One of your biggest decisions in life is choosing a career. The importance of this decision is enormous. It may determine whether you are employed or unemployed, financially secure or insecure, happy or unhappy.
Making career decisions can be scary. Individuals who exhibit secure attachment and who have achieved a solid sense of Identity thus seem better able to take the risks associated with making career choices.
Although intelligence does not necessarily predict occupational success, it does predict the likelihood of entering particular occupations. Professions such as low, medicine, accounting, and engineering are open only to those who can meet increasingly selective criteria as they advance from high school to college to graduate education and professional training. The relationship between intelligence and occupational level generally holds well for men, but an ability achievement gap exists for women.
In many occupations, special talents are more important than general intelligence. The list of potential interests is virtually infinite. Because interests underlie your motivation for work and your job satisfaction, they should definitely be considered in your career planning. Finally it is important to choose an occupation that is compatible with your personality. In assessing your personality pay special attention to your dominant abilities and interests.
Individual’s career choices are strongly influenced by their family background. That is, the jobs that appeal to people tend to be like those of their parents. Parenting styles are corrected with socio- -economic status. They also shape work related values.
Once you have selected some jobs that might interest you, some key issues you need to know about
- The nature of the work.
- Working condition.
- Job entry requirements.
- Potential earnings.
- Potential status.
- Opportunities for advancement.
- Intrinsic job satisfaction.
- Future outlook.
By the way, if you are wondering whether your college education will be worth the effort in terms of earnings, the answer is YES.
If you are undecided about an occupation, you might consider taking some tests. They would provide information for you to consider. Ultimately, you have to think things out for yourself. A good career counsellor can help you sort through the effects of your test results.
Taking important consideration into account, keep in mind:
- You have potential for success in a variety of occupations. If you expect to find one job that fits you perfectly. You may spend your entire lifetime searching for it.
- Be cautious about choosing a career solely on the basis of salary. Experts advise against this strategy. When people ignore personal characteristics in choosing a career, they risk being mismatched. Such job mismatching can result in boredom, frustration, and unhappiness with one’s work and these negative feelings can spill over into other spheres of life.
- There are limits on your career options. Your career option will be limited to some exert by factors beyond your control, including fluctuations in the economy and the job market.
- Career choice is a developmental process that extends though out life. Middle aged people may underestimate the options available to them and therefore miss opportunities to make constructive changes. We want to emphasize that making occupational choice is not limited to youth.
- Some career decisions are not easily undone. Although it’s never too late to strike out in new career direction.
It is important to recognize that many decisions are not readily reversed. Family responsibilities can make major career changes difficult.
These potential problem highlights why it is important to devote careful thought to your occupational choices.
Psychologists have long been interested in understanding how individuals make career choices and how their careers evolve over time. According to John Holland (1985,1994) people flourish when their personality type is matched with a work environment that congruent with their abilities interests and self beliefs. A good match typically results in career satisfaction, achievement, and stability.
Realistic people describe themselves as good at physical or mechanical tasks and weak in social skills, abstract thinking subjectivity, or verbal skill.
Investigative people enjoy abstract thinking and logical analysis, preferring understanding to action.
Artistic people see themselves as imaginative and independent. They tend to be impulsive and creative and are socially aloof. They have a high need for emotional expression and often seek careers in art, music often seek careers in art, music or drama.
Social people typically have greater verbal ability than mathematical ability. Social types are often found in the helping professions, such as teaching, nursing and social work.
Enterprising people perceive themselves as happy self confident, sociable and popular. They prefer sales or supervisory positions.
Conventional people are conforming systematic, and orderly. They prefer working environments that are structured and predictable and may be well suited to occupations in the business world.
A highly influential developmental model of career choice is one out lined by Donald Super (1957,1985, 1998). He views occupational development as a process that begins in childhood, unfolds gradually across most of the life span, and ends with retirement.
It is just a matter of selecting an occupation that is a good match with your personal characteristics. In reality, the process is more complicated. People who have limited job skill and qualifications have limited job options. They usually must take whatever job is available rather than a job that is well suited for them.