized and at risk groups into education, training and employment and mainstreaming of excluded groups into general training programmes and labour market services.
In general terms, career guidance aims to support youth so that they:
- fully develop their competencies and abilities;
- know and understand themselves in terms of their interests, strengths, and opportunities for improvement;
- are capable of realistically analyzing their social and work environments and the barriers and opportunities
- that exist;
- are capable of guiding and managing themselves;
- attain the maturity needed to make their own personal, educational and career decisions;
- are capable of adapting and making any necessary adjustments; and
- perform well in school.
Why should career guidance be offered to disadvantaged youth?
Defining career aspirations and realistically matching personal interests and abilities with job opportunities are big challenges for all young people, even more so for those living at an economic and social disadvantage. Many young people have no job or education and are often busy ensuring their own and their families’ subsistence. They tend to know little about their own personal interests and abilities and lack clarity about what they want to be and do in the future. In many cases, they tend towards unrealistic expectations and objectives and a lack of knowledge about the work-related needs and opportunities around them. The career guidance approach proposed in this guide aims to respond to these needs and help youth define the path their lives will take, in particular during their transition from school to work, or from job insecurity to continued education or towards what the International Labour Organization (ILO) calls decent work.
Terms used in this guidebook
There are many different terms used across the world in the field of careers guidance and counselling. For the purpose of this guidebook each of the terms is defined below.
- “qualification” means a formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards;
- “national qualifications system” means all aspects of a Member State’s activity related to the recognition of learning and other mechanisms that link education and training to the labour market and civil society. This includes the development and implementation of institutional arrangements and processes relating to quality assurance, assessment and the award of qualifications. A national qualifications system may be composed of several subsystems and may include a national qualifications framework;
- “learning outcomes” means statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process, which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence;
- “knowledge” means the outcome of the assimilation of information through learning. Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices that is related to a field of work or study. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, knowledge is described as theoretical and/or factual;
- “skills” means the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments);
- “attitude” is defined as the disposition of the person towards evaluation. It means readiness to take a stand on the facts that surround us and which we perceive.
- “ability” is an attribute / quality required to perform something. The individual’s mental character is that which determines his action and which is a condition for his life activity. Ability is a set of preconditions necessary for successful performance of a particular activity.
- “competence” means the proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal development. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy.
- “character” is a set of attributes that characterize the individual’s attitude towards people, but also towards oneself and to the outside world. The character closely associates even with the morale.10. “temperament” is the name of a set of characteristics of the organism that determines the dynamics (pace, speed of psychic processes, attitudes and activities), intensity (strength, depth, or external expression) and sensitivity (excitement, emotionality, agility, mobility) of the entire experience (emotionality) and behavior (motor) of a person. Temperament is a set of formal characteristics of human experience and behavior. So, that’s the way he experiences what he does and experiences. (the style of experiencing and behavior).11. “adolescence” – the term adolescence is derived from the Latin word “adolescere” which means it grows, matures and strengthens. This period of development marks a relatively long period of maturation, fills a transition period between childhood and maturity, a change occurs from a child to an adult individual. Completing adolescence can be understood as achieving the full maturity of the individual, as well as the full development of physical and mental abilities. The young man during adolescence is called an adolescent.
- “Career counselling” – A largely verbal process in which a counsellor and counsellee(s) are in a dynamic and collaborative relationship, focused on identifying and acting on the counselee’s goals, in which the counsellor employs a repertoire of diverse techniques and processes, to help bring about self-understanding, understanding of behavioural options available, and informed decision-making in the counsellee, who has the responsibility for his or her own actions.
- “Career” – the interaction of work roles and other life roles over a person’s lifespan including both paid and unpaid work in an individual’s life. People create career patterns as they make decisions about education, work, family and other life roles.
- “Career development” – the total constellation of economic, sociological, psychological, educational, physical and chance factors that combine to shape one’s career.
PROFILE AND COMPETENCES OF CAREER COUNSELOR
The Career counselor is a PERSON whose mission is to help and guide the clients, to give them quality services. “Professionalism” is a visible and obvious element and benefits the people around us, our clients and ourselves, because it moves us further and higher in the private and professional life. The man becomes a professional thanks to the achieved level of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are important for the given area.
Apart from this, adequately selected way of communication, methods of cooperation with the client and readiness to help = the basic precondition for success at work. Role plays the professional environment as well
How to build a professional identity of a counselor?
- Knowing yourself well, make it clear to you why you are doing this work
- Know your reactions – behavior in various situations
- To be authentic – credible, my words are consistent with my actions, I’m not ironic, I know how to show joy and compassion
- Readiness to help
- Identify and understand the needs of the client
- choose the adequate way of communicating with the client
- choose adequate methods for working with the client
- Constantly working on oneself, to educate in the professional and key competences
How to manage yourself?
Self-knowledge – is connected with the willingness / desire to work on oneself, by self-development, self-education, training of their own abilities, their competences.
Self-motivation – readiness to make effort, to engage, to be active, patient, initiative, willingness to give maximum results.
Self-time-management directed towards elimination of stress – we can not influence the amount of time we have available, but we can use it more effectively, eliminating the so-called. “Thieves of Time”.
Interpersonal relations – the ability to cooperate, or co-operation with others is one of the most important competences, nowadays the most popular are the so-called. team players.
Key qualifications for the labor market
The desire for knowledge and continuous learning is inherent in man. Our education does not end with school completion. It has long been said that the knowledge we acquired in the school will not be enough for a lifetime. A person who does not want to be educated / upgraded, is not ready to retrain, he will probably lose the connection with the development of the profession. Life was never so full of so many changes and challenges as it is now. It was never necessary, the man to be regularly educated, as it is now.
The new requirements that are being served today for workers are abilities such as: flexibility, ability to work in team, systematic and contextual thinking, willingness to take responsibility for substantial and real values, people and environment, awareness of quality, readiness to learn and others.
All these requirements, commonly referred to as key qualifications, will determine our work life much more than in the past.
They are universal (they are such abilities that we can consider not only in a narrow area or only for one activity, but they can be used in other areas and for other activities)
They are permanent. (these are such abilities that defy the changes and can be used even when the circumstances have changed)
They are not congenital, but are developed on the basis of congenital predispositions. They can only develop when performing practical activity / training (behavioral approach). These are capabilities that express individual characteristics and are a prerequisite for successful performance of an activity.
In evaluating the requirements of the job position and professional literature the following key qualifications were identified:
- ability to solve problem and creativity
- ability to learn and think
- ability to argument and assess / evaluate
- ability for cooperation and communication
- ability to take responsibility
- Independence and efficiency
At first glance, these abilities seem to be obvious and natural. The same holds the manager of a large enterprise and the housewife as well. But each of them has the capabilities at a different level.
A person who did not acquire these qualifications, that is, he was not able to acquire them, there may be a problem when seeking employment, or later in the workplace. It is important for the employer to know not only the professional qualification, but also the working motivation and social adaptability of the jobseekers. How much is the interested person active and engaged, how much is self-initiative, whether it is open, knows how to cooperate, embraces team work, is it suitable for the company?
Today’s time shows the fact that knowledge and expertise are a significant presumption of success, but there is no dependence between success in school and in professional life. It turns out that success in work, but also in life, is often more important, for example, our ability to cooperate, communicate with other people than our expert and theoretical knowledge.
Building key competences is a lifelong, individual process that develops personality. This is true for the Career Counselor as well, who in the process of counseling carries with him his strengths that can be upgraded.
Competences directly relate to the content of the work specified in the preconditions, complement it and specify in more detail. They represent an ability in the performance of a job / profession to use the knowledge gained in the educational process – transformed into skills, including the personal characteristics and abilities necessary for the successful realization of the work activities / tasks.
Competences according to the European Qualifications Framework
Competencies in the context of the European Qualifications Framework EQF “competence” is a proven ability to use the knowledge, skills, and personal, social and / or methodical skills in work or study situations, as well as in professional and personal development. In terms of the European Qualifications Framework, competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy. “
Through the group / set of descriptors, 8 levels are defined, which denote the results of education that correspond to the qualifications of the given level, in any system of qualifications. Qualifications of Lifelong Learning are included: basic qualification – Level 1 eg. School-to-senior school-level, level 8, eg doctorates.
Competences from occupational perspective (National Occupation System): They contain detailed characteristics / prerequisites that the workforce should have to perform the job.
In the EU countries, standards are created within the National Occupational Classification Systems. In the future, the standard for the “chef” profession will be equal in Germany, in Slovakia, and in other EU countries. It is similar with other professions.
