Career Counseling Manual 201102

UP-Ayala Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman 1101 Quezon City
Career Counseling Manual
I. Development Context
Applied Academics for Excellence (APEX) is an approach to learning which focuses on
motivating and challenging students to connect what they learn with their actual
experiences and with what interests them. From a strategic standpoint, APEX aims to
improve the job and livelihood prospects of high school students by providing them with
basic workplace and entrepreneurship education. Project APEX exposes students to handson applications, interactive peer learning, and exciting activities. The basic premise is that if
academic content is made more relevant, participatory and concrete, students learn more
and apply learning in their lives thereby strengthening the student’s academic foundation
and technical and life preparation skills, the skills necessary to pursue post-secondary
education and/or their career of choice (APEX Brief, 2007).
From the given project concept, presumably, that which “interests them [students]” lead
toward a career option. As defined in the project brief of the Applied Academics for
Excellence Project, there are three major legs that support the foundation of the APEX
project. One is the Applied Academics component where the teachers were given training
on the use of the Contextual Teaching and Learning (CTL) approach, in the teaching of
academic subjects particularly Math and Science, and later on expanded to the other subject
areas. The second component is the Career Preparation Program component which prepares
students to the world of work by exposing them to various programs on technical and
enterprise development. Finally, the third component is the Project Management System
which is the strengthening of the institution or the school community to carry out the
project and this called for training of school heads and coordinators in project management
and quality management. Of these three components, the APEX Career Preparation Program
could be seen as the centerpiece program of the Applied Academics for Excellence (APEX)
project. Where the applied academics component or the contextual teaching and learning
approach is the means to make learning more relevant and the project management system
is seen as the main support mechanism, the career preparation component of the APEX
project is intended to be the vehicle that would lead students toward a “career of choice.”
A. APEX Career Preparation Program
The APEX Career Preparation program is intended to prepare students to the world of work
by exposing them to various programs on technical and enterprise development. It is an
exploration process designed to discover students career interests which may be in line with
technical (occupational) skills or basic entrepreneurial skills development. Thus, the APEX
Career Preparation Program has basically two major streams – an Entrepreneurial
Preparation (EntreP) stream and a Technical Preparation (TechPrep) stream. The EntreP is an
alternative model in implementing the TLE subject which provides opportunities for the
students to master competencies related to core entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and
attitudes. Students are exposed to the business development cycle starting from 1st year
where they learn to explore and recognize market opportunities through the 4th year where
they are challenged to create with their family a business enterprise. The TechPrep on the
other hand, is geared toward preparing students along industry-defined technologies or
trades that upon graduation, the APEX high school graduate is expected to be equipped with
the competencies for entry into a post-secondary education institution or with entry-level
skills for employment in the industry.
To build the Career Preparation Program in the APEX schools, training of TLE teachers had
been undertaken on specific technical areas e.g. building/wiring, housekeeping, welding and
on entrepreneurship. And though not originally part of the objectives of the project, TESDA
accreditation became part of these technical trainings.
B. Preparation of APEX Career Counselors
Training on career counseling was conducted for guidance counselors, TLE coordinators, and
school administrators. The major outputs of this training, which was delivered in two
sessions – basic and advanced, were a strategic plan for a career counseling center, a career
counseling management plan of activities for each TLE area of specialization per year level,
and a career portfolio for TLE students (APEX End of Task Report, 2008). Two references have
also been developed as a result of these training sessions – the Basic Career and Guidance
Program material developed in September 2007, and the Training Manual for Advance
Career Counseling Management developed in September 2008.
C. Purpose of this Manual
This Career Counseling Manual is expected to serve as a tool for its users – school head,
guidance/career counselor, or TLE teacher – in carrying out a career counseling program or
services. The Manual should be able to assist the user in guiding students discover their
aptitudes and attitudes toward a “career of choice”, understand the relevance and
relationship of their academic preparation to their career plans, and manage their learning
toward that “career of choice”.
The Training on Career Counseling had already provided the schools basic and advanced
knowledge and skills in developing a career management system and there are already two
manuals developed for this training. This Career Counseling Manual on the other hand, is
expected to give the users more specific guidelines in applying the concepts gained from that
training and implementing the career counseling program.
The Career Counseling Relationship
Counseling "is a psychological specialty [that] facilitates personal and interpersonal
functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational,
health-related, developmental and organizational concerns"(Society of Counseling
Psychology, n.d. This is an expansive definition of counseling yet it is
also simple. It underscores facilitation of personal and interpersonal functioning. What
does this imply? This implies that counseling is not imposed but is facilitated. For something
to be facilitated, that something, in this case, functioning in the personal (inner) and
interpersonal (outer), whether it is at the level of the individual (seeking relief from
emotional distress, efficacy in social interaction, decisions on vocational direction, etc.) or at
the level of organizations, that facilitation has to exist in an environment of confidence, trust,
and rapport. As such, counseling for any particular purpose essentially calls for relationship
building, and not just any relationship, but a helping relationship.
Career counseling is a professional relationship between guidance counselor and client with
greater emphasis on helping the client understand the self as part of career development
and as a prelude to decision making (CHED-UP, 2007).
In this helping relationship, the helper is the Counselor, and the one who seeks or needs
help, is the Student, particularly, the APEX Student. A prerequisite to this relationship is an
understanding of the one who needs help and knowledge of the person and skills of him
providing the help.
A. Understanding the APEX Student
APEX students usually are in the 12 – 18 years age group and belong to the secondary
schooling population. Developmentally categorized as adolescents, these students are at
the stage of transitioning from childhood to adulthood. As such, they are most often torn
between the need to be nurtured and the need to assert themselves as grown-up
individuals. They may exhibit unrestrained expression of thoughts and feelings against
established rules which at times can be mislabeled as rebelliousness. On the other hand,
they can also be very inhibited and highly self-conscious lest they be judged by what Elkind
(1967) conceptualized as an imaginary audience or that consuming belief that they are the
focus of people’s attention. A popular song of Freddie Aguilar (1989), “Estudyante Blues”,
describes this somewhat unjustified concern for being the focus of attention particularly
from parents and other family members. However, behind the façade of bravado more often
hides a very fragile self. This self needs to be carefully handled for it be able to formulate
realistic appraisals of both its strengths and weaknesses.
Our students, who are mostly at that stage of adolescence, are also experiencing changes in
the way they think and perceive the world. They are now able to think about their thinking
or metacognition, which is to reflect about one’s own thoughts. They are now able to think
about, even be preoccupied, with societal values which if seized by their imagination, could
most often latch on to these values strongly well through their adulthood. As such, idealism
and sometimes activism, could already be seen in teenagers as they have already reach a
level of cognitive development that enables them to perceive social realities as well as
imagine possibilities (Cobb, 1992).
Sroufe and Cooper (1988) summarized four critical tasks of adolescence which our APEX
students are faced with and in which a career counselor could be of assistance.
1. They must evolve an identity or an understanding of the self that is integrated,
goal-directed and unique.
2. They must achieve in peer relationships a new level of closeness and trust.
3. They must grow into a different form of connection with their family members
characterized by independence and responsibility.
4. They must grow toward recognition of their role outside of themselves to their
community and to the world at large. This would include among others, making their
career choices or committing to societal values like care for the environment, gender
equity, or world peace.
In these four critical tasks, career counseling plays a very important role in helping the
student grow in increasing self-awareness and cope with the demands of the tasks with
particular attention to the specific task of exploring career options. Career development
theorists underscored the importance of adolescents being able to assess realistically their
own abilities and the options available to them as a sound foundation for future career
development (Ginzberg, 1972; Super, 1976). The adolescent years, along with the task of
evolving a person’s identity, are seen as a time where students acquire a vocational selfconcept, the sense that one is productive and competent at work, whether paid or unpaid,
and become confident to look toward to one’s own place in the “career world of adults”.
In helping a student explore his career options, the career counselor should be aware of the
context where the student is in. Studies have shown that many factors influence a young
person’s occupational choice and one of these critical factors along with personal aptitudes,
is one’s life context – his family, the community where they live, their source of livelihood
and the student’s degree of contribution, his network of social and emotional support, his
access to educational facilities, health care, and other dimensions of his environment. The
level of involvement of parents and the community in shaping career options should also be
considered as this can promote or hinder sound career decisions of the student.
B. The Career Counselor
Most people, at some point in their lives, would seek the help of a counselor. This counselor
could be a professional or someone older in the family, or a friend whom a person thinks
would be able to help him in a time of distress or in a need to be enlightened in some
decision. In any of these instances, people hold an idea of who could best be a counselor.
Basically, when one goes to a counselor, he has in mind a set of role expectations and idea of
how competent that person is to handle the role expectations.
There are various titles ascribed to the function of counseling in the school setting. Varied
literature would show ‘guidance counselor’, ‘school counselor’, ‘career counselor’, ‘school
psychologist’, ‘school social worker’, ‘career coordinator’, and a lot other titles. For the
purposes of this manual, ‘career counselor’ would be adopted.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) identifies school counselors as
“professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to
the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population…providing proactive
leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help the
student achieve success in school…and align and work with the school’s mission to support
the academic achievement of all students”. School counselors “help every student improve
academic achievement, personal and social development, and career planning.” In this
context, the school counselor is not narrowly focused on the exploration of students’ career
options, rather involved in the overall development of the student as it supports academic
In the Philippine context, a guidance counselor, as defined in Republic Act No. 9258
“is a natural person who has been registered and issued a valid Certificate of
Registration and a valid Professional Identification Card by the Professional
Regulatory Board of Guidance and Counseling and the Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC) in accordance with this Act and by virtue of specialized training
performs for a fee, salary or other forms of compensation, the functions of guidance
and counseling under Section 3 (a) of this Act.”
In this definition, weight is put on the professional qualification of the person performing
guidance and counseling functions in the school. The law also outlined the performance of
the function of guidance counseling to include:
“counseling, psychological testing, (as to personality, career interest, study
orientation, mental ability and aptitude), research, placement, group process,
teaching and practicing of guidance and counseling subjects, particularly subjects
given in the licensure examinations, and other human development services.”
Within the context of the APEX School, these are the possible role expectations, some of
which are already being expected of and fulfilled in some APEX schools[1].
1. Recommend and/or develop guidance programs. In helping students meet their
developmental tasks, career counselors could recommend and/or develop structured,
competency based activities where the students can explore their knowledge about
themselves, academic and non-academic interests, peer relations, community
involvement, vocational plans, and career planning. Within APEX, this could be
integrated in the ILEs (Integrated Learning Experiences) or the CALL (Community
Adventures for Lifelong Learning) projects.
2. Provide individual or group counseling and related services. Career counselors
should be equipped in helping students confront the difficulties and challenges they
are faced with at school or even beyond the confines of the school as this impact on
their educational, emotional, and social development. At any given time, career
counselors would be expected to provide individual or group counseling sessions for
students to help them with their academic and personal issues and concerns. They
may also need to consult with parents, other teachers or other professionals and in
special cases, may seek more appropriate intervention.
3. Administer assessment or appraisals and/or interpret results. Career counselors
are generally seen as the most competent in gathering information about student
competencies, behaviors and interests and as such, are also expected to administer
assessment or interpret results of tests to inform individual career planning or other
forms of intervention. The interpretation of the NCAE (National Career Assessment
Examination) is an example of these tasks.
4. Facilitate individual career planning. Career counselors should be able to assist
students to think ahead and think for themselves, and teach them how to think
through their choices of subjects or courses that closely matches their abilities and
interests, and lead them to a desired career option. Career counselors should also be
able to provide information to the student and his family on college or post-high
school planning like college or post-secondary courses, public, private or technical
colleges and universities, entrance examinations, admission procedures, financial aids
or scholarships, military service, internships, on-the-job training and job placements.
By enlightening them in these informational aspects, the student and his family can
come up with a more informed decision that could impact not just his life but that of
his family as well.
