Trait-Factor Theory yThe Trait-Factor theory of career development goes as far back as y p gthe early 1900’s and is associated mostly strongly with vocationaltheorists Frank Parsons and E.G. Williamson. Some of the basicassu p o s a u de e s eo y are:assumptions that underlie this theory a e: 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 individual s potential individual’s 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
The trait approach to personality is one of the pp p ymajor theoretical areas in the study of personality.The trait theory suggests that individualpersonalities are composed broad dispositions. li i d b d di iiConsider how you would describe the personality ofa close friend. Chances are that you would list anumber of traits, such as outgoing, kind and even-tempered. A trait can be thought of as a relativelystable characteristic that causes individuals tobehave in certain ways.
Many of the aptitude, personality and Gold Guardian G diinterest tests and occupationalinformation materials that emerged fromi f ti t i l th t df Blue Idealistthis approach have evolved and remain inuse today (e g True Colors General (e.g., Colors, Orange ArtisanAptitude Test , Data-People-ThingsInterest Test, occupational p p profiles and theever expanding computer-based career Green Rationalguidance programs).
Holland’s CH ll d’ Career Typology Th T l Theory
An off-shoot of the trait-factor theory can be seen in the work of John Holland. Like the trait-factor approach HollandHolland’s Career Typology focuses on individual characteristics and yp gyoccupational task. Holland’s theory expanded the concept ofpersonality types and posited that: Personalities fall into six broad categories: realistic investigative, realistic, investigative artistic, social, enterprising and conventional (often referred to as RIASEC). Since certain personalities are attracted to certain jobs, the work jobs environments then reflect this personality and can be clustered into six similar populations (RIASEC) Although each individual is made up of all six types, one type is usually types dominant. Most personalities tend to resemble up to three of the six personality factors. Personalities can be matched with similar combinations of work environments using a problem-solving approach. The closer the match of personality to job, the greater the satisfaction
Holland’s Career Typology takes a cognitive, yp gy g ,problem solving approach to career planning andthis model has been extremely influential invocational counseling. I has been employed b i l li It h b l d bypopular assessment tools such as the Self-DirectedSearch, Vocational Preference Inventory and theStrong Interest Inventory. It has also resulted inpractical resources like the Dictionary of HollandOccupational Codes which applies Holland’s codesO Cto major occupations.
Super s Life-Span/ Life SpaceSuper’s Life Span/ Life-SpaceTheory
Donald Super believed that humans are anythingbut static and that personal change is continuous.Super’s Life-Span/Life Space is a very p p / p ycomprehensive developmental model that attemptsto account for the various important influences on aperson as they experience different life roles andvarious life stages.
Here are some of Super’s main tenets: pEvery individual has potential. People have skills and talents that theydevelop hd l through different life roles making them capable of a variety of h diff lif l ki h bl f i ftasks and numerous occupations.In making a vocational choice, an individual is expressing his or herunderstanding of self; his or her self concept People seek career satisfaction self-concept.through work roles in which they can express themselves and implement anddevelop their self-concept. Self-knowledge is key to career choice and jobsatisfaction.Career development is life long and occurs throughout five major life stages:Growth, Exploration, Establishment, Maintenance and Disengagement. Eachstage has a unique set of career development tasks and accounts for thechanges and decisions that people make from career entry to retirement retirement.These five stages are not just chronological. People cycle through each ofthese stages when they go through career transitions.People play different roles throughout their lives including the role of“worker.” Job satisfaction increases when a person‘s self-concept includes aview of the working-self as being integrated with their other life roles.
Super’s theory has greatly influenced how we look p y g yat career practices. Understanding the ages andrelated stages of career development assistspractitioners to id if where clients are i the ii identify h li in hcareer development continuum and suggestappropriate career related goals and activities. Italso underscores the necessity to examine careerdevelopment within the larger context of anindividual’s roles and life style and how to achieve fa life/work balance.
