Career planning and decisions are
often confusing and stressful for adolescents and young adults. Young adults
face immense pressure to develop plans on a structured timeline that allows for
little variation or uncertainty. At Manas, we conduct career counseling with a
positive psychological approach that engages with many issues. These issues
include family/peer pressure, following the herd, foreclosure, unrealistic
aspirations, evaluation apprehension, indecision, self-esteem and identity
crisis. Dealing with these issues simplifies the decision-making process and
career choices for young adults.
Manas uses a unique approach for
career counseling where three key aspects related to career are assessed and
used to help the young adult take appropriate career decisions. Our premise is
that positive career choices are made when there is an alignment between these
three aspects. The three aspects are individual’s interest areas, aptitudes, and integral personality characteristics.
Career counseling incorporates a
considerable focus on self-awareness, like interests, abilities, traits and
values to bridge gaps in these areas, and align expectations of the young
adults and their families with achievable targets. This is carried out while
maintaining a focus on the inherent positive potential of the individual.
Guidance regarding information on specific professional options is also
provided and young adults are made active managers in choosing suitable career
paths, managing career transitions and balancing various life roles.
Manas provides career counseling
services to both individuals as well
as beneficiaries of partnering organizations. In the past, we have worked with Aga Khan Development Network and
Child, among other CSOs running community outreach programs. In
community projects we focus on career counseling and future orientation for
adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds. Manas has compiled a manual for
career counseling with techniques and best practices for running career counseling
programs with disadvantaged groups. This manual includes modules for group
sessions and workshops on themes relevant to adolescent and adult life.
Aga Khan Development Network: Career
Counseling and Future Orientation
In October 2013, Manas Foundation
began a career counseling project in association with the vocational skills
training programme initiated by the Aga Khan Developmental Network at
NizamuddinBasti. The following is a summary of the ongoing programme in terms
of its objectives, methodology, key
achievements, and vision ahead.
The objectives of this career
counseling project are as follows:
To assist the students enrolled in the various
vocational training courses in planning for their career
To map the interests, aptitudes and career
personalities of the students in order to enhance their level of
self-awareness, as is essential for making informed career choices
To monitor their progress and facilitate them as they
begin on their career paths with their chosen professions
This initiative aims to help each
student acquire a future orientation that allows them to plan for a meaningful
and productive life ahead. This involves an exploration of their internal
values, family dynamics, expectations and aspirations, along with helping them
acquire insight into their interests and skill sets.
Career Guidance Program for vocational
training of school dropout youth (2008-11)
In a Skill training programme for
school dropout youth in Delhi NCR, a program supported by Sir Ratan Tata Trust,
(SRTT), the gap areas in youth employability efforts were identified. Youth and NGOs working with youth felt that
critical issues obstructing the sustainability of training and employment
programs were high dropout rates from
school or vocational training, absenteeism, learning difficulties, poor
transfer of learning to daily life, lack of perspective on future career paths,
behavioral and conduct problems, low self-esteem, poor performance at vocational
training, actual place of work/adjustment issues and very low confidence. Key
action areas that emerged were to support children and youth with regular
access to quality in-depth counseling, career counseling, need for an effective
program in communications focusing at strengthening the use of English
language, exposure to new work opportunities, training in certain prerequisites
to augment work options and creative inputs into already existing courses.
Manas developed a career guidance manual in partnership with Youth Reach foundation for an intervention with
youth and adolescents who have either dropped out of school or have taken to
vocational education in place of the regular school. This manual has been
developed in consonance with the needs of this group and is implemented with over 6000 youth, where
we provided career counseling to these youth directly.