5. Work with the school head, teachers, PTCA (Parent Teacher Community
Association) and other partners. The APEX project, being a community-driven project
would expect a career counselor at some points, to coordinate with the members of
the school community including parents and partners like the local government
officials, business entities, and other agencies. To implement the guidance program,
for instance, career counselors may need to enlist services of the Mayor or a business
executive or a professional in the community. The career counselor would also need
to ensure that the administration of career counseling activities are smooth and work
in complement to the existing school curriculum and schedules.
Given these expectations, what should the career counselor possess? The Republic Act No.
9258 clearly stated that those to perform functions in guidance and counseling should have
the following credentials or qualifications:
1. Had been doctoral and masters degree holders in Guidance and Counseling with at
least three (3) years of teaching experience in Guidance and Counseling courses
and/or full-time counseling practice for the same period;
2. Had passed at least eighteen (18) units of Master’s level courses in Guidance and
Counseling such as Counseling Techniques/Theories, Organization and Administration
of Guidance Services, Tests and Measurement, Group Process/ Counseling and Career
Guidance/Counseling; and have, at least seven (7) years of experience in counseling
work; and
3. Had completed academic requirements for a master’s degree in guidance and
counseling and have five (5) years experience as full-time guidance counselors.
The law also provides that professionals working in the guidance and counseling profession
should have successfully completed advanced coursework or application in the following
Philosophical, Psychological and Sociological Foundations of Guidance;
Counseling Theories, Tools and Techniques;
Psychological Testing;
Organization and Administration of Guidance Services; and
Group Process and Program Development.
While the law is clear on the requirements of the function and the person to hold the
position, it does not however prescribe the necessary personal attributes for a counselor. So
what would be the person of the career counselor? What are the qualities and behaviors
desirable of a counselor?
Depending on the school of thought, there are many offered attributes of a career
counselor. The most common are:
Congruence, empathy and respect. These are the three qualities in a counselor that
humanist theorists proposed and later on, other schools of thought adopted as the
most basic prerequisites in a counselor for counseling or a helping relationship to
flourish. Congruence refers to the quality to be genuine and honest not only to the
client but to oneself as well. Empathy is the capacity to feel how the client feels and
sees things from the point of view of the client. Respect refers to the acceptance of
the client for who he is or what is termed as ‘unconditional positive regard’. These
three qualities according to Carl Rogers (1961), when present in a counselor or
therapist would ensure growth in the client or counselee. Otherwise, improvement
in the client is minimal regardless of the techniques employed.
Helping attitude and orientation: Counselors are expected to be committed to seeing
the personal growth of students. They take full responsibility in striving to understand
and help students regardless of their background or orientation, and sees through
that those students get the intervention they need and remain optimistic about the
Dynamism. Having to encounter various situations and to handle multi-faceted tasks,
a career counselor is best to be flexible, open to change, and maintains a positive
outlook. He should be taking a proactive stance in exploring different approaches,
methods and techniques that would work given the uniqueness of each student that
he meets. Expected as a person that a student could look toward to for support, a
counselor is expected to exhibit positive and constructive behavior toward all his
relationships in the school community.
The Career Counseling Process
Career counseling is a formal relationship in which a professional counselor assists a client,
or group of clients to cope more effectively with career concerns (NCDA, n.d.). It is a process
where the counselor employs active listening skills to an individual’s story and communicates
understanding, respect and empathy; clarifies goals and assists individuals with the decisionmaking process (UNESCO, 2002). And as a process-driven relationship, counseling, for any
given purpose, follows a set of steps which need not be mutually exclusive or follow a strict
format, but could flow freely to each of the other steps. The key is for the counselor to be
aware at what points in the counseling process each step has been made or accomplished
and work toward the resolution or a clear plan of action.
Figure 1: Schematic Overview of the Counseling Process (WHO, 2008).
The steps in the counseling process may vary depending on the theory or approach that a
counselor chooses to adopt for a given relationship. Just like any intervention, there are
guiding principles and assumptions that are observed in a counseling situation. Depending
on what school of thought a counselor comes from or draws from, these set of guiding
principles define the nature of the interaction that results from the relationship between the
career counselor and the counselee (student).
A. Approaches to Career Counseling
There are many different approaches as there are many different theories and emerging
models in vocational or career psychology and consequently in the conduct of career
counseling. As there is already existing exhaustive academic literature on this topic, this
manual will just focus on the most applicable and more tested approaches to counseling that
delivered change and improvement in clients, who in this present case would be our APEX
1. Person-centered approach
The Person-centered approach, or also known as client-centered, non-directive, or Rogerian
therapy (Rogers, 1962), is an approach to counseling that recognizes the capacity of the
counselee (student) to resolve for himself his difficulty and to take responsibility for his own
growth and development. The counselor is seen as taking a non-directive role in the
counseling relationship.
The most important factor for the relationship to be beneficial for the student would not be
the counselor’s credentials or skills, but rather his attitude. The counselor has to exhibit as a
component of this attitude, first, congruence which refers to his openness and genuineness,
that willingness to relate to the counselee at a level where the counselee sees the counselor
as an ‘equal’ in terms of worth, being human, and capacity for meaning. The counselor
however, maintains ‘inequality’ by virtue of the situation that exists in a counseling session –
the counselor as the ‘helper’ and the counselee as the ‘helpee’.
The counselor also has to show unconditional positive regard, that is, accept the student for
who he or she is without judgment or censorship. The counselor would be able to exhibit
this attitude by listening without interrupting or prematurely giving an advice. The premise
in this approach is that by taking an attitude of positive regard to the counselee or the
student, a non-threatening environment is created where the student would feel free to
explore and share his or her thoughts and feelings without fear of censure or rejection by the
The last component of the counselor’s attitude needed in this approach is empathy or the
ability to appreciate the client's situation from the client's point of view, and consistently
manifest understanding of and sensitivity to the client's feelings throughout the counseling
session. To demonstrate empathy, a counselor should exercise active listening, which means
giving the client a careful and perceptive attention to what he is saying. By being able to use
methods such as reflection, which consists of mirroring to the client his thoughts and
feelings based on what he is saying, the counselor would be able to communicate that the
client is being well-listened to and gives him an incentive to explore further his thoughts and
feelings as he hears them repeated by another person.
In the person-centered approach, the counselor does not attempt to change the counselee’s
thinking or feelings in any way. With this non-directive approach, students can explore the
issues that are most important to them—not those considered important by the counselor.
Based on the principle of self-actualization, or that assumption that every human being will
rise up to his potentialities, this undirected, uncensored self-exploration allows clients to
eventually recognize alternative ways of thinking that will promote personal growth.
2. Cognitive Approaches
The cognitive approaches to counseling rest on the premise that a person’s way of thinking is
influenced by his way of feeling. In this approach, emotional or psychological difficulties are
seen as results of malfunction in the process of evaluating and interpreting personal
experiences thus, information is processed in the way that is most often negatively biased
leading to an experience of the world that is distorted. This malfunction in the thinking
process lends to thinking that is more absolute and judgmental than normal or what is called
as “logical errors.”
These cognitive approaches, taking directive as opposed to the non-directive stance of the
person centered approach, can help a client by facilitating an understanding on how certain
thoughts are distorted and reality misrepresented due to emotion or beliefs. The central
assumption is that each person can change what goes on in their mind.
Cognitive approaches focus on the present and the resolution in the present, for the present.
This simply implies that events, feelings, beliefs in the past that are acting upon the present
way of thinking, are recognized as valid but not focused on. What the counselor does instead
is to work with the client in identifying those elements in the present that are causing
difficulty in the present and work toward a solution for the present.
There are many types of cognitive approaches with varying techniques but the focus remain
on the capacity of the counselee to effect the change in his cognitive or thinking processes.
Examples of these approaches are cognitive therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy,
transactional analysis, virtual reality therapy and the rational emotive therapy. Of these
approaches, the most popular is the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy or REBT.
Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy
The Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) caters to the assumption that individuals have
the natural disposition to form irrational behavior and beliefs, yet also have the capacity to
change these behaviors and beliefs. What could be considered irrational are the ‘musts’ and
‘shoulds’ that many people occupy themselves with, and are acting upon their beliefs and
behaviors. The REBT approach helps people address these irrationalities by teaching them
how to become aware of, and modify the beliefs and attitudes that create present
Albert Ellis (1958), the proponent of REBT, offered a structured framework for the counselor
in understanding and helping the counselee form a new set of ‘healthier’ beliefs for a more
realistic appreciation of his situation. To understand the counselee, Ellis said that the
counselor should look first into the A-B-C of personality.
· A – ‘Activating event’. For example: A 4th year high school student fails the state
university entrance exams.
B – ‘Belief’ that is formed as a result of A. Example: Student thinks that his
future is doomed.
· C – Emotional and behavioral ‘Consequence’ due to the belief. Example: Student
misses classes and considers dropping out of school.
To help the student, the counselor challenges the belief, in this example, the belief
that his future is doomed, and then guides him to develop a more effective
philosophy so that a new set of feelings would result. To put it simply, the
intervention goes in the following sequence:
· D – ‘Disputing’ the belief. Example: Are you a fortune-teller? How do you know
that your future is doomed? What could possibly happen if you believe otherwise,
that is, that you have lots of other possibilities?
· E – ‘Effective’ philosophy. Example: Student begins to think of possibilities and
can start to think that he has the choice on how to react to one failure.
F – New set of ‘Feelings’ and behaviors. Example: Student feels good about
himself again and tries to take as many entrance exams in other universities and
Note that in this structure, the counselor need not be concerned with what could be in the
student’s past that brought about the belief. The focus is the replacement of the irrational
belief with a new set of healthier thoughts and feelings.
Social Constructionist Approaches
The social constructionist approach to counseling is a very recent development in the field of
counseling psychology and to date, the debate is still open on whether or not this approach
can already be considered as a distinct paradigm in counseling (Cottone, 2007). Underlying
social constructionist approaches are two key ideas: (1) that a person’s thoughts, feelings,
motivations, learning, perception and memory, social behavior, etc. occur through a
historical process of interaction with other groups of people and the environment and (2)
that this interaction is central in the creation of a social reality (Hibberd, 2005). To social
constructionists, the psychological constructs such as “mind”, “self”, and “emotion” are not
innate to the individual but rather socially constructed processes. Simply put, social
constructionist approaches observe these principles (Siu-Wai Lit, et. al., 2003):
Realities are socially constructed. Meanings attached to realities are co-constructed
through the process of social discourse or dialogue.
Realities are defined through language. Language is a vehicle in the construction of
Knowledge is sustained by continuous social processes. Knowledge is co-created.
A person creates and imposes meaning on the world. He is a knowledge creator.
These principles are to be borne in mind by the counselor in using social constructionist
approaches. The central implication in these set of principles is that the counselee is an
active agent in the creation of meaning or his understanding of reality as it is co-created in
the process of discourse with the counselor. And as the counselee has the capacity to cocreate this reality, he also has the potential to create solutions.
3.1 Brief Therapy or Counseling
Brief therapy or brief counseling is also known as “solution focused brief therapy (SFBT)”
model and follows social constructionist principles. Unlike in the two previous approaches
where the focus is on the counselee (e.g. his personal strivings to reach his potential, his
thoughts that bring about the undesirable behavior), the SFBT or brief counseling focuses on
the problem and its solution.
First developed in the 1990s by Steve de Shazer and associates (1986), the approach follows
three key steps or stages (Tanalega,, 1989):
1. Identify the presenting problem and the desired goal of the counselee toward that
problem and state it in a positive form.
For example: A student is not attending classes because she says she had to care for
her baby brother while her mother goes to the market to work as a vendor. Her
presenting problem is her not being able to attend classes. Her expressed desired
goal is for her mother to not leave her the responsibility of taking care of her baby
brother. To restate the goal in a positive form, it could be, “To find other sources of
help to babysit her baby brother.”
