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Jiva is a career guidance system developed for non-Western cultures with particular reference to India. Jiva was developed in three phases with the intention of bringing career and livelihood planning into the national mainstream.

Phase 1 (2005-2006): Survey and Collation of Base Line Data

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In order to develop a strong evidence base we conducted  a comprehensive survey - Work Orientations and Responses to Career Choices (WORCC-IRS), in 12 different parts of India, in 8 different languages, covering a sample of close to 10,000 Indian young people. This survey generated a robust data base pertaining to young people’s orientations to work and livelihoods, and provided deep insights into the career choice process in India.

Phase 2 (2006): The National Consultation on Career Psychology – NCCP

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The findings from the WORCC-IRS were discussed, by leading social scientists, educators, psychologists, youth workers and policy makers at a National Consultation on Career Psychology (NCCP, Bangalore, 2006). 

Key Recommendations

Three key recommendations emerged from the NCCP's discussion of the WORCC-IRS data:

  1. Use the WORCC-IRS findings to develop culturally validated teaching-learning material for careers education suitable for the Indian context.
  2. Develop a skilled workforce to deliver career counselling services around the country.
  3. Draw the attention of policy makers to the importance of career counselling.

These recommendations and data guided the development of the Jiva Approach to Career and Livelihood Planning. 


ABOUT THE JIVA SYSTEM

Four Key Values

  • Career Development is a Spiral not a Ladder. Development may not always point in the “forward” direction.
  • The Jiva Tick Mark.  Skills for decision-making.
  • Green and Blue. These are the Jiva colours and connects career to responsible actions toward one's surroundings. 
  • The Changing and the Unchanged. A career develops in finding the balance between what changes and what does not change.

The Jiva Kit

The Jiva System is based on a comprehensive compendium of teaching-learning material for career guidance and counselling.  This includes:

  • A Training Manual.
  • Photocopiable Student Worksheets.
  • Learning Cards.
  • Career Information Cards.
  • Careers Dictionaries.
  • Flip Charts.

This Kit has been trial tested thoroughly and equips a counsellor to establish a full fledged career resource centre.

The word Jiva means ‘life’ in most Indian languages.  The Jiva programme is based on the premise that a healthy career is integrally connected to one’s life.


The WORCC-IRS and the NCCP were supported by the Sir. Ratan Tata Trust and development of the Jiva Method was supported by the Jacobs Foundation.

THE JIVA APPROACH TO CAREER AND LIVELIHOOD PLANNING

 

Four Elements of Career Guidance and Counselling

The Jiva system delivers career guidance using a four-step process.

  • Self-Discovery.   Helping young people discover personal talents and aptitudes goes a long way in building their confidence to make career plans and set goals for the future.  Jiva uses a mixed methods (quantitative + qualitative) approach to help a student understand his/her potential profile. Learning about personal talents and capabilities is a source of encouragement to the student and also contributes to building self-confidence. 
  • World of Work.   It is not uncommon for disadvantaged young people's aspirations to be stunted.  In addition, their access to information is also poor.   Hence their orientation to the world of work is often limited to settling for 'whatever I can get'.  This is often dictated by economic and financial pressures.  Finding a job, any job is often the manner in which career decisions are made.  Most often parents too are keen that after high school their children begin to work rather than go on for further education.  This part of the Jiva Workshop is designed to widen their horizons and introduces them to the many career possibilities open to them.  A systematic, activity based format is used to help participants understand career names, career paths,  courses and institutions, entrance procedures, educational milestones and eligibility criteria.  An important element here is introspection about attitudes (career beliefs) towards work and career.
  • Career Alternatives.  Jiva helps the student blend information about personal interests and aptitudes with information about the world of work. The target at this stage is to identify a specific set of careers linked to the student's personal profile, that he/she could explore further.
  • Career Preparation.  The career development target at this final stage in the Jiva Workshop is to help the student develop clear, attainable goals for skills acquisition, through further education, before entering the world of work.  Important issues such as work ethics, dealing with failure, orientation to prosperity, the need to delay gratification of personal wants and making long term plans are addressed through games, role plays and activities. This part of the programme prepares the student to develop career plans that could be implemented within the frame work of resources that are available.  The workshop culminates with the student creating a person career development life-plan.

Other Important Concepts

  • Orientation to the Future.  Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to view the future in terms of the deprivations that they experience in the present.  The Jiva workshop includes exercises to help students understand that actions taken (or not taken) today have an impact on prosperity in the future.
  • Opportunity Awareness.  India  has numerous facilities available to support the development of those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  A significant barrier to career development is a lack of awareness of these opportunities.  Jiva has developed a data bank of career opportunities for young people who do not have the resources to pursue further education.


RELATED LINKS

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Other Important Concepts

  • Orientation to the Future.  Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to view the future in terms of the deprivations that they experience in the present.  The Jiva workshop includes exercises to help students understand that actions taken (or not taken) today have an impact on prosperity in the future.
  • Opportunity Awareness.  India  has numerous facilities available to support the development of those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  A significant barrier to career development is a lack of awareness of these opportunities.  Jiva has developed a data bank of career opportunities for young people who do not have the resources to pursue further education.

Career Report

All students receive an individualised report with details about personal interests and aptitudes, career alternatives and career paths, and information  for further and higher education.

Parent Engagement

The drivers of career decisions are often parents and significant others in the young person's life.  Jiva actively includes parents in the guidance process.

Implementation of the Jiva Programme

Broadly, Jiva is implemented at two levels:  Student workshops and career counsellor training. 

Career Discovery Workshops for Students 

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Jiva workshops are conducted directly by our counsellors through group workshops in schools/community settings and through individual face-to-face sessions.

Jiva Certificate Course in Basic Skills for Career Counselling

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This is an intensive eight-day training programme that we conduct.  The course is set around the Jiva Approach.  Successful participants qualify to become licensed Jiva Practitioners.

Outcomes

The Jiva System has been in use for the last 7 years and has emerged as a relevant method of career guidance for the Indian context. 

  • Jiva has reached about 60,000 students and youth in almost all parts of the country both through The Promise Foundation as well as through counsellors who have qualified as Jiva Practitioners.
  • We have trained close to 200 individuals in the Jiva System and have at least one counsellor in every Indian state.  We are presently in negotiations to align our certificate course with the requirements of the University Grants Commission, India. 
  • We had the opportunity to hold the first ever Indian conference on career and livelihood planning in parternship with the International Association of Career and Livelihood Planning.
  • We have supported the establishment of the Indian Journal of Career and Livelihood Planning and the Indian Journal of Career and Livelihood Planning.
  • More than 20 scientific papers have been published in peer reviewed journals based on the Jiva method and the idea has been presented at numerous international conferences. 
  • Through the International Labour Organisation, Jiva has been presented to representatives of over 30 countries. 
  • We have taken a leadership role in the publication of the Handbook of Career Development: International Perspectives, a volume that has had nearly 90,000 downloads. 
  • Jiva has been adapted for use in other countries such as the Maldives, Vietnam, Sweden and Sri Lanka.