Psychology

Career Counseling: A Holistic Approach

Theories of Career Development

Part I

Theories of Career Development

  • This chapter reviews 9 theories.
  • Grouped according to Gelso and Fretz (2001):

Trait-oriented

Social learning and cognitive

Developmental

Person-in-environment

Theories of Career Development

  • Initially vocational psychology focused on using assessments for job placement.
  • Beginning in the early 1950s, the field began to include other factors:

Self-concept

Self-knowledge

Developmental issues

Theories of Career Development

  • Theories have been criticized.

Vague about how to use findings

Out of touch with what practitioners need – a more direct link between theory and practice

Theories of Career Development

  • What is a theory?
  • What a theory is not
  • Theories can help us with guidelines for counseling.

Trait-Oriented Theories

  • Embedded in Parson’s paradigm
  • Individuals are attracted to occupational environments that meet their personal needs and provide them with satisfaction.
  • Include:

Trait-and-factor

Peron-environment-correspondence

John Holland’s typology

Trait-and-Factor Theory

  • Parsons (1909) maintained that vocational guidance is accomplished by:

Studying the individual

Surveying occupations

Matching the individual with the occupation.

  • This process is called trait-and-factor theory.

Trait-and-Factor Theory

  • Parson’s three-step procedures may at first glance be judged to be completely dominated by test results.
  • Brown, Brooks, and Associates (1990) argued that advocates of trait-and-factor approaches never approved of excessive use of testing.
  • Test results are only one means of evaluating individual differences (Williamson, 1939).

Trait-and-Factor Theory

  • Sharf (2002) summarized the advantages and disadvantages of trait-and-factor theory.

It is a static theory rather than a developmental one.

  • The following assumptions also raise concerns about this theory:

There is a single career goal for everyone.

Career decisions are primarily based on measured abilities.

Trait-and-Factor Theory

  • Prediger (1995) suggested that person-environment fit theory has enhanced the potential for a closer relationship between assessment and career counseling.
  • Prediger suggested a similarity model, designed not to predict success or to find the “ideal career,” but to provide a means of evaluating occupations that are similar to people in important ways.

Practical Applications

  • Major role of early approaches = diagnosis.
  • Contemporary practices expanded the use of test data.

Example

Holland’s typology

Instead of predicting success in particular career, the counselor interprets test data and informs client of similarities to workers in particular careers.

Person-Environment-Correspondence (PEC)

  • Previously referred to as the theory of work adjustment (TWA).
  • The theory of work adjustment and person-environment-correspondence counseling (Dawis, 1996) involve workplace reinforcers that can lead to job satisfaction.

PEC Theory

  • Work is more than step-by-step task-oriented procedures.

Work includes human interaction and sources of satisfaction, dissatisfaction, rewards, stress, and many other psychological variables.

Individuals seek to achieve and maintain a positive relationship with their work environments.

PEC Theory

  • According to Dawis and Lofquist, individuals bring their requirements to a work environment, and the work environment makes its requirements of individuals.
  • To survive, the individual and the work environment must achieve some degree of congruence (correspondence).
  • To achieve this agreement, the individual must successfully meet the job requirements, and the work environment must fulfill the individual’s requirements.

PEC Theory

  • Examples of occupational reinforcers:

Achievement

Authority

Advancement

Coworkers

Activity

Security

Social service

Status

Variety

  • Lofquist and Dawis (1984) found a strong relationship between job satisfaction and work adjustment.

PEC Theory

  • Implication of the theory of work adjustment:

Job satisfaction should be evaluated according to several factors.

Job satisfaction is an important career counseling concern but does not alone measure work adjustment.

Job satisfaction is an important predictor of job tenure.

PEC Theory

  • Implications of the theory of work adjustment:

Individual needs and values are significant components of job satisfaction.

Individuals differ significantly in specific reinforcers of career satisfaction.

Career counselors should consider the reinforcers available in work environments and compare them with individual needs of clients.

PEC Theory

  • Career counselors use occupational information to assist clients in matching individual needs, interests, and abilities with patterns and levels of different reinforcers in the work environment.

A worker’s attempt to improve his or her fit within the work environment is referred to as work adjustment.

Practical Applications

  • Depends heavily on client assessment.
  • Major concern = abilities/skills and values
  • Presentation of assessment information should be tailored to client’s abilities, values, and style.

Highly verbal Verbal presentation

High spatial ability Graphic presentation

  • Work adjustment in today’s society

John Holland:
A Typology Approach

  • According to John Holland (1992), individuals are attracted to a given career by their particular personalities and numerous variables that constitute their backgrounds.