Key competences for professional and private life
Horst Belz and Marco Siegrist distinguishes five dimensions of key competencies:
- Organizing: ambition, expediency, consistency, precision, self-management, self-evaluation, systematic, rationality, flexibility, co-ordination capability.
- Communication and collaboration: ability for written and oral expression, pragmatic of argumentation, openness, ability to cooperate, empathy – ability to feel, ability for integration, level of service-oriented, social responsibility, honesty.
- Learning and mastering the techniques of psychic work: a desire for further education, using learning techniques, understanding of diagrams and patterns – knowledge of their usage, knowledge in making conclusions, logical thinking, abstraction, predicting systemic thinking, theory in practice, thinking focused on problem solving, creativity.
- Independence and responsibility: confidentiality, discipline, awareness of quality, awareness of security, justification of opinions, reasonable behavior, initiative, decision making ability, self-criticism, knowledge of their own limits and disadvantages.
- Ability to master physical and psychological effort: ability to concentrate, perseverance, for example, in long-term tasks, alertness i.e. carefulness in monotone / one-line activities that require attention, frustration resistance, adaptability.
According to Kurt Seipel, the competencies represent the ability of individuals to carry out their new tasks independently.
Abilities – Person’s characteristics that indicate the predisposition to perform a particular activity in accordance with the norms and rules.
The competencies can be divided into the following groups:
- Professional competencies
- Methodological competencies
- Social competencies
- Personal competencies
On the one hand they can be proved with vocational qualification and with diplomas / certificates. But professional competences are much more. They can be acquired through trainings, during work – practice, based on private interests or in the family.
Key question for professional competences is:
What are my vocationally acquired preconditions / characteristics needed to complete tasks?
Professional competences – criteria:
- university education, best in social sciences (andragogy, social work, human resources, psychology …),
- Practice in counseling (information, vocational, social) min. 3 years,
- managerial practice (organizational and personal skills, prerequisites for building a regional partnership in the field of counseling …),
- Computer skills, languages
- preparation in the framework of further education.
Methodical competencies include the way in which people overcome the given tasks and problems. Strong methodical competencies help in complex and effective work with goals. Some methodological competences may also be partially included in professional competencies.
A key question for methodical competencies is:
How do I approach the tasks and challenges?
Methodological competences – criteria:
- knowledge of models, methods and techniques of career counseling,
- skills for leading individual and group career counseling,
- ability to properly diagnose and define the problem and select the adequate manner / solution of solving.
- planning, managing and implementing career counseling (time management).
- ability to collect, analyze and use information in career counseling,
- knowledge of current information on education, vocational training, employment trends, the labor market and social areas.
Social competences represent the ability of individuals to deal with people. Social competencies serve to interact and understand with others and represent basis for building, creating and maintaining relationships (for example, in groups)
A key question for social competences is:
How Do I Deal With People?
Social competences – criteria:
- ability to effectively communicate with clients and partners,
- Teamwork capability – ability to build partnerships with other institutions, ability to work with a team of professionals,
- social and civic competences (interpersonal and intrapersonal),
- Cultural competences (ability to respect various expressions of culture, types of art, creative activity of man and social customs).
Personal competencies are basic skills that enable us to actively form our own life. Personal competences are deeply rooted in man and can sometimes be perceived as personal characteristics.
A key question for personal competencies is:
How do I deal with myself? What qualities do I have?
Personal competencies – criteria:
- ability to maintain ethical and legal norms and principles in career counseling,
- ability to take responsibility, honesty, open thinking,
- ability to integrate theories and conclusions / research results into counseling practice,
- ability to identify / assess your own capacity and constraints,
- ability to learn (competences for lifelong learning),
- Entrepreneurial competencies, active approach competences lead to stimulation / cause change, but also to the ability to anticipate change and actively respond to them, achieve their goals and take responsibility for their actions.
- flexibility, independence, adaptability, perseverance and resilience, enthusiasm, self-determination, etc.
Recommendations for the Counselor/Adviser:
- Facilitate situations that stimulate young people’s imaginations.
Provide a pen and paper so they can brainstorm ideas and then organize them to see how they could become reality. Another option is relaxation exercises. Propose situations or imaginary journeys.
- Offer resources that invite innovation.
Information and communication technologies are a good option as they are very motivational for young people. Using a computer and navigational tools can help them broaden their perspective and knowledge of the environment.
- Give youth time to think without pressure.
After asking a question, wait four to ten seconds to give them time to formulate their response. This is called “waiting time”. They can also be given time to write their response to a question, which can help them organize their thoughts before answering.
- Encourage young people to express their ideas and acknowledge their responses.
Repeat or paraphrase their responses, for example: “I understand that you are saying that…“ in order to show that you are really listening to them. If they have difficulty expressing themselves, encourage them with some questions to help them reflect, such as, “And what does this mean to
- Value their way of looking at situations from different perspectives.
- Be corrective without discouraging.
Giving feedback is an art and requires being specific, so that the person is very clear as to what was and was not effective; be sure to criticize the action, not the person. Ask young people how they would have done it differently, or how they will make sure it does not happen again.
- Make the experience fun and pleasant.
In this case, role playing or simulations can be used to help young people express their ideas, fears and ideals in a fun way.
- Show your appreciation!
- Career guidance requires a considerable dose of imagination to devise activities or strategies that are relevant and in line with the young person’s circumstances
- Making mistakes is also a way of learning
- Expressing oneself, in any manner, is the best way to learn and make oneself known
- Excessive discipline and order can be obstacles to learning
- Learning involves recognizing other ways of seeing the world
PROCESS OF CAREER COUNSELING
This chapter introduces a theoretical framework for counselors/advisers who provide career guidance services to youth. The strategies and resources used to provide guidance on young people’s career choices must enable them to answer the following questions:
- Who am I?
This question helps the young person identify his/her interests, strengths and skills.
- Where am I?
This involves recognizing possibilities, difficulties and barriers in his/her environment.
- Where do I want to go and how do I get there?
The career plan is designed at this time. For this, it is important to recognize the gap between the starting point and desired destination, and to define how to get there.
PRACTICAL CAREER COUNSELING
According to Päivi Nilsson и Pehr Akerblom (Kariérové poradenství pro zivot, 2003), counseling is closely related to social development and this relationship is the reason for creating new visions and methods in counseling. Emotions play a decisive role in the motivation and the client’s ability to think about new alternatives. Emotions represent a way of perception of the world. If a mentor is deeply concerned with how a person feels and when he is aware of the key influence of emotions in the process of decision-making and problem-solving, then the quality of counseling services is substantially increasing.
The model prescribes the following cycle:
Self-knowledge / self-image / essence is an analysis of one’s own personality. We can start with questions: Who am I? What interests do I have: What are my strengths and weaknesses? What kind of talent do I have? What am I good at?
Life values - the essence is what I believe in, what is important to me in life? Life values are different in each individual and are related to its development and vary in different periods of life.
Motivation – means the desire to act. The essence is to support the thinking, acting and behavior of a person, to start the change and to focus on the work goal.
Future perspectives – determining possibilities and opportunities in a professional orientation and choice of occupation / profession.
Contacts – the essence is the development of a network of contacts. Maintaining and fostering contacts with people who can help us, to advise us on the labor market.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CARRIER COUNSELOR AND THE CLIENT
A positive professional relationship between Career Counselor and Adolescent is very important for gaining trust. At the same time, in this relationship between the two, certain boundaries must be respected. The career counselor should build an equal, partnership relationship with the client.
The counselor should be careful that the client feels respected and therefore competent to accept responsibility for his decisions and actions. Decisions and wishes of the client should be accepted with full importance and respect, but at the same time by determining their own position and expressing their own possibilities. The attitude the counselor has toward himself will have to his clients.
Career decisions cross two dimensions: the personal dimension, which is related to the participants’ interests, thoughts, opinions and feelings; and the social dimension, defined by the economic, political and cultural context. Recognizing that career problems are affected by these two dimensions broadens the range of intervention for career guidance services and invites us to consider:
- Subjective aspects such as the young people’s interests, preferences, aptitudes and perceptions of themselves and their future
- Interpersonal aspects such as the influence of family and friends in choosing a career, trade or occupation
- Cultural aspects related to the valuation and place that society assigns to different professions, trades or job possibilities
- Social aspects such as the configuration of business and educational systems in each community and at a particular point in time
MOST COMMON TYPES OF CLIENTS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS
CLIENT IN DENIAL
3 powerful types of resistance / denial:
• resistance, when the client does not recognize the problem
• Resistance, when the client wants to change but does not know how because the change scares / threatens him
• Resistance, when the client understands his problem, may even know its reason, but does not want change.