2. Construct solutions by looking back at past experiences where the counselee was
at his best (that is, when the presenting problem was not yet there) and then looking
into a desired hypothetical future when the presenting problem would have been
Example: The counselor can ask questions like: “When you were still attending your
classes, who was taking care then of your baby brother?”, “What were the
arrangements and agreements you have made with your mother that made it
possible for you to attend school?”, “If you were to find people who can help you care
for your baby brother, what impact would that have on your attendance in school?”
3. Guide the counselee in working on simple tasks which serve to continue what is
already working and to achieve the desired goal or future.
Example: Student can start identifying people in their immediate or extended family
who are relatively free to care for her brother while she goes to school.
This solutions-focused model or approach is very similar to the person-centered
approach in that it is based on the affirmation of human potential, that it is the client
or the counselee who is the expert regarding the problem.
3.2 Narrative Approach
“The basic subject of career counseling is a person’s future”. This is the first statement of
Larry Cochran (1997) in his book Career Counseling: A Narrative Approach, and well provides
the basis and basic assumption of the narrative approach. The narrative approach sees a
person’s career as a representation, a life-story, of the future and the counselor is regarded
as someone who can assist in shaping that person’s story (McLeod, 1996). In using the
narrative approach to career counseling, meaning is formed and identity is developed in
much the same way as a story takes form through the plot and as the central character takes
on an identity. It challenges the outdated view of career counseling as a process of helping a
person arrive at a singular job or occupation, but rather toward helping a person create
meaning in the change process (Brott, 2001).
In using narrative career counseling, the counselor assists the student in constructing a
narrative, or a “story” that links their past to their present to the desired future. The
counselor helps the student discover new meanings about their experiences and their
Brott’s “storied approach” (2001) to career counseling offers three stages of story
development process.
1. Co-construction (Revealing). Exploration of the counselee’s (student) life stories in
the past and present.
For example, a student could not decide what course to take for college. The
counselor, using the narrative “storied approach” could start with questions like,
“What was your high point experience in your high school?”; or “What did you like
best in your on-job-training?”. As stories are revealed, counselor takes note of the
way the student constructs the story and his reaction to it, his values, interests,
motivations, the people in the stories, his role in these stories.
2. Deconstruction (Unpacking). Examination of these life stories from various
The counselor guides the student in identifying those significant themes or points in
the story and creating a future orientation for the story. For example, the counselor
could take note of the student’s emphasis on his role as a responsible student leader
and could ask, “What is it that makes you motivated to be responsible?”
3. Construction (Re-author). Evolution of a new life story for the future as new
meanings were discovered.
The counselor facilitates the creation of a future life story by asking questions like,
“Which possibility appeals best to you?”, as the student discovers new motivations
and imagines different life roles.
To facilitate this approach, quantitative and qualitative appraisal tools are employed. While
quantitative assessment (i.e. interest inventory, personality tests) are utilized, these are used
in complementation with qualitative tools like lifeline charts, genograms, or autobiographies,
and the results are interwoven in the life story of the counselee.
B. Key Steps in the Career Counseling Process
These steps in the career counseling process can be taken from a macro perspective, that is,
from the time a student enters the high school as a freshman to the time he is able to
formulate a career choice; or from a micro perspective, the time he enlists himself to and is
assisted in a counseling session to seek assistance to overcome a difficulty or challenge he is
facing with that affects his overall adjustment to school and life in general. These steps can
be used as a general guide and, depending on the theory or school of thought the career
counselor comes from, may be modified as appropriate.
1. Building the relationship. A counseling relationship is opened at that point when a
prospective “client” approaches the counseling center for assistance and an “intake form” is
filled out. An “intake form” is a printed or electronic data capture of relevant information
about a prospective client or counselee. It tries to gather basic e.g. name, contact address
and phone numbers, person to be notified in case of emergency, etc. and background
information about the presenting concern of the prospective client or counselee. In the
school setting, each student could already have an initial form containing their basic data
and a separate intake form be filled out when a student reports for a counseling session.
Counseling sessions are usually conducted by appointment, that is, a person calls or comes
to the counseling center and arranges for a counseling session. The counselor has to be able
to identify at the time when the appointment was made who the “real client” is, as most
often, the person making the appointment is somebody beside the person in need of the
session. In the school setting, that person who usually makes the appointment is the parent.
The reason for the referral has to be noted in the intake form.
When the “real client” comes to the session, the information in the intake form has to be
validated. At this stage, the counselor has to be able to establish rapport principally, by
being open – in language, posture, and countenance. As mentioned earlier, and in all
counseling approaches even those not covered in this manual, the success of a counseling
intervention is dependent on the quality of relationship that is formed between the
counselor and the counselee. The primary objective in this first step is for the career
counselor to create an environment of trust and acceptance for the counselee or student.
The secondary objective is for the counselor to arrive at a tentative goal of the counseling
session as most often the presenting problem or concern may not be the “real concern”.
2. Gathering of data. When a relationship has been established, the counselor can start
facilitating the assessment of the situation. The goal of the counseling session may already
be finalized at this step.
Using directive, non-directive, or a combination of both stances, the counselee’s needs,
beliefs, interests, personality, etc. are gathered. The use of appraisal tools are introduced at
this step of the counseling process. Sometimes, the appraisal, particularly for personality
inventories, may necessitate a different schedule. If the appraisal results were already
available at the time of the session, then these are discussed with the student. The expected
result is a heightened awareness of the counselee or student of himself.
3. Generation of alternatives and integrate information gaps between personal
assessment and areas for further exploration. In this step, the counselor helps the
counselee arrive at his own assessment of his situation and develop perspective. The
counselor also assists the counselee to explore other areas that may need his awareness.
Possible courses of action to address the concern or problem are identified and each course
of action is assessed as to the counselee’s willingness and motivation to perform them. The
objective of this step is for the student to develop a greater sense of self-confidence and
mastery over his situation.
4. Prioritization of possible alternatives and development of a plan of action. When all the
possible alternatives are enumerated, the counselor and the counselee arrive at a
prioritization and develop a program of action to address the concern. The courses of action
should have been made very specific at this point in the counseling process. These should be
doable by the counselee or student, that is, can be carried out within a reasonable time
period and within the capacity of the student (for example, preparation of a one-page
resume against a life narrative if written communication is obviously not one of the student’s
strengths). The counselor and counselee should also agree on the date the plan of action
has to be implemented and the follow-up sessions which may be needed in the course of
implementing the plan, and the final review of the results of the plan of action. With a clear
plan of action, a counselee is given a key role, that of being the main agent for his personal
growth and development.
5. Follow-up, review and evaluate. The counselor re-establishes rapport for each follow-up
session and objectives are also reset. The results of the courses of action are assessed with
the counselee and the review of the results of the implemented plan should yield new and
higher objectives for development. The strengths of the counselee are reinforced and areas
for further growth are explored. The central objective at this step is for the counselee to
experience greater control over his situation and be able to independently formulate his own
steps particularly for similar situations that he may encounter in the future.
6. Closing. To close the counseling session or series of sessions, the counselor works to
summarize the goals that were set and achieved in the counseling and the key points or
themes which were salient in their discussions. (Note that a thorough documentation from
the intake to the succeeding sessions is needed to be maintained for a smooth closure and
for records purposes.) The counselee may be asked to recapture his learning about himself
and the counseling session, the goals he was able to accomplish, and the areas of further
growth he may want to work on. The counselor may give the counselee a post-counseling
“assignment” that he could do without the benefit of counseling intervention.
Should the counselee need further assistance especially if the counselee already graduates
and is no longer part of the student population being served, a referral may be put in place.
Regardless of how the counselor and counselee agree to close the counseling relationship,
the counselee is expected to leave that counseling relationship a better integrated individual,
able to recognize his capacity and responsibility for personal growth and maturity.
C. Specific Skills needed in Counseling
Carl Rogers (1957) identified three prerequisites for a counseling relationship to develop –
congruence, empathy, and “unconditional positive regard”. But as it is with any other
counseling objective, career counseling needs these three basic requirements for a helping
relationship to emerge, develop, and bear fruit. Aside from these qualities, there are specific
skills that have to be honed in a counselor for a counseling relationship to develop and the
counseling process to achieve its desired results. Some of these are:
1. Active listening. Active listening is the counselor’s “willingness and ability to hear and
understand”, paying full and careful attention to the counselee without censure and
prejudice. The skill requires that the counselor allow the counselee to take his time in
composing his thoughts and express himself freely. The counselor should not in any way preempt the counselee by interrupting and completing his sentences. Active listening skills can
be manifested by reflecting, clarifying, perception checking and other skills necessary in
2. Attending. Through this skill, the counselor manifests physically through bodily posture
and tone of voice his positive regard toward the counselee. The “counseling for the poor”
program of the UGAT Foundation, Inc. based in the Ateneo de Manila University, summarized
this skill set as the LOVER position –
· L – Lean forward
· O – Open posture
· V – Voice modulation
· E – Eye contact
· R – Relaxed position
3. Reflecting. Also termed as “mirroring”, the counselor bounces back or repeats the
thoughts, emotions, and experiences the counselee expressed. The objective is for the
counselee to hear his own thoughts from an external source and examine it more objectively
and then be able to own and be responsible for these. This is much the same way as looking
at and appraising one’s own physical appearance – you see yourself in the mirror as you are
and recognize the flaws and take these flaws (e.g. rumpled hair) as your own and work on
them (e.g. comb your hair). For example, the student may say, “I couldn’t focus,” and the
counselor can reflect that by, “There are many things going on around you”. Or a student
may express, “I want to attend the university but I am scared to go to Manila”, and the
counselor may reflect this through, “You are confident of your capacity for university work
but somewhat unsure on how to navigate your way around the city.”
4. Clarifying. The counselor, observing honesty and genuineness, admits his own confusion
and asks the counselee to explain further a given thought or the observed inconsistent
emotion. For example, the counselor when faced with inconsistent thought-behavior
patterns, can say, “I think I am confused. You say you do not enjoy drinking but you keep on
attending these parties where expectedly there would be much drinking. Can you tell me
what makes you continue attending these parties?”
5. Perception-checking. The counselor checks with the counselee if his impressions or
interpretation of the observed behavior or words of the counselee is accurate. For example,
if a student said, “I don’t like school anymore.”, the counselor could check his interpretation
with, “Are you saying you do not like everything in the school or just some aspects of it?”.
6. Use of open-ended questions. Asking open-ended questions require answers that are
more detailed than a simple “yes” or “no”. Instead of asking, “Are you happy with your
grades?”, the counselor could ask, “How do you feel about your grades?”. This aids the
counselee or student to have a more thorough examination of his feelings and thoughts.
Using open-ended questions also allow probing or the elaboration and deeper examination
of the shared experience, feelings or thoughts.
7. Focusing. In using this skill, the counselor is able to lead the counselee back into an
organized way of thinking and expression particularly if the counselee starts to ramble on
with seemingly unrelated events or thoughts. By focusing, the counselor leads the counselee
to a dominant theme or aspect of the sharing. For example, the counselor can propose, “Of
all the concerns you presented, which one bothers you the most?”
8. Direct leading. The counselor, having determined a dominant theme in the shared
thoughts, asks for more information about specific aspects of the dominant theme to
pinpoint a subject of the counseling intervention. For instance, the student could have
already expressed repeatedly how he disliked facing an audience whether in a performance
or in the class. The counselor could ask, “What is the first thing that comes to your mind
when you are asked to report in a group activity?”. Direct leading is used when the counselor
is already “alerted” with a dominant theme of which core is still hidden.
9. Summarizing. The counselor puts into a nutshell the key points covered and themes
which surface in the course of the counseling process or session. By summarizing, the
counselor is able to give the counselee a basic structure of the learning covered and which
he could easily recall.
