Questions about guidance

Question mark

Any questions?

Tristram Hooley who writes the blog Adventures in career development (and who also happens to be the Head of the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby) recently posted about a symposium that he was hosting. He wanted to develop a number of questions to get the discussion going. I liked his questions about guidance so much that I’m just quoting them here:

  1. Why are you doing it? Why is career guidance useful? As a practitioner are you engaged in a process of support and smoothing for clients (amelioration) or in a process of changing their consciousness and the structures within which they operate (reform/revolution)?
  2. Who are you serving? As a guidance professional are you most focused on the opportunities that are available (employers), the social function you are being asked to play (usually mediated through government policy) or the aspirations of your client (independence)?
  3. What are you? What professional grouping should guidance be considered to be a part of? Are guidance professionals educationalists, counselors, youth/social workers or involved in labour market management? Is there enough common ground for it to be considered as one profession?
  4. What are you doing? How do you see the guidance intervention? Is it about teaching lifelong career management skills or about providing a critical intervention? Are you teaching people about career or supporting their career decision making at key points in their life?
  5. How do you do it? How should guidance be delivered? Does the one-to-one conventional IAG interview have a special place in your practice? Are you equally happy delivering career via one-to-one, classroom/group sessions, online, through computer mediated guidance systems or via experiential learning, e.g. work placements? Could you imagine guidance without the one-to-one interview?

Related post: How intelligent is your career?


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  1. #1 by Vinny on 3 December 2009 - 12:35

    For me there’s an obvious answer to all of these questions.
    “All of the above.”

    Why are you doing it? – Both amelioration AND reform/resolution. – This will depend on the client.

    Who are you serving? – These are all interlinked. I probably focus more on the client; but do do the job well, you need to think about the employers and government policy as well.

    What are you? – It encompasses all of these areas. Why does careers guidance have to be categorised into just one of them to be considered a single profession?

    What are you doing? – Again, all of these things – depending on the clients needs.

    How do you do it? – All of them and this, again, depends on the client. I think that 1-1 guidance is used a lot because it is often the most effective method for dealing with the needs of the client. However it is important to use all of the other methods (including gropup sessions, online stuff, work placements etc) when the situation and needs of the client are different.

  1. Awkward questions « Careers – in Theory

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