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  • Writer's pictureΔεσπω Κυρμιτση

Vocational Counseling and Career Management

The preparation for future vocational life is considered one of the most important developmental achievements of adolescence and in most Western societies, Vocational Counseling and Career Management has been recognized for the importance of supporting adolescents in the process of preparing for their future career. Career preparation involves developing a clear understanding of self, talents, abilities, interests, strengths and weaknesses, resources, and limitations that career choice may have. Of special importance in the vocational preparation and development of adolescents is the vocational adaptability, which is considered as the individual's readiness to respond to all predictable developmental goals related to his/her preparation and participation in work roles, but also to face all unforeseen adjustments that may be required by changes in working conditions and the labor market. In other words, vocational adaptability describes the conscious and continuous exploration of both the self and the environment, with the ultimate goal of achieving synergy between the individual, his/her identity and the vocational environment.

Arguably, because adaptability is closely related to identity development, adolescents' willingness to engage in complex career development, rather than seeking stability, may vary. For this reason, readiness to adapt transitions is influenced by the cultivation and development of certain appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes, which help the individual to achieve more effectively the issue of the transition from school to work and to understand how to plan his/her career in relation to social complexity. This is achieved by the adequate development of the following aspects of behaviour: personal control, curiosity, commitment, trust and interest.

For example, personal control emphasizes the adolescent's need to exert some influence by him/herself in the shaping of vocational matters concerning him/her. Curiosity also supports the development of autonomy through expanding alternative career patterns by allowing the young person to explore opportunities and possibilities for themselves. In a further step, commitment encourages experimentation with new activities and plans of action, rather than focusing the individual's interest on a specific career choice and thereby overlooking other possibilities. Finally, the adolescent's confidence in him/herself and in his/her abilities to achieve what is necessary to achieve for his/her vocational goal has a direct impact on the development of the capacity for autonomous action, as well as on the activation for the formation of a positive and optimistic behavior for the future.

In the educational system, the goals of vocational preparation and transition of students are mainly focused on academic performance. Although this is considered particularly important, it is not enough to achieve adaptation to the transitions that young people will face in their personal, social, educational and vocational paths. This is where the services of the Career Guidance Counselor come in, who needs to focus on developing and developing career adaptability in order to help teenagers become more independent and gain more control over their lives.

And, although information dissemination systems make the individual more active in receiving information and foster participation in a learning community in the best possible way, they should not replace the role of the counselor and the operation of the counseling process. Adolescents need to assimilate the knowledge they receive and externalize their inner world in order to understand the situations of the present, and develop vocational resilience in order to survive through the changes. Despo Kyrmitsi, BSc, MA Career and Vocational Guidance Consultant

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