10. Strength building. Maintaining an “unconditional positive regard” or respect for the
counselee is necessary for the skill of strength-building to be used. By building strength, the
counselor is able to look past the counselee’s weaknesses and recognize his key abilities so
that the counselee could start believing in his own capacity and responsibility for change and
growth. For instance, a student who had repeatedly flunked his subjects but also repeatedly
enrolled in these courses could be encouraged as, “Even when you fail your subjects, you
show persistence and that is a commendable attitude.” This is not sugar-coating a weakness
but sincerely recognizing what is positive in the person of the counselee.
D. Tools and instruments for career counseling
1. The career counseling interview
Most often, the career counseling interview is considered as the career counseling process
itself. This is not however, accurate as there are different counseling approaches as there are
interview strategies. The counseling interview, the one-to-one interaction between a
counselor and a counselee, can be seen as one of the many instruments at the disposal of
the career counselor.
The counseling interview depends on the approach that a counselor follows. Some
counselors would prefer to use a directive strategy, that is, to be guided by a framework and
with specific outputs at specific steps of the interview. This strategy works well with the
REBT and even with the constructionist approaches already discussed in the earlier section
of this manual. Non-directive strategies, on the other hand, are mostly used by practitioners
of the Rogerian or person-centered approaches.
Regardless of the counseling approach that the counselor adopts, an interview model could
be helpful in analyzing the expected goals and process in a counseling interview and the
factors affecting its flow. Presented below is that of Millar (1992) which was originally
developed by Hargie and Marshall (1986) and can be used as a model for other types of
interview e.g. research, job selection, medical, etc. (Kidd, 1996).
In this interview model, five sub-processes which prompt on the behavior of the interviewer
(counselor) and interviewee (counselee) are identified, and these are:
1. Goal or motivation: categorized as ultimate (e.g. helping the counselee arrive at a
resolution of a concern) and mediational goals (help the client recognize
2. Mediating factors: the internal states or processes in the individual that come
between the goals, feedback and response e.g. biases, beliefs, etc.
3. Responses: verbal and non-verbal reaction to a given behavior, statement, and
other stimuli
4. Feedback: the return response
5. Perception: the translation of the stimuli into a coherent understanding for the
receiver in the interview process
Figure 2: Model of Interpersonal Interaction
Source: Millar, (1992) as cited in Kidd (1996).
This model depicts that there are factors that affect the definition of the goals of the
counseling process, both situational and personal, and the counselor has to be aware of
these lest biases lead to false attributions. For example, if counselee has negativity toward
the interview, counselor may readily attribute it to the counselee’s personality instead of
examining if such negativity is caused by failure to establish the helping relationship. In
looking at this model, it also shows that it is possible that a counselor’s goal may not be the
same as that of the counselee and these have to be congruent, though not necessarily the
same. Situational factors on the other hand, can be the environment, context or milieu when
the counseling interview is taking place (e.g. economic boom, environmental disaster, etc.)
or these could be the very conditions where the interview is being conducted (e.g. wellventilated private office, noisy hall, etc.).
2. Assessment or appraisal instruments
Assessment or appraisal instruments have always been an integral part of career counseling
as the development of vocational guidance grew historically alongside psychometric
assessment (Swanson,,2010; Whiston, 2009). Tests are used in the counseling setting
primarily to facilitate the goals of counseling and for assessment. Tests are most useful not
because of the tests themselves but on how these and its results are used. More than as a
tool of the counselor to evaluate the test-taker (counselee), assessment has to be seen as a
means for self-exploration of the counselee, allowing him to learn from this exploration and
empowering him to make his decisions (Campbell, 2000).
2.1 Aptitude and achievement tests. Aptitude and achievement tests are the most
common assessment instruments available and they can also be easily constructed
depending on the information needs. They are also however, the most misused. For
instance, the use of ability tests to assign children to special classes or students to specific
courses and schools, or individuals to specific jobs, is one aspect on the use of tests that is
subject to debate. Nonetheless, tests still remain the best available means of determining
what people are capable of and in advising them for the professions.
Essentially, a test is a sample of behavior or knowledge at a given point in time. Tests could
either be an achievement test or an aptitude test. Achievement tests are designed to
measure accomplished skills and what can a person do at present, or simply what the person
has learned so far given the training and education inputs. Aptitude tests on the other hand,
are designed to measure what a person can do with training and education and as such,
what can be predicted for future performance. But whether aptitude or achievement, these
tests give a current picture of what the individual can do or not do. Both tests include similar
types of questions and give highly correlated results.
The most common aptitude tests are the intelligence tests or IQ tests. The most accepted of
these are the Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler scales for individual ability tests. Tests used to
measure abilities of a group on the other hand are those administered for example, for the
selection of military draftees or the university entrance exams (e.g. UPCAT), tests which
measures how well a student can meet the demands of military training or university study.
In the high school setting, the most known and is currently used, is the test for assessing
aptitude for certain vocations – the NCAE (National Career Assessment Examination). In
essence though, the NCAE is also an achievement test in that it captures the learning gained
from high school that makes the student “suitable” for certain fields or courses.
Achievement tests are those which measure the knowledge and skills learned from the
education interventions which make the person prepared for performing tasks or a
profession. Examples of these tests are the professional licensure examinations for teachers,
lawyers, electricians or plumbers, administered by the Professional Regulation Commission
(PRC) and the accreditation examinations for identified skills administered by the Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
2.2 Personality tests or inventories. Whereas aptitude and achievement tests try to
measure what a person knows or can do, personality tests or inventories try to give a picture
of what the person is like. Like aptitude and achievement tests, personality tests also face
the same issues regarding its history of and continuous susceptibility to misuse and abuse
(Paul, 2004). Personality tests nonetheless, remain pervasive as a means to interpret current
and future human behavior in relation to a given population. Caution has to be exercised
however, by a practicing counselor in using personality tests or inventories for career
counseling and guidance lest it be wittingly or unwittingly used to label students into certain
personality types or worse, stereotypes.
But what is personality? Simply defined, personality is the sum total of the “characteristic
patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that define an individual and influence his or her
interaction with the environment” (Atkinson,, 1990).
There are many personality theories dating from Hippocrates in 400 B.C. to the more loosely
appropriated personality “theories” in the Internet age, and each spawning its own versions
of measuring “who” that person is, his personality. What is more important however is for
career counselors to check the relevance and practicality of the use of these theories and
assessments to career guidance and how a person’s privacy is respected in the process of
assessment. Most importantly, the career counselor has to be knowledgeable about the
instrument before he can give it to the counselee as specific instruments, particularly those
for personality assessment, require specific protocols for administration and interpretation.
For instance, the MMPI is subject to clinical interpretation and might be more expensive and
impractical to administer where behaviorally anchored rating scales would already meet the
requirements. There is also no need to use all available assessments but it would be
advisable to use two or three assessments whose results could be correlated, for example, a
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) with the 16 Personality Factor (16PF). Further, in assessing
personality traits using tests like the MMPI or the Rorschach, there may be aspects of
personality that may remain ‘hidden’ to the individual or the individual would want ‘hidden’
but may be captured by the measure and as such, the counselor has to take utmost care that
results of such tests, are kept highly confidential. When the counselee desires to know how
the data to be generated from the tests are to be used, the counselor has to be able to
satisfy that inquiry and establish trust and respect before proceeding to any form of
Below is a table listing personality theories and approaches and their corresponding
assessment of personality.
Personality Theory
Leading Proponent(s)
Assessment Instrument
Type or trait theories Gordon Allport
Raymond Cattell
Hans Eysenck
Factor Analysis e.g.
Big Five Factors:
Openness to experience
Q Sort
16 Personality Factor Questionnaire
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory (MMPI)
California Psychological Inventory
Sigmund Freud
and Carl Jung
(e.g. Henry Murray
“need-press” theory)
Dream analysis
Rorschach Test
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Schedule (EPPS)
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Q Sort
Carl Rogers
learning Lev Vygotsky
Behaviorally anchored rating scales
Personality Theory
Leading Proponent(s)
Assessment Instrument
Albert Bandura,
John Holland
approaches (RIASEC
(Realistic-InvestigativeArtistic-Social-EnterprisingConventional) Inventory
Privately developed assessment
In the use of “personality tests” which are widely available in print or in electronic form
particularly those which can be easily downloaded from the Internet, career counselors have
to bear in mind to look into the reliability and validity of these tests in the same rigor that
standardized aptitude and achievement tests are subjected to.
2.3 Interest and work values inventories. Interest inventories are designed to measure and
evaluate the level of interest or preference of an individual for a variety of activities. Most
common of these tools are self-report inventories of interest in specified knowledge areas
(e.g. physical sciences), social or leisure activities (e.g. skydiving), and variously related
occupational areas (e.g. hospitality industries). Interest inventories are most useful in
assisting high school and college students become familiar with possible careers after
The most common of these inventories are the Strong Interest Inventory, GuilfordZimmerman Interest Inventory, and the Kuder Preference Record. Derivations on J.L.
Holland’s interest classification scheme (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising,
and conventional) are also widely developed by private organizations.
Values inventories on the other hand look at the reasons or motivations of people for
working. The central assumption in a work values inventory is that people tend to look at
those jobs or occupations where their values are realized.
2.4 Non-test appraisal techniques. Counselors can start assessment during the intake
interview thru diagnostic interviewing and direct observation of behavior (Locke,,
2001). Academic and career interests can already be gleaned and assessed at the first
interview with opening questions as unobtrusive as “How is school?” or “What interested
you today in school?”. Social skills on the other hand, can already be observed with the way
the counselee interacts with the counselor or with other participants in a group session.
Does the counselee interact easily with the counselor? Does the counselee have the skills to
get along with others?
Other non-test appraisal techniques are the more informal assessment tools which may be
introduced depending on the situation and the skills of the counselor. Some examples are
the genogram, life-space diagram, and family floor plan (Tanalega, 1994).
A genogram is a diagram representing the family tree of the counselee with the identified
career of each member in the family which may include those from earlier generations. This
tool can be used as a tool for the student counselee in exploring the influences and
motivations in his education and career choices (Gibson, 2005). Some processing questions
could include: What were the traditional and non-traditional occupations represented in
your family e.g. teachers, film actors, etc.? How is your choice of political science course
influenced by your great-grandfather’s role in the history of your town? What are the career
patterns or themes you discovered in your family?
In looking at the emotional connections of the counselee to his family, a tool such as the lifespace diagram could be used (Tanalega, 1994). With this tool, the counselee is asked to draw
each member of his family as a box with the size indicating the amount of authority or
influence this family member has over other family members. In processing the life-space
diagram, questions can be asked such as: Where do most of the boxes connect with (for
overlapping boxes)? Who has the most decisions (bigger size, wider influence)? How are the
boxes affecting your performance in school?
Another tool that could be used in looking at the relationship of the counselee with his
family is the family floor plan (Tanalega, 1994). The family floor plan was developed to look
into the situation at home which may be emotionally significant to the counselee. The
counselee would be asked to draw his house as a floor plan and describe the house in terms
of its sounds, smells, colors and people living in the house. If the counselee lived in different
homes, the counselor can ask him to choose his favorite home. Some processing questions
could include: Do you have a special place in this house (e.g. workshop)? Where are the
rooms that people normally gather? What activities in the house can help or hinder your
performance in school (e.g. bingo, regular parties)?
Note that these three mentioned non-test assessment tools can surface sensitive emotional
issues and the counselor should be very careful not to probe further unnecessarily or more
than could be handled by both the counselor and the counselee. Where necessary and when
the counselor feels that issues have been opened that a more experienced therapist can
handle, a referral could be arranged.
Career development or preparation workshop
A career development or preparation workshop is a technique employed by career
professionals in helping individuals assess their strengths and plan out for career directions
in an open environment usually with other individuals who may also be at the crossroads of
career changes. This technique could be used nonetheless, in a school setting.