Krumboltz sKrumboltz’s Social LearningTheory of Career Choice
John D. Krumboltz developed a theory of careerdecision making and development based on sociallearning. Career decisions are the product of an g puncountable number of learning experiences madepossible by encounters with the people, institutionsand events in a persons particular environment. Inother words people choose their careers based onwhat th have learned. h t they h l d
Krumboltz proposed that: p pThe four main factors that influence career choice are geneticinfluences, environmental conditions and events, learningexperiences and task approach skills (e.g., self-observation, goalsetting and information seeking).The consequences of these factors and most particularly learningexperiences lead people to develop beliefs about the nature ofcareers and their role in life (self-observational generalizations).These b li f whether realistic or not, i flTh beliefs, h h li i influence career choices and h i dwork related behavior.Learning experiences, especially observational learning stemmingfrom significant role models (e.g., parents, teachers, heroes), have af fpowerful influence on career decisions, making some occupationsmore attractive than others.Positive modeling, reward and reinforcement will likely lead to thedevelopment of appropriate career planning skills and careerbehavior.
Krumboltz saw his theory as yA way of explaining the origin of career choice andA guide to how career practitioners might tackle careerrelated problems. The practitioner starts with understanding how a client came to their career related view of themselves and the world and what is limiting or problematic about this view. Once this has been established, the practitioner and client identify what career relevant l l t learning experiences, modeling or skill b ildi i i d li kill building will help them reframe their view. Using Krumboltz’s approach a practitioner plays a major role Krumboltz s in dealing with all career problems, not just occupational selection.
Constructivist Theory/Models ofCareer Development
Constructivist Theory of Career Development isrelated to existential theory and is more apphilosophical framework within which career pcounseling can be done. Two thinkers associatedwith this approach are M.L. Savickas and VancePeavy.
Constructivist career development is based on the concepts of “constructivism” which include the following: constructivismThere are no fixed meanings or realities in the world, there aremultiple meanings and multiple realities. Individuals create or constructtheir own meaning/reality of the world through the experiences theyhave.People “construct” themselves and the world around them through theP l “ ” h l d h ld d h h h hinterpretations they make and the actions they take. These “constructs”or perceptions of events may be useful or may be misleading.Individuals differ from each other in their construction of events. TI di id l diff f h h i h i i f Twopeople may participate in the same or similar event and have verydifferent perceptions of the experience.PeopleP l are self-organizing and meaning-makers. Th i li lf i i d i k Their lives are everevolving stories that are under constant revision. An individual maychoose to develop “new constructs” or write new ”stories“ in their life.To beT b an empowered or fulfilled person requires critical reflection of d f lfill d i iti l fl ti fthe assumptions that account for our daily decisions and actions.
The constructivist career counseling approach is generally g pp g yabout life planning. The search for meaningful work isconnected to constructivisms emphasis on deriving meaningfrom personal experience. To have meaningful careers, experience careersindividuals need to reflect on their life experiences and theresulting “constructs” they may hold about life/work/self.The client and practitioner work towards an awareness andopenness of new constructs of one’s life/work/self that canprovide the basis for meaning meaning.Interventions include working directly with the client’s lifeexperience and the use of meaning making processes such asnarrative, metaphor, mapping and critical reflection.
No single theory of Career Development is comprehensiveAsA career practitioners, th is a need for us to titi there i df trecognize and be aware of any theory’s strengths,weaknesses and inherent biases. k di h t biAll Theories works best when it’s integrated into ourday t dd to day work and use them based on the situation. k d th b d th it tiWe should always try to approach our needs using aholistich li ti approach and t to work on a combination of h d try t k bi ti fcareer development theories and strategies.
References The HCT Electronic Library at http://imtcsamba.hct.ac.ae/sjw/Career&Training/T heorists.htm ERIC at: http://ericacve.org/index.asp p // g/ p International Career Development Library at http://icdl.uncg.edu // Maryland’s CareerNet: Career Planning –Theory http://www.careernet.state.md.us/careertheory.htm // /