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Career Development Theories and Their Implications to Career Guidance

Define career development based on various career/vocational guidance theorist; and Discuss the career development theories and their implications to career guidance.

Career Development is a continuous lifelong process of developmental experiences that focuses on seeking, obtaining and processing information about self, occupational educational alternatives, life styles and role options (Hansen, 1976). It is the process through which people come to understand them as they relate to the world of work and their role in it.

Vocational development is the process of developing and implementing a self-concept. As the self-concept becomes more realistic and stable, so does vocational choice and behavior. People choose occupations that permit them to express their self-concepts. Work satisfaction is related to the degree that theyve been able to implement their self-concepts. (Donald Super)

It is characterized by progression through series of hierarchical stages, each associated with certain developmental task or objectives. Career development- is commonly viewed as a lifelong process that is influenced by an interaction of environment and genetic factors.

Career development process is where an individual fashions a work identity. Theory is a picture, an image, a description, a representation of reality. It is not reality itself. It is a way we can think about some part of reality so that we can comprehend . (Krumboltz)

A. Trait-Factor or Actuarial Theory

Trait-Factor Theory goes as far back as the early 1900s and is associated mostly strongly with vocational theorists Frank Parsons and E.G. Williamson.

Some of the basic assumptions that underlie this theory are:

Every person has a unique pattern of traits made up of their interests, values, abilities and personality characteristics, these traits can be objectively identified and profiled to represent an individuals potential.

Every occupation is made up of factors required for the successful performance of that occupation. These factors can be objectively identified and represented as an occupational profile. It is possible to identify a fit or match between individual traits and job factors using a straight forward problem-solving/decision making process.

The closer the match between personal traits and job factors the greater the likelihood for successful job performance and satisfaction.

Developmental/ Theory



Its primary assumption is that career development is a process that takes place over the life span. Stages of development are important points of reference for the career development theorists.

Major proponents: Donald Super Eli Ginzberge David Tiedmann Gottfredson

Donald Super believed that humans are anything but static and that personal change is continuous. Supers LifeSpan/Life Space is a very comprehensive developmental model that attempts to account for the various important influences on a person as they experience different life roles and various life stages.

Five major life stages:

Growth - Major developmental tasks are to develop a self-concept and to move from play to work orientation. Exploratory - Major tasks are to develop a realistic self-concept and implement a vocational preference though role tryouts and exploration; there is a gradual narrowing of choices leading to implementation of a preference. Preferences become CHOICES when acted upon.

Establishment - Major tasks are to find secure niche in ones field and advance within it. Maintenance - Major task is to preserve ones gains and develop nonoccupational roles for things one always wanted to do. Decline - Tasks are deceleration of the career, gradual disengagement from world of work and retirement. One is challenged to find other sources of satisfaction. May shift to part time to suit declining capacities.

Ginzberge Theory



This team generally considered to be the first to approach the theory of occupational choice from a developmental standpoint. They concluded that occupational choice is indeed a developmental process which generally covers a period of six to ten years, beginning around age 11 and ending shortly after 17 or in young adulthood.

Ginzberge et. al.Theory of Vocational Choice Three Major Periods

Fantasy Tentative Interest Capacity Value Transition Realistic

David Tiedman's Theory

exploration crystallization Choice classification

period of anticipation

Induction reformation integration

Period of implementation and adjustment

Linda Gottfredson's Theory of Circumscription and Compromise

Gottfredson's (1996) theory offers a developmental, sociological perspective on career development that is focused on the types of compromises people make in formulating their occupational aspirations.

Circumscription involves the process of eliminating unacceptable occupations based primarily on gender and social class. Compromise involves the process of modifying career choices due to limiting factors. Self-concept in vocational development is the key factor to career selection. According to Gottfredson, individual development progresses through four stages.

Major proponent -- Anne Roe

Needs Theory/Personality Theory

Anne Roe's theory is classified as a needs theory in that primary attentions given to the wants and desires which stimulate the individual to have an occupational preference. She found Maslow's hierarchy of basic need a useful framework, as it offered the most effective of discussing the relevance of occupational behavior to the satisfaction of basic needs.

