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Theories of Career Development – Kathleen Ericksen

Theories of Career Development

Kathleen Ericksen – Parent Advocate | Teacher |  Psychologist – Chicago USA

There are three dominant theories of career development in which people make choices about careers – Ginzberg’s developmental theory, Super’s self-concept theory, and Holland’s personality type theory.

Ginzberg’s Developmental Theory of career choice is Eli Ginzberg’s view that individuals go through three career choice stages – fantasy, tentative, and realistic. Until about the age of 11, children are in the fantasy stage of career choice. From the ages of 11 – 17, adolescents are in the tentative stage of career development. The period from 17 – 18 years of age through the 20’s is called realistic stage of career choice by Ginzberg. At this time, the individual explores available careers, then focuses on a particular career, and finally selects a specific job within the career.

Super’s Self – Concept Theory is Donald Super’s view that the individual’s self-concept plays a central role in career choice. He believes a number of developmental changes in vocational self-concept take place during the adolescent and young adulthood years. At the ages of 14 – 18, adolescents develop ideas about work that blend with their already existing self – concept, this is called crystallization. Between the ages of 18 – 22 years of age, they narrow their career choices, this is called specification. Between the ages of 21 – 24 years of age, young adults complete their education or training and enter the world of work. This phase is called implementation. The appropriate career is made between 25 – 35 years of age. This phase is called stabilization. Finally after 35, individuals seek to advance their careers and reach higher status positions. This phase is called consolidation. Holland’s Personality Type Theory is vocational theorist John Holland’s (1987) view that is important to develop a match or fit between an individual’s personality type and the selection of a particular career. He believes that when individual’s find careers that fit their personalities, they are more likely to enjoy their work and stay in their jobs longer. There are six basic career-related personality types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional.

Realistic – Individuals who have this type of vocational interest like the outdoors and working in manual activities. They are less social, have difficulty in demanding situations, and prefer to work alone. List of jobs include: farming, truck driving, and construction, engineer, pilot.

Investigative – The investigative type is interested in ideas more than people, indifferent to social relationships and very intelligent. Most of the scientific, intellectually oriented professions fall into this category.

Artistic – The artistic type has a creative orientation. These individuals enjoy working with ideas and materials to express themselves in new ways. Some artistic types choose careers in their second or third typical career type and express their artistic tendencies in hobbies and leisure.

Social – These people work through and with other people and they like to help. They enjoy nurturing and developing others and assist others in need. They have excellent interpersonal skills. They like professions such as teaching, social work and counseling.

Enterprising – These individuals seek to dominate others, especially when they want to reach goals. These people are good at coordinating the work of others to accomplish a task. Their skills include being able to persuade other people to do something and adopt their own attitudes and choices. They match up best with careers such as sales, management, and politics.

Conventional – This type usually functions best with well-structured circumstances and is skilled at working with details. These people like to work with numbers and perform clerical tasks. They are best suited for structured jobs such as bank tellers, secretaries, and file clerks.

This information is taken from my psychology book, Life Span Development . I will continue to read and send you more information.

Regards –

Kathleen Ericksen

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