Adults seek out jobs, select them, and sometimes ascend to positions of responsibility in their fields of work (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). When we graduated high school, many of us make the choice to go off to college and get a degree in a particular career field of our interest. And some of us, don’t take that path and instead settle with an 8-5 job. For many adults, having the career they dream about is very important to them. When I think of the word work, I think of people going to their everyday place of employment, doing work that they don’t necessarily enjoy. At some point in our lives, we have heard “it pays the bills.” For example, a person who is a waitress at a local restaurant. In other words, individuals are settling with the type of work they are doing. However, work in modern organizations is described as increasingly complex, ambiguous, and uncertain (as cited in Kuchinke, Cornachione, Oh, & Kang, 2010). On the other hand, a career is an occupation in which the individual actually enjoys going to work because the type of occupation they are in, they went to school for it. These are the individuals that say “I love my job.” For example, those who have gone to school to become a doctor.
According to Holland, a job or career typically makes demands on an individual that are compatible with one or more of the six models of orientations (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Those include, realistic, investigative, artistic, social enterprising, and conventional. These different orientations listed allows counselors to help their client with giving them an insight as to the different types of job that are out there. Based on a person’s personality, they will choose a job that is similar to their personality. For instance, those who are not afraid to speak against something that doesn’t seem right to them or who is a leader, they may choose a career in politics or become a lawyer. Or someone who seems to be supportive in listening to others problems or dilemmas may seek a career in counseling or nursing.
Super’s theorizing about career development focuses less on specifying the personal style or job types and more on describing the developmental processes that determine both emergence of one’s vocational concept and the multiple factors that influence job choices throughout the life span (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The developmental process that is included in Super’s theory is the growth stage, the exploration stage, establishment stage, maintenance stage, and decline stage. We start out by exploring the different types of careers we want to have when we get older. For example, my six-year-old says he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. He fantasizes about being a firefighter when he plays with his peers at school or when they had a career day at his school, he chose a firefighter. However, as he continues to grow, he may lose interest in becoming a firefighter so he looks at maybe becoming a police officer or join the military. Vocational self-concept is tentatively narrowed down, but often career choices are not finalized (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). When he reaches his mid-20’s he may find that being a police officer is not what he wants to do but instead he wants to be a dentist. And as he continues to grow into his 40’s he may want to seek another specialty in the dentist world so he will make that adjustment. And by his 60’s he will be ready for retirement.
I decided to pursue a career in Mental Health Counseling because for as long as I can remember, my uncle was the happiest person who would come to our family gatherings. He always told his nieces, when you go off into the real world, remember where you come from and help your people in any way you can with the career you choose. Five years later, he committed suicide because he was bottling up his feelings. From witnessing firsthand what military men and women go through while deployed overseas to my mother passing away and getting depressed to the devasting news that my uncle committed suicide, it struck a nerve. Something inside of me told me that I need to help individuals who are also bottling up their feelings about the things they are going through. That I need to be the one to help them get back on their feet so that they can function again.
I believe the counseling profession will add meaning to my life by allowing me the chance to impact someone’s life and letting them know that although it may seem no one cares for them, there is someone rooting for their success. Erickson viewed women’s identities as necessarily provisional until they made an intimate life commitment; women were destined to be predominantly nurturing and accommodating (Newton & Stewart, 2010). Also, knowing that I may have the potential to save someone’s life. Having mental illnesses of some sort can be detrimental for some people, therefore, I think helping that individual get back on the right track would bring so much meaning to my life.
I also think that developmental changes in our lives have an impact on the type of career we pursue. For instance, I wanted to be a nurse but as I continued to develop, I realized that Nursing wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to stick people with a needle or do an EKG on them, instead, I wanted to have face to face conversations about what is going on with them. Women’s focus on it may remain relatively high in early middle age as women continue to develop their talents and careers; it may then remain stable or decline later in the period (Newton & Stewart, 2010). Also, the chances of having children may impact the type of careers we will have. For instance, my friend was going to school to become an interior decorator, however, since her second son was born with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), which is lack of oxygen and restriction of blood flow affecting the brain. Her son needs her help both physically and emotionally because he is unable to do certain things. Therefore, she decided to pursue a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant so that she can assist children like hers.
In closing, we don’t always know what we want to do in life. Some of us may take a lot more time figuring out what exactly it is we want to do. We want to be satisfied with the career we chose because going to a job that makes us unhappy, to me, seems like a waste of time. We may see something that we may want to do as we get older but it doesn’t always work out the way we plan it. There may be times in which, the things that we actually want to do makes us change the direction we are headed and that is okay. We need to test the water before we decide to go swimming or not.
