Page 1


for career guidance counsellors

Volume 1

Fairy tales

for career guidance counsellors volume 1 Good practices in career guidance for pupils and students Author of the texts: Lachezar Afrikanov Author of the illustrations: Boriana Georgieva Editors: Milena Karaangova and Veneta Kuyova Š Published by HRDC, Euroguidance Bulgaria, 2012, All rights reserved

ISBN 978-619-90005-2-6

Lachezar Afrikanov


for career guidance counsellors

Good practices in career guidance for pupils and students Bulgaria 2012

Volume 1 Published by Human Resource Development Centre, Euroguidance Bulgaria 2012

ontent 5



The Beginning of the Journey


Meeting RoAn - The Power of the Active Person


Meeting IlKa - The Tablets of Self-knowledge


Meeting PeMa - The Power of the Accepting Person


Meeting Tsve - Power of the Written Speech


The Test of TaTe - The Power of Experience


The Test of MilKas - Between Two Worlds


Meeting the Elder


Our characters










ntroduction Dear Reader,

What you are holding in your hands, is the first book of the series ʹFairytales for career guidance counsellorsʹ. It aims to present and provoke interest in the best practices in the field of career guidance. The preferred form of expression is the fairytales genre. The purpose is to use the rich language of fairytales to highlight the huge importance of career guidance and particularly the specifics of the career counsellors’ profession. This booklet is written for specialists in career counselling, as well as for everyone interested in personal career development. The booklet has been designed to serve as a kind of business card, advertising career guidance services and at the same time to be a source of inspiration for professional development. I would like to thank all my colleagues engaged in career guidance in Bulgaria and Europe that I have the opportunity to interact with and receive wise lessons and inspiration from. 5

I would like to thank prof. Ronald Sultana for giving me the chance to realise the meaning of the expression ʹLove for the Craftʹ as the ultimate outcome for every national lifelong guidance system. Enjoy your reading! The Author



he Beginning of the Journey

Once upon a time there was a little boy called LaFri. He was constantly asking questions about everything around him. Why is the sea blue? Can the sun shine in red? Can I talk to trees? Where do people go when they die? Over the years, it became increasingly difficult for the adults to answer his questions: ʹWho am I? What can I become? What is happiness? How far can I go in my life? Is there a limit?ʹ Then the Elder of the tribe advised to send LaFri on a journey into the land of the ancient Thracian kings. ʹOver there, where the land is surrounded by three seas to the East, to the South and to the West, there is a magical place where the mountains reach the sky! There you will find all the answers you seek!ʹ Two wise women, GeRak and NeRa, were chosen to accompany LaFri in his journey. They had travelled a lot through the Thracian lands and knew which places and people to visit. GeRak and NeRa were not just ordinary wise women. Unlike most of their kind they were trying to turn the wisdom they had achieved into action. Over the years, their good deeds improved the life of the people in the tribe. 7


They were always of the same mind, but there were times when disputes arouse. The main argument between them was how to inspire people to understand their personal strengths and weaknesses and how to find their own way to develop and use them. GeRak insisted on using the power of the Elder, who should order his followers that it was time for a change. NeRa supported the idea that the flame of change must be kindled among people by the people themselves. The journey with LaFri in the Thracian lands was an opportunity also for them to find some answers‌



The Flat Land - Fire

eeting RoAn The Power of the Active Person

The first stop for our travellers was at the master RoAn’s school in the Flat Land. RoAn was born under the fiery astral constellation of Aries and possessed strong will and faith in the constantly developing person. RoAn was teaching her young apprentices the art of being initiative and finding their way in the world of money. LaFri was eager to find answers and without waiting for his wise companions to acquaint the teacher with the purpose of their visit, asked a series of questions: ʹHow do I know who am I? What can I do? In what direction should I evolve? How?ʹ ʹLaFri, the first thing you must understand is that in order to have a successful life, you must learn to be patient. Patience will allow you to arrange your thoughts, to weigh advantages and disadvantages and make proper decisions.ʹ It’s time for your first exercise on developing patience. Take this bowl of rice and these two wooden sticks. Your task is to carry all the rice into that empty bowl next to the tree in the centre of my garden, using the chopsticks and taking only one grain of rice at a time. During this exercise you will feel various emotions,


