Applications of Career Development Theories, Term Paper Example
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There are various theories of career development including trait and factor theory, life-span theory, social learning theory as well as social cognitive career theory and constructivism and systems theory among many other career development theories (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004). There are also various psychological, social and economic benefits of work to various individuals in the society. For example, there are those who argued that work provide them with economic benefits such as security against future contingencies, acquisition of physical assets as well as gratification of wants or needs (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Work also provide people with money or capital to purchase goods and services in the society (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004).
Career counselling is mostly associated with career choice of individuals over a period of time and mostly involve various aspects of an individual needs such as family, work, personal concerns and leisure needs (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Furthermore, career counselling is also associated with work maladjustment activities, stress reduction strategies and promotion of an individual mental health conditions in the workplace and outside the workplace (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004). Career counseling also includes various developmental procedures and programs that promote work skills, flexibility, self-agency, adaptability and interpersonal relationships. Career counseling also deals with emotional problems and career evaluation practices in the workplace (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004).
In that sense, the main aim, objective and purpose of this paper is to provide and discuss a report on the various applications of career development theory. The paper also include an in-depth reflection, critique and evaluation of various effective career counseling activities and practices in the society.
Trait and Factor Career Development Theory
According to trait and factor career development theory, there are various characteristics and behaviors that workers should possess in order to be successful in their jobs (Krumboltz, 2009). This is because there is a positive and direct correlation between high job productivity, success and job based personal characteristics of the worker (Krumboltz, 2009). This implies that individual’s traits or characteristics influence their success on job performance thus trait and factor career of development evaluate the characteristics of an individual, and their job performance levels (Krumboltz, 2009). The supporters of this theory argue that each individual have unique and stable characteristics that can be measured and evaluated especially based on their job performance levels (Krumboltz, 2009). Moreover, each occupation or job has critical requirements and the closer the fit between an individual traits and the job requirements the greater the likelihood for successful job productivity, performance, and personal satisfaction. However, the environment also influences the effectiveness of an individual job performance and personal trait match in various conditions (Zunker, 2012). This may include geographical conditions, cultural heritages, family background as well as a socio-economic class and community setting or economic climate of the environment (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004).
Based on Dawis and Lofquist’s work adjustment theory, it is true that a close correspondence between variables including abilities and values and the work environment requirements and reinforcements promotes job satisfaction (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Therefore, this theory can be applied towards evaluation, understanding and development of occupation choice of individuals based on their abilities and values in the society (Zunker, 2012). This is because those who have good abilities and values usually perform their jobs well thus promoting their job satisfaction levels and productivity (Krumboltz, 2009).
Social Learning Career Development Theory
According to social learning theory learning experiences are based on an individual social, cultural and economic status in the society. This is mainly because individuals in the society mostly based and make a generalization about themselves according to their social experiences in the society (Krumboltz, 2009). However, these generalizations can either be accurate or inaccurate. In that sense, individuals in the society learn new behaviors and values through social experiences thus career counselling should aim at promoting learning of new skills, interests, beliefs as well as social values and desirable work habits (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). These qualities will allow people in the society create a satisfied life based on different working environments. Career counselors should also promote and enhance learning about individual personal beliefs and behaviors especially based on their social environment (Krumboltz, 2009). This will allow individuals to work effectively in different and changing working conditions. Career counselors should also examine all career problems of individuals in the society in order to empower workers and also to expand their abilities and interests towards work (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). This will allow workers to have open-mind thus motivate them to develop fully in various working conditions.
Career development should be a continuous process that is based on the provision of new learning opportunities for individuals in the society (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, & Peterson, 2009). Through self-observation and application of task approach skills, counselors can help individual sin the society to expand their productivity and work performance levels in the society (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). However, task approach improvement activities should be based on individual abilities, interests, and social values. This will allow the clients to develop good goal setting skills, predict future events and effectively obtain occupational information from various sources in the society (Krumboltz, 2009). Counselors should also act as role models, motivate and reinforce their clients to allow them acquire good and proper job skills and values in the society (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, & Peterson, 2009).
In most cases, career assessment tools are used by counselors to promote clients career confidence, flexibility and career independence. It can also be used to evaluate client’s problems and their level of happiness. Furthermore, the social learning theory also allows individuals to prepare for changes in their working environments, to be open minded as well as to plan effectively for future activities in their life (Sharf, 2013). The main aim and objective of career counseling is to provide clients with the ability to achieve more satisfying career thus career evaluation stimulate their learning and career skills (Sharf, 2013). There are five major skills that clients can develop in the process of their career development including optimism, risk taking, flexibility, curiosity and persistence skills (Krumboltz, 2009). Counselors should teach their clients to use these skills towards their personal career development.
Constructivism Career Development Theory
According to constructivism theory, each individual constructs the world through their mental and cognitive processes. This means that individuals understand the environment based on their mental experiences and activities (Krumboltz, 2009). People also gain knowledge from the environment through social actions and mental processes. In that sense, realities are social constructed especially through the use of language thus counselors should base their counselling services through narratives and personal stories in order to fully understand their clients inner beliefs, values and behaviors in the society (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). This can allow the counselors to appropriate advice their clients to adopt better career decisions and actions. Meanings are drawn from personal feelings and client’s career choice should be based on their inner beliefs (Pryor, & Bright, 2008). Due to this, both the client and the counselor should work together towards the creation of meaning especially in the provision of counseling services by the counselor to the client (Shurts, & Shoffiner, 2004). However, the counselor should explain, elaborate and interpret the meaning to the client in order to promote holistic career decision-making process (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006).