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). Socioemotional and Vocational Development in Young Adulthood. The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.) (pp. 438-476). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
Kuchinke, K. P., Cornachione, E. B., Oh, S. Y., & Kang, H.-S. (2010). All work and no play? The meaning of work and work stress of mid-level managers in the United States, Brazil, and Korea. Human Resource Development International, 13(4), 393–408.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Newton, N., & Stewart, A. J. (2010). The middle ages: Changes in women’s personalities and social roles. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(1),75–84.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Peer response two (C.R)
The idea of choosing a career can be stressful and scary to young adults as there is great importance placed on this task. When a young adult enters college they are pressured to decide on a major which is related to the career path they will take and as such is an important developmental task that occurs. On the other hand, young adults that choose to not go to college and immediately enter the work force must also choose what career path they wish to take (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). In addition, research has shown that career success and satisfaction depend on the idea of matching the characteristic’s an individual possess to the demands of the job chosen (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The more confident an individual is in themselves is related to the likeliness they will make a good career choice for themselves (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Overall, self-concept and self-understanding are critical features of being able to choose a career path that will lead to success and happiness for the individual (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).
Holland’s Theory of Personality-Environment Types suggests that by early adulthood individuals have something called modal personal orientation which means that each individual has their own way to responding to certain social and environmental tasks that are presented to them (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Holland goes further to suggest that each individual can be categorized as one of six modal orientations which are formed based on the individual’s personality (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). For example, one of the six modal orientations are “social”, this category fits an individual that is social, friendly, cooperative, kind, and understanding; these individuals usually find success and happiness in the helping professions (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). On the other end of the spectrum in terms of the modal orientations is “enterprising”; these individuals also considered social but are also considered as attention-seeking, dominant, and talkative, therefore, these individuals are likely to find success and happiness in a sales position or an executive business position (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Furthermore, the six modal orientations include the already listed social and enterprising, but also include realistic, investigative, artistic, and conventional (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Holland believed that if individuals chose their career environments based on their personality types then they would be more likely to be successful and happy in their career endeavors.
Although Super agreed with Holland that career satisfaction and happiness is dependent on an individual choosing a career that fits their personality, he went further in suggesting that an individual’s self-concept along with several other factors that have an influence on one’s career choices throughout an individual’s life span affect one’s overall career satisfaction (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Super proposed the idea of vocational self-concept; this idea includes one’s beliefs of their own personal and psychological characteristics, and how one assesses their life circumstances (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Young adults are considered by Super to be in a stage of development described as the exploratory stage; this is a stage where an individual has narrowed their potential career paths, however, no final decisions have been made yet (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The first part of this stage is characterized by crystallization, this is where general career goals are made, which then leads into specification, this is where career goals and preferences are even more narrowed, thus finally ending this stage with implementation, this is where college graduation and the transition to full-time employment occurs (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). One of the main ideas of Super’s approach is that career development is a process that continues throughout the life span, much life one’s personal growth (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).
The forgotten half is a term given to those that choose to not go the college route (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Overall, the basic attitudes and beliefs about work and family life to not differ much if you compare those that do go to college and those that don’t; although having a good career is an important aspect of life for a great deal of young adults, having a family is another highly important aspect of life to young adults (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Although there is no shame in not going to college and taking a different route, research has proved than the chances of goal achievement and success declines significantly for those individuals that do not pursue a college degree (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Research supports the idea that high school students should have access to vocational counseling is beneficial to students, thus, providing students with the information needed to decide whether to pursue higher education or not (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).
I took my first psychology course in high school; this course was Psychology 100 and counted as credit for high school as well as college. This course was the most interesting class I had ever taken, and from that one course I knew psychology was the field for me! So, I declared my major as psychology and eagerly began taking courses my freshman year of college. Throughout my undergraduate career I was unsure which field of psychology I wanted to go into, and it was not until I graduated with my bachelor’s degree that I decided counseling was the field for me. I always knew I wanted to help people for a living, and figured that counseling was the best way to incorporate helping people into my love for psychology. I believe the counseling professional will add meaning to my life in a number of ways. As I mentioned above, I always knew I wanted to help people and that is exactly what counselors do, they help people. Counselors are there to listen and support individuals through difficult times in their lives, they are there to let someone else know they do not have to go through life alone, and I believe the world is a better place because of counselors. Women are entering the work force in numbers that have not been seen in previous generations, in fact, in recent years women have outnumbered men in the psychology field (Bray, 2018; Clay, 2017). It is no secret that women are typically seen as nurturing and caring than men, thus, counseling can be a good match to women who do possess these characteristics and qualities (Newton & Stewart, 2010). I believe that I definitely do possess these qualities and characteristics and that is why I believe I will be both successful, and happy, with my career choice.
Overall, an individual’s career choice will greatly impact their quality of life and work satisfaction. It is important to consider one’s personality and personal characteristics when determining which career path to take. I will use apply my knowledge on career development in my future practice as a counselor by encouraging clients to choose a field they are passionate about; without passion work is just that, work. If you are passionate about what you are doing, then you will get more satisfaction out of your career and be more successful in life’s endeavors.
Bray, B. (2018). Speaking to the needs of women in counseling. Counseling Today. Retrieved from https://ct.counseling.org/2018/01/speaking-needs-women-counseling/
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Clay, R. A. (2017). Women outnumber men in psychology, but not in the field’s top echelons. American Psychological Association, 48(7), pp. 18. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/07-08/women-psychology.aspx
Newton, N., & Stewart, A. J. (2010). The middle ages: Changes in women’s personalities and social roles. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(1), 75-84. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.