from anger that you will not be able to accomplish the task, to desperation that it will never end. You should try to accept the task with patience and feel satisfaction.ʹ Then LaFri proceeded with reluctance to the task. All of a sudden, as the teacher had warned him, a variety of feelings gripped him, until he felt a rush of calm acceptance of the situation and realised that only by patiently accepting things in life you can reach a sense of fulfilment. Over the next few days RoAn continued the training following her school’s motto: ʹMovement, activity and energy.ʹ During the various exercises LaFri learned that when a person is open to the world of opportunities, then his vocation naturally opens up before him. While their young mate was receiving his training, GeRak and NeRa sought the opinion of the wise teacher about the matter of their dispute. 11

ʹMy e x per ienceʹ, RoAn said, ʹshows that change is possible when you work with young people at early school age and help them realise that everything is about movement and if someone decides to develop, you cannot expect to achieve good results just by sitting by the road and waiting!ʹ



The Flat Land - Air

eeting IlKa The Tablets of Self-knowledge

In this very moment LaFri felt he was full of energy to make a change, while being in the same time inevitably hesitant about the direction to take in order to progress. Anticipating his emotions, GeRak reassured him that his next meeting will be with master IlKa at the ancient village of Trimontium. Born under the airy sign of Gemini, IlKa had the skill of speaking with the wind. The wind was whispering knowledge to her from all around the world and IlKa was able to listen and record this knowledge in the Tablets of self-knowledge. ʹLaFri, in order to get a copy of the tablets, you must first answer one question by the master!ʹ, noted GeRak. With the very first appearance of the master, LaFri realised that the task would not be easy. Dressed in an orange gown painted with orchids, IlKa radiated serenity and insight. ʹThe wind told me to expect your visit and that you would wish to receive the Tablets of self-knowledge.ʹ ʹYou, young man, should answer the following question: Do you like me? You have one minute to reply.ʹ 13


Suddenly, LaFri panicked. ʹWhat is that strange question? If I answer with a NO, then how am I going to get the Tablets? If my answer is positive, it would not be a sincere reply either, because I do not like this whole mystery.ʹ ʹTime is up. What is your answer?ʹ ʹNo. I don’t like you. It would not be fair to lie, even if by telling the truth I shall be deprived from the opportunity to read the Tablets of self-knowledge!ʹ ʹCongratulations, young man! You chose the right answer for yourself. Being honest and truthful to yourself and to the others are the key elements of self-knowledge. Here are your Tablets of self-knowledge. Inside, you‘ll find plenty of advice and practical exercises that will help you through your journey!ʹ GeRak and NeRa carefully observed master IlKa’s approach and it made them feel closer to finding out the best answer to their quest. The time had come to head for the North Forest.



The North Forest

eeting PeMa The Power of the Accepting Person

The road to the North Forest went through the passages of the Hemus Mountain. GeRak and NeRa knew what to expect during the next stage of their journey. Lafri had to face one of the biggest challenges, met by every truth seeker: accept differences and reject prejudice. For the first time since the beginning of their journey, our travellers met and savoured the experience of magical creatures the elves and their master PeMa. Elves are guardians of the good. Their boundless love for all creatures gives them the magical power to respond to each pledge for help of those in need, of those who are different and isolated, who find themselves at a crossroads and wonder which direction to take and what skills to develop. In the elfish forest LaFri learned to handle the feeling of worry when communicating with people and creatures different from him. He learned that the universe has only one valid rule - ʹLearn to accept and you will be accepted.ʹ



During his stay LaFri talked with many young people who for one reason or another were deprived by destiny of some abilities and had sought shelter in the forest. These conversations allowed him to get a glimpse beyond their visible side and see that under the surface, rejected by majority of people, fragile and delicate strings of pure energy of goodness were hidden. PeMa was a patient teacher. She herself was radiating what every seeker of happiness is striving for, namely acceptance of everything and everyone for its own sake and value. Her magical power consisted of rendering invisible assistance. GeRak and NeRa also experienced this magic power and all of a sudden their souls were filled with answers to all questions they were keen to resolve. The travellers were sad having to leave the Kingdom of the elves and head to the farthest point of their journey, to the inaccessible shores of the Water Kingdom ʹVarnasʹ, to east of the Northern Forest...