The workshop generally proposes the following objectives:
To generate awareness of one’s needs, values, or goals in life
● To assess what career education can do to one’s personal and professional growth
● To assess one’s strengths and weaknesses
● To explore the range of opportunities available
● To develop a personal plan of action
The workshop usually may have one or more of the following features:
Talks from resource persons from specialized fields and industries
● Activity to assess one’s timeline and its critical points
● Activity to assess one’s strengths and weaknesses
● Activity to look into one’s interests
● Preparation of a personal data sheet or a portfolio
● Preparation of a personal vision, mission, and goals
E. Evaluation of the counseling process
How do we know that the counseling process is achieving what it is supposed to achieve? In
the first place, what outcomes do we expect in the career counseling process? What
measures can we put in place to ascertain that our intervention was worth the effort?
Bostick & Anderson (2009) summarized the key components that should be present in an
“accountable school counseling program” and they noted that to be accountable, the school
counseling program:
1. Should have been developed according to assessed needs at the school (Johnson
& Johnson, 2003).
2. Use interventions that are evidence based (Carey & Dimmitt, 2006).
3. Use valid and reliable assessment procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of their
activities (Steen & Kaffenberger, 2007; Studer, Oberman, & Womack, 2006).
4. Require counselors to collect and interpret the data and use it for program
improvement and to inform their practice (Rowell, 2006).
By considering these key components, counselors and the school management can work
toward planning not only of the evaluation of the counseling program in the school but also
in the earlier stages of setting up the career counseling center.
IV. Setting Up a Career Counseling Center
Setting up a career counseling services center in the school should take into consideration
the unique needs of the population the center caters to. While all targeted schools of this
manual are APEX schools, still, no APEX school is like another and each career counseling
program would require different features depending on the individual characteristics of each
In the United States, a national model for school counseling program is being followed by the
American School Counselor Association or ASCA ( The
ASCA National Model answers what school counseling is and its purpose and goals, its
delivery features and management, the roles of the school counselor, and the accountability
features of the school counseling program. The model emphasizes the role of the counseling
service for student achievement and the use of data-driven research to inform
improvements in the delivery of counseling services and accountability. Whether or not
this model could be applied in the Philippine setting however, is subject to review given the
different social, political, economic and cultural environment that such model was based
on. (A more detailed discussion of this model and references can be found at
To set up the career counseling service in the school, Evangelista (2005) gleaned from various
literature that such service should be based on (1) an assessment of the real life
environment or context; (2) school’s mission, vision, and philosophy of career education; (3)
definition of goals and objectives of the career counseling center; (4) analysis of information
about the learner/student population; and (5) feedback from evaluation. Taking into
consideration these aspects, setting up a career counseling program may seem arduous yet
can also be simple. Perhaps, it would be good to review the school’s current services and
review how these services were determined, implemented, and reviewed.
A. Proposed Career Counseling Management System for High School
The proposed program of career counseling will aim at helping high schools students explore
themselves in relation to occupations. This proposed program will involve not only the
dissemination of career and occupational information materials but will also further stress
that career counseling involves more than the need to help students gain self-knowledge as
they explore the vast fields of occupations.
Two important considerations need to be made in developing a career-counseling program.
First, having one total program, which covers a number of services, minimizes cost and
space. Second, it avoids unnecessary duplication of services and therefore, minimizes, if not
eliminates wastage. Third, under one total framework of career counseling, the task of
hiring, training and maintaining personnel becomes more simplified and more effective since
the personnel’s specialized skills and abilities can be applied to the program as a whole
rather than be confined to fragmented services. Fourth, when career guidance services are
organized into a whole, the evaluation of these services can be built into the program itself
and can be conducted more effectively.
The second important consideration is the concept of student development. The concept
that guidance and counseling is a continuous developmental process, follows not only from
the basic principles of physical development leading to progressive stages of maturity but
also from more recent theoretical formulations of the progressive developmental nature of
vocational interests, career planning and career choice.
Basic Assumptions and Steps in Career Counseling Management System
The proposed system is based on the set underlying basic assumptions.
1. Career and its implementation is a developmental process.
2. The high school years are time of high potentials for developing an awareness of
relevant factors to be considered in decision-making.
Students should have experience in meaningful decision-making and in
accepting responsibility for their decisions.
4. Students should be provided an opportunity to explore the world of work in
their own community and in the country.
5. Students should have opportunity to (a) develop a positive self-concept, (b) be
aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and (c) top reflect more positive interests.
In general, a systems approach to career counseling follows these steps:
1. Identify student needs and establishing program goals and priorities.
2. Translate goals into specific behavioral objectives.
3. Specify processes and methods.
4. Plan, implement and evaluate process.
5. Evaluate output.
6. Adopt and recycle.
1. Identifying Student Needs and Establishing Program Goals and Priorities
Assessment of student needs may be obtained through survey questionnaires, such as the
form suggested in Appendix A. The Careers Survey (see Appendix B) may also be used to
identify students’ career plans, their socioeconomic background, educational attainment of
their parents, etc. This instrument can also be used to identify potential dropouts.
Demographic data about the community, the school, the students and alumni are used
together with the developmental needs of students and projections for future employment
opportunities. The participation by the community is required since this phase has social,
cultural, economic, ethical, and professional implications. Also its participation is needed in
setting goals and assigning of priorities to these goals. Therefore, there is a need to form a
career counseling committee composed of the school administrators, parents, students,
teachers, and guidance staff. This group would provide general direction and support for the
career-counseling program.
An example of an activity for this step is to form a career counseling committee to give
direction to the career-counseling program. This group will assess the guidance needs of
students and develop goals and priorities for the following year. The group reviews general
data about the community and the characteristics of the student population. The
characteristics of the student population may be determined by administrating a survey such
as the suggested form appearing as Appendix A.
For instance, a survey of the graduating high school seniors of a public school in the Manila
area may show that 30% have definite plans on the choice of a course in college; 50% have
no decisions while 20% have no post high school plans. It may also discover that the dropout
rate of students during the past year was 25%.
The outcome of this step would be a rank-ordered priority listing of goals, such as the
Priority 1. Students should be able to state their career plans before graduation from
high school, i.e., be able to state their choice of a course or major subject in college,
or choice of a vocational-technical course, or to seek available employment.
Priority 2. The dropout rate should be reduced.
Priority 3. The percentage of students going into vocational-technical schools should
be increased.
2. Translating Goals into Specific Behavioral Objectives
The school counselor will probably assume primary responsibility for the activity. The
outcome of this phase would be an outline of specific behavioral objectives, including
“minimum” and “desired” levels, and methods of assessment. These statements of
objectives provide the guides for the following phases.
In priority 1 goal (i.e., senior students should be able to state their career plans after
graduation) is selected, the counselor guidance staff or the TLE teacher will now translate
this goal into the following behavioral objectives:
1. A minimum of 60% up to a desired level of 80%, of the graduating seniors next
school year should be able to state their plans after graduation.
2. Of those with a post high school plan, at least 80% must be able to describe in
specific terms, the steps they will undertake to implement their plans.
3. They must be able to describe the first steps they will undertake to implement
their plan.
It is suggested that the Career Choice Checklist Pre-test form (see Appendix C) be
administered to all students in the high school who have definite career plans and those who
do not have or are uncertain. The results from the Pre-test can be compared with the results
of the Post-test from (see Appendix D) to be administered later in Phase 5.
3. Specifying Processes and Methods
Since the resources of the school and the cooperation of teachers are important for this
phase, the support of the school administration is both necessary and urgent.
The first task in this phase is to find or device procedures, materials and programs, which
should logically achieve the objectives, developed in Phase 2. Alternative methods should be
included whenever possible since budgetary constraints, limited resources and even
resistance by other teachers to certain procedures, may arise.
The second task is to review these alternatives, probably with the career-counseling group
(formed in Phase 1) and to select one or more for trial implementation. The product of this
phase would be listing of alternative methods for achieving the objectives and designating
one as the method to be implemented on the trial basis.
4. Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Processes
Problems arising from implementing career counseling approaches, methods and techniques
such as the resistance of other members of the school staff, unavailability of needed
resources, non-cooperation of some teachers, budgetary limitations, time scheduling of
activities, etc., must be considered and included on the planning and implementation. This
underscores the need to have alternative approaches, as emphasized in Phase 3. The
program requires that the guidance staff be effective in their interpersonal relations with
school administrators, teachers, parents, students and other segments of the community.
The purpose of process evaluation (as distinguished from product evaluation in Phase 5) is to
determine whether the program is going on as expected; identify problems of
implementation; and, if possible, take some sample measurements of the outcome criteria.
If unforeseen problems occur, corrections may be required. Unexpected results should also
be noted. Often there are desirable outcomes that have considerable impact but were not
planned for. Undesirable consequences should also be noted.
The product of this step is an evaluation of the activities designed to achieve the behavioral
objectives formulated in the previous steps.
The following questions may be asked:
1. Are teachers introducing career information in their class?
What activities are students undertaking to gather information about their
career choice(s)?
3. How do students show interest in gathering career information?
In addition the following data may be collected:
1. Extent of teacher’s awareness of the career needs of their students;
2. Minimum and desirable levels of student behavior as defined in previous steps.
5. Output Evaluation
Toward the end of the school year, possibly in February, an evaluation is made about the
effectiveness of the program. A random sample of all TLE high school students may be
interviewed to obtain their responses to the following questions:
Do you think there is some advantage to having career plans? Why?
What plans have you made for your future?
What do you have made for your future?
What do you plan to do for the first year after graduation from high school?
What do you need to do first in order to implement your palm?
At this point, the Career Choice Checklist, Post-test from (Appendix D) is administered to all
students to determine if the career counseling approaches, methods and techniques
implemented in Phase 4 had the desired impact on students in so far as they succeeded in
accomplishing the behavioral objectives in Phase 2. Comparing the pre-test and post-test
measures will determine if students modified their career choices; whether those who had
no career plans or had initially been uncertain of their choices, now had career choices
based on information that had been gathered and evaluated. The results are compiled,
analyzed, and compared with the minimum and/or desired objectives as developed in the
previous steps. The product of this fifth step is the report, which is submitted to the
guidance and counseling committee.
6. Adopting and Recycling
The evidence is in and now a decision must be made about the program. Should it be
adopted, expanded, modified or dropped entirely? The guidance and counseling committee
formed in the first step again becomes an important entity as the process of decision-making
comes into play.
The systems approach requires an objective evaluation of results against predetermined
objectives. It also allows for full adoption or recycling to an earlier phase. Perhaps new local
conditions call for reordering of priorities; perhaps the behavioral objectives were poorly
stated or the standards set were inappropriately high or low. If the objectives had not been
achieved, recycling could lead to rephrasing the objectives, specifying different procedures,
or improving the implementation phase. It is even possible that a reordering of priorities
would result in a completely new set of goals, objectives and procedures. It may also be
possible that some of the unexpected results may become the primary focus for subsequent
On the other hand, if the outcomes are satisfactory, the program may be repeated or
adopted for the following school year. The product of this phase is the decision to continue
or to recycle.
The systems approach has several advantages. It focuses the career counselor’s attention on
his objectives; it helps make these objectives clear and easy to evaluate, and it considers
various viewpoints before goals are set up. There is also an explicit time line, which suggests
when the various activities should take place. Another advantage of a systems approach is
that it is outcome oriented; it discourages becoming enthralled with procedures while
neglecting the results. As a tool to the organization and planning of a counseling program,
the systems approach seems to have considerable potential.
1. Learn the Culture
Every company is unique and has its own culture. Our number one priority as a neophyte of
the organization is to understand and blend into it, without compromising your own
professional goals. In essence, this means learning the subtle differences between policies
and politics.
Policies refer to the written rules and standard procedures for getting things done. During
the first weeks of training, you'll be required to read a voluminous of materials such as
employee handbook, company policies, standard operating procedures, and organizational
charts. And you thought school was out---not! Just like the textbooks from your not-sodistant past, this material is meant to educate you about the basics. By reading them, you'll
gain useful knowledge about what you will do in your job. Keep them handy so that you may
refer to them often.
