Developing personal goals by exploring options, establishing prosocial skills, exploring interests and applying good self-regulation practices early on in life, can amount to major benefits for children’s prospective professions (Paszkowska-Rogacz & Kabzińska, 2012). Numerous scholars emphasise the significance of and the need for early career counselling, as discussed by Härtung, Porfeli and Vondracek (2005), as well as by Watson and McMahon (2005). These scholars concluded that progress made during different stages of early childhood career development affects the choices that children make about the world of work and it also ensures identity development and interpersonal growth. Appropriate career advice can also assist school-going children to enhance their academic progress and to remain occupied in and engaged with education. The purpose of this study was to explore how life-design-based counselling influences Grade 7 learners’ academic self-construction.
A qualitative, group-based intervention methodology was used to address the research questions. The intervention was based on the Career Interest Profile (CIP, Version 6) (Maree, 2017) and the life design counselling methods as discussed in Savickas et al. (2009). Non-probability, convenience sampling was used to select twelve Grade 7 learners, aged 12 and 13, to participate in this study. Themes and sub-themes were established, and Thematic Analysis was utilised to identify and analyse the data.
Career development is a life-long process and young individuals should be supported and guided as they strive towards their goals. By making learners aware of future career aspirations, they were inspired to construct themselves more appropriately and re-consider perceptions and behaviours regarding schooling. Ultimately, academic self-construction was enhanced through the collaborate processes of life-design-based counselling. The possibilities for future research should assess the value of life-design-based counselling during early childhood development and the integration thereof within schools and the curriculum, so as to benefit the career development of young learners.