Career Counseling Theories and Psychology Chapter

Pages: 3 (941 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Careers

Career Choice: Trait-Based and Other Theories

Choosing a career can be an extremely confusing and emotional process. The economy is constantly changing and many new jobs exist today that would not have only a few years ago. Also, the job prospects for various careers have likewise changed, thanks to shifts in technology and phenomena such as outsourcing, telecommuting, and the rise of startups. Career choice is an interaction between the individual's abilities, character, economic circumstances, and larger historical and social shifts.

Trait-based character theories

Theories of career choice often place a strong emphasis on the importance of character in career suitability. The Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) stresses the importance of individual differences in career choice and states that there is a continual adjustment between the needs of the individual and the work environment. For the person, he or she is looking for a way to address his or her psychological and physiological needs while the workplace is looking to meet ability-based requirements (Leung 2008: 116). In support of the TWA, one study of the Israeli military found that "extroverted personality style and congruence were related to a higher level of performance ratings, which was consistent with TWA predictions" but actual ability was less of a factor than emotional compatibility with the role (Leung 2008: 117).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Chapter on Career Counseling Theories and Psychology Assignment

Some trait-based theories such as Holland's create a typology of workplace suitability. Holland suggests that there are six main vocational personality types, all of which are represented by a letter as follows: "Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C)." (Leung 2008: 118). Because of its easy-to-understand typology, Holland's theory has been very popular in creating career tests. People are given three-letter codes according to the traits which they exhibit to the greatest degree and this is used to target their career interests. Holland's approach also takes note of the degree of emphasis and interest placed upon the different types. Someone might be relatively undifferentiated in their profile as an ASE, for example, while someone, while technically showing preference for the same letters, might have a much more extreme degree of focus upon the artistic aspects of his or her character. Criticism of the Holland model has come from theorists who note that it lacks sufficient applicability in a cross-cultural context, particularly for individuals from more collectivist cultures. This might be a relevant consideration when deciding what tests to use when assessing the vocational profile of a client.

Most trait-based theories trace at least some part of their development to typologies regarding personality, specifically that of the Myers-Brigg personality theory which states that all individuals can be classified according to a personality 'type' based upon their degree of preference for introversion vs. extroversion; thinking vs. feeling; sensing vs. intuition; and sensing vs. perceiving. Although not specifically designed as a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Career Counseling Theories and Psychology" Chapter in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Career Counseling Theories and Psychology.  (2015, July 13).  Retrieved September 25, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Career Counseling Theories and Psychology."  13 July 2015.  Web.  25 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Career Counseling Theories and Psychology."  July 13, 2015.  Accessed September 25, 2021.