The Water Kindgom

eeting Tsve Power of the Written Speech

The rulers of the Water Kingdom were known for their endeavours for providing young citizens with the opportunity to acquire skills for making their own choice of vocation. According to a special decree, all young people had the right to receive additional assistance beyond regular studies at school. This type of assistance was not a regular one, it was magical, because teachers like the ones our travellers met in the Flat Land helped them discover and pursue their desired vocation. GeRak and NeRa were even more eager than LaFri for the upcoming meeting with their long-time friend and fellow master Tsve. Master Tsve had been reflected for years on the issue how to inspire people and what is the right approach to unlock the doors for their dreams. As anyone born under the fiery sign of Leo, Master Tsve was not a person that easily gave up and had many achievements in her field of occupation. ʹHello friends! Welcome to Varnas! We have so many years to catch up and so many topics to discuss. Who is your friend?ʹ GeRak and NeRa greeted their friend warmly and explained to her the purpose of their journey. 19


ʹI have something for You, young man, something that will be useful for reading and using - the tablets of self-knowledge. Over the years, I have drawn up special diaries for the young people in the Water Kingdom. The diaries helped them to record in an orderly manner their strengths and weaknesses, their objectives for development and collect everything they have learned in pursuit of their vocation. Here you are, LaFri, take a look at these manuscripts, while I will go and talk with NeRa and GeRak.ʹ The three wise women left LaFri reading and enjoyed talking about how to find a way to allow everyone find the job that best fits their talents and desires. According to Tsve, the role of the Ruler is essential, not by imposing his will with force, but by introducing clear rules for the working process of people on such personal and important for their development issues. The active role of the Ruler will encourage teachers in schools to spend more time for discussions with the seeking ones and guide them through the difficult path of self-knowledge and vocational development. Before departing from the Water Town, LaFri received a priceless gift from Master Tsve - an exercise for contemplation. ʹSometimes we, people, think too much about things that excite us. It doesn’t always help. It‘s good to learn to give your mind a rest and let it be cleared out of all thoughts. Then you will see that solutions come faster.ʹ By saying these words, Master Tsve took LaFri to the beach, lied down on the warm sand and closed her eyes. ʹI‘ll give you a simple advice, LaFri. Lie down, close your eyes, relax and enjoy the sounds around you. Just sounds, no thoughts!ʹ LaFri relaxed on the beach and let his mind float tuned to the sounds of the sea. Gradually, the rhythmic splash of waves merged with the quiet gust of the wind and the guttural clamour of a flock of gulls perching nearby into a crystal clear inner voice that whispered ʹYou are complete!ʹ 21


The Mountain Village

he Test of TaTe The Power of Experience

The three travellers took the way back home, passing through the ancient city of Sеrdiкa, the kingdom of the Serds. They stopped to spend the night in a small mountain village. The local priestess TaTe welcomed them. ʹHello strangers! Welcome to our small world! The Spirits told me about your visit and the purpose of your journey. Congratulations! There are only a few final steps to successfully complete your quest. Come, rest and have dinner with us around the tribal fire!ʹ The atmosphere around the fire was magical. The tired travelers felt the comfort of home and the carefree spirit of the summer. Overwhelmed with this energy they soon went for a sleep in the tribal tents provided by the hosts. During the night LaFri had a strange dream. In it the priestess TaTe took him to a large playground, where each field represented a separate village, and told him that he was part of the red team. The goal of his team was to overcome many different obstacles in each village. The winner would be the first team to collect the treasure of the ancient Indians. While playing in his sleep, all of a sudden LaFri realised how inspiring was to be part of a team, but on the other hand, it involved a lot of acceptance of diversity and 22

balance of interests to reach the common goal. He realised that in order to overcome different obstacles it took a variety of skills and knowledge. In addition, a person must have a plan to develop these skills and knowledge so that he completed the task on time. 23