John Holland:
A Typology Approach

  • Career choice is an expression of, or an extension of, personality into the world of work followed by subsequent identification with specific occupational stereotypes.
  • Congruence of ones’ view of self with occupational preference establishes what Holland refers to as the modal personal style.
Holland’s Modal Personal Styles and Occupational Environments

Holland (1985, 1992)

Personal Styles Themes Occupational Environments
May lack social skills; prefers concrete vs. abstract work tasks; may seem frank, materialistic, and inflexible; usually has mechanical abilities Realistic Skilled trades such as plumber, electrician, and machine operator; technician skills such as airplane mechanic, photographer, draftsperson, and some service occupations
Very task-oriented; is interested in math and science; may be described as independent, analytical, and intellectual; may be reserved and defers leadership to others Investigative Scientific such as chemist, physicist, and mathematician; technician such as laboratory technician, computer programmer, and electronics worker
Prefers self-expression through the arts; may be described as imaginative, introspective, and independent; values aesthetics and creation of art forms Artistic Artistic such as sculptor, artist, and designer; musical such as music teacher, orchestra leader, and musician; literary such as editor, writer, and critic
Prefers social interaction and has good communication skills; is concerned with social problems, and is community-service-oriented; has interest in educational activities Social Educational such as teacher, educational administrator, and college professor; social welfare such as social worker, sociologist, rehabilitation counselor, and professional nurse
Prefers leadership roles; may be described as domineering, ambitious, and persuasive; makes use of good verbal skills Enterprising Managerial such as personnel, production, and sales manager; various sales positions, such as life insurance, real estate, and car salesperson
May be described as practical, well-controlled, sociable, and rather conservative; prefers structured tasks such as systematizing and manipulation of data and word processing Conventional Office and clerical worker such as timekeeper, file clerk, teller, accountant, keypunch operator, secretary, bookkeeper, receptionist, and credit manager

John Holland’s Typology

  • Holland’s 6 occupational environments/personal orientations can be arranged in a hexagon.

Realistic

Investigative

Artistic

Social

Enterprising

Conventional

John Holland’s Typology

  • The categories next to each other on the hexagon are most similar.
  • The categories opposite of each other on the hexagon are most dissimilar.

Realistic

Investigative

Artistic

Social

Enterprising

Conventional

John Holland’s Typology

  • A code is used to represent the relative strength of client characteristics.

Example: SEC

Realistic

Investigative

Artistic

Social

Enterprising

Conventional

The Hexagon of General Occupational Themes (GOTs)

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

GOT: Realistic

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Realistic: The Doers

  • Like to work with their hands, tools/machines, computers
  • Rugged, practical, physically strong, sensible, self-reliant
  • Enjoy fixing, building, repairing, working outdoors
  • Motivated to use hands-on skills to produce tangible results

Work Environments

Sample Jobs

  • Manufacturing or industrial firms
  • Construction, mining and energy industries
  • Transportation fields (air, trucking, local transit, etc.)
  • The outdoors; small, rural communities
  • Situations permitting casual dress
  • Structured settings, clear lines of authority
  • Forester
  • Law Enforcement
  • Military
  • Carpenter
  • Engineer
  • Veterinarian
  • Computer & IS
  • Radiology Technologist

Interests:

  • Motivated to use hands-on skills to produce tangible results
  • Likes to work with their hands, tools, machinery, computer networks
  • Rugged, practical, physically strong
  • Described as practical, persistent, adventurous, sensible, self-reliant
  • Buys boats, campers, hiking equipment

Workplace

  • Manufacturing or industrial firms with tangible products
  • Construction, mining and energy industries
  • Transportation fields (air, trucking, local transit, etc.)
  • The outdoors; small, rural communities
  • Situations permitting casual dress

Sample Job titles:

  • Forester
  • Carpenter
  • Veterinarian
  • Radiological Technologist

GOT: Investigative

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Investigative: The Thinkers

  • Like to gather information, uncover new facts/theories, and interpret data
  • Potentially competent in science, math, analysis
  • Described as curious, independent, reserved, non-conforming
  • Motivated to probe questions of intellectual curiosity

Work Environments

Sample Jobs

  • Unstructured organizations that allow freedom in work styles
  • Research and design laboratories and firms
  • Universities and colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • Computer-related industries
  • Scientific foundations and think tanks
  • Chemist
  • Software Developer
  • R&D Manager
  • Veterinarian
  • University Professor
  • Physician
  • Science Teacher

Interests:

  • Motivated to probe questions of intellectual curiosity
  • Likes to gather information, uncover new facts/theories, and interpret data
  • Potentially competent in science, math, analysis, writing and problem solving
  • Described as curious, independent, reserved, rational, non-conforming
  • Buys telescopes, computers, electronic equipment, sailboats, etc.

