Career Development Process
Career development is a lifelong process involving psychological, educational, economic, sociological, and physical factors, as well as chance factors, that interact to influence the career of an individual. Cultural influences have not been adequately considered in theories of career development. However, research suggests that there are important factors among cultural groups in areas such as work values and career decision-making attitudes (Leong, 1995). Therefore, cultural factors should be included in the list of influences upon the career development of individuals.
Despite the importance and apparent complexity of the career development process, the latest survey by the National Career Development Association (NCDA; Hoyt & Lester, 1995) revealed that only about one third of the adults in the United States were in their current jobs as a result of conscious planning. Thus the majority of adults entered their jobs because of chance circumstances. In addition, 28% of those surveyed indicated that they would change their jobs within 3 years. Assisting an individual through the career development process is a primary task of a vocational psychologist.
There are a great number of techniques and interventions a vocational psychologist may use to facilitate an individual’s career development. These techniques and interventions include individual and group career counseling, workshops, mentoring, testing (e.g., ability, interests, needs), job shadowing (i.e., following a worker in a desired job around for a day), interviews with various people (e.g., employers, workers, college admissions personnel), apprenticeships, internships, school-to-work transition services, and use of career resources. One major career resources is the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (U.S. Department of Labor, 1991), which defines and classifies occupations and the characteristics of workers in each occupation. Typically, there are three major outcomes for these interventions; the making of a career choice; the acquisition of decision skills; and/or enhanced general adjustments to the work situation, such as job satisfaction and success. The use of a theory of career development serves as a guide for the psychologist in the selection of assessment tools and techniques. Psychologists have developed several useful theories of career development.
Read More About Career Development:
- Career Development Topics
- Career Development Theories
- Career Development Needs of Special Groups
- Career Development Issues
- Current Trends in Career Development