The possible denial of its problem, because if it accepts / acknowledges it shows external factors and shifts the responsibility for the problem to others, it blames others.
Why does the client behave this way?
– under influence of internal conflicts,
– protection from accepting changes, unnecessary and dangerous incentives for him/her
– “paralyzed” and limited by the influence of fear, worry, inexperience, immaturity, is also related to the ego – to recognize the problem.
Possible consequences for the councilor
– if he is not prepared for this type of risky client, he can block the initiation and creation of cooperation
– reduction of the quality of communication, creation of personal, psychological barriers in communication and, consequently, cooperation,
– internal negativity, expression of nervousness, anger, possible helplessness with such a client to further cooperate,
– the resistance towards the client can grow, hatred, repulsion to cooperate with such a client, etc.
Strategies for work of the counselor
– not to force the client to acknowledge the guilt for the problem, or part of the guilt, especially in the initial phase, the imposition of guilt is unconstructive and harmful to the advisory relation.
– It is sometimes convenient and useful to directly and openly talk to the client about his resistance, to name / point, to use the so-called paradox technique – creating a space for resistance rather than suppressing it, supporting the client in showing resistance.
– using the “foot in the door” technique – gradually dosing the steps of understanding, the counselor will first offer those solutions that he knows the client will reject, and only then offers a compromise solution or an effective step.
– To try to motivate the client to solve his problem, but also to prepare for accepting his non-cooperation, to inform him openly, it can be a button to overcome the barrier and create cooperation and creativity.
– lacks self-motivation to solve its problems, if at all acknowledges that there are any
– there may be a refusal to cooperate and to take action to solve its problem
– the contact with the institution or the councilor is solely because of the legislation, because it has to, or is sent by someone else, directed
– Resistance (above) and repulsion are notions that are often replaced, but the client is not voluntary, because if he has the right to choose, then he would not even appear at all, unlike the client in the denial that will come but prevents change.
Why does the client behave this way?
– it is possible to experience discomfort / shame, does not know, nor does he know what is expected of him
– may be timid, shy, insecure, may be angry that he was forced to come, which is consequently reflected in his attitude
– forced to cooperate with another person
– repulsive, involuntary clients can react to the counselor with anger and compensate for their uncertainty with aggression.
Possible consequences for the councilor
Can cooperation be achieved if the client does not want to cooperate?
– the advisor’s effort to “overtake” the client, to prove to him that he should not come if he does not want to cooperate and make him feel guilty of the whole situation,
– starting internal dissatisfaction, nervousness, anxiety, lack of desire to work with such a client, a tendency to “finish” with the client as soon as possible.
Strategies for work of the counselor
– a counselor’s own response to the question of how the client feels when the environment pressures him, family, partner wants to do something quickly, and what the client experiences when the others point out that he is unable to deal with its problems, and often sees the institutions or councilors as another enemy,
– It is important to the client to be given a sufficient amount of information about the system, the role of the advisor, where can he help and where the engagement of the client is needed,
– To promise the client that they will cooperate in those areas for which they will agree in advance
– Creation of an informal atmosphere without pressure, accusation and judgement (“if today you do not want to talk about your problem, you can think and come tomorrow”),
– We can influence distrust, indifference and negative attitude of the client if we immediately inform him about the possibilities and activities / work of the institution.
Aggressive behavior can be expected especially when working with involuntary clients and if the counselor did not meet the client’s expectations.
Why does the client behave this way?
aggressive or critical client behaves like this because it feels internally very fragile even absolutely unreliable, have a great fear of refusal, from change, from step into the unknown, from frustration that they experience or possibly been bundled with.
Possible consequences for the councilor
– a dangerous encounter between an aggressive choleric client and a counselor with similar character traits and consequently an increase in aggression
– Fear, anxiety of this type of client can cause more stress, even health problems to the counselor
Strategies for work of the counselor
– Adjustment of the room – there should be no items that can be used as weapons, adequate signaling equipment is mounted, which at some point serves to call for help, the adviser is closer to the door – the possibility of escape in case of danger ,
– it is important that in the first phase you allow the client to express himself, express dissatisfaction, anger, accusations – you just have to listen, let him talk – the level of adrenaline in the blood will fall and only then can it begin constructive conversation
– not to appeal to the clients rationality, logical explanation or argumentation – the client’s reactions are based on extraordinary mechanisms
– to listen to criticism of the client and to leave a place that part of it may be true “this system is fuzzy” and etc. – a reaction “you are right, I also disagree with many things in the law “or” here nobody works, everyone just drinks coffee” – “you are right, sometimes we drink coffee”). By accepting a part of the criticism, it ceases to be a client’s instrument, in the event of a repetition, the client usually stops / gives up
– the counselor‘s openness – the counselor often talks about his feelings when the client attacks him – “what you said hurt me, and I’m really sorry that you see things like this” – the client can feel that he has no hostile institution in front of him, but a person with feelings,
– if there is no hope for a rational conversation, then it is useful to stop the conversation, to leave space for “cooling” of the turbulent destructive emotions of the client, and you can offer cooperation with another advisor or other institution,
– it can be extremely effective “Shock therapy” – to do something unexpected, for which it also takes experience in working with the client,
– after acceptance and release, clients become cooperative and actively participate in solving problems.
– rarely appears and silence can signal something
– silence can be an expression of his inner conflict (I will speak or I will not speak)
– may be an expression of insecurity, mistrust, anxiety or, on the other hand, a lack of desire for cooperation or resistance.
Why does the client behave this way?
– The client may need time for adaptation in the environment and contact with a foreigner – advisor
– Personal pre-conditions and characteristics, influence on education (shyness, timidity)
– Assorted problems and internal conflicts, fear of the client
– The need for collecting the courage of the client in front of an important issue can summarize the situation and so on.
Possible consequences for the councilor
– Creation of internal pressure / tension, nervousness of the counselor that can create an even greater gap in communication
– Creating more pressure on the client, which can create communication blockade, stubbornness, nausea and irritation.
Strategies for work of the counselor
– To learn to provide space for silence to the client without the counselor becoming insecure or feeling the need to break silence. Working with silence is especially difficult for beginners in working with clients. A counselor can create a tendency to quickly react to the client’s silence – by entering and offering answers.
– To stop long silence (problem with the opening of the conversation) – the counselor refers to the client himself that during the silence he has gone through his head, how he felt he speaks to himself, so he can reach a reaction in the client, and he will begin to talk about himself, eventually the counselor will gently guide the client with the question “What were you thinking about?”
– It is recommended to continue the icebreaker phase and first to speak in general, in order to further lose anxiety, pressure and tension,
– To show greater interest in what the client is talking about, the counselor encourages the client in the conversation and evaluates what he or she is talking about (“thank you for talking about it, I can now better orient myself in your problem”, “thank you for being honest with me” ),
– Sometimes it is possible to use the technique of “homework” until the next meeting, when the client in peace and in his home environment will make suggestions for his problem (how he further imagines job search procedures, what skills and knowledge he has etc.),
– If the client does not react, inform the client that without his information and cooperation the counselor can not help him and can leave him with time for thinking (for example, the next day) and possibly to complete the meeting,
– A special part – a silent client in a group, it can expressly show fear of presenting his problem, opinions before the group, we should not force him, but with one question the client will gradually be entered into a group.
– The client deliberately uses the influence or direction for a benefit by using lies, negotiating, seduction, charm, bribery, flooding words, and so on. (“Mrs. XH, I know your brother, really good man” – the counselor’s client gives information – we are friends, almost as if I were a member of your family, have that in mind, etc.)
– The client can propose a change in the environment or form of cooperation eg. in the café, will eventually bring the documents to the councilor at home, whereby the conversation can be directed in a different direction, there is a violation of privacy and overstepping professional boundaries in the client-client relationship,
– In some cases, the client can bring a small gift, attention, through which he wants to gain in a more gentle relationship with the counselor, to be more cautious and to get more time for a certain undeserved advantage, that is, away from solving the problem.
Why does the client behave this way?
– The need for manipulation stems from the protection of one’s own fragile ego, possibly fear of discovering unpleasant and dangerous topics for which he would not want to speak,
– It can also be a way of protection, protection from the outside world or hiding, putting aside the problem – the situation,
– if the client has the right to allowance / support, or priority involvement in retraining, etc.).
