A day in the life of an Icelandic counsellor

Counsellor 1

Time: 8:30-12:00

Place: Lækjarskóli- Primary school in Hafnarfjörður

Group guidance for refugees from Syria. Ten Syrian refugees, men and women, age 27 – 65 years. In the group there are both people who have finished education at university level and people who haven´t got any education after primary school.

In this session there was also a project leader from Mímir and an Arabian interpreter.

The content of the session included:

  • Information about education, upper secondary schools, vocational education and higher education

  • Information on Validation of Prior Learning, what VPL entails, where to obtain more information and guidance and in what areas it is possible to be validated

  • Information on possibilities of getting education (from other countries) evaluated

  • Information on possibilites for learning Icelandic on the Internet

  • How to apply for a job and write an application

  • Assistance on making a CV in Icelandic

  • Where to seek / apply for jobs

13-14: Guidance interview with an individual who is starting a validation process, screening for the validation.

14-15: Meeting with the finance manager for overwieving an Erasmus+ project – Fast Track. This is a project which aims at making an electronic survey on screening individual competences in certain jobs. The survey is made for people who don´t speak the language, and pictures are used instead of written language.

15:00: The counsellor made a phonecall to „K“ because of the participation in GOAL. K has already attended two interviews but canceled the last time, which was registered. A new moment for an interview was chosen.

15:30: Called „G“, because of the participation in GOAL. G didn´t answer, has canceled interviews two times.

15:45: Reviewing the plan of the next few days and making necessary changes.

Counsellor 2

Kl. 8:30-9:00: Emails reviewed and answered, both from my own email and emails to the counsellors through the email: Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken., where people send general inquiries and receive answers from counsellors at Mímir.

9:00-9:30: Student at Mímir, came and wanted to get an interview, which is registered later.

9:30- 10:30: Interview – a person/client with a registered appointment came to discuss a career change, he wants to change jobs and his field of work. Received information about jobsearching and how to make a CV.

10:30-12:15: Introducing Mimis Study Programs for a group of people in Grettistak, which is a program run by Reykjavík city, for people who receive financial assistance (Social services). Those are people with different backgrounds, e.g. drug abusers. Introduced Mimir, discussed with a group of people, answered questions connected to education and their next steps and possibilities.

12:15-12:45: Lunch

12:45-14:00: GOAL interview. A client came to discuss a program for validation of employability skills, in which she is going to participate.

14:00-15:00: Introduced a European project to fellow career counselling colleagues from the Reykjavík area and fellow staff members. Presentations and discussions took place as well as general networking.

15:00-16:00: Worked on the GOAL project. Preparation for upcoming interviews and portfolio development linked to validation of prior learning. Called two GOAL participants who were to come to validation of prior learning and confirmed interviews with them.

16:00-16:30: In-house discussions with other counsellors and project managers on the issue of a student that came up by surprise. We tried to solve the issue together. A contact needed to be made with another school.



"GOAL interview: a client came to discuss a program for validation of employability skills, in which she is going to participate."

"In-house discussions with other counsellors and project managers on an unexpected issue with a student. We tried to solve the issue together. We had to contact another school."


“Presentation for unemployed people about possibilities to get involved into the Goal project and get free of charge orientation and guidance.”

“Orientation and guidance of adult people. 2 clients are consulted: they are unemployed and have plans for learning a new profession in order to find a job.“


“The prison population and educational needs of the detainees are far from homogeneous.”

 “Usually, there are 6 to 8 detainees at a time, each with an individual program. I guide them. The guidance can be focused on basic education, vocational education or specific courses detainees are taking at that time”


"Working with clients gives me energy and brings me joy, because between individual sessions I can see progress, changes, new beliefs, enrolment in education programmes and I can build good relationships with my clients."


"The feeling that I do a lot of good for my clients is priceless."

Czech Republic
Czech Republic

“At the start of every session, counsellors try to gather information about the client, his or her position within the family and wider friendship circles, and his or her health. They also explore the client’s feelings, ideas and motivation.”

“Based on the client’s answers, the counsellor selects ways to proceed in order to meet the client’s needs and goals.”


"All information, agreements made and steps taken during sessions are written down in the registration system"

“Even the names of persons clients have been talking about are registered in order to remember the whole communication line and, more importantly, to avoid them having to say things twice. It creates a sense of trust with our clients.”


from clients, counsellors and stakeholders


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