Her propositions are:

occupation is the most powerful source of individual satisfaction at all levels of need. social economic status depend more on the occupation of an individual than anything else. This theory assumes there are 8 occupational groups: service, business contact, organization, technology, outdoor, science, general cultural, and arts & entertainment.

Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow believed that we move in the direction of growth by seeking fulfillment of our needs . He identified a hierarchy of needs the individual strives to fulfill. These include : physiological, safety, social, self - esteem and self - actualization.

McClleland's Three Needs Theory

Achievement motivation is a habitual desire to achieve goals through one's individual effort, with an emphasis on establishing realistic goals, mastering the task needed to achieve these goals, discovering solution to problems encountered in striving to reach these goals, and then being open to and even seeking out feedback on one' performance.

D. Psychoanalytic Theory/Approach

Early psychoanalytic contributions to career counseling come for the most part from Edward S. Bordin and his associates emphasized the interplay between a client's general personality and vocational decisions, an approach Crites (1974) labels "psychodynamic." The label may be appropriate, since Bordin's view of career counseling goes beyond psychoanalytic concepts to a synthesis of psychoanalytic and other developmental theories. And the core of this approach is the assumption that internal (intrapsychic) factors explain the difficulties clients have in making career decisions.

E. Sociological Theory Sociological Perspective of Work and Career Development

This theory was built around a sociological perspective of work by Blau, Gutad, Jessor, Parnes and Wilcox that included relationships of choice and process of selection. They suggested that the effects of social institutions on career choice and development emphasized the interrelationships of psychological, economic, and sociological determinants of occupational choice and development.

They suggested that individual characteristics that are responsible choices are: Biological determined and socially conditioned through family influences Social position and relations Developed social role characteristics

G. Social Learning Theory

Major proponent: Dr. John D. Krumboltz

Krumboltzs Social Learning Theory of Career Choice: John D. Krumboltz developed a theory of career decision making and development based on social learning. Career decisions are the product of an uncountable number of learning experiences made possible by encounters with the people, institutions events in a person's particular environment. In other words people choose their careers based on what they have learned.

Krumboltz proposed that:

The four main factors that influence career choice are genetic influences, environmental conditions and events, learning experiences and task approach skills The consequences of these factors and most particularly learning experiences lead people to develop beliefs about the nature of careers and their role in life Learning experiences, especially observational learning stemming from significant role models Positive modeling, reward and reinforcement will likely lead to the development of appropriate career planning skills and career behavior.

Banduras Social Cognitive Theory

The concept of self efficacy is the focal point of Albert Banduras social cognitive theory. By means of the self system, individuals exercise control over their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Among the beliefs with which an individual evaluates the control over his/her actions and environment, self-efficacy beliefs are the most influential predictor of human behavior.

Self-Efficacy - the belief in ones capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments- It is constructed on the basis of:

Four most influential sources where selfefficacy is derived: Personal Performance Accomplishments
previous successes or failures (most influential) Vicarious Experience - Watching others, modeling, mentoring Verbal Persuasion - Verbal encouragement or discouragement

Physiological and Emotional Factors Perceptions of stress reactions in the body

Holland Theory of Vocational Types

This approach gives explicit attention to behavioral style or personality types as the major influence in career choice development. This is described as structurally interactive. Common Themes: Occupation choice is an expression of personality and not random Members of an occupational group have similar personalities People in each group will respond to situations and problems similarly Occupational achievement, stability and satisfaction depends on congruence between ones personality and job environment

Holland's Major Occupational Environment

Realistic - construction, farming, architecture, truck driving, mail carrier Investigative biologist, chemist, dentist veterinarian, programmer Artistic artist, musician, poet, interior designer, writer Social social work, counseling, police officer, teacher Enterprising lawyer, business executive, politician, TV producer Conventional bank teller, clerk typist, cashier, data entry

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