Career Theory & Effective Practice

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Guidance helps people accomplish the following goals whether they are learners planning their education, training and careers, or adults planning their careers or further training, or preparing to become more employable.

  • Identify own talents, strengths and weaknesses, family expectations and national requirements to sort out the personal relevance of the educational and vocational options available;
  • Understand the available education and training options and the requirements for admission and success, and select an appropriate field of study;
  • Understand the work options that are available, the qualifications required, the means of gaining entry, the life of the worker and the rewards of the jobs;
  • Translate information about self, educational opportunities and the world of work into short-range and long-range career goals;
  • Learn effective job-search procedures;
  • Develop career adaptability to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they occur;
  • Overcome self-defeating behaviours, gain self-confidence and learn life skills;
  • Cope with the reactions to job loss of anger, depression, frustration and apathy, and learn to take continuing positive action to become employed again;
  • Identify alternative occupations when current employment is in jeopardy.

Guidance is more than giving information. It is a blend of self-development and of the learning and assimilation of career, providing educational and labour market information. The development of self-confidence is often a prerequisite for taking action for one’s career. The goals of guidance may be achieved via individual counselling, self-preparation, career development courses, computer-assisted guidance and Internet-based guidance systems.


Whether you are a Teacher, Careers Adviser or Strategy/Policy Maker we all subscribe to the philosophy of giving people and young people the opportunity to better themselves through good decision making. In understanding career theory we understand the motivations of people making ‘career’ decisions based on emotion, culture, family influence, stereotyping and lack of knowledge, etc.

The Careers Guide for Schools, “A report into effective careers guidance.” This has a very good introduction to careers theory for everyone from careers advisers to teachers to policy makers. It is a useful tool and while the information on career theory is not out of date some of the other information may be dated as it was published in 2008

Career Systems & Practice

Good resources for careers advisers on the different guidance systems/ good practices / networks and associations  in European countries. 

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