Workplace

  • Research and design laboratories
  • Universities and colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • Scientific foundations and think tanks

Job titles

  • Chemist
  • R&D Manager
  • Veterinarian
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Science Teacher

GOT: Artistic

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Artistic: The Creators

  • Like art, music, drama, etc.
  • Enjoy writing, creating or appreciating art, acting/performing
  • Described as impulsive, non-conforming, independent
  • Motivated to express themselves through their work

Work Environments

Sample Jobs

  • Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression
  • Art studios
  • Theaters and concert halls
  • Institutions that teach artistic skills (universities, music & dance schools, art institutes, etc.)
  • Museums, libraries, galleries
  • Advertising, public relations, graphic design and interior-design firms
  • Artist
  • Architect
  • Librarian
  • Attorney
  • Journalist
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Public Relations Director
  • Musician

Interests:

  • Motivated to express themselves through their work
  • Express their interests in leisure as well as vocational activities
  • Described as impulsive, non-conforming & independent
  • Buys art objects, books, instruments

Workplace

  • Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression
  • Institutions that teach artistic skills (universities, music & dance schools, art institutes, etc.)
  • Museums, libraries, galleries

Job titles

  • Librarian
  • Urban & Regional Planner
  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Public Relations Director
  • Musician

GOT: Social

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Social: The Helpers

  • Like to work with people, often in groups
  • Enjoy helping, nurturing, and teaching
  • Solve problems through discussions and interactions with others
  • Described as humanistic, idealistic, cooperative
  • Motivated to help and empower

Work Environments

Sample Jobs

  • Social service agencies
  • Schools
  • Religious organizations
  • Human resources departments
  • Medical service and healthcare facilities
  • Mental health clinics
  • Social Worker
  • Athletic Trainer
  • School Counselor
  • Registered Nurse
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Dietitian
  • Community Service Director

Interests

  • Motivated to help and empower
  • Likes to work with people, often in groups
  • Enjoy helping, nurturing, and teaching, especially young people
  • Solve problems through discussions of feelings and interactions with others
  • May enjoy working with people through leading, directing and persuading.
  • Described as humanistic, idealistic, cooperative
  • Spends money on social events and charity

Workplace

  • Medical service and healthcare facilities
  • Mental health clinics

Job titles

  • Parks & Recreation Manager
  • School Counselor
  • School Administrator
  • Registered Nurse
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Dietitian

GOT: Enterprising

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Enterprising:The Persuaders

  • Enjoy working with people and leading them toward organizational goals and/or economic success
  • Like to lead, manage, persuade, give speeches
  • Seek positions of leadership, power, status
  • Described as persuasive, competitive, energetic, sociable
  • Motivated to persuade others of the merits of an idea or product

Work Environments

Sample Jobs

  • Industrial and manufacturing firms
  • Government and political organizations
  • Seats of power and finance (large corporations, brokerage firms, executive offices, etc.)
  • Retail and wholesale firms
  • Fund-raising organizations
  • Independently owned businesses
  • Investments Manager
  • Realtor
  • Buyer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Chef
  • Elected Public Official

Interests:

  • Motivated to persuade others of the merits of an idea or product
  • Enjoy working with other people and leading them toward organizational goals and/or economic success
  • Seeks positions of leadership, power, status
  • Likes to lead groups, give speeches, manage people and projects, persuade
  • Described as persuasive, adventuresome, competitive, energetic, sociable, optimistic
  • Buys country club memberships, sporting event tickets, nice cars

Workplace:

  • Industrial and manufacturing firms
  • Seats of power and finance (large corporations, brokerage firms, executive offices, etc.)
  • Retail and wholesale firms

Job titles:

  • Investments Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Realtor
  • Operations Manager
  • Buyer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Human Resources Manager

GOT: Conventional

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Conventional:The Organizers

  • Like activities requiring attention to detail, organization, accuracy and data systems
  • Enjoy mathematics and data management activities
  • Described as practical, organized, systematic, accurate, conscientious
  • Motivated to organize information, bring order to data and things

Work Environments

Sample Jobs

  • Large corporations
  • Business offices
  • Financial institutions (banks, credit companies, etc.)
  • Accounting firms
  • Quality control and inspection departments
  • Structured organizations with well-ordered chains of command
  • Banker
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Paralegal
  • Actuary
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Business Education Teacher

Interests

  • Motivated to organize information and bring order to data and things
  • Likes activities requiring attention to detail, organization, accuracy and data systems.
  • Enjoys mathematics and data management activities
  • Described as practical, organized, systematic, accurate, conscientious
  • Buys hobby collections (stamps, antiques, etc), home improvement supplies, games

Workplace

  • Large corporations
  • Business offices
  • Accounting firms

Job titles

  • Paralegal
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Food Services Manager
  • Business Education Teacher

The Hexagon of General Occupational Themes

Investigative

Enterprising

Social

Artistic

Conventional

Realistic

Holland’s Theory – Assumptions

  • Most people can be categorized as one of six types.
  • There are six kinds of environments.
  • People search for environments that will let them exercise their skills and abilities, express their attitudes and values, and take on agreeable problems and roles.

