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According to Parsons, the trait and factor theory focuses on identifying an individual’s unique aspects such as aptitudes, achievement, ability, interests, values, and personality while used as a basis for self-assessment. As such, when individuals are in jobs best suited to their abilities, they perform best and their productivity is highest.
Occupational information refers to the collection of information about occupational and educational opportunities. For instance, occupational information includes details about the employment outlook, salary, related occupations, education and training, and job duties. Also, it can include information about the structure of labor market such as significant barriers when advancing to higher-paying jobs. However, this theory only focuses on occupation and does not take the client’s perspective into account.
The work adjustment theory describes the relationship of the traits of an individual and matching those traits to his or her work environment. For instance, there is an expectation from the workplace to perform certain duties and responsibilities and in exchange, the individual expects to be compensated for work performance. As such, work adjustment is the process of achieving and maintaining compatibility with one’s career.
According to Holland’s theory of types, there are six types of people and occupations which include realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional to foster an understanding of people’s work personality and match it to a corresponding environment. Holland’s concepts of congruence, differentiation, consistency, and identity aim to match the type of the client to his or her appropriate occupations.
The Myber-Briggs type theory uses an assessment with the intent of assessing an individual’s personality preferences along four varying constructs. It examines how one makes decision in terms of perceiving the problem and then making a judgment about how to respond when selecting a career which fits with one’s style of career decision making. Even though the results will not show specific career paths for the individual, the results can be utilized to consider the pros and cons of different employment sectors/occupations/work environments and see how much they match with personal preference.
Life span theory refers to the growing and changing ways one handles career matters over his or her lifetime. In particular, Super’s developmental theory focused on developing a self-concept, which changes over time as a result of new experiences. In particular, there are five life and career development stages which include growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and decline. These stages function as a model to understand macro level phenomena of an individual’s life; they often parallel with salient events and symbolize a time of change. I like this concept as it challenged me to formulate my own understanding of my career identities.
Career development in childhood include strategies such as providing opportunities for children to imagine and explore such as dress up, construction tools, science kits, etc. As children play, there are chances for children to talk about different jobs and how they use different tools. Tasks include learning about the world of work through the work experiences of others, establishing a sense of self which helps the child to develop a sense of the future and ready to plan and decide.
Adolescent career development refers to the development of capacities, values, and the transition to the three levels of reasoning proposed by Harold and Walsh such as the internal processes and capacities, interaction, and systemic interaction. There is also the concept of career planning, career exploration, decision making, and knowledge of the preferred occupation group once an individual reaches career maturity and is ready for realistic career planning.
Late adolescent and adult career development emphasizes the concept of role salience in terms of life stages which include exploration, establishment, maintenance and disengagement, and their substages. Throughout the lifespan, one may take on different life roles such as studying, community service, home and family, and leisure activities which may change, varying with the life stages. Often, individuals may be forced to consider a change in their career which is difficult to adjust to. For example, adult career crises and transitions are unanticipated problems that adults may encounter several times in their lifetime. Hopson and Adam’s model of adult transitions provide a framework for understanding crises such as being laid off or fired.
The constructivist and narrative approaches to career development perceive career development as the client’s life story. For instance, the narrative approach to career counseling perceives the client’s story as the focus of career counseling in which the client is seen as an active player, someone responsible for making changes in his or her environment. On other hand, the career construction theory makes use of other theories such as Super’s and Holland’s in understanding the client’s life experiences.
Relational approaches to career development include Phillips’s developmental-relational model and Bluestein’s relational theory of working. Phillip s’s developmental-relational model focuses on relationships that include friends, siblings, peers which influence career choices whereas Bluestein’s relational theory of working showed that the way we relate to others at work can make work experience meaningful even when the job seemed unattractive.
Krumboltz’s social learning theory emphasizes a behavioral orientation, with some cognitive components which stresses the importance of genetic influences, environmental conditions, and learning experiences. It also includes the use of behavioral and cognitive strategies such as reinforcement, role modeling, goal clarification, and cognitive rehearsal.
Social cognitive career theory refers to the importance of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and goals in career development. For instance, Bandura’s social cognitive theory states that an individual’s self-efficacy determines the willingness and motivation in pursuing one’s career.

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