Authors: Aspire-igen and BFE
“One of the main objectives of the FUTURE project is to give impetus to forward-looking career guidance policy and provision. To enhance career guidance practitioners and experts’ capacity for innovation, the multi-actor partnership initiated a European Contest for Innovative Career Guidance Tools. The competition took place in the second half of 2019 and aimed to enhance, recognize and promote good practices of innovative game-based instruments for career guidance, information and counseling. It was open for career guidance professionals from all European countries.
38 innovative career tools from 13 countries participated in the competition, which demonstrate the range of digital and non-digital approaches which career guidance practitioners use to support their clients in their career planning and aspirations – board games, online assessment tools, classroom activities, mobile applications, career guidance platforms, project-based experiential learning activities.
The awarded best practices, presented below, are a sparkle of inspiration that shows what the future of career guidance will soon be.
The first prize was awarded to Transformika Coaching Cards developed by Iana Avramova. This is an award-winning tool based on powerful questions which opens paths to solving personal or professional challenges. The Cards cover 32 topics related to career development. They are designed to help you gain clarity on your goals and challenges. The powerful consecutive questions smoothly guide you through the process. Asking the right questions helps you understand and experience life from entirely different perspectives and brings an abundance of opportunities. The Cards provide questions that help you move from the analytical to the creative hemisphere of your brain. The tool is devoted to awakening your inner power, provoke curiosity, empathy and helps you unleash your full potential. The set comes in a printed and digital version.
Cover your needs, Discover your career – Creative Toolbox, presented by Public Compass, was chosen on 2nd place. It is an interactive career guidance tool developed as part of an European project which aims at promoting self-awareness, personal and career planning. It is based on experiential learning and includes 3 components: metaphorical Method Cards, which provoke self-awareness; Personal development canvas for defining personal and professional goals and a Coaching kit used for discussing career scenarios.
My Career Path, presented by Elitsa Kostova, won 3rd place. It combines a board game with related activities and questionnaires in an online platform. The game tools supports young people (14-21 years) in making a profile of the most suitable career for them and in developing their strengths and talents. Along with that, they improve their knowledge of different jobs and about starting a career. The game has been tested with 2000 participants with level of satisfaction 9,4 out of 10 and 78% implementation of the career plan. It helps young people improve their goal-setting, self-reflection and sense of initiative.
CAREER CHECK WITH PERSONAL INDOOR COURSE FOR EDUCATION FAIRS, presented by BIZ (Beratungs- und Informationszentrum für Bildung und Beruf; Counselling and Information Centre for Education and Career), was awarded on first place in Germany. The “”personal indoor course”” consists of two complementary online applications. The “”Career Check”” is a short online questionnaire which can be found on the homepage of the trade fair organiser. It is directed at pupils who are in the process of choosing a career. With the help of 30 questions, the interests of the pupil are ascertained. This results in a code of interests which is based on the fields of interest. With the result code they pick up an individual hall plan at the information stand. On this plan, their personal code is used to show them a route through the exhibition hall and vocational and further training stands tailored to their interests. Along this “”route””, they can find their way directly and easily to the exhibition stands where professions matching their interest profile are presented.
ARISTON VOCATIONAL APTITUDE TEST helps users find out which professions suit them best. After taking a computer-based test, the client discusses the results with a specially trained careers adviser. This will help the clients understand more about their skills and talents, professional type, self-esteem and interests, and learn about jobs that suit them best.
The first prize was awarded to EDUCATIONAL DRAMA IN THE SERVICE OF CAREER COUNSELLING, presented by Ioanna Papavasiliou & Christina Zourna. As a doctoral dissertation and for the first time internationally, research is being conducted to study the impact of his experiential method Drama Training (DT) in developing professional decision-making skills and developing self-sufficiency in career and career choices. Important issues that the DT studies through appropriate story (real or fictional) and selected techniques each time: exploring the self and indirectly or directly related to the environment (family / social, work / professional), various forms of decision-making process through finding, formulating and exploring various possible alternatives dilemmas or problems, and their consequences. At DT, individuals participate as integrated personalities (sense and emotion), experience experiences as ‘acting’ subjects, who act, react, interact and reflect on actions and decisions, in a protected and secure environment of acceptance and personal expression.
PAINTING THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE submitted by Helen Papadopoulou, Educator, was chosen on second place. The children painted with brushes and colors on large measure paper the professions they imagined would exist in the future. They worked together as a team, exchanging ideas and suggestions for future jobs and how they would be displayed on paper.
A DIFFERENT SCRABBLE, WITH CAREER WORDS sent by Georgia Kanellou, Educator, was elected third. Scrabble is a classic word game, but it was adapted it to be related to the career. Each child would draw 7 letter plates at random and try to make use of their letters to create career-related words.
IL BRUCOFARFALLA: FANTASIA PER CRESCERE, presented by Federico Valerio, Arianna Palmieri & Daniele Angelelli, is a unique social company: it is the first publishing house for children managed together with people with intellectual disabilities, preliminarily trained and supported by professionals. The collective writing courses, media education and business management help improve the quality of life of the individual and the community in which he/she lives.
More info: https://ilbrucofarfalla.com/
VOCATION STORY – Girolamo Grammatico is a Humanist coach and his work is aimed at teenagers in a view to combine their professional/personal vocation with their talents, in order for them to be able to outline a strategy for improving the skills that are in line with their desires.