Holland’s Hexagonal Model

  • Consistency: The closer the types are on the hexagon, the more consistent the individual is.

Example: ESA would have higher consistency than RAE.

  • Differentiation: Individuals who fit a pure personality type will express little resemblance to other types.

Those who fit several personality types are considered undifferentiated.

Holland’s Hexagonal Model

  • Identity: Individuals who have a clear and stable picture of goals, interests, talents.
  • Congruence: When an individual’s personality type matches the environment.
  • Calculus: The theoretical relationships between types of occupational environments lend themselves to empirical research.

John Holland’s Typology

  • Knowledge of both self and occupational environment is critical.
  • Theory is primarily descriptive.
  • RIASEC model has been tested with wide range of ethnically diverse individuals.

John Holland’s Typology

  • Theory emphasizes the accuracy of self-knowledge and occupational information necessary for career decision making.
  • Impact on interest assessments
  • Practicality
  • Most of Holland’s propositions are clearly defined and lend themselves to empirical evaluations.

John Holland’s Typology – Practical Applications

  • Several inventories available designed by Holland and others for use with his theory:

Vocational Preference Inventory

My Vocational Situation

The Position Classification Inventory

Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory

Self-Directed Search (SDS)

Steps in using the SDS

Trait-Oriented Theories — Summary

  • Emphasize how standardized tests are used.
  • Human traits can be matched with work environments to evaluate potential work sites.
  • Individual’s work needs can be compared with components of job satisfaction found in certain occupational environments.
  • Self-knowledge is essential for evaluating career information.

Trait-Oriented Theories — Summary

  • One should consider a number of occupations that matches their personal needs and abilities.
  • More attention needs to be given to work adjustment, job satisfaction, and problems faced by people in career transition.

Individuals in the 21st century will change jobs several times over their life span.

The job market will continue to fluctuate.

Workers will be required to adapt quickly, will be challenged with new procedures, tools, requirements, culturally diverse coworkers, etc.

Interests:

  • Motivated to use hands-on skills to produce tangible results
  • Likes to work with their hands, tools, machinery, computer networks
  • Rugged, practical, physically strong
  • Described as practical, persistent, adventurous, sensible, self-reliant
  • Buys boats, campers, hiking equipment

Workplace

  • Manufacturing or industrial firms with tangible products
  • Construction, mining and energy industries
  • Transportation fields (air, trucking, local transit, etc.)
  • The outdoors; small, rural communities
  • Situations permitting casual dress

Sample Job titles:

  • Forester
  • Carpenter
  • Veterinarian
  • Radiological Technologist

Interests:

  • Motivated to probe questions of intellectual curiosity
  • Likes to gather information, uncover new facts/theories, and interpret data
  • Potentially competent in science, math, analysis, writing and problem solving
  • Described as curious, independent, reserved, rational, non-conforming
  • Buys telescopes, computers, electronic equipment, sailboats, etc.

Workplace

  • Research and design laboratories
  • Universities and colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • Scientific foundations and think tanks

Job titles

  • Chemist
  • R&D Manager
  • Veterinarian
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Science Teacher

Interests:

  • Motivated to express themselves through their work
  • Express their interests in leisure as well as vocational activities
  • Described as impulsive, non-conforming & independent
  • Buys art objects, books, instruments

Workplace

  • Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression
  • Institutions that teach artistic skills (universities, music & dance schools, art institutes, etc.)
  • Museums, libraries, galleries

Job titles

  • Librarian
  • Urban & Regional Planner
  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Public Relations Director
  • Musician

Interests

  • Motivated to help and empower
  • Likes to work with people, often in groups
  • Enjoy helping, nurturing, and teaching, especially young people
  • Solve problems through discussions of feelings and interactions with others
  • May enjoy working with people through leading, directing and persuading.
  • Described as humanistic, idealistic, cooperative
  • Spends money on social events and charity

Workplace

  • Medical service and healthcare facilities
  • Mental health clinics

Job titles

  • Parks & Recreation Manager
  • School Counselor
  • School Administrator
  • Registered Nurse
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Dietitian

Interests:

  • Motivated to persuade others of the merits of an idea or product
  • Enjoy working with other people and leading them toward organizational goals and/or economic success
  • Seeks positions of leadership, power, status
  • Likes to lead groups, give speeches, manage people and projects, persuade
  • Described as persuasive, adventuresome, competitive, energetic, sociable, optimistic
  • Buys country club memberships, sporting event tickets, nice cars

Workplace:

  • Industrial and manufacturing firms
  • Seats of power and finance (large corporations, brokerage firms, executive offices, etc.)
  • Retail and wholesale firms

Job titles:

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