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Donald Super's theory is one of the most well-known career development theories.
- theories of career development pdf
- Career Development Theory: Definition and Introduction
- Love Your Career
Career development theories offer differing perspectives on how to view the individual developmental needs, organizational fit, and the career counseling process. Theories are used to help individuals find meaningful work that aligns with their traits, personality types, interests, values, and cultural contexts.
theories of career development pdf
Donald E. Developmental theories recognize the changes that people go through as they mature, and they emphasize a life-span approach to career choice and adaptation.
These theories usually partition working life into stages, and they try to specify the typical vocational behaviors at each stage. In the s, when Super began to formulate his theoretical conceptions, differential psychology and the trait-and-factor theory permeated vocational counseling. The dominant assumption was that differing abilities and interests were crucial in determining occupational choice and success. For this reason, vocational counseling was seen primarily as a process of helping individuals match their abilities and other traits with those required by accessible occupations.
Super recognized the valuable contribution of the trait-and-factor theory and the matching model to vocational theory and guidance practice. But he also believed that they were too static and insufficient in explaining the complexities of vocational behavior. Super proclaimed that occupational choice should be seen as an unfolding process, not a point-in-the-time decision. While traditional vocational guidance focused on occupational choice and the prediction of occupational success at some later point in time, Super stressed the need to understand and predict a career.
He defined a career as a sequence of occupations, jobs, and positions held during the course of a lifetime, including also prevocational and postvocational activities.
Super asserted that what was actually needed in vocational guidance was a career model, which takes into account the sequence of positions that an individual occupies during her or his working life. The analysis of career patterns supported the view that the life cycle imposes different vocational tasks on people at various times of their lives. Drawing on the work of developmental psychologists and sociologists who independently studied stages of life and work, Super and his colleagues outlined five major stages of career development, with each one characterized by three or four appropriate developmental tasks:.
Growth roughly age 4 to 13 , the first life stage, the period when children develop their capacities, attitudes, interests, socialize their needs, and form a general understanding of the world of work.
Exploration Ages is the period when individuals attempt to understand themselves and find their place in the world of work. Through classes, work experience, and hobbies, they try to identify their interests and capabilities and figure out how they fit with various occupations. They make tentative occupational choices and eventually obtain an occupation. This stage involves three career development tasks.
The first one, the crystallization of a career preference, is to develop and plan a tentative vocational goal. The next task, the specification of a career preference, is to convert generalized preferences into a specific choice, a firm vocational goal.
The third vocational task is implementation of a career preference by completing appropriate training and securing a position in the chosen occupation. Establishment stage years is the period when the individual, having gained an appropriate position in the chosen field of work, strives to secure the initial position and pursue chances for further advancement. This stage involves three developmental tasks.
The third task is to obtain advancement to new levels of responsibility. Maintenance is the period of continual adjustment, which includes the career development tasks of holding on, keeping up, and innovating. The individuals strive to maintain what they have achieved, and for this reason they update their competencies and find innovative ways of performing their job routines.
They try also to find new challenges, but usually little new ground is broken in this period. Disengagement over 65 is the final stage, the period of transition out of the workforce. In this stage, individuals encounter the developmental tasks of deceleration, retirement planning, and retirement living.
With a declined energy and interest in an occupation, people gradually disengage from their occupational activities and concentrate on retirement planning. In due course, they make a transition to retirement living by facing the challenges of organizing new life patterns.
Originally, Super viewed the stages as chronological, but later he also acknowledged an age-independent, task-centered view of stages. For example, individuals embarking on a new career in their middle adulthood might go through exploration and establishment stages.
Individuals cycle and recycle throughout their life span as they adapt to their own internal changes or to changed opportunities to which they are exposed. Super assumed that not everyone progresses through these stages at fixed ages or in the same manner. This notion led him to develop and elaborate on the construct of career maturity initially called vocational maturity , which denotes the readiness of the individual to make career decisions.
Operationally, it is defined as the extent to which an individual has completed stage-appropriate career developmental tasks in comparison with other people of the same age. Super and his colleagues devoted much effort to define this construct and develop appropriate measures. Super believed that a young person should be mature enough to benefit from career assessment and counseling. In adults, where recycling through career stages is less dependent on age, Super suggested that readiness for career decision making should be referred to as career adaptability.
In his account of vocational behavior, Super incorporated in his developmental perspective the idea that people base their career decision on beliefs about their own abilities and other self-attributes. Self-concept can be defined as the way the person sees herself or himself. For example, a young woman might believe that she is bright and creative, self-confident, spontaneous in behavior, and unwilling to assume responsibility.
This composite of her beliefs about her own abilities, traits, and values make up her self-concept. Since the self-concept is a subjective phenomenon or an appearance in experience, this perspective is often denoted as phenomenological. Formation of self-concept begins in infancy when a sense of identity is developed.
As they grow, individuals develop a personal image of their own abilities, personality traits, values, and roles. The outcome is the occupational self-concept, defined by Super as a constellation of self-attributes that are vocationally relevant for the individual.
The occupational self-concept eventually may transform into a vocational preference. Super believed that the career development process can be guided, among others, by aiding subjects to develop and accept their occupational self-concepts.
