'To draw the wisdom and experiences of different cultures together to consider both universal and specific principles for guidance and counselling that are socially and economically relevant to the contemporary situation.'
Culturally resonant services for guidance and counselling
Most published methods of guidance and counselling emerged in an environment wherein the counsellor and counselee belonged to a similar cultural background. Today however, more and more work occurs in a context that is populated by individuals from varied cultural, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. As a result, there is a higher likelihood of counsellor and counselee coming from differing cultural contexts, each influenced and guided by their own beliefs and ways of living.
The developing world has been poorly represented in the international guidance and counselling community. There is an urgent need for models and methods of guidance and counselling that are relevant to the culture and economies of these countries.
This presents the discipline of guidance and counselling with two challenges :
- the adaptation of the universal principles of guidance and counselling to suit specific requirements in multicultural contexts
- the development of culture-resonant models for guidance and counselling in countries where these efforts have been few and far between.
Changes in labour market dynamics
The last decade has seen tremendous shifts in the world of work and the labour market. The notion of the traditional '9 to 5 job' has changed and the contemporary worker must perhaps consider 5 to 9 jobs in one life time! Information technology has transformed notions surrounding the locations of jobs and today, 'Geography has become history'! Outcomes of free market forces have resulted in the migration of jobs rather than people, causing loss of jobs in some countries and increase in job opportunities in others. The vagaries of the labour market raise two specific issues that guidance and counselling professionals need to consider:
- promoting the realisation of personal potentials vs. finding a 'good job' in countries that experience a sudden increase in opportunities
- coping with and recovering from the loss of a 'good job' in countries that have suffered the mass migration of jobs to other cheaper economies.
Career... A Celebration of Life!
Jiva means life in many Indian and Asian languages. The Jiva conference rests on the understanding that a healthy career is closely connected to ways of living. The West has tended to approache career guidance in an individualistic and objective manner. The East on the other hand tends to approach the same issues in a collective and intuitive manner.
The time is ripe for us to learn from each other.