Politics, on the other hand, refers to the unwritten rules of how things are done or not done,
and understanding them could set you apart from your co-workers or fellow trainees,
particularly when exceptional assignments are given out.
The secret to becoming politically savvy in your new environment is two-fold. First, observe
everyone around you, especially the top performers. How do they dress? How do they
communicate ideas? How do they interact with others, especially with the boss? And, how
do they behave in meetings? Second, gain insight about work place politics by simply asking
around but not in so many words. Meet with your boss to discuss what his or her specific
expectations are of you and exactly how meeting them translates into achieving your
performance standards. Talk to your co-workers informally about who the key players are,
your boss' work and management styles and ‘hot' topics as far as job performance is
concerned. Don't take anything for granted, including what might seem like minor issues
such as lunch hours or use of office supplies because ultimately, what you perceive as minor
might be your boss' biggest upset (or vice versa). Remember, being politically savvy on-thejob can help you reach your goals and those of your employer, while keeping your credibility
2. Establish and Maintain Relationships
Getting off to a good start on a personal level is very important. Much like in high school
success hinders also on having many friends and contacts. It’s not on how many friends you
gain but on your attitude of being friendly. A good relationship is always a must. There is no
excuse on harboring grudges or being selfish (specially in not wanting to share one’s
knowledge to the others). Friendship like marriage is a give and take relationship. You know
you are truly friends with your neighbor when you are able to help one another in times of
3. Be Aware of Stereotypes
Communication skills are a key factor in demonstrating a high level of professionalism. You
should be able to communicate well with everyone above you, below you and beside you.
Remember that professionalism also includes how others perceive your behavior.
When all is said and done, don't let stereotypes discourage you from making a difference. If
appropriate, make suggestions and present alternative plans, that are well thought out and
in line with the company's mission. However, don't be too eager to criticize. Learn to listen
with the hopes of incorporating at least one of your ideas into the current plan and know
that respect is earned by your conduct as well as your track record.
4. Be a Student of Your Trade
The transition from in-school training (student-life) to corporate life will require you to strike
a balance between gaining respect from your colleagues and accepting that you are the new
kid on the block. Give yourself time to adjust to your new life.
1. Five Important Kinds of Information for People in Making a Career Decision
There are five kinds of information to help people make the most appropriate choice of a
career at whatever stage of development (J. Santamaria and A.G. Watts 2002):
a) Information about self (interests, personality, strengths and weaknesses, mental
abilities, aptitudes, other abilities and skills, motivation, personal values).
b) Information on training and education, what curriculum will provide the knowledge and
skills, in what TVET, HEI or SUC and where are their locations, tuition and fees.
c) Career information – a set of tasks describing a career or occupation; what the tasks
require in terms of mental abilities, aptitudes, skills, interests and personality and how the
career can satisfy a person’s work motivation and values; education and training required
and where to get them; working conditions (such as working with data, with people,
manipulating objects); amount of co-ordination with others, extent of decision-making
required, reports to be made (how many and how often), equipment and machines used,
and environments (working inside an office or field work); employment and career
advancement opportunities (where and at what level); potential income; etc.
d) Labor market information, i.e. what occupations/careers are currently in high demand
and those for which there is little demand, who are the employers, and what industries are
in need of these occupations and at which levels.
e) Projected manpower requirements for the next 3-5 years: which skills, at which levels
(operators, technical and professional) and which industries will require them. These five
kinds of information are required for an effective delivery of career guidance services by
competent guidance staff with professional training in career guidance.
2. Resources for Career Counseling
If a career counseling center is just getting started, some resources and ideas may be easier
to implement while others require a greater investment of time and/or financial resources.
For example, at the beginning stages, students might learn about job shadowing, resumes
and interviews, or community members may be invited to come as guest speakers to talk
about their jobs. These tasks are easier to implement than, for example, developing a
thorough system of occupational information. The latter is a more complex task that may be
developed over time.
In order to assist students with career concerns, it is helpful to have various research tools
available as well as individuals with specialized training who are familiar with the process of
career counseling. The ideas provided in this handbook reflect options and possibilities. It is
not necessary to implement all of the suggestions at once in order to establish a service that
provides career assistance to students.
Books. The kinds of books that could be purchased include those that provide
information about different types of jobs, such as educational requirements, amount
of pay and descriptions of the work. It is important that the information be up to
Videos. Videos can be made available on various career topics for students to watch.
Videos are particularly useful on the topic of interviewing skills, where students can
watch examples of how to answer questions in a job interview situation. If the
recording equipment is available, it is also useful to videotape students as they
practise interviewing skills. They can observe themselves as the video is played back
and learn what went well and what needs to be altered in their behavior.
Well-classified information on careers/ jobs. It is useful to have a classification
system of jobs where specific jobs that are related have been grouped together. This
kind of a system allows individuals to expand their options when they are researching
job possibilities. In countries where this kind of a classification system does not exist,
career counselors may consider creating this type of a system using classifications
from other countries as a guide. It is important that this type of information be up to
date, relevant, easily accessible, and reflective of the nature of the work world and
current possibilities for students.
Career tests / assessments. In career counseling, career tests and assessments are
often utilized to provide information regarding a variety of areas, such as interests or
personality style. Unfortunately, many of these assessments do not translate well
cross-culturally due to differences in cultural values and norms. However, there may
be assessments available that have been developed or translated to fit the cultural
context. It is beyond the scope of this paper to provide information regarding these
kinds of instruments. It may be worthwhile to investigate the possibilities of
incorporating formal or informal assessments into career programming.
College and university calendars. Schools, colleges and universities typically print
calendars describing the programs offered. It is useful to have local, national and
international information regarding the various educational programs that are
available. These resources can also be accessed through CD ROM or the Internet.
Computer-based information. Career counselors are increasingly utilizing internet
resources and computer assisted guidance systems. Through the internet, individuals
can easily obtain career information from around the world. In addition to the
internet, there are also CD ROM or web-based career guidance systems that may be
purchased. Website addresses are almost endless but a few examples are included
Career Development and Career Counseling Websites. Kirk (2000) considers the
changes in career counseling practices due to the impact of the Internet. There are
many resources available in the web that students and teachers can easily access.
Some examples are:
Journals. It is helpful to have journals available so that those working with students
can inform themselves about new strategies, theories, and resources. Some examples
of career journals include the following:
African Journal of Education
Australian Journal of Career Development
The British Journal of Guidance and Counseling
The British Journal of Education and Work
Canadian Journal of Counseling
The Career Development Quarterly
Career Guidance Study (Japan)
Career Planning and Adult Development Journal
The Counsellor: Journal of Counselling Association of Nigeria
Guidance and Counselling
International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance
Journal of Career Assessment
Journal of Career Development
Journal of Employment Counseling
Journal of Higher Education (India)
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Journal of Vocational Behavior
Journal of Vocational Education and Training
Nigerian Journal of Guidance and Counseling
This section of the manual aims at assisting the APEX student in exploring career options.
This will try to provide a picture of his strengths, values, and vocational interests which could
eventually direct him to his desired career for the future. However, like a mirror, this section
can only try to show what is the state of the beholder at the present time. The mirror in
itself cannot tell how one would look like in the future, but it can guide one to look at those
areas that could be improved so that he could move closer to the desired image.
With the assistance of a counselor or a teacher, the APEX student is expected to move closer
to a decision on what career choices he could take. These choices could be a higher
education that best fits one's values, aptitude, and unique context, or an option to work in
one's own enterprise . Whatever the choice, the APEX student should be able to make this
through a guided and informed decision making process.
The definition of a “career” changes over time with the changing social and economic
environment. The shifting of roles among men and women also impact on the changing
conception of what constitutes a career.
Most often, young people seem to think that a career is a job or an employment. A “career”
generally refers to the progress and actions that a person takes throughout a lifetime. More
commonly in the past than in the present, a career relates to a person's progression or
advancement in terms of work responsibilities and job titles held in one organization over a
period of time. However, due to a changing business landscape, there had been an
increasing trend for people to change jobs more frequently. As new jobs are created with the
rise of new industries (for instance, call center agent jobs only became in existence with the
rise of business process outsourcing industry), people are faced with new opportunities and
are therefore, more receptive to the concept of changing jobs or organizations.
example, some graduates of nursing courses may not be able to take jobs as nurses in
hospitals but are taking on jobs as personal caregivers, medical transcriptionists or call
center agents for emergency assistance. The harsh economic reality also forces some
medical professionals to work later on as nurses in a different country, a trend that had been
more prevalent at present than before.
A career is most often seen as a linear progression, like a ladder that one climbs from the
lowest to the highest rung, or a straight path that one walks throughout life. This is
especially true for those who are on the professional or technical tracks like medicine or
engineering. An individual's career could involve from being a physician in independent
practice and work toward becoming an expert in his field. However, for those who are in
more fluid fields like the liberal arts, interdisciplinary studies or economics, career paths are
not as well-defined. A person graduating with a degree in political science for example, may
take him from a job in desktop publishing to a job in corporate marketing or as a career
service diplomat. This goes to show that a career need not be one, clear, singular path
where the points are well laid out. For most people, a career might lead them to various
possibilities or divergent paths and the challenge is to see how one's knowledge and skill
strengths, values, and interests are developed and contributed along the way.
A career, also takes more than being involved in paid or renumerated work. Artists for
example, take on a career that is hinged on the pursuit of expression of aesthetic interests.
Some people also live their lives in the service of society e.g. taking care of the elderly,
helping organize tribal communities, assisting victims of crime and their families – and they
may or may not receive renumeration for such services.
In a sense, a career is seen as a person's continued application of his knowledge, skills, values
and interests, to a life's work. To some, a career is that of finding security in an ever-growing
salaried position. To others, a career would mean taking risks in investing money and time in
independent business ventures. Either way, a career provides a means to achieve life's goals.
It implies a level of commitment, responsibility, and involvement that goes beyond much
more than spending time and drawing pay. With continued and consistent application of
oneself, a career can dictate one's direction in life, his development as a person, and his role
as a contributor to society.
High school is the best time to start making career choices. The objective is not necessarily to
have one fixed choice but to open up oneself to various career options and later narrow the
list down to those that most fit the student's personality, interests, and aptitudes. It should
be noted however, that in this decision-making process, opportunities will be opened up and
some will have to be let go.
High school indeed is a time when there seems to be limitless opportunities. And while it is
true that one has to follow one's heart, there are also choices which may no longer be
available to a young person finishing high school. For example, one has to face the reality
that embarking on a career in professional ballet might already be late but modern dance is
still plausible. There are also considerations defined by community, family traditions or
religious beliefs, and the student should be made aware how these limit or expand one's
The high school graduate would thus need to be guided accordingly. They have to be made
aware of the possibilities but they also need not be given false expectations. If one is of small
physical built for example, and desires to be in the military service where physical attributes
are highly required, it might be best to assist the student in exploring other career options
that would take on the same discipline yet accentuate the student's other strengths, for
instance, forensic psychology.
For a start, students could be asked to answer the following questions:
What are the career/job goals you now are considering?
Who or what helped you learn about your choices?
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your career decisions?
What do you think are the barriers to achieving your employment goals?
Where in the future do you plan to work? Or “what kind of environment would you
like to see yourself working in e.g. a big office, outdoors, working by yourself or with a
large group?
In the next pages are sample instruments that could help the counselor in assisting the
student arrive at his options. Note that these are just instruments that gauge one's interests
or aptitudes, not the interest itself. While the results may indicate certain leanings, these
should not be taken at face value but should only serve as a guide in the decision-making
1. Learning your Learning Style
Different people approach situations in different ways. Some people would think before
acting, while some would act without much evaluation. Some would be more affected
emotionally than others, and some would see possibilities where others would ask
questions. The way a person approaches a situation is one's learning style. Learning style
consists of distinctive behaviors which serve as indicators of how a person learns from and
adapts to his environment. It also gives clues as to how a person's mind operates. Knowing
one's learning style can help in maximizing a learning experience.