In the morning, when he woke up, LaFri hurried to the priestess and told her about the dream. ʹYour dream shows that the path towards finding and developing your vocation requires that you learn to manage the development of your talent in a clear direction. Any distraction will divert you from your path. Besides, if you learn to work in a team, it will help you walk the path without possessing all the necessary skills, but by combining your skills with those of your companionsʹ. Before departing from the village, the priestess gave LaFri a compass, saying: ʹThis is a symbol for you to remember that a man of many talents without direction is like a ship with good sailors without a compass.ʹ



Serdiкa Academy

he Test of MilKas Between Two Worlds

Inspired by the magical words of the priestess TaTe, the travellers barely noticed how they reached the gates of Serdica Academy, one of the most prominent schools for people with vocation. ʹHere, LaFri, is the last stop of our journey before heading back home,ʹ GeRak whispered. ʹYou will meet the leader of the Academy, the great thinker MilKas. She will give you a series of tests that will help you find your way. NeRa and I will be waiting outside. Good luck!ʹ LaFri made a hesitant step through the imposing oak gates bearing the symbol of the school – a sun with eight rays. MilKas welcomed the young vocation seeker with the Latin words: ʹNoli foras ire, in interiori homine habitat veritas!ʹ, which literally mean ʹDo not go out, the truth lies in you!ʹ LaFri thanked for the polite reception and briefly told about his journey, the teachers he met, the insights he reached. ʹWith us you will experience what it feels like to be on the edge between the world of education and the world of occupation. Here, we teach people not only to reflect on what they have learned, 25


but also to present themselves to people who can provide the opportunity for the expression of their vocation. Here, we arrange for students and growing talents to meet with different employers. So, they have the opportunity to experience the spirit of work, its rules and peculiarities.ʹ ʹThe first challenge is to prepare a short three-minute speech to present your best qualities and convince any unknown passerby that you deserve to be trusted. The speech will have to be delivered in the main town square and you would need to be standing on a wooden box so everyone can see you. The second challenge is to prepare a short presentation about yourself, which in a chronological order describes your knowledge and skills and the steps you‘ve made to grow in your professional life. It is important to show any significant experience in your development. The text will be presented to leading employers and they will assess your progress. The last challenge is to write a cover letter to yourself, which must convince you that you are the right person for the job. This is the most difficult task, because you are the one that makes the assessment...ʹ


LaFri spent ten days in the Academy and successfully passed all tests. Meeting him at the exit, GeRak and NeRa noticed in his eyes confidence in his own abilities and determination to take action. Smiling, they all headed back home... 28


Back to the Tribe

eeting the Elder

When our adventurers came back home everybody in the tribe greeted them with cheers. All were eager to hear about the various experiences they had during their three hundred-day quest. ʹDear friends, give us a minute to rest after the long journey and first meet with the Elder. Then we shall tell you all about our adventures,ʹ with these words GeRak and NeRa headed along with LaFri to the Elder’s tent. The Elder heard the story of their journey with interest and congratulated LaFri for finding the right direction, the necessary confidence and for gaining even stronger energy for development.


