Career Choice: Theories on Picking One’s Career Path Claire Sanders is a secretary at Richochet Management, a company that manages bands and artists in the music industry. Claire’s is responsible for the filing of documents in the company, keeping track of the schedule of their company’s bands and artists, taking down notes during meetings, and just about everything that a typical secretary is responsible for. She managed to graduate at the top of her class in March [year] at [University] with a degree in [course].
During her undergraduate years, both in college and in high school, she was always chosen as the secretary of her class or her club. She says, “I have fun in typing as well as writing. I can write 3 full notebook pages in about 7 minutes and I am able to type as fast as I can write. ” According to Holland’s Personality Theory, careers correspond to an individual’s personality. That is, a person is likely to by choose a career wherein the work environment or tasks match up to their personalities.
There are six personality types according to this theory: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. The realistic personality type prefers concrete tasks to abstract ones. People who have this personality type usually have mechanical abilities and prefer to work with things they can see. As it is, she prefers to work with mechanical things such as writing and typing. The investigative type is more task-oriented. People with this personality type are usually interested in mathematics and science and are independent, analytical, intellectual and reserved.
However, the investigative types defer leadership. The artistic type, in contrast with the investigative type, is self-expressive and prefers to work with things that can express themselves. Artistic people are imaginative, introspective, and independent. The social type prefers to deal with social problems. Social people have good communication skills. The enterprising type, as opposed to the investigative type, prefers leadership roles. People with this type of personality are often described as domineering, ambitious, and persuasive. The conventional type is systematized and organized.
They prefer structured tasks. Claire’s personality may fall under the realistic type and conventional type. She is realistic in the sense that she likes to do mechanical things such as writing and typing. However, she can also be of conventional type since she likes to systematize and organize things. Holland’s theory explains that a person should have a clear and accurate understanding of his own personality in order to successfully choose his career (Zunker, 1998). Claire has managed to do this exactly. Long before she graduated, she already has a clear understanding of who she is and what she wants.
This made it easy for her to choose a career and fortunately enough, find a position that exactly suits her personality. Super’s Life-Span Theory explains that as individuals grow, they move through stages of career development (Zunker, 1998). According to Super, there are five stages of career development: crystallization, specification, implementation, stabilization, and consolidation. During the crystallization, the person is tentatively forming a career plan. For Claire, it was during her high school that she began to find out her interest in documentary work.
During this time, she was developing and forming a tentative career plan in her mind. During the specification stage, career plans begin to be more concrete. During Claire’s college years, when she began taking up her course, her career plans are more developed and it has become more concrete for her. At the implementation stage, which occurs between the ages of 21 and 24, the individual already starts to train in his chosen field. After Claire graduated and began to work as a secretary in Ricochet Management, she began training in her chosen field.
The stabilization stage, an individual is already well-trained in the position. Furthermore, the individual’s career has developed into a secure position. At present, Claire is well-trained in documentation tasks and now, she has developed a sense of security in her position as secretary. In the consolidation stage, the individual is “advancing in seniority and status within their chosen career. ” Although Claire still has not reached this stage yet, the longer she stays at Ricochet Management and the longer she is in her position (or has advanced in her position), she advances to seniority.
Combining the theories discussed earlier, another career choice theory can be developed. I call this the Developmental Personality Theory. In this theory, Holland’s and Super’s theory are integrated into one. At the growth or crystallization stage, an individual starts to understand his own personality – who he is and what he wants. Once he has established a clear and accurate vision of his personality, he now forms tentative plans for his career. Then as he goes on understanding his personality, he also develops a more concrete career plan.
Once he has a concrete career plan in mind, he chooses a particular position to pursue. As he trains and grows in his career, he does not only realize his career goals but he has also established a firm understanding of his personality. This eventually leads to self-realization and self-actualization which is the last stage. I chose to integrate Holland’s and Super’s theories because both theories have explained well how individuals choose their career. However, Super’s theory focused only on the developmental stage of an individual’s career while Holland’s theory focused on the personality aspects only.
In my theory, both are integrated to explain further the developmental stage of how an individual first forms a personality theory on his own before choosing his career. This is so because I think the biggest factor in an individual’s career choice is his personality. If he has a clear understanding of who he is and what he wants, he also begins to form a clear understanding of what he wants to do.
Reference Zunker, V. (1998). Career counseling: Applied concepts of life planning (5th ed. ). Brooks/Cole Publishing.