Therefore, constructivism theory is mainly concerned with the career development based on an individual creation of personal meaning and their view of reality. Career Counselors should provide counseling services based on the personal stories of their clients.
Chaos Career Development Theory
This theory provides and outlines some of the major factors that can influence a career such as personal problems, healthcare problems, and family or home problems (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, & Peterson, 2009). In order to promote an effective career in these conditions, employers should provide job security to their workers. The increase of part-time employment, provision of the flexible work environment and involving in self-employment activities can also reduce these work-related challenges (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, & Peterson, 2009). This theory also indicates that chance events influence career decision-making procedures of various individuals in the society. Human beings are complex beings and change is unavoidable in a number of work circumstances.
In that sense, there is a need for workers to plan for the occurrence of unplanned and unpredictable events in their career life (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). The theory also supports the use of order, and open systems approach towards leading with chaotic experiences in the workplace (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, & Peterson, 2009). Individuals usually have strengths and weakness thus there is a need for proper career planning in order to reduce and prevent future risks (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Career paths should consider the changes in labor market patterns, education systems, and market skills (Sharf, 2013). This can promote effective job transition and other career path management demands in the society. Counselors should also allow the clients to learn new market trends, to take risks and to work in areas where they fit best (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006).
This theory is based on individual values, self-concept, roles and career maturity. According to this theory, vocational self-concept is mainly a means of self-expression and also promotes individuals self-growth both physically and mentally. Life roles are based on individual knowledge, commitment and values in the society (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Career maturity is maintained through vocational preference, consistency, and proper career planning. In order to promote work achievements, workers should know what they want and make plans to attain their occupational goals and objectives (Sharf, 2013). Counselors should aim at working together with their clients to develop super values and beliefs (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, & Peterson, 2009). This will promote workers career maturity, abilities and values thus become more vocationally mature. Interests and values of the clients should be based on their life stage. Counselors should also recognize the differences in client’s needs, values and interests in the society thus provide counseling according to particular client interests and needs (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006).
The supporters of this theory also argues that career patterns of individuals in the society are shaped by their parental socio-economic status, their mental ability, education levels as well as their self-concept and personality characteristics (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Psychological, social and physical development stages of individuals in the society influence their career maturity levels thus counselors should consider these factors in the process of providing counseling services.
Cognitive Information Processing and Socio-Cognitive Career Theory
This theory emphasizes the application of various cognitive activities such as self-efficacy towards career development in the society (Niles, & Bowlsbey, 2013). However, social factors such as location, gender-role and culture also influences human behaviors according to this theory (Pryor, & Bright, 2008). Provision of on job training programs and other cognitive development activities can help in providing clients with proper career choices in the society (Gibson, & Mitchell, 2006). Self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations and goal settings procedures can be used to help clients reduce and prevent barriers to their career choices (Niles, & Bowlsbey, 2013). The counselors should also encourage their clients to seek career information from various sources in order to compare and evaluate alternative occupations (Niles, & Bowlsbey, 2013). This will also increase their decision-making skills and increase their performance skills. Information synthesis and analysis, especially through self-awareness and self-monitoring procedures, can be used to promote self-efficacy of the workers (Herr, Cramer, & Niles, 2004). Workers should also avoid negative career thoughts that can lead to negative emotions and frustrations in the workplace (Niles, & Bowlsbey, 2013).
In conclusion, it is clear and evident from this paper that there are various career development theories that can be used by career counselors towards promotion of career and occupation success of various individuals in the society. These theories include chaos career development theory, trait and factor career development theory, social learning theory as well as cognitive information processing theory and constructivism career development theory among many other career development theories.
Herr, E. L., Cramer, S. H., & Niles, S. G. (2004). Career Guidance and Counseling through the Lifespan—Systematic Approaches (6th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon
Gibson, R.L. & Mitchell, M.H. (2006). Introduction to Career Counselling for the 21st Century. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.
Kapes, J.T. & Whitefield, E.A. (2002). A Counselors Guide to Career Assessment Instruments, Fourth Edition, National Career Development Association.
Krumboltz, J. D. (2009). The Happenstance Learning Theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 17, 135-154.
Niles, S. G., & Bowlsbey, J. H. (2013). Career Development in Intervention in the 21st Century. Boston: Pearson
Pryor, R. G. L., & Bright, J. E. H. (2008). Archetypal Narratives in Career Counselling: A Chaos Theory Application. International Journal of Education & Vocational Guidance, 8, 71–82.
Reardon, R. C., Lenz, J. G., Sampson, J. P., & Peterson, G. W. (2009). Career Development and Planning: A comprehensive Approach. 3rd Edition. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Sharf, R.S. (2013). Applying Career Development Theory to Counseling (6TH Ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning
Shurts, W. M., & Shoffiner, M. F. (2004). Providing Career Counseling for Collegiate Student-Athletes: A Learning Theory Approach. Journal of Career Development, 31, 95-109.
Zunker, V. G. (2012). Career Counseling: A holistic Approach. 8th edition. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
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