Possible consequences for the councilor
– a sense of obligation, limitation, which can be reflected in the counselor’s cold attitude, and the occurrence of indirect communication or avoidance of communication.
– an unequal relationship with the client can be created, when the counselor will take action even when deciding instead of the client, which is not effective,
– Negative internal feelings that can trigger behavior from a position of power.
Strategies for work of the counselor
Note: It is more useful to talk about manipulative behavior than a manipulative client, because a person should not be defined by one characteristic
– such behavior is seen as a symptom rather than as a diagnosis. It is useful to seek the answer to the question: what is the client afraid of? What is his fear?
– Open conversation with the client and understanding with empathy – this helps to break the ice and create a respect-based cooperation (“I am pleased with your attention, but I will not receive this gift”, “I am sorry, but please respect the refusal of this gift “, etc.),
– When the cases of manipulation are repeated, it is effective to create solid boundaries and limit / determine time, a clear and understandable rejection of manipulative offers without any hesitation.
Career guidance is carried out in three stages:
Stage 1: Strengthening life skills: self-awareness and transition management
Stage 2: Developing competences to understand and act on one’s environment: knowledge of the environment and exploration of possible scenarios
Stage 3: Constructing a career plan: vision for the future, planning, execution and follow-up
Units of competence
Self-awareness and transition management
ü Knows the level of achievement of his/her own general and work-related competencies Identifies interests, passions and talents
ü Recognizes his/her own work history as a source of learning Manages the transition from school to work
ü Manages the transition from informal to formal employment
Competencies for understanding and acting on the environment
Knowledge of the environment and exploration of possible scenarios
ü Recognizes the potential and the limitations of his/her family situation
ü Identifies strategic sectors of economic development and job opportunities in his/her city, region and country
ü Recognizes opportunities and threats in the environment, e.g. drug addiction, teen pregnancy, and domestic violence
ü Defines the occupational area in which he/she wants to obtain, maintain and learn from a job
ü Identifies one or more training areas related to the occupational area of interest in order to define an educational process throughout his/ her lifetime
ü Identifies the profile needed to become self-employed
Constructing a career plan
Vision of the future, planning, execution and follow-up
ü Defines personal scenarios
ü Identifies and evaluates available resources
ü Connects areas of interest with possibilities in his/her environment
ü Identifies development opportunities
ü Defines objectives and goals in work and educational settings
ü Organizes an action and follow-up plan to achieve goals
ü Makes decisions and executes an action plan
ü Reviews and revises objectives
STAGE 1: LIFE SKILLS
Self-awareness and Transition Management
Strategies and resources used to support youth in their process of self-awareness must:
- give them the leading role in the process and actively involve them in their own learning;
- promote their autonomy and independence;
- encourage self-guidance and self-discovery;
- pave the way for identifying motivations and interests, passions and talents;
- encourage inquiry about their own general and work-related competencies (abilities and skills);
- differentiate between “what I would like to do” and “what I really can do or learn to do”;
- favor informed and autonomous decision making;
- facilitate educational and career planning; and
- help with transitions either from school to work or from informal to formal employment.
Everything that is “taught” directly to youth prevents them from discovering it themselves and, therefore, from truly comprehending it. Acting by themselves is the only path that guarantees that youth experience significant and transformational learning.
STAGE 2: UNDERSTANDING AND ACTING ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Knowledge of the Environment and Exploration of Possible Scenarios
Strategies and resources used to support young people in this stage must:
- encourage awareness and understanding of their familial, social and economic environments, as well as their potential and limitations;
- facilitate access to information on educational, job and entrepreneurial offerings in the environment;
- contribute to building a realistic appreciation of the possibilities and challenges that the environment offers;
- support them in connecting their potential and expectations with the possibilities available to them;
- favor informed and autonomous decision making;
- support the development of competencies to manage the information obtained; and
- promote the social value that the choice of profession or occupation represents in terms of responsibility to oneself and the community.
- Since vocational or career decisions include both personal aspects—such as the participants’ interests, abilities, thoughts and opinions—and social aspects related to the social, economic and cultural context in which they live, exploration of the environment must focus on supporting the young people so that they:
- identify educational opportunities (formal or informal learning of technical or vocational skills);
- recognize entrepreneurship possibilities; and
- identify professional profiles, trends and opportunities in the job market.
STAGE 3: CONSTRUCTING A CAREER PLAN
Vision for the Future, Planning, Execution and Follow-up
The strategies and resources used in this stage must:
- motivate the young people to become the architects of their own life;
- foster recognition of personal resources and development opportunities in the environment;
- recognize the need for organization in order to complete projects;
- support the definition of real and concrete objectives related to education, entrepreneurship and work and
- the construction of strategies and actions to achieve these objectives;
- generate safe spaces for youth to freely express their concerns, expectations and dreams for the future;
- encourage self-management; and
- promote young people’s independence and autonomy.
Career Planning Process
Career Plan: A career plan is a tool that helps guide personal growth based on recognition of one’s own resources and potential and those of the environment. It involves defining the career objectives that one wants to reach, specifying timing, planning actions and determining the resources needed to carry them out.
Career planning is not a simple activity that should be done once and never again — in a year lecture or course in high school or college- since while people are growing up, they realize new things about their character, new features of their personalities and they continuously acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies during their university studies, internships, volunteer work and even their personal life.
It is really important that career planning is something that should happen on a regular basis. There is not a specific time to start your career, it can be after your graduation, after your first internship, in high school, when you realize that you find your tendencies or even after your first failed interview.
Career planning is an activity that should be liberating and fulfilling, providing goals to achieve in your current career or plans for beginning a transition to a new career. A new career is more and more possible, nowadays, since new jobs (that demand plenty of skills) are being created all the time and this makes the labor market a lot more diverse rather than in the past and the chances more than before. What a young person has to think is how he/she can grab these chances, or how he/she can deal with a situation in a new job, after working in a specific place and time for a long time.
When a young person is in the start of his/her career or would like to launch a new career, then he/she has to think of some specific steps that he/she should follow to manage to find a job (which is probably not so relevant with the skills he/she attained from his/her studies) or even to realize which are the job preferences that he/she has and why. These steps should include:
- Someone should be able to assess themselves. All individuals have different goals, talents, interests, and values. This actually means that individuals should always think of all these features and after that they should think of the skills and competencies they have to have a position like this one that they like.
- Someone should be open in new opportunities and options that may appear in their life. This practically means that someone should always think of what he/she likes but not only that, especially when he/she starts his/her career. In this phase of his/her professional life, he/she should be open to every possible opportunity, until he/she will realize what he/she really like. This realization may happen after an internship in a job that he/she never thought that can be his/her dream job
- Someone should have a consulting mindset. This is a thing of great significance, since companies and associations, nowadays are not that willing to take risks by hiring people that may not complete their tasks or even may not multiply the profit of the company in a way. So someone who seeks for a job should have in mind that when he/she is going to give an interview in a company, he/she should probably hold a presentation of how he/she can multiply profits in the company, rather than just presenting himself/ herself.
- Someone should be able to change and adapt in new surroundings. The job situation nowadays is constantly changing. Someone may have a minor or a major degree in a specific field (like economics or business administration or even law and classics), but his/her career can be totally different finally. This means, that everyone should think of his/her studies as part of acquiring a whole list of skills and competencies that can help him/her to get a job. Even if someone is certain about what he/she wants to find as a job or about the professional path that he/she wants to follow, he/she surely has different collaborators, a different project manager or a different boss that will probably has different leadership style, in which he/she has to adapt easily
- Someone should be willing to have a lifelong education or ready to learn the skills that are needed for today or even tomorrow. Job-seekers should educate themselves in an everyday basis, with skills that are the most useful ones and are relevant to current job positions and careers.
When someone is trying to consider his/her career plan, or his/her career options, he/she has to think about the new media, the network and the new communication tools that are provided nowadays. When he/she knows how to use them, then he/she can boost his/her application for a job in other ways as well (by giving best possible first impression).
What they have to do in order to improve their application by attaching for example their LinkedIn profile is:
- Choose a professional profile photo.First impressions are important, and professionalism is a key. Remember, potential employers might be looking at this as a representation of how professional you will be in their organization.
- Provide examples of their work.Upload presentations, written work or videos of speaking engagements to your profile to give potential employers the ability to see your work. You also should consider building a career catalogto help you present these materials.
