Career Counseling: The “Model of Personal Career Management”

Career Counseling: The “Model of Personal Career Management”

Maria Koutsafti (Doukas School, Greece) and Niki Politi (Doukas School, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8963-2.ch020
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Abstract

Career Counseling is a lifelong process starting when individuals choose an occupation -or even earlier-, prepare for it, and make progress in it. It emphasizes exploring the individuals' interests, values, skills and personality characteristics so as to support them to progress in those subjects and activities that will contribute to the attainment of the ultimate aim of shaping a good career as they wish it. The chapter starts with a brief presentation of career counseling and decision making as well as career management development in a contemporary context and continues with an exposition of the Model of Personal Career Management adopted by the “STEP” Career Counseling Department at Doukas School. An overview of the services provided is presented with a focus on the use of the “global net cloud.” Finally, the need for engaging the parents is stressed and additional activities, including handling students' exam anxiety are discussed.
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Definitions

Career in a Contemporary Context

Career has always been one of the most determining aspects in one’s life. The last decades, more than ever, career and identity have been intimately interlaced. To know about work has always been the same as to know about the self. However, at different times and in different discourses, meanings for both are constructed and approached differently (Law, Meijers, & Wijers, 2002). More specifically, in the contemporary context, uncertainty and change in the world of work are the results of forces such as internationalization, downsizing, advancing technology, and increased diversity in the labor force. Further, traditional realities such as maintaining a job with one company, or even one career, throughout one’s work life, are now obsolescent (Lee & Johnston, 2001).

Work is a universal and timeless term. But in our time, questions, such as what, how, when and where are more vague and unclear, than they have ever been (Gratton, 2011). Consequently, in a world of constant challenge, change and advancement, career is a course with many fluctuations at the cognitive, psychological and emotional level. The term “objective career” has been replaced by “subjective career” that emphasizes self-direction and personal autonomy (Abele & Spurk, 2009). We are living in the era of “multiple specialization” which will help future employees to maintain their “employability”, their readiness for a sequence of vocational roles, by constant learning and the cultivation of a set of transferable skills. Life-long profession has been transformed to a life-long employability. We are driven to a transformation of our vocational mindset in general, not only our everyday job conditions and habits.

According to IFTF (Institute for the Future for Arizona Research Institute, 2011), the six drivers of change are: the rise of smart machines and systems, the new media ecology, the computational world, the globally connected world, the extreme longevity and the super-structured organizations. These six drivers of change are also defining the necessary future skills. Such skills are: sense making, transdisciplinarity, novel and adaptive thinking, social intelligence, new media literacy, design mindset, computational thinking, virtual collaboration, cross cultural competency, cognitive load management. Moreover, it is a fact that we have entered the Conceptual Age that focuses on the grasp of creative ideas, featuring a model of multi-potential (Pink, 2005).

In the light of the foregoing and according to the contemporary reality, we have abandoned the idea of planning a career and we have adopted the concept of a life-long career management. And this is the lens through which we implement career counseling in our educational institution. At this point it would be very useful to define and briefly analyze the theory and practice of career counseling aspects.

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