Thus the process of career choosing and development is basically that of developing and implementing a self-concept. The degree of satisfaction people attain from the work role is, according to Super, proportional to the degree to which they have been successful in their endeavor to implement self-concepts. This makes the career choice and adjustment a continuous process.
The work role, albeit of central importance for many people in our culture, is only one among many life roles that an individual occupies in his or her life. None of the roles can be properly understood without taking into account the whole constellation of roles. Super conceives life space as a constellation of social functions arranged in a pattern of core and peripheral roles.
People play a variety of roles during their life. Some of them begin early in the life course e. At some life stages, a number of simultaneous roles e. However, usually two or three roles are salient or relatively more important than others. The fact that people play several simultaneous roles means that roles interact and impact one another. The interaction among the roles can be supportive, supplementary, compensatory, or neutral.
It can also be conflicting if some of the roles absorb too much of the available time and energy. As a matter of fact, for most people the interpenetration of different spheres of life is inevitable in some life stages.
By combining the life space with the life-span or developmental perspective, the Rainbow model shows how the role constellation changes with life stages. As Super noted, life roles wax and wane over time. Perhaps the most important single idea of Super was his tenet that occupational choice should be seen as an unfolding process. Interestingly enough, his theory building was also an unfolding process; he continued to augment and refine his theory throughout his life.
Thus his theory also evolved through various stages that can be traced in their name modifications: from the original Career Development Theory to Developmental Self-Concept Theory, and then to the currently prevailing Life-Span, Life-Space Theory. Super incorporated the ideas of many predecessors in his attempt to compile an integrative body of knowledge that comprises various perspectives on career development.
The result was a comprehensive but also fragmental theoretical account. Super himself admitted that disparate segments of his theory need to be cemented together more thoroughly.
He hoped that this task will be eventually accomplished by future theorists. However, in spite of his reluctance to present a more parsimonious and coherent theoretical statement, his theorizing was most appealing. Together with his followers, he has had, and continues to have, a major impact upon career development research and counseling. Developmental Perspective: Understanding Careers In The Life Span While traditional vocational guidance focused on occupational choice and the prediction of occupational success at some later point in time, Super stressed the need to understand and predict a career.
Drawing on the work of developmental psychologists and sociologists who independently studied stages of life and work, Super and his colleagues outlined five major stages of career development, with each one characterized by three or four appropriate developmental tasks: Growth roughly age 4 to 13 , the first life stage, the period when children develop their capacities, attitudes, interests, socialize their needs, and form a general understanding of the world of work. Phenomenological Perspective: The Notion Of Occupational Self-Concept In his account of vocational behavior, Super incorporated in his developmental perspective the idea that people base their career decision on beliefs about their own abilities and other self-attributes.
Conclusion Perhaps the most important single idea of Super was his tenet that occupational choice should be seen as an unfolding process. Super, D. The Psychology of Careers. Super, R. Starishevski, N. Matlin, and J. Vocational Development: A Framework for Research. Brown, L. Brooks, and Associates.
Career Development Theory: Definition and Introduction
Donald E. Developmental theories recognize the changes that people go through as they mature, and they emphasize a life-span approach to career choice and adaptation. These theories usually partition working life into stages, and they try to specify the typical vocational behaviors at each stage. In the s, when Super began to formulate his theoretical conceptions, differential psychology and the trait-and-factor theory permeated vocational counseling. The dominant assumption was that differing abilities and interests were crucial in determining occupational choice and success.
International Handbook of Career Guidance pp Cite as. Career guidance and counselling in the western world, most notably in the United States USA , has developed a comprehensive system of theories and intervention strategies in its more than years of history. In an age of economic globalisation, all individuals are affected by an array of work related concerns, some of these concerns are unique to certain cultures, but others are common to many cultural groups. The search for life purposes and meanings, the journey to actualise oneself through various life and work-related roles, and the efforts by nations to deal with problems of employment and unemployment, are examples of universal issues that seem to affect many individuals from diverse cultures. The development of career guidance and development into a global discipline requires a set of theoretical frameworks with universal validity and applications, as well as culture-specific models that could be used to explain career development issues and phenomenon at a local level. The focus of this chapter is on the five theories of career development that have guided career guidance and counselling practice and research in the past few decades in the USA as well as internationally. With that as a backdrop, this chapter aims to achieve three objectives.
PDF | This literature review surveys those theories that currently influence the thinking of career development workers. Additionally, this review.
Love Your Career
Career development theory studies paths toward improving professional growth, career trajectory and overall job satisfaction. Understanding career development theory can be an important step in determining your core values, strengths, weaknesses and desired path. While there are varying claims in different career development theories, all of these theories acknowledge the importance of cultivating a positive emotional relationship with work and of developing meaningful professional ambitions. Career development theory is the study of career paths, success and behavior.
We are here from am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with the exception of Wednesday when we are here from 9. Back to top. There are numerous career theories and models, and no single one is sufficient to describe the broad field of career development. In this section you will find introductions to some of these core theories, and their key ideas. Career theories typically fall into one of three categories which, while not mutually exclusive, can be a useful form of classification:.
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