The career plan:
- lends consistency and meaning to day-to-day actions and invites us to take responsibility for our own destiny;
- enables us to identify the gap between the present and the future we aspire to;
- can become the best input for making informed decisions that support the realization of dreams and desires for the future;
- enables us to evaluate the concrete alternatives available to us and choose between them;
- enables us to identify the resources needed and plan actions to achieve objectives; an
- enables us to reconcile ideals with reality in order to turn our dreams into measurable, attainable objectives.
The career plan must be:
- Personal because it accounts for each individual’s particular circumstances – his/her preferences, needs, interests and possibilities. It is therefore not transferable to another person.
- Realistic goals and actions are defined in accordance with each person’s possibilities and abilities and the opportunities available to them.
- Flexible because life is subject to many different circumstances that cannot be controlled, so one must be capable of adjusting and redefining goals in order to rethink one’s path.
Having a career plan will enable youth to:
- feel responsible for their future and understand that their decisions define the direction of their lives.
- have a point of reference that enables them to identify the starting point as a foundation for their development and the path to follow.
- imagine a better future. This means recognizing that each day builds a foundation for the future. The philosopher Aristotle said that people should be defined not by what they are at any given time but rather by their potential, or in other words, by what they can become.
- respect and value themselves. This means understanding that the potential necessary to become the person one aspires to be exists in each person.
- support their community. Youth must become aware through self-development that they can and should make contributions that benefit others.
Steps to develop a career plan:
Step 1. Know your own story – This involves acknowledging oneself as part of a family and a community, and taking an inventory of one’s most significant experiences and the decisions that defined each moment. Answer the question: Where do I come from?
Step 2. Know your strengths and weaknesses – This means recognizing strengths and identifying areas for growth. Answer the question: Where am I?
Step 3. Imagine how you would like the future to be – This involves outlining a personal vision and securing the resources to achieve it. Answer the question: Where do I want to go?
Step 4. Define objectives – Objectives must be realistic and concrete and must consider the risks involved. They must also be adaptable to the circumstances. They more accurately define the destination.
Step 5. Consider a plan B – No matter how detailed a project is, it is very likely that young people experience setbacks or unforeseen problems that force them to redefine their route. If only one goal is set and we do not see any alternatives, frustration will become our travel companion.
Step 6. Set the route and act – Knowing where we are going is not enough. You must know how to get there, take the steps, and make the decisions necessary to reach your desired destination.
Step 7. Rethink objectives – This involves considering new destinations and resuming the path.
Career Plan Template
(What do I want?)
(How long will I take to achieve it)
(How am I going to do it)
FORMS AND APPROACHES OF CAREER COUNSELING
Individual and Group counseling
Career guidance needs to move towards encouraging career management rather than providing one-off testing and advice to individuals. It also includes opportunities for career “tasting”, work-based learning and related opportunities.
These interventions may take place on an individual or group basis and may be face-to-face or at a distance (including helplines and web-based services). They include career information provision (in print, ICT-based and other forms) and self-assessment tools, counselling interviews, career education programmes (to help individuals develop their self-awareness, opportunity awareness and other career management skills), taster programs (to sample options before choosing them), work search programmes and transition services.
In reframing career guidance and orientation provision, a key role is being played by information and communication technologies (ICT). These have huge potential for extending access to services and for improving the quality of those services. In addition, the social media and user-generated information, opens up new possibilities, including interactions with ‘career informants’ (people already in the occupation or course the person is seeking to enter). Technology is also increasingly being used to enable individuals to communicate with career professionals via the telephone or the web.
The career counselors could differentiate the services based on the readiness level of the individuals.
The basis for working with the client is an advisory conversation. Advisory conversation is a universal tool for working with a client in identifying, clarifying and evaluating its needs and seeking solutions to meet the needs of the client. During the advisory conversation, keep in mind that if the conversation is to be effective, then we should adhere to the principle of structuring.
Most of helping takes place through a dialogue between the individual and the helper. The quality of the dialogue depends on the “attending behaviour” of the helper and active listening. Your posture, gestures, facial expressions and voice all send non-verbal messages to the individual. When you listen to the individuals, you listen to:
- Their experiences, what they see as happening to them;
- Their behaviours, what they do or fail to do;
- Their affect, the feelings and emotions that arise from experiences and behaviours;
- The context of the dialogue and daily life of the individual
Moreover, basic empathy is communicating understanding. In other words, it is the communication to another person of your understanding of his/her point of view with respect to his/her experiences, behaviours and feelings. It is a skill that you need through the helping relationship.
Individual interventions could be grouped in three thematic areas and are presented below:
- Self-awareness – find out about yourself
- Opportunity awareness – find about the job market
- Decision-making and acting – How to develop your career
At the beginning of the conversation, it is necessary to agree on the time / duration of the conversation the client. It is also necessary to emphasize to the client that you need to make notes, and ask him for permission to write down basic information.
There points agenda
I YOU US
Beginning of the conversation means clarifying
Purpose – reason for conversation
Outcome – assumed result of the conversation
Flow – briefly explain the structure of the conversation and its duration, the role of the advisor
Procedure – how the conversation will take place
Step 1: Self-awareness (Where am I now?)
The first step for the individual is to have a better understanding of themselves, build and maintain a positive self-concept, interact positively and effectively with others and change and grow throughout life. The career counselor will explore the clients’ experience, skills and interests (learning skills and competences, talents, abilities), qualifications, values and attitudes, personality, motivations, barriers and limiting factors.
In this step, self-assessment tools, counselling interviews, career education programmes (to help individuals develop their self-awareness, opportunity awareness and other career management skills), taster programs (to sample options before choosing them) could be tools to support the individuals.
Step 2: Exploring opportunities (Where do I want to be?)
Career counselors should assist individuals to participate in lifelong learning to support life and work goals, locate information and use it effectively, understand the relationship between work, society and the economy.
Exploration (research, information retrieval) is the second, longest part of the advisory conversation. From a time perspective, it should represent approximately 2/3 of the time. The basic purpose of the exploration is learning as much as possible about the client, its analysis and processing. The career counselor will find out about the individual’s current knowledge and experience of the world work and help them develop skills to fill the gaps in their understanding. They should discuss the work experience, knowledge about the labour market, job opportunities, training opportunities, learning opportunities, easy steps how to find out the information about the job market.
Labour market information is pivotal for this step. It includes:
- Job-market information, both employers and unemployed having an easy access. Individuals searching for a job can find information on existing vacancies and requirements for the job. Employers may have access to information about individuals searching for a job and the skills.
- General information on the different professions, skills, trainings, pay and projections
- Information on VET, information on schools for professional education, on companies offering job openings
- Information on qualification programs, qualification programs suitable for different professions
Step 3: Decision making and Acting (Consolidation)
Consolidation – at the end, is the last part of the advisory conversation, which serves to process the information and contains suggestions for solving client’s problems so that they clearly see the benefits for the client. Part of this phase of the conversation is the preparation of an action plan as a means of achieving the set goals. Counselors assist the clients to:
- Make life and career-enhancing decisions
- Make and review learning and career plans
- Act appropriately to manage their own careers
The career counselors will work with the client to facilitate a realistic decision by matching self-awareness to the opportunities, drawing up an action plan, evaluating the information, overcoming barriers. The counselor will complete the process by helping the individual work through completing an Action Plan by setting and working towards achievable goals and targets. They will help them improve their understanding of the labour market and application procedures, job opportunities and training programmes helping them to identify the possible entry routes, how to complete a CV and application forms.
The basic rule that the counselor needs to apply is that it only crosses in the consolidation phase when there is sufficient information about the client in all areas. Summarize the information obtained in the introduction and especially at the exploration of the advisory conversation. Draft solutions – at least two and receive a promise from the client, i.e. to interest / attract the client in solving the problem through the action plan:
- What should the client do (go to a job interview)
- How should he do it? (to prepare for questions that can be asked by the employer)
- When should it be done (exact date, time, place, way of reporting to the councilor). The action plan should be in writing, one copy for the client and the other for the mentor (counselor).
COMMON MISTAKES IN /DURING COUNSELING
- Delegation and ordering – the client is not in the role of a subordinate, has the right to an opinion, has the right to declare in relation to the proposals or requests of the councilor, ordering is not a motivation technique (intervention).
- Premature diagnosis – the counselor can make a mistake and “miss”, if he does not see all aspects of the client’s problem and brings with him the possibility of a diagnostic error that can damage the client.