The Elder saw LaFri off with the words: ʹThe greatest illusion in this world is to think you have achieved your goals. Everything around us is changing rapidly, and with it our inner peace. To maintain your internal balance and sense of fulfilment you should constantly upgrade your goals, you should totally open to everything that happens around you. Many young people want to know, here and now, what is going to happen to them in the next ten years, what will their profession be, how much will they earn? Nobody can answer this question. What is known for sure is that you should walk the path with faith and willingness to progress.ʹ




ur characters

Creating our story characters was inspired by the following actual persons: GeRak - Gergana Rakovska (Sofia), Business Foundation for Education, grakovska@jobtiger.bg


NeRa -

Nevena Rakovska (Sofia), Business Foundation for Education, nevena@jobtiger.bg

RoAn -

Roza Angelova Rangelova (Stambolijski), winner of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria, senior teacher at High School ʹOtetz Paisiyʹ - Stambolijski, roza.rangelova@abv.bg

IlKa -

Iliana Kalinova (Plovdiv), winner of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria, career consultant at the Municipal Children’s Complex - Plovdiv, ileka@abv.bg

PeMa -

Petya Marcheva (Pleven), winner of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria, career consultant in Boarding School ʹP.R. Slaveykovʹ - Pleven, petiamarcheva@abv.bg

Tsve -

Tsvetanka Stoyanova (Varna), winner of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria, career consultant at Municipal Center for counselling and psychological support of the school community (Municipal Centre for CEP) with Varna Municipality, Education, Youth Activities and Sport Directorate, empatia@abv.bg

TaTe -

Tanya Terziyska (Sofia), winner of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria, career consultant, tanya@selfinvest.eu

MilKas - Milka Semova (Sofia), winner of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria, career consultant, Alumni Association of the Economics Faculty of Sofia University ʹSt. Kliment Ohridskiʹ, milka.semova@febalumni.org



G lossary

Trimontium -

the ancient name of the present city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria

The Northern Forest - woodland near the present city of Pleven in Bulgaria Hemus passages -

ancient name of the passes through the Balkan Mountain

The Flat Land -

the area between the present cities of Pazardzhik and Plovdiv in Bulgaria

Varnas -

the ancient name of the present city of Varna in Bulgaria

Serdika -

the ancient name of the modern city of Sofia in Bulgaria




For participation in the jury of the first national competition for best practices in career counselling in Bulgaria: • Ms. Nevena Rakovska, Business Foundation for Education • Ms. Ventsislava Chepisheva, Bulgarian Association for Management and Human Resource Development • Ms. Ekaterina Popova, Capital newspaper • Assistant professor Sylvia Tsvetanska, Sofia University ʹSt. Kliment Ohridskiʹ


The institutions that use the best practices of the winners in the competition: • Municipal Children’s Complex - Plovdiv, http://www.odk-plovdiv.com/ • School for children with special educational needs ʹP. R. Slaveykovʹ, http://www.pu-pleven.hit.bg/ • Varna Municipality, Education, Youth Activities and Sport Directorate, http://www.obrazovanie-varna.com/ • High School ʹOtetz Paisiyʹ - Stambolijski, http://www.soupaisii.com/ • Alumni Association of the Economics Faculty of Sofia University ʹSt. Kliment Ohridskiʹ, http://www.febalumni.org/




This edition is dedicated to the first Award

Ceremony for career guidance counsellors in Bulgaria, organised by the Human Resources Development Centre - Euroguidance and Europass Bulgaria (www.hrdc.bg) and the Business Foundation for Education (www.fbo.bg).


HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CENTRE NATIONAL AGENCY FOR LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAM Sofia 1000, 15 Graf Ignatiev Str., fl. 3 Tel.: (+359 2) 915 50 10, fax: (+359 2) 915 50 49 e-mail: hrdc@hrdc.bg, www.hrdc.bg Consultation hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 14.00h till 17.00h

edition 2012 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of information contained therein.

Profile for Lachezar Afrikanov Publications

Fairy Tales for Career Guidance Counsellors, Lachezar Afrikanov  

The publication is inspired by Bulgarian counsellors, winners of the 1st National Competition in the field of career counselling in Bulgaria...

Fairy Tales for Career Guidance Counsellors, Lachezar Afrikanov  

The publication is inspired by Bulgarian counsellors, winners of the 1st National Competition in the field of career counselling in Bulgaria...


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