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Effective career counselling comprises four components, which we describe through our Career Discovery Equation.

Developing skills for comprehensive career counselling requires advanced training and supervision and we do not present our aptitude tests on this website. Readers are referred to our book Career counselling: A handbook that presents our career counselling techniques and models. Given below are two activities extracted from this handbook that you could use as career counselling resources. Kindly acknowledge the source of these activities, should you choose to use them. Before you use these activities, please refer to the section on multiple potentials in the research section, to orient yourself to the framework we use for career counselling.

Activity 1: Frames of Reference

Content and Objective:

The primary focus of this activity is to give career aspirants a frame of reference within which to observe themselves and get to understand themselves better. As mentioned earlier, the concept of multiple human potentials is used to provide this framework. Frames of Reference is a brief description of the multiple potentials framework for self-understanding.

Key Messages:
  • all of us have interests
  • these interests could be categorised into families
Duration of the activity:

30 to 40 minutes


Frames of Reference articles


Divide your group into five smaller groups and give each
group one of the articles. Give them about 15 minutes to read and discuss their article. Ask each group to make a brief presentation about what they have learned about the human potential from their article. At the end of the presentation draw the various ideas together to present multiple potentials as a framework for self observation.

Given below are the Frames of Reference articles.

  Please note that all the Research Papers are currently available as downloadable PDF files.
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File name
File size
11 kB
16 kB
15 kB
15 kB
14 kB

Activity 2: The Self Discovery Diary
(Excerpt from Career Counselling: A handbook, Copyright Gideon Arulmani and Sonali Nag--Arulmani, Tata McGraw Hill)

Content and Objective:

Everyday is filled with experiences. Different experiences cause us to dip into different facets of our personalities and capabilities. This is a self-discovery exercise you could do on your own, to help you get in touch with your interests. Use the self-discovery diary format given on this page.

Key Messages:
  • Interests are activities that we enjoy and are drawn toward
  • Careers that are linked to personal interests would be careers that you enjoy
Duration of the activity:

This is an activity that is conducted in three parts over a period of approximately four weeks. The introductory section during which the participants are taught the method usually takes between 45 to 60 minutes. The second part occurs over about 4 weeks during which time participants work on their Self Discovery Diary. The concluding part usually takes 45 to 60 minutes, when the facilitator helps participants interpret their records and identify their interest areas.


The Self-Discovery Diary Worksheet (Downloadable as PDF file - 14 kB)


Step 1: Use the Frames of Reference articles to discuss what interests are and how they could belong to families.

Step 2: Present the idea of the Self-discovery Diary. A completed worksheet is provided as an illustration.

Step 3: Go over the steps described in the worksheet. Use the completed worksheet as an example to illustrate how the diary is to be maintained. Describe what sort of experiences participants could select. Once participants have understood the technique, they are to start working on their diaries for the next four weeks.

Step 4: It is essential that at least 10 experiences are recorded and rated for each of the potential areas. It is therefore important that the facilitator keeps in touch with the participants over the four weeks. In situations where a career aspirant is unable to find opportunities for experiences in a particular potential area, the facilitator is required to try and create these opportunities. The success of the exercise depends directly on the range of experiences the individual is exposed to.

Step 5: Once a sufficient number of activities have been recorded, the facilitator focuses on helping participants score their diaries.

Scoring: Participants are to total up the ratings for each potential area separately to get their Total Score
The Total Score is to be divided by the number of experiences recorded for each potential to obtain the Average Score. The Average Score will always range between 1 and 5.

Step 6: The Average Scores are used to help the participant obtain a profile of personal interests.
The top two scores are usually selected as indicative of the career aspirant’s highest interest areas.

Career counselling: A handbook

This is a handbook written by Gideon Arulmani and Sonali Nag-Arulmani, that is based on 15 years of research and practice in the area of career counselling. The book is currently in press, published by Tata McGraw Hill. Some of the highlights of the book:

  • Written for practitioners, researchers and academics
  • Blends theory with practice
  • Presents a model for career counselling in India
  • Carries special contributions by internationally acclaimed career psychologists
  • Carries ready-to-use photocopiable worksheets
  • Describes how a career counselling service could be set up
  • Presents a sample plan for a 12-session, school-based career counselling programme
  • Carries a special section on career counselling for young people from disadvantaged homes

Related Links
Career Counselling Interventions
Work Awareness and You Programme
Skill Literacy and Careers Development
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