- Discrediting the client – if the counselor abuses the client’s insufficient formulation, obscure statements, errors, and contradictory statements merely to discredit, “catch alive”, belittle,.
- Generalizing – if the counselor minimizes the client’s problem, “nothing is terrible, your case is one of the many”, “come on, every person has a problem.”
- Belittling – the counselor does not accept the client’s problem, he “overmarks” based on his viewpoint, tries to calm him by disputing the client’s problem, “your problem is minor in relation to my problems”, “how can you be depressed like this on such a beautiful day, “” it’s not about life and death … “.
- Overreaction with taking credits – unilaterally raising the merits of the advisor and narrowing the client’s contribution after solving the problem, “if it wasn’t for me…”, “… you left that critical situation only thanks to me”.
- Monologization – solo appearance of the counselor who wants to be listened, and leaves the client with minimal space.
- Projection – during the work with the client, the counselor introduces his unprocessed experiences and problems.
- Isolation – the counselor works isolated only with the rational aspects of the problem and completely excludes the emotional part.
- Moralizing – the client is morally judged by the counselor, his conduct speaks of what is right and what is not, what is good and what is bad, what is ethical and what is unethical.
The benefit of the group counseling for a participant in the group is gaining new experiences and social knowledge in different model situations. The group counseling activities are based on group dynamics, active social learning and acquiring knowledge and practical skills based on personal experiences, feedback, and experiencing the phenomena that we observe.
Group interventions could have different goals in demand of the individuals to contribute to the self-awareness. One of the basic features of the process of group counseling is creating an interpersonal relationship and an atmosphere necessary for the functioning of the process of helping whose features are: trust, acceptance, respect, warmth, communication and understanding. In the hands of an experienced counselor, this is a social laboratory, where the results achieved can be used in real life. Groups of 10-15 job seekers are ideal learning groups.
Opportunity Awareness Activities
Researching a career can be carried out in group sessions and individuals can be tasked to find out about:
Occupations – Working in small groups people can do research about the range of job opportunities available in their locality. They could design surveys to find out about jobs done by peers, parents and friends.
Industries – Facts about local industries can be researched either through the internet or local newspapers.
Future of the World of Work – Groups can find out about the future trends relating to jobs in their areas, they can contact the Employment Agencies, Chamber of Commerce or local business organisations who may be able to give them an insight into future trends where jobs are likely to be lost and which industries are predicted to grow.
Job Market Trends – The changes in the types of jobs available can be researched along with the way in which people work.
For example groups can be asked to carry out research on the 10 most popular jobs in their areas, looking at:
- The most important aspects of the job
- The training and qualifications needed
- The local employment opportunities
- The average pay and conditions for the job
- Future prospects
At the end of the exercise they should be encouraged to prepare a presentation to the whole group. In this way, an individual who is looking at options will be given relevant information.
By encouraging debate and discussion amongst individuals’ they will be able to consider the merits of different job opportunities and the qualifications, training and experience required. They will be able to talk about their own concerns about finding the right jobs and discuss entry routes to help them decide upon a plan of action.
Learning how to make a Career Decision can be facilitated in group work. Individuals can be asked to consider which careers discussed by the group are right for them, taking into account:
- Their personal circumstances,
- The options available to them.
Once they have found out what is available they will need to refine their choices by linking what they want from a career and what they have to offer to an employer to the careers available in their locality. This may be limited in rural areas but individuals should be encouraged to see career planning as a long-term goal. They should set short term goals whereby they are able to gain relevant experience and work towards their ultimate long-term ambitions.
Helping people to make a career decision can be facilitated in groups where they can discuss their ideas and aspirations. They should be asked to consider:
- Their past work experiences in education, work experience, interests and what others say they are good at,
- Their interests and what they enjoy doing as well as their dislikes,
- What is important to them: good money, job security, career development, status, team working with others, being able to make their own decisions, etc? (Make a list)
- What kind of workplace would they like to work in?
- Have they talked to people they know to find out about the work that they do?
- Do they know what they want to get out of work? What is the most / least important to them?
Group exercises can be designed to develop individual’s understanding of the world of work and their ability to make a realistic career decision. The young people will be able to exercise and develop key competences (effective communication, co-operation, conflict resolution, creativity, problem solving ability, etc.) that can be applied in the career growth of the participant.
Transition planning consists of activities necessary to achieve the career aims. This aspect of careers guidance is easier to organize as group work activities as people will be able to support and learn from one another. Once they have made a career decision they need to start to apply for jobs, training or further education to enable them to achieve their goal.
Group sessions can be organized for:
- a) Job Search Skills – applying for work
The session can show how individuals can use a variety of “tools” to help them do the research about local/national and international jobs. These can be:
- Local press
- Work Experience
- Talking to relatives/ friends/ teachers
- b) Interview Techniques
Developing effective interview techniques is one activity that is best suited for group interaction and a variety of methods can be used to make this an interesting and supportive experience for individuals. Active learning methods such as role play, group discussions, individual presentations and small group interaction are all suitable depending upon the size of the group and the resources available. Inviting local business people into schools will give clients the chance to test out their skills in a supported environment.
- c) CV preparation
A CV is a record of the qualifications, experience and qualities that an individual has to offer to a prospective employer. It should be clearly laid out and easy to read. There should be enough information to give a good overview of the person and should be no more than two-three A4 sides of paper. The content should include:
- Name, Address, Telephone number
- A Personal Statement
- Education and Training
- Work Experience
- Hobbies and Interests
BENEFITS OF GROUP WORK
- contributes not only in efficiency, but also in personal development of the participants
- Getting new information, experiences and practical social skills based on personal experiences, feedback and experience from the observed events
- active social learning – activation of the participants
- valuable feedback from partners in equal position
- The effect of synergy 1 + 1 ≠ 2 but more (joint work + combined effort is greater than the sum of the individual)
- use of group dynamics (goals, rules, atmosphere, group management, communication)
CAREER COUNSELING METHODS
Methods to be used in counseling
|We can briefly describe the conversation as an interactive manifestation of social communication. It is the most useful tool for collecting information that is based on a verbal relationship (stimulus, question-reaction, response) between two people who communicate with each other. The conversation is performed live in direct contact, but can also be carried out through the telephone.|
Balance of competences
|It is a method for identifying the competences that people acquired in performing their working and non-working activities, during their individual personal development, based on their own qualifications and experiences as well as during learning. Here, in fact, we are dealing with informally acquired competences that remain hidden, and remain strategically unused in solving life’s problems throughout life.|
Diagnostics, tests and questionnaires
|Diagnosis is perceived as a process of acquaintance aimed at obtaining complex knowledge of the person diagnosed. In our case under the term diagnosed we mean an adolescent whom the diagnosis will help to decide on areas of further education and career path.The main task of the tests and other diagnostic procedures in the work of the counselor is to give an exit / starting point that refers to thinking (assessing) about further education and development of the career path of the client in the decision-making process. The tests and questionnaires used in the field of counseling have an additional, but not a major role in the decision-making process, and show areas of educational paths and the world of work that the client needs to study closely.Questionnaires are instruments that will help the client find new directions in the field of educational, developmental and career paths, they can have different form and shape and very often it is not about standardized psychological tests and questionnaires. The main task of all diagnostic methods and techniques used in the work of the counselor is to provide a starting point for a conversation with the client of the counseling center / counseling center for thinking about the future direction of their education and later for the target area of the labor market. So, diagnostic instruments – tests or questionnaires – do not aim to determine an appropriate education or occupation for the particular client, but they show us the areas of education and the world of labor / work that we need together with the client to consider in the course of conversation and discussion. The purpose of such diagnostic instruments used is to help the client to get to know himself, his preferences for what he wants to do, what he wants to learn, what is good for him and what he needs to improve, all that is relevant to the further a path of education and career guidance.|
|It is a person developing method through which the counselor’s individual approach influences the client aimed to increase his / her initiative, autonomy and creativity. In the counseling process, the counselor is primarily a source of information, acts as a catalyst that causes a change in the personality of the client, helps the client to find solutions on his own and activate his own resources – abilities, competences, etc.|
|Mentoring is a method based on the nonformal transfer of experiences, knowledge, information from more experienced people to persons who need to acquire this knowledge and thus develop their personality. The mentor should keep a distance from his client and to in a way that he does not shape him/her in his own reflection and should not allow him to copy his steps and act according to the given formulas of behavior. The mentor is, in fact, a loyal and wise friend, protector and teacher who does not solve the problems of the client for him, but helps him overcome obstacles and avoid danger.|
|A method which focuses on active supervision and assistance of the counselor to inexperienced clients in finding the path of their own personal development.|
|It is a method that helps the client navigate itself in his personal situation and at the same time allows him, at any time, in the absence of the counselor, to return to the agreed tasks and independently work on them. An action plan is in writing, with one copy being for the client and the other one remains with the mentor.|
SWOT analysis is a tool for assessing self-knowledge that focuses on the current situation and accordingly determines the opportunity for client development – when a person knows himself, he knows better to identify his future possibilities.
