Career guidance helps individuals to develop suitable career goals, make informed educational, training and occupational choices, manage transitions and develop their livelihoods. A wide range of activities are used to help individuals - become aware of their personal values, skills, attitudes, potential, and resources (self-understanding), - explore learning and working opportunities (opportunity awareness) - develop and investigate career ideas and alternatives, - plan and implement preferred career development strategies, and - manage first days and weeks at a new workplace. Career information, application and soft skills training may be part of career guidance services. When working with young people, it is useful to engage their families.
Career guidance can be found in basic education, technical and vocational education and training, universities and colleges, non-formal training institutions, public employment services, the workplace, the voluntary or community sector and the private (for profit) sector. Ideally, service providers and their services are coordinated at a local level to bring the range of activities and services offered into a sequence that serves the changing needs of various beneficiaries throughout different stages of the school to work-transition process in a meaningful way.
Career guidance is a public service of general interest. It contributes to the achievement of educational, employment, social and economic goals for individuals, groups and society at large. It is a shared policy responsibility, multidisciplinary in character and requires cross-sectoral coordination, both, at the local and at government level.
Client-centeredness is a principle of guidance and counselling: Career guidance supports the individual client to achieve his or her goal. Career education requires specific teaching-learning methods which are closer to facilitation or counselling methods than to traditional classroom teaching.