Career guidance: what is it and what is it for

Career guidance has recently positioned itself as one of the necessary tools to ensure a successful working life. Knowledge of different disciplines, such as psychology, pedagogy, business administration, among others, contributed to the above. currently career guidance is even one of the areas most worked on with young people at pre-university age.

Below we will see what career guidance is and what its main goals and tools are.

    What is career counseling?

    The word vocation means “linked to the vocation”. In turn, “vocation” means particular inclination or inspiration to adopt a lifestyle. The latter is based on a strong conviction and identification with respect to what is adopted.

    For its part, the term “orientation” refers to the act of placing something in a certain position. In this context, guidance is also the act of informing someone about a problem, in a way that this information serves as a guideline or guide for action.

    The above has been specifically moved to choosing a professional career, as this is largely what marks a long-term life trajectory, at least in industrialized countries.

    Thus, career guidance can be understood as a process that helps in choosing the profession (Vidal and Fernández, 2009). It is the activity in charge of covering the needs which prepare this election, and which range from the promotion of the knowledge of the specific interests to the evaluation of the real possibilities of access to its exercise, its evaluation and its follow-up.

    It is also a body of knowledge and practices that aim to ensure that young adults are trained in professional activities that correspond to their personal interest, and at the same time, ensure effective performance in their future work environments.

    This process aims not only to integrate a young adult into the professional workforce and to guide him in his exercise, but also requires recognize the interest of the person and facilitate his learning of the workplace.

    its components

    We have seen that career guidance is not an individual-centered process. Because career guidance is strongly focused on promoting and expanding employment and career opportunities, this guidance also has know the real opportunities for access to the job market, Their relationship with the different study programs and the skills or competences required to access them.

    We can therefore speak of two specific dimensions necessary for the exercise of vocational guidance: one centered on knowledge of the individual and the other centered on knowledge of the characteristics of the environment in which it is expected. , his professional development.

    1. Explore the interests of the person

    In the context of career guidance, it is common that the interests of the person are explored from the application of psychometric tests, And sometimes from in-depth interviews. The former allow you to assess from different personality profiles, attitudes or performances, up to specific preferences.

    For the most part, these tests determine a range of possibilities with which it is possible to consider, for example, whether the person has the skills to do the job they are interested inOr if, on the other hand, the job that interests you does not match your skills or your real chances of success. Thus, they usually present a series of options which range from more to less and from which the person can make certain decisions. This is how these tools seek precisely to guide the person’s decision.

    Then, vocational guidance consists of providing all the information allowing the individual to recognize his own interests, skills and areas of opportunity, or in some cases, also facilitating the recognition of skills to be strengthened to integrate into a context. specific work. in the medium or long term.

      2. Analyze the characteristics of the context

      On the other hand, it can happen that the interests of the person correspond to their aptitudes or competences available to exercise the professional activity which interests them. But not necessarily the opportunities to access this activity they correspond to interests or skills.

      In this sense, part of vocational guidance consists in precisely evaluating the real access opportunities and making them visible to the person concerned, so that they themselves are the one who raises the alternatives that they deem relevant.

      The information and tools to meet this need range from socio-demographic studies taking into account the number of professionals exercising a specific activity, to labor and market studies where it is possible to see which professions are more or less competitive, or with more or less possibility of economic remuneration, or what is the economic cost of studying certain professions, among other characteristics.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Vidal, M. and Fernández, B. (2009). Professional orientation. Upper secondary education (23) 2: 1-11.

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