SWOT analysis defines the strengths of a person’s personality: Strengths (What is the person unique in, what distinguishes him/her from others?), Weaknesses (which area is for the client the most problematic?), Opportunities (What are the possibilities for the client?) and Threats (where can problems arise?).
Feedback is a procedure that is based on the fact that each member of the group has the opportunity to talk about their impressions, feelings that have caused the behavior of someone else in it. He does not talk about what he thinks, does not compare, does not evaluate and does not explain anything. Everyone has the opportunity to find out what feelings and impressions are being challenged by others, but also how one is perceived by others. Feedback in group counseling is informing the person on how is perceived, understood and experienced by others. This can be done in different ways:
– with words
– through behavior (eg. departure from a premise)
– through the body language (turning the head)
Basic pedagogical educational method. The teaching of the lecturer is actually a method of connected information transfer, explanation of terms or whole parts of thematic section.
Discussion is a method of dialogue where information is exchanged between the participants. In education, it is an activity that takes place between the teacher and the listeners, and among the listeners themselves.
Discussion methods are a set of dialogical problem teaching methods. Their essence is always conversation, dialogue, discussion. The basic necessity for discussion is a problem and its solution and a precondition for successful discussion is always the exchange of opinions on a certain topic that is the essence of the problem.
Methods used in seeking a solution to the problem based on discussion in a group. In order to run properly, a relaxed atmosphere and a creative environment are needed.
Rules that need to be respected are: it is forbidden to criticize someone else’s proposal solution; fantasy should be included because absurd ideas can be a solution that can be used; participants should be mutually inspired; all participants are equal.
|The term case study involves a set of methods that enable clients to independently learn how to practice to make decisions in a group. Therefore, the participants learn to make decision on the basis of a generalized problematic situation from the past. Situations are usually processed on the basis of actual events, and events are processed so that they are resolved over an educational block. The problem is described in the given materials (eg statistics, graphs, correspondence, etc.) that enable the client to enter the situation of the one who decides on the practical problem, based on the description of the situation, it is enabled to identify the main problem, analyze the situation and identify alternatives for decision making.|
Role Play / Scenario Methods
|It is a practical technique designed for specific clients and identifying, or developing some of their abilities. The principle is simulation of the real situation by maximizing the real environment and other conditions (material-technical equipment, group selection and individual client’s roles, creating a feeling for a simulated situation). In essence, this is a way of education that helps us to reach the desired change in behavior and functioning so that we become aware of our inadequate behavior and treatment.|
|Model situations (artificially created) are situations that are similar to real situations in some key points – features. Through model situations it is best to observe and evaluate the individual sides of expression of our personality / character – competences. The competences that will be evaluated, will depend on the requirements from the specific job position. At least two people will participate in the group model situations with specific role (for example to jointly design a project). These model situations focus on cognitive (i.e. ability to exchange information), interpersonal (i.e. empathy, word-orientation, etc.), performance characteristics (whether I’m ready to realize my ideas) and monitoring stress reactions.|
|It is a method in which clients are divided into two groups (for the purpose of comparing outcomes / conclusions) – groups are being given common topics for their preparation, usually through group discussion. After completing work, one or two representatives of the group, or the group as a whole, will present their findings / conclusions reached during their work. The role of the counselor-mentor is difficult because he must constantly monitor and maintain the dynamics of group work, encourage less active members.|
EXERCISES AND MODULES FOR CAREER COUNSELORS
Module 1: estimated time 120 minutes
Title: Self-evaluation, strengths and weaknesses, short description of a person
10 second portrait
Duration: 15 minutes+ 5 minutes of discussion
Group size: any
Materials: large size venue, paper, pens
Have each participant write their name at the top of a blank piece of paper (can be in a notebook) and then instruct everyone to stand up. You’ll need a bit of space so that people can walk around freely. If you have music, start playing a popular song and instruct all participants to walk around in the open space, random directions, carrying their blank piece of paper and a pen/marker. When the music stops, they pair up with the person who is closest to them and they exchange pieces of paper. Instruct participants to look at their partner and in just 10 seconds (or less!) draw the person’s eyes. When 10 seconds is up, have each person give the piece of paper back to the owner and start the music again for people to mingle again. Repeat this pattern, having participants pair up and exchange their pieces of paper to draw each other’s nose, mouth, face outline/hair, ears, and body. The trick is to limit the drawing to between 5-10 seconds and keep people moving. The result has never been anything short of hilarious (and some portraits actually quite accurate!).
In the end of the activity, the facilitator can ask the participants: Is this image professional enough? And what makes an image professional?What makes a person professional connected to their career?
1) Activity: Strengths and weaknesses – What character/animal do you identify with?
Duration: 25 minutes for the activity + 15 minutes for debriefing
Group size: 15-20
Materials: paper, pens, board
The trainer gives out a small piece of paper for each participant. The participants are asked to think about the animal that they identify themselves with. Each participants draw or write down which animal they think their personality matches the most. Ask them to do it without showing it to others. The papers should not contain any other comments and should stay anonym. Then they put all the papers to the middle of the group or circle. The pieces are redistributed again by telling the participants to choose one randomly. Now the trainer asks each individual to write down 5 strengths and 5 weaknesses of the animal that is written or drawn on the paper.
After 5 minutes the trainer collects the papers, sticks them all to a board to be visible for everybody. Ask the participants to complete the list of strengths and weaknesses for all the animals. At this point you can start a discussion about the topic.
- What was more difficult to define, strengths or weaknesses?
- Did you have more positive or negative qualities in your head when you were about to choose the animal?
- Do you think that weaknesses can easily overcome strengths?
2) Activity: Who are you? – Introducing yourself in 30 seconds
Duration: 15-20 minutes group work + 25 minutes evaluation and discussion
Group size: 4-5 groups (3-4 members for each group depending on overall group size)
Materials: flipchart (for notes) and pens
Trainer divides participants to groups. Each group receives a flipchart on which they can work together and take notes. The trainer distributes different descriptions of job positions (the list can be extended or changed according to the needs of the participants). All the groups have 15 minutes to prepare a 30 seconds introduction about the person and why he/she would be a good applicant for the position. The introduction should follow this structure (can be modified):
- Who you are?
- What are you looking for? (What inspires you the most?)
- What can you offer? (What are your qualities that could contribute to the position you apply to work for?)
Description of positions (proposal):
Project management responsibilities include delivering every project on time within budget and scope. Project managers should have a background in business skills, management, budgeting and analysis.
Project managers are skilled at getting the best out of the people and projects that they coordinate. They thrive when planning projects and working with project teams.
- Ensure that all projects are delivered on-time
- Manage the relationship with the client and all stakeholders
- Perform risk management to minimize project risks
Mechanical engineers produce specifications for, design, develop, manufacture and install new or modified mechanical components or systems.
Key skills for mechanical engineers are effective technical skills, creativity, team-working skills, problem-solving skills, project management skills.
- testing, evaluating, modifying and re-testing products
- agreeing budgets, timescales and specifications with clients and managers
- providing technical advise
A sales person has a results-driven attitude whois actively seekingfor customer prospects. They have to provide complete and appropriate solutions for every customers in order to boost growth, customer acquisition levels and profitability.
Sales persons are skilled in areas such as excellent selling, communication and negotiation skills and are able to easily make new relations.
- Present, promote and sell products
- Develop and maintain positive business and customer relationships
- Continuously improves through feedback
Accountants handle, prepare, compute, manage, research and analyze all accounting data, in order to provide quantitative information on performance, financial position, solvency, liquidity and cash flows of our business.
Key competences are strong attention to detail and confidentiality; Thorough knowledge of accounting and corporate finance principles and procedures.
- Prepare budget and financial forecasts
- Collect, analyze and summarize account information
- Keep up with financial policies, regulation and legislation
The social worker is using his/her emotional intelligence to act as advocate and help people foster their capacities and coping mechanisms in order to improve and better their daily lives and experiences, within specified standards and timescales.