More info: https://girolamogrammatico.com/
HARMOONIA: SAVE THE GUARDIANS is a gamified app designed to increase young people’s awareness around the UN’s SDGs Agenda 2030 and promote the adoption of virtuous behaviors, towards sustainability and respect for the environment. Harmoonia took the third place in the contest in Italy.
More info: https://dasic.unilink.it/harmoonia/
Download the app in Google Play or in App Store.
TALENT TRIVIAL, submitted by a team from Commander Rui Nabeiro’s Postgraduate International Centre, won the first prize in Portugal. It is a game intends to work on intrinsic concepts, in a relaxed and direct way, leading the QUALIFICA Centre’s candidates to recognize essential competences and acknowledge their talents. It encourages individuals to get out of their comfort zone, explore their latent skills through reflecting on their daily life experience, identify their talents as a way of valuing and developing their life projects, demystify barriers, and find balance for reaching their goals. As a result, players improve their self-knowledge and identify their own talents.
INKLUD: DIGITAL GAME FOR PROMOTING SOFT SKILLS IN AT-RISK YOUTH created by Nuno Lopes, was chosen on second place. It is a digital adventure game for career and personal development professionals working with young people aged 14-21 years, at risk of drop-out and social exclusion.
ORIENT’ARTE presented by Sofia Rodrigues is a Psycho-educational project for personal and vocational development with the use of cinema seeks to explore the impact of cinema in enhancing the development of adolescents on vocational, personal, creative and social levels.
CAREER MAP presented by Anna Stokowska & Małgorzata Kazubska is a free tool supporting the implementation of topics in the field of educational and vocational counselling at school. A database of over 500 professions and ideas is available for classes from kindergarten to the final exams. Career Map Career Map is not only a website, but also activities supporting the development of modern educational and vocational counselling in Poland through trainings and events, as well as through development of career guidance resources.
PANJANGO submitted by Jon Maiden won the contest in the UK. It is a world of experiential learning, both online and offline, that connects learning to life and equips young people with the practical knowledge, skills and experience to find their purpose and fulfil their potential. Panjango’s games and resources are targeted at young people aged 8-13 (the transition phase between primary and secondary school). Panjango Online is a virtual learning environment which allows young people to explore the world of work through contextualised and gamified Knowledge, Skills and Experience challenges relating to more than 120 different jobs.
GET CAREER CONFIDENT created by Miranda Glavin, is a brand new, free careers guidance programme supporting students, their parents/carers and teachers in Brighton, Hove and Sussex (UK) offering bespoke one-to-one careers advice sessions, specially curated lesson materials and targeted social media content.
IMPACT GAMERS presented by Adam Syrop, uses game making as a tool for mentoring and young people development. It helps young people grow in confidence, meet new friends, create computer games and learn ICT skills.
OPINTORI is a popular 24/7 career guidance platform in Finland, presented by Tea Remahl & Osao Ovi. It was the winning tool for the participants who come from other European countries. The multichannel guidance service reaches people in all ages, socio-economic status or place of residence. Hundreds of people use the service every month and the customer satisfaction rate is 93 %. Service is easy and comfortable to use, and it can be used also anonymously. Service is open 24/7 in the internet. People can use smart self-help, chat, leave messages in different ways, use social media, call or come to meet counsellor face-to-face. Use of the digital platform has changed the work of counsellors and taken the guidance service and customer satisfaction up to date.
MAKING BETTER CAREER DECISIONS, presented by professor Itamar Gati from Israel, was selected on a second place. It is a free, anonymous, self-help site that helps individuals to make better career decisions. This goal is achieved by (a) increasing the individual’s career decision-making readiness, (b) promoting awareness of the individual’s decision making, (c) guiding the individual through a systematic three-stage process (PIC) that reduces the complexity of the process and the information overload.
WATCHADO.COM, presented by Birgit Hartl from Austria, is a next gen career orientation platform for job starters (14-30), which helps users to find their calling and a job with 3 key components: More than 7000 employee videos (from Nobel prize winners to people next door). The text-based job profiles added to each video provides users with additional information on education, skills, etc. The tool won the third place in the competition.
Other Notable Best Practices received in the contest:
● Listen to Your Career Advisor role playing game – Stefan Kalpachev, Bulgaria
● Znam.be online career tool – Angel Georgiev, Bulgaria
● Job Under the Magnifying Glass” Educational Game – Iliyana Kalinova, Bulgaria
● Create and Release on the Market project-based group game – Elisaveta Zaykova, Bulgaria
● Family Job Trees Project for elementary school children – Tania Nikolova, Bulgaria
● Career Guidance Trainings – Gergana Todorova, Bulgaria
● Mosaic” Interactive Career Game for exploring the career opportunities an university provides – Teodora Milenkova, Bulgaria
● I know, I can, I will be…” Project – Rumyanka Dimitrova, Bulgaria
● The House of Professions – Polina Karadzhova, Bulgaria
● “Am I This Person” Career Board Game – Rositsa Dimova, Bulgaria
● “Directions” Career Guidance Club – Slava Marinova, Bulgaria
● Cardboard of the Future – Amalia Kalamatianou, Greece
● The Sustainable Career Cards Sort – Shékina Rochat, Switzerland
● Kipinä Sparks Career Counselling – Minna Kattelus, Finland
● Career Path online career counseling and guidance system – Toni Babarovic & Iva Šverko, Croatia
● Profolio.lv career education e-learning training platform – SIA Karjeras Izaugsme, Latvia
● A mobile/web-based game experience for self and occupational exploration for career building – Nurten Karacan Ozdemir, Turkey.