Carl Jung observed that man normally experiences the world through four modes: sensing,
thinking, feeling and intuition. Sensation is the reality function – it tells that something is.
Thinking is the logical function – it tells us what that something is. Feeling enables us to
make a value judgment about the object, whether we like or dislike it. Intuition, the method
of relating to the world through hunches and guesses, enables us to see possibilities inherent
in the object. Intuition and sensation are conflicting modes of perceiving the world.
Thinking and feeling, which are ways one analyzes the world, also conflict. Persons who are
strong in one function tend to be weak in its opposite, but everyone has potential for all four
Another theorist, David Kolb (1984), identified four learning styles along a continuum of
concrete/abstract in perceiving information and a continuum of reflecting/doing in
processing information. Juxtaposing the continuum. Four learning styles are created:
1) Thinking Doer (Converger). Those who perceive with their intellect and process actively
by doing.
Applies ideas to problem-solving
Makes theories useful
Tests hypotheses objectively
Uses reason to meet goals
Reviews alternatives
Enjoys being in control of situations
Sets up projects
Uses investigative skills to solve problems
Learns by testing ideas before arriving at conclusions
2) Reflective Thinker (Assimmilator). Those who perceive with their intellect and process
reflectively by observation.
Excellent theory builder
Synthesizes ideas
Precise, thorough, careful
Methodical, follows a plan
Avoids over-involvement
Pushes mind, analyzes ideas, critiques
Rational, logical
Works and learns better independently
3) Reflective sensor-feeler (Diverger). Those who perceive concretely with their senses and
feelings and process reflectively by observation.
Sees the whole picture and vast alternatives
Uses imagination
Oriented toward relationships with people
Avoids conflict
Likes assurance from others
Observes others and can model behavior
Waits for the right time until ready
Learns by listening and sharing ideas with small number of people
4) Doing Sensor-feeler (Accommodator). Those who perceive concretely with their senses
and feelings and process actively by doing.
Gets involved with lots of new activities – good starter
Operates on trial-and-error, gut reaction
Depends on others' opinions and feelings
Involves and inspires other people
Seeks out new experiences
Enjoys risks, changes, excitement and thrills
Dislikes routine
Likes learning with people through discussions, projects and activities
Anthony Gregorc (1982), like Kolb, used the concrete and abstract dimension but he crosses
it with a different processing dimension which he labels random/sequential. He thus arrived
at his four types of learning styles:
Concrete Sequential Learners (CS)
Has tendency to derive information through direct, hands-on experience.
Appreciate order and logical sequence
Like touchable, concrete materials
Look for and follow directions
Like clearly ordered presentations and quiet atmosphere
2. Abstract Random Learners (AR)
Attuned to nuances of atmosphere and mood
Associate medium with the message
Evaluate the learning experience as a whole
Prefer to receive information in an unstructured manner and therefore like
activities that involve multi-sensory experiences and busy environments
Prefer freedom from rules and guidelines
Seem to gather information and delay reaction and organize material
themselves through reflection to get what they want from the learning
3. Abstract Sequential Learners (AS)
Have excellent decoding abilities with written, verbal and image symbols
Have wealth of conceptual pictures in their minds against which they match
what they read, hear or see in graphic and pictorial form
Like to use reading and listening skills
Prefer substantive, rational and sequential presentations from which they can
extract the main ideas
Learn well from authorities and like vicarious experiences
4. Concrete Random Learners (CR)
Have an experimental attitude
Get the gist of ideas quickly and make intuitive leaps in exploring unstructured
problem-solving experiences
Learn by trial-and-error
Work well by themselves and small groups
Do not follow assignments exactly but add their own twist
Do not respond well to teacher intervention in their independent efforts
Carl Jung Feeling-directed
Anthony Abstract Random
Abstract Sequential Concrete
Concrete Random
Seek practical
Learn by doing
Like hands-on
Concrete things
Rely on senses
Action oriented
Seek perfection
Seek possibilities
Relish change
Risk taking
Status seeking
“Far out”
Fantasy bound
Seek meaning
Need involvement
Like sharing ideas
Like discussion
Intense feelings
Catch mood, nuance
Need affiliation
Past oriented
Seek facts
Expert knowledge
Like ideas, concepts,
theories, paradigms
Like lectures
Logical thinker
Need achievement
Linear time view
Weighs alternatives
Too controlled
Act too fast
Lack trust in others
Expect too much of Fanatic
Mark “A” if you strongly identify with the word on the left; “B” if less so; “D” if you strongly
identify with the word on the right; and “C” if less so. Do the same for the numbers in the
succeeding section.
Take individual steps
Work quickly
Carry out ideas
Prefer changes
Change as I go
Find solutions
Answer questions
Discuss with others
New experiences
Take risks
Get overall picture
Let others experiment
Work deliberately
Think up ideas
Prefer stability
Follow a clear plan
Identify problems
Ask questions
Analyze by myself
New ideas
Calculate risks
People oriented
Get involved
Plan and organize
Task oriented
Get facts
Draw a dotted line down through all the boxes, starting with your highest letter score.
Draw a dotted line across through all the boxes, starting with your highest number
Mark the place where the letter line (1) and the number line (2) intersect. This area
in the box indicates the most preferred learning style.
2. Interest Checklist
United States Department of Labor
Below are 115 activities listed in 23 groups. Read each activity and place a check next to
those that you would like as jobs or hobbies. Check an activity even if you are interested in
only one part of it. If you have not done an activity but think that you would like to, given
the opportunity, check that one also. If you are not interested in the activities in any one
group, leave a blank. Work quickly by not spending too much time thinking about one kind
of work.
_____ Sketching and painting portraits, landscapes, still lifes or figures on canvass
_____ Creating, designing and painting posters, signboards, showcards, charts, diagrams,
labels, and illustrations for advertising copy, books, and magazines
_____ Modeling or carving various objects from wood, clay, plaster or stone
_____ Sketching rooms and planning the arrangement of furniture, wall decorations, and
color schemes
_____ Creating and drawing to scale patterns for new types and styles of clothes
_____ Playing a musical instrument
_____ Singing various types of song
_____ Creating and composing musical compositions or arranging a melody for orchestral
_____ Conducting an orchestra
_____ Studying musical theory and techniques, melody and harmony
_____ Writing magazine articles, plays, short stories, poems
_____ Translating from one language to another
_____ Reporting news for a newspaper or magazine
_____ Writing or editing news items for a newspaper, periodical or book
_____ Doing literary research for historical publications
_____ Acting in a play or dramatic production
_____ Announcing radio programs
_____ Dancing for the entertainment of others
_____ Making a living by playing football, basketball or other sports
_____ Entertaining others by juggling, pantomime or magic
_____ Developing advertising campaigns
_____ Applying the principles of accounting, statistical analysis, contracts, credit, marketing
conditions, and applied psychology to the problems of business
_____ Drawing up legal documents such as contracts, partnerships, deeds and wills
_____ Conducting lawsuits
_____ Working up sales methods
_____ Figuring out arithmetic problems using multiplication, division, squares and square
_____ Copying long lists of numbers and checking to be sure they are copied right
_____ Finding mistakes in answers to arithmetic problems
_____ Doing addition and subtraction
_____ Working with fractions and decimals
_____ Keeping business records, such as sales slips, receipts, bills, attendance records, and
amount of goods purchased or work done
_____ Typing letters and reports
_____ Taking dictation in shorthand or on stenotype machine
_____ Receiving, checking, counting, grading, examining, and storing supplies
_____ Sorting, indexing, and assembling papers and other written records
_____ Being a sales clerk, selling or taking tickets, handling money, or making change
_____ Answering the telephone
_____ Giving people information such as street directions or location of merchandise in
_____ Preparing lists of prospects and contacting them in order to make sales
_____ Attempting to interest prospective buyers by showing sample articles or displaying a
_____ Teaching school
_____ Talking to individuals or families and assisting them in solving their personal or
financial problems
_____ Interviewing and advising individuals concerning their schooling, jobs, and social
_____ Studying social and economic conditions in order to help individuals or groups solve
problems of general welfare
_____ Enforcing laws involving fire and crime prevention, traffic, sanitation, or immigration
_____ Planning a balanced diet, a menu or meal
_____ Mixing foods to obtain new flavor
_____ Going to some trouble to make foods look attractive
_____ Learning the right way to season foods
_____ Selecting meats and vegetables in a grocery store for freshness and quality
_____ Playing games with children
_____ Telling stories to children
_____ Looking after children to see that they are kept neat and clean
_____ Taking care of children when they are sick
_____ Helping children dress or undress
_____ Giving first aid treatment
_____ Setting tables and serving food or drinks
_____ Acting as a hostess or headwaiter in a dining room
_____ Caring for people's hair and fixing their nails
_____ Waiting on other people and caring for their clothes
_____ Studying the soils, weather, climate and so on, in which plants and animals grow best
_____ Plowing, planting, cultivating or harvesting crops
_____ Trying out various methods of growing plants the best way
_____ Breeding, raising, and caring for livestock such as cattle, sheep, hogs, and chicken
_____ Catching fish with nets, hooks, harpoons, spears or guns
_____ Cleaning fish
_____ Steering ships and plotting a course with the aid of a compass or a sextant
_____ Standing watch on a ship to look out for rocks, lighthouses, buoys or other ships
_____ Observing activity of fish to determine their habits and food requirements
_____ Using a trap to catch animals
_____ Acting as a guide to hunting parties
_____ Chopping or sawing down trees and trimming branches from trees using an ax or saw
_____ Moving or piling up stacks of logs and loading and fastening logs with chains
_____ Caring for forests by looking out for fires or tree diseases
_____ Designing machinery and mechanical or electrical equipment
_____ Developing and executing plans for the construction of buildings or bridges
_____ Using drafting tools to prepare detailed plans and drawings for building or machines
_____ Doing research in a chemical, physical or biological laboratory
_____ Drawing maps
_____ Taking apart mechanical things such as bicycles, automobile engines, pumps,
typewriters, or guns and putting them back together again
_____ Examining mechanical equipment for wear or damaged parts to see what needs to be
_____ Following complicated directions and diagrams to put parts of machines together
_____ Tuning up motors to see that they are running right
_____ Greasing and oiling machines
_____ Repairing electric stoves, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, fans and motors
_____ Studying the theory of electricity, including direct and alternating current, volts,
amperes, etc.
_____ Wiring, splicing, soldering, and insulating electrical connections
_____ Building and testing radio sets
_____ Changing fuses, repairing electric irons, wiring lamps, fixing light plugs and short
_____ Working on scaffolds and climbing around on building while assembling large pieces
with a hammer, rivets, or welding equipment
_____ Painting, plastering, puttying, or paper hanging
_____ Working with hand tools such as saws, plumb lines, rulers, and squares
_____ Bending, threading, and fitting pipes, fixing drains and faucets
_____ Doing carpentry, plumbing, floor-laying or roofing
_____ Assembling or repairing instruments such as watches, locks, cameras, fountain pens or
field glasses
_____ Examining, inspecting, and separating objects according to quality, size, color, or
_____ Cutting and shaping glass or stone for jewelry and similar small articles
_____ Cutting, shaping, and rolling dough for breads and pastries
_____ Cutting, sewing, or repairing clothing, shoes, or other articles from cloth, leather, or
_____ Running lathes, drill presses, and other machine shop equipment
_____ Making calculations to determine angles, curves, or shapes of small metal or wooden
_____ Pushing levers and buttons or turning hand wheels to start, stop, slow down or speed
up machines
_____ Operating heavy equipment to move dirt or rocks
_____ Making parts and tools from metal
_____ Doing freehand lettering or copying sketches on wood, metal, canvas or film
_____ Making photographic copies of drawings, records, or pictures for books or newspapers
_____ Setting type by hand or machine for printing, or working with sizes, styles, and spacing
of type or proofreading
_____ Using soft crayon to copy maps, charts, posters, and drawings
_____ Cutting designs or letters into metal, stone, or glass, using hand tools or engraving
_____ Observing formulas, timing, temperature, and pressure directions
_____ Handling or pouring hot metals, or plating metals
_____ Operating furnaces, boilers, ovens, and other equipment
_____ Grinding, mixing, or separating chemicals
_____ Measuring, mixing, or cooking foods for canning
First, count the number of checks in each group of activities. Then darken the bar graph
above, beginning at the bottom, up to the appropriate level in that letter group. If there
were no checks in any one group, leave the column bar blank.
