Introduction to Career Development Theory

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University of Richmond
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Career development is often a process that occurs throughout an individuals life. What many people do not know is that it starts just when one is born. Numerous factors affect the career development process including personality, abilities, interests, circumstances, values, and background (Patton, McMahon 2014). When focusing on the person, career counseling sets out the most appropriate course of one's career development. It is in conjunction with the other factors that affect one's career lifespan (Blustein, 2013). Its main aim is to help an individual know and understand who he\she is and the world of work for him\her to make informed decisions on life, education, and career. It also offers the individual the necessary skills and knowledge for future decisions on career and life in general (Hughes, Gibbons, & Mynatt, 2013).

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As a young person, various influences operated on the development of my career. One of these factors was the environment I grew up in. There were people in my home environment especially my parents, who had careers that I admired. Another influence was my culture and socialization process where my society advocated for various careers to some extent, and this made me lean towards these choices. As I grew up and developed a deeper insight of the person I am, I learned of my abilities, attitudes and personality traits that also determined the developmental course my career took.

All these influences have impacted on my career development and choice to a given level. One is that I went for a career that compliments my values, personality, attitudes, and abilities. In doing so, I identified a career that involved what I love doing to ensure that I feel fulfilled at the end of the day. The development of my career mainly begun with an admiration of the careers my parents had. During this time I would talk to them about their jobs and explain to them my desire to have a career like theirs. However, other outside influences especially culture and the school environment changed the course of my career development. The knowledge in school and the various cultural influences and norms made me shift to a different career option. As I grew up and continued to learn more about myself and the type of person I am, my career goals changed towards one that was in agreement with my personality, preferences, values, and abilities.

The pattern and themes of my career development mainly revolved around a career option that involved other people in society. I settled for career counseling which still provides me with the capacity to help people in the society especially walking with young people in the community through their career development to help them gain knowledge, skills and make informed choices that affect their career and life holistically. Even though my career patterns changed and evolved the primary theme remained to be my desire to help other in society and thus influenced the career, I opted to pursue.

My place of work is social according to Hollands theory of career choice, and it is by my attitudes, personality, values and the skills I possess (Brown, 2015). My personality and values led to career counseling since it was the best place I would use my skills and abilities. My priorities include working competently, to increase my skills, and also further my education to become well versed and all round career practitioner. Several conflicts arise between my life roles, for example, the desire to further my education and the constant demand in the workplace. To resolve this dispute I need to find a workable table that will allow me to get to work on regular schedules and attend classes on my free time. For example, taking evening classes and going to school when am off shift will be a perfect solution.

Employment status is not a priority in life as long as one gets a decent job that complements their skills and personality. Work should be enjoyable and not for the maintenance of a social status. People have different levels of training and education, and these affect the kind of career they choose. It is because different careers require varying levels of skills and knowledge for practice. An individuals Socio-economic background does not play a significant role in determining his\her career because the process is mainly on other aspects of the persons life and environment (Gati & Levin, 2014).

Personal lifestyle choices do not determine and affect that career development but assist in preference so does multiculturalism. When people are exposed to a variety of cultures their view on careers broadens thus providing a broad range of careers to choose. Wellness is critical in selecting of careers since it places restrictions on the kind of jobs one can handle. Technology continues to shifts the preferences and values people attached to different types of employment, and it also provides and equal platform for both genders to explore their field of interests regardless of the stereotypes.

The career development process exercise is important as it helps individuals gain a clear perspective on the decisions they make regarding career choices (Maree, 2015). The process assists in developing objectives, goals, and values that are important in identifying and shaping career choices. It also helps individuals set realistic goals about the achievements they wish to accomplish as well as find satisfaction in the careers choices (Bikos et al., 2013). Apart from personal evaluation, this process helps individuals in improving their skills and performance in work. Several questions in the exercise produced answers that made me reflect more on my career choice. For example, what other roles do I hold and what are my priorities, what conflicts exist between my life functions and how do I resolve them?

The career development process from a practitioners perspective, aids in fostering healthy and better communications between work colleagues and the superiors (Lent et al., 2013). Through this analytical process, one can identify the skills they possess and what they would want to achieve in the future. It also allows one to identify both the strengths and weaknesses they possess and how they need to address the weaknesses and build on their strengths (Savickas, 2015). People can develop and maintain a conducive, competitive and supportive work environment within the workplace (Philips, 2015). The career devilment process is an important exercise that helps individuals reflects about their wants and skills in life and careers.

All questions are beneficial because they have increased my scope of knowledge on the type of career choice and career counseling. There isnt one that presented disturbing answers, but they all raise my level of information, skills and knowledge. They also offer a form of reflection on my career choice as a career counselor. The reflection also lays a stable ground for any decisions I make in the future concerning my career choice and how to further develop it.


Bikos, L. H., Dykhouse, E. C., Boutin, S. K., Gowen, M. J., & Rodney, H. E. (2013). Practice and research in career counseling and development2012. The Career Development Quarterly, 61(4), 290-329.

Blustein, D. (2013). The psychology of working: A new perspective for career development, counseling, and public policy. Routledge.

Brown, D. (2015). Career information, career counseling and career development. Pearson.

Gati, I., & Levin, N. (2014). Counseling for Career DecisionMaking Difficulties: Measures and Methods. The Career Development Quarterly, 62(2), 98-113.

Hughes, A. N., Gibbons, M. M., & Mynatt, B. (2013). Using narrative career counseling with the underprepared college student. The Career Development Quarterly, 61(1), 40-49.

Lent, R. W., Brown, S., & Hackett, G. (2013). Career Development.

Maree, J. G. (2015). Career construction counseling: A thematic analysis of outcomes for four clients. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 86, 1-9.

Patton.W., & McMahon, M .(2014). Career development and systems theory: Connecting theory and practice (vol. 2). Springer.

Philips, S. D. (2015). Lifespan career development.

Savickas, M. L. (2015). Career counseling paradigms: Guiding, developing, and designing.

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