Key competences of a social worker are ability to build and maintain professional helping relationships, working knowledge of social theories and practices, ability to relate and communicate with diverse population and groups.
- Interview service users and assess their current condition, needs, strengths and weaknesses
- Act as a key-worker and cooperate with multidisciplinary teams
- Plan, coordinate, manage and help clients deal with difficulties and overcome dependencies
After listening to the 30 seconds presentations of all groups (preferable by 1 member who represents the group) the trainer gives the possibility to the participants to comment the work of the groups. They can give some advises to each other. After this the trainer opens a discussion about the importance of short introduction related to motivation letters. In this section discussion can be about the goals that the motivation letter should accomplish. Employers only spend a limited time on reading a cover letter so that this task demonstrates how important it is for applicants to be aware of their skills, strengths and weaknesses, motivation and goals.
- Did you find it difficult to fit your introduction into such a short period of time?
- What do you think are the goals of a motivation letter?
- What do you think which parts of a motivation letter are the most important for the reader?
- Do you think it will be easier after this training to write about your own motivation and goals?
Duration: 15 minutes
Group size: any
Materials: paper and pens
The trainer draws a palm on a flipchart with the following 5 sections:
- What I liked the most
- What I learned
- What I didn’t like
- What I will remember
- What I missed
Participants are given a piece of paper and a pen. Each of them has to describe the listed elements with 1-3 words. After 5-10 minutes the trainer asks the participants if they would like to share their evaluation with the others and closes the activity with a short summary.
Module 2: estimated time 125 (without debriefing) minutes
Title: Self – management and creativity
Describe your studies
Duration: 20 minutes
Group size: any
Materials: flash cards
Each participant has to describe what he/she studies or works without using a certain type of words. Before the training the trainer will prepare cards for each participant. On these cards there will be written words connected to the studies or work of the participant, which the participant can’t use in order to describe his studies or job. E.g.: participant A studies medicine. On his card are written the words health, medication, disease, doctor and patient. Participant A can’t use these words and has to find another way of describing his studies. Each participant has 1-minute time. If another participant guesses the studies or job correctly, it is his/her turn to present his/her field of profession.
1) Introductory / preparatory activity: The Mandala of skills
Duration: 10 minutes
Materials: paper, pens (color)
In this exercise it is about dealing with high time pressure and high work load. The participants will form groups of 5 people. The participants should talk about their experiences in the working world. They have to collect skills they gained and skills that are generally required in a job. Participants should find 15 skills, adjectives or competences and find for each of them the following concept:
Problem solving thinking à How can I train this? à Which positive experience did I have with this skill (also in my personal life)?
They should present their result in a painting of a mandala, in the heart of the mandala will be written a skill, surrounded by the training of this skill. Finally, the outer circle represents the positive experiences. The participants are encouraged to fill the mandala with colours, forms etc. Each group should have minimum 5 mandalas.
- What was difficult in this task?
- How do you feel after doing this task? In which other situations did you feel frustrated concerning employment?
- Do you think you can train any skill, that you would like to have? Can you now come up with “trainings” for a skill more easily?
Hint for the facilitator: The time limit is important. It is of great significance that participants will not have the time to finish their mandalas in due time and probably there will be a kind of frustration or anger in some of them. This will lead to the debriefing session and also to the next activity.
2) Main activity: Reframing frustration
Duration: 20 min. brainstorming, 60 min. for realizing the ideas
Group size: 5 people per group
Materials: laptops, pencils and pens, small items to use as requisite
The participants have to reframe their frustration felt in the not – finished mandalas. It is really important to not let ourselves be overcome by our frustration and anger. The working world seems sometimes unfair and therefor youngster must learn how to deal with their negative feeling in order to succeed successfully. One method to deal with frustration is the “Yes, but” method. They phrase reasons why they can’t reach this goal. Last, they phrase sentences with “yes, but…” to find reasons why they still can reach their goals.
Goal: Find 10 skills and paint at least 5 mandalas about those skills
Reason, I can’t reach this goal: there is too little time and too much work load.
Answer: Yes, but I …
The participants present their Yes, but strategies in a creative form. The different forms are: writing and realizing a rap, writing a poem and present it lyrically, shooting a video, acting a scene. Participants should find themselves a story and setting in which they put their Yes, but strategies. An acting scene could be e.g. a job interview, where the interviewer is not yet convinced about the skills. The job interviewer could say: you have too little experience in managing groups. The applicant’s answer can be: Yes, but I learn quickly, and I worked as a baby – sitter (or something else).
- Can you think of other ways to deal with frustration?
- After this exercise, do you think that you can be “cooler” in another frustrating moment?
Duration: 15 minutes
The facilitator asks the group to the original sitting circle. He/ She tosses a small ball to a random participant and encourage them to share their feeling regarding the activities. After a participant share his/her views, the facilitator asks him/her to toss the ball to another participant, until every participant shares his/her feelings or views on the unit’s activities.
MODULE 3: estimated time 200 minutes
Title: Life experiences, preparing for job interview.
Stop. Go. Clap. Jump.
Duration: around 15 minutes
Group size: Any
Materials: Large size venue
The trainer asks participants to stand up from their seats and create a big circle with their chairs. Participants form a circle and start to walk. Instructions are coming from the trainer which has to change and become progressively harder. Firstly, the instruction says that Go means go, Stop means stop. Participants follow the instructions. Then trainer should switch the meaning of the words so that Go means Stop and Stop means Go. Instructions can be further varied, also with Clap, Jump, Squat, Scream etc. The point is to boost the concentration of the group, make them laugh and ready for the activities so that instructions can become more and more difficult. At the end of the energizer the pace can slow down and participants can take their seats.
Trainer now can start a discussion about rules then can focus more on expectations connected to lifeline one has to follow (focusing on career and life balance).
- Activity 1: Career path
Duration: 30 minutes + 10 minutes presentation + 10 minutes debriefing
Group: 5 groups, up to 5 people each
Materials: papers, color pens, mobile phones
The trainer asks the participants to form 5 groups of 4-5 people. Then each group should choose an image from the ones given below (the variety of the images can be extended). Each team has to define the content of the image. Then the groups have to make a story with the chosen image which will be the middle part of the plot. The stories should about the person on the picture and about their life path/career. The first piece of the plot should be the beginning of the story in the form of a poem, painting or collage, while the last piece should be a picture. The story must include names of people, cities, chronologies, and anything else that will make the story more real which should be presented by the group when telling the story.
Participants at the end, have to say how they feel about every story they have heard which can lead to the discussion/debriefing on life path and career.
- Was it difficult to create a story about life paths?
- Did you notice any similarities or differences between the presented stories?
- Do you think that there is a life path that everyone has to follow? Why?
- What did you learn from the stories?
Pictures (middle part of the story)
2) Activity 2: Rewrite the job interview
Duration: 40 minutes + 20 minutes presentation and debriefing
Group size: any, 2 – 3 groups
Materials: Large venue
The participants will have 4 – 5 movie scenes from which each group choses one. First of all, the participants will watch their scene. They exchange ideas if they want to continue the story or if they want to react the scene differently. They should create a short scene (1-2 minutes, by 2 actors) with the changes they want to make about both the performance of the interviewer and the applicant.
Scenes (Can be modified and extended)
The devil wears Prada
Andrea is looking for a job and decides to apply for an assistant position in a fashion magazine in New York. However, she has no idea about fashion and wants to use the job to get later on work as a journalist. In this scene we can see Andy in her “job interview”, which is frustrating and difficult, as Miranda Priestly, the boss, seems to have already decided to not take Andy for the position. The group can either act the scene differently or they continue the story.
The Big Bang Theory
Penny applies for a job and is invited to the interview. Watch the video from 0:20 to 1:43 and decide in your group what she can improve in the next interview and how she can present her skills from an “easy” job as waiting at tables.
Billy McNahon and his friend Nick Campbell lose their jobs and apply for an internship at Google. They get invited to a job interview with the two of them.
- What do you think did the protagonist do right in the scene? Would you react like him/her?
- What did you change in your role play? Why and what were the main things that were not suitable for an interview?
- Does the scene remind you of a similar situation you experienced yourself?
Duration: 10 minutes
Group size: any
Materials: flipchart and color pens
Trainer places a paper on the board and gives out colored pens. The paper contains a graph on which participants have to mark themselves (with a chosen image) from 1 to 10. One axis of the graph shows how they felt before, the other axis shows how they feel after the training. The trainer summaries the results and asks the participants if they would like to talk about their evaluation, if they have any suggestions or questions.