A : Artistic
B : Musical
C : Literary
D : Entertainment
E : Clerical and Sales: Technical Work
F : Clerical and Sales: Computing Work
G : Recording and General Clerical Work
H : Public Contact Work
I : Service Work: Public Service
J : Service Work: Cooking
K : Child Care
L : Personal Service
M : Farming
N : Marine
O : Forestry
P : Engineering: Technical Work
Q : Mechanical Work
R : Electrical Work
S : Structural Crafts
T : Bench Crafts
U : Machinery and Machine Operation
V : Graphic Art Work
W : Processing
High Categories. List the letters of your four highest groups below. Next to each letter write
the job category associated with that letter from the above list.
By having these as your four highest categories, you are stating that, relative to all of the job
characteristics listed, these are the most appealing to you. Look at the labels of these four
categories and at the activities that make up those groups. Pay particular attention to any
similarities among the types of activities involved. Checking the activities as you have done
ranks these as important to you in your own vocational choice. If you have more than four
groups high in number of checks, you are reporting a diversified interest pattern which
probably allows you to choose from many jobs that will provide high satisfaction. Your
highest level of job satisfaction will come from a position that allows you to be involved in as
many of the checked activities as possible.
Low Categories. List the letters of your four lowest groups below. Next to each letter write
the job category listed with that letter above.
By ranking these as your lowest categories, you are reporting little interest in having these
activities involved in your job or hobbies. You would likely be unhappy if you were to have a
job that stressed these activities. If however, your job were also to emphasize these areas in
which you scored high, your satisfaction would depend on the intensity of your likes and
dislikes for these activities. If you find yourself having a job that does involve low ranked
activities, involving yourself in hobbies that stress high-ranked ones may increase your
overall satisfaction with work.
Stephen Murgatroyd, Cyril Rushton, Michale Apter, and Collete Ray
Presented below are 42 pairs of activities. Select the alternative within each pair that you
would prefer, or that most nearly applies to the way you see yourself. Use a separate sheet
for your answers.
a. Compile a short dictionary for financial reward.
b. Write a short story for fun.
a. Going to evening class to improve your qualifications.
b. Going to evening class for fun.
a. Improving a sporting skill by playing a game.
b. Improving it through systematic practice.
a. Work that earns promotion.
b. Work that you enjoy doing.
a. Planning your leisure.
b. Doing things on the spur of a moment.
a. Going to formal evening meetings.
b. Watching television for entertainment.
a. Investing money in a long-term insurance or pension scheme.
b. Buying an expensive car.
a. Spending $200 having an enjoyable weekend.
b. Spending $200 repaying a loan.
a. Fixing long-term life ambitions
b. Living life as it comes.
a. Always trying to finish your work before you enjoy yourself.
b. Frequently going out for enjoyment before all your work is finished.
a. Not needing to explain your behavior.
b. Having purposes for your behavior.
a. Playing a game.
b. Organizing a game.
a. Planning ahead.
b. Taking each day as it comes.
a. Planning a holiday.
b. Being on holiday.
a. Leisure activities which are just exciting.
b. Leisure activities which have a purpose.
a. Spending one's life in many different places.
b. Spending most of one's life in one place.
a. Having your tasks set for you.
b. Choosing your own activities.
a. Staying in one job.
b. Having many changes of job.
a. Seldom doing things for “kicks”.
b. Often doing things for “kicks”.
a. Taking holidays in many different places.
b. Taking holidays always in the same place.
a. Frequently trying strange foods.
b. Always eating familiar foods.
a. Recounting an incident accurately.
b. Exaggerating for effect.
a. Having continuity in the place where you live.
b. Having frequent moves of house.
a. Taking risks.
b. Going through life safely.
a. Winning a game easily.
b. Playing a game with very close scores.
a. Steady routine in life.
b. Continual unexpectedness or surprise.
a. Working in the garden.
b. Picking wild fruit.
a. Traveling a great deal in one's job.
b. Working in one office or workshop.
a. Going to a party.
b. Going to a meeting.
a. Leisure activities.
b. Work activities.
a. Going away on holiday for two weeks.
b. Given two weeks of free time finishing a needed improvement at home.
a. Taking life seriously.
b. Treating life lightheartedly.
a. Going to an art gallery to enjoy the exhibits.
b. To learn about the exhibits.
a. Watching a game.
b. Refereeing a game.
a. Eating special things because you enjoy them.
b. Eating special things because they are good for your health.
a. Climbing a mountain to try to save someone.
b. Climbing a mountain for pleasure.
a. Happy to waste time.
b. Always having to be busy.
a. Watching a crucial match between two ordinary teams.
b. Watching an exhibition game with star performers.
a. Glancing at pictures in a book.
b. Reading a biography.
a. Reading for information.
b. Reading for fun.
a. Arguing for fun.
b. Arguing with others seriously to change their opinions.
a. Winning a game.
b. Playing a game for fun.
SCORING THE SCALE. To find your score, compare your answers to those on the scoring key.
Give yourself one point for each match. To compute for your final score, add the total for
question 1 through 14, and note it in the space below. Repeat this process for questions 15
through 28, and questions 29 through 42.
TOTAL 1 – 14 _________
TOTAL 15 – 28 _________
TOTAL 29 – 42 _________
This test is actually divided into three sub-tests pertaining to the three personality
characteristics of planning orientation (Items 1-14), arousal avoidance (Items 15 – 28), and
serious-mindedness (Items 29 – 42). These three personality characteristics can be important
considerations in job or career satisfaction. The issue is not just whether you are high or low
on one or all of these traits; it is, rather, how your level of each of these relates to the degree
that that characteristic is required for a potential or a present job. To best interpret your
scores, read the description of the subscales, and then think about how that trait is involved
in your job preference. Look at your own score and compare each to the job requirements.
Interpret your scores not as good or bad, but rather in terms of how your characteristics
match those needed in your vocational or career preference.
Planning Orientation (Items 1 – 14) : These questions measure how much an
individual plans ahead and organizes in pursuit of goals rather than taking things as they
come. High scorers are oriented toward the future and gain pleasure from the planning for
goals as as from anticipated achievement. Low scorers, on the other hand, are “here-andnow” oriented, wanting pleasure from immediate behavior rather than from things
sometime in the future. Very high scorers may be regarded as too future-oriented by friends
and work colleagues, perhaps to the point of being seen as rigid and non-spontaneous. Jobs
that involve long-range program development or that hold out the possibility of future
success (even at the sacrifice of present rewards) fit with high levels of planning orientation.
Arousal Avoidance (Items 15 – 28) : This scale measures the degree to which an
individual avoids situations that generate stimulation or high arousal. If you scored high on
this sub-scale, you probably seek out situations that have low arousal levels, such as jobs
that require little travel, have a fixed schedule, and have a clear set of responsibilities. High
scorers are generally more comfortable being able to predict their daily routines than having
a life full of surprises. Low scorers are inclined toward change and adapt easily to new
Serious-mindedness (Items 29 – 42) : This sub-scale measures the degree to which
you are oriented toward goals which you see as important to yourself or those close to you.
High scorers tend to be business- or work-oriented rather than into activities just for fun.
They also avoid spending energy for goals which are seen as arbitrary or inessential. Jobs
that primarily involve intellectual tasks fit well with high levels of this trait.
An Assessment of Values that Guides Behavior and Decision making
Values are beliefs that influence people's behavior and decision-making. For example, if
people believe that telling the truth is very important, they will try to be truthful when they
deal with other people. On the following pages is a list of beliefs that guides people¡¦s
behavior ad helps them make important decisions. Read each one and then choose the
response (1-5) that best describes how often the belief guides your behavior.
Being healthy
Almost Always
If a belief in being healthy almost never guides your behavior, circle 1. If being healthy
almost always guides your behavior, circle 5. If the best answer for you is between 1 and 5,
circle the number 2,3, or 4 that most accurately describes how this belief guides your
Now you are ready to begin. Read each item carefully and circle only one response. Usually
your first idea is the best indicator of how you feel. Answer every item. There are no right or
wrong answers. Your choices should describe your own values, not the values of others.
1. Challenging myself to achieve
2. Being liked by others
3. Protecting the environment
4. Being sensitive to others and their needs
5. Coming up with new ideas
6. Having financial success
7. Taking care of my body
8. Downplaying compliments or praise
9. Being independent (doing things I want to do)
10. Accepting my place in my family or group
11. Having time to myself
12. Being reliable
13. Using science for progress
14. Believing in a higher power
15. Improving my performance
16. Being accepted by others
17. Taking care of the environment
18. Helping others
19. Creating new things or ideas
20. Making money
21. Being in good physical shape
22. Being quiet about my success
23. Giving my opinion
24. Respecting the traditions of my family or group
25. Having quiet time to think
26. Being trustworthy
27. Knowing things about science
28. Believing that there is something greater than 1
29. Working hard to do better
30. Feeling as though I belong
31. Appreciating the beauty of nature
32. Being concerned about the rights of others
33. Discovering new things or ideas
34. Being wealthy (having lots of money, land or 1
35. Being strong or good in a sport (being athletic)
36. Avoid credit for my accomplishments
37. Having control over my time
38. Making decisions with my family or group in mind
39. Having a private place to go
40. Meeting my obligations
41. Knowing about math
42. Living in harmony with my spiritual beliefs
Add up the ratings for each question. Record the total scores for each letter below and in the
SCORES column on page 6. This will give you your scores for the 15 major life values
identified by this inventory.
A ______________ Questions 1 + 15 + 29
B ______________ Questions 2 + 16 + 30
C ______________ Questions 3 + 17 + 31
D ______________ Questions 4 + 18 + 32
E ______________ Questions 5 + 19 + 33
F ______________ Questions 6 + 20 + 34
G ______________ Questions 7 + 21 + 35
H ______________ Questions 8 + 22 + 36
I ________________Questions 9 + 23 + 37
J ________________ Questions 10 + 24 + 38
K ________________ Questions 11 + 25 + 39
L ________________ Questions 12 + 26 + 40
M________________ Questions 13 + 27 + 41
N ________________ Questions 14 + 28 + 42
A ______ ACHIEVEMENT It is important to challenge yourself and work hard to improve.
B ______ BELONGING It is important to be accepted by others and to feel included.
C ______ CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT It is important to protect and preserve the
D ______ CONCERN FOR OTHERS The well-being of others is important.
E ______ CREATIVITY It is important to have new ideas or to create new things.
F ______ FINANCIAL PROSPERITY It is important to be successful at making money or buying
G ______ HEALTH AND ACTIVITY It is important to be healthy and physically active.
H ______ HUMILITY It is important to be humble and modest about your accomplishments.
I ______ INDEPENDENCE It is important to make your own decisions and do things your way.
J ______ LOYALTY TO FAMILY OR GROUP It is important to follow the traditions and
expectations of your family or group.
K ______ PRIVACY It is important to have time alone.
L ______ RESPONSIBLITY It is important to be dependable and trustworthy.
M ______ SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING It is important to use scientific principles to
understand and solve problems.
N ______ SPIRITUALITY It is important to have spiritual beliefs and to believe that you are
part of something greater than yourself.
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