Career development is a set of activities undertaken in order to obtain development in the professional sphere. This requires soft skills (communication, empathy) and hard skills (professional). Together they form the basis by which a person strives to advance in his career and seeks prospects for realization. Career attainment is the accumulation of positive and negative experiences grounded in a behavior strategy to achieve success (Zacher, Rudolph, Todorovic & Ammann, 2018). Career development depends on individual desires, goals, attitudes, and competencies. Development can be assessed and analyzed through various theories that will attempt to explain the nature of the relationship between professional actions and career outcomes.
Analysis of Career Development
Savickas career construction
Savickas career construction is a theory that explains career choice in terms of behavior and the meaning of that behavior. The theory examines the processes that allow a person to give meaning to and choose the direction of occupational behavior (Wen, Li, Chen & Liu, 2022). More often than not, interpersonal connections and personality characteristics do not play a significant role in the context of the theory (Taylor, Siegele, Smith & Hardin, 2018). It is justified that theory is based on how personality type influences behavior rather than analyzing for what reasons. In addition, interests and personal attitudes are not as vital because it is a strategy for adapting to the conditions of the existing system of relationships (Soares, Carvalho & Silva, 2022). The formation of professional adaptation is the main goal in building a career persona because it allows for the development of all other conditions of life.
Analyzing my career path, one should see how I adapted to the world after graduating high school. My career choice was most likely influenced by having my first child because navigating and choosing how to behave with him was challenging. The choice of primary childcare is obvious, but as other children came along and developed, the adjustment was not enough. The life skills course became another adaptation strategy that allowed us to learn modern realities. Gradually the expansion of abilities, and the inclusion in the arsenal of skills for the care of children, the choice still stops at primary childcare (Kwon, 2017). I believe that adaptation has changed and adjusted to the type of personality – caring and exploratory.
Getting an education becomes a natural result, which can be reached when the primary skills have been formed. According to Savickas’s theory, education can be an opportunity to maintain resilience and its deviations from the original path are part of adaptation (Taylor et al., 2018). Having received a degree in education, the survival strategy is to put it into practice, so my teaching in elementary school is an expected continuation (Chen et al., 2020). My desire to develop in pediatric nursing, obtain a master’s degree, and learn new skills is justified by the desire to ensure a promising future for my offspring (Soares et al., 2022). My professional personality type (caring researcher) was shaped by a desire to maintain social attitudes about family.
Gottfredson career development
Gottfredson’s career development theory is based on age-differentiated cognitive development of intellectual skills that enable career choice. The theory is based on notions of limitations and trade-offs, i.e., career choice is primarily justified by available opportunities based on individual characteristics. This refers to gender, race, and orientation – social determinants that influence stereotypes and prejudices about career paths (Swanson & Fouad, 2019). The community context puts the most pressure on children and adolescents to choose a career path (Lipsa & Umakanta, 2020). Limitations are shaped by self-esteem arising from social conditions of development and compromise acts as an attempt to cope with society and use all available opportunities for one’s benefit (Jones & Hite, 2021). The most crucial premise of Gottfredson’s theory is the practicality of the chosen solution.
Analyzing my experience, my high school goal was to become a flight attendant. The choice was justified first by the availability of opportunities; secondly, it was considered prestigious for female persons. It is necessary to focus on the third and fourth stages of development, which refer to the moment the persona enters adolescence (Jones & Hite, 2021). On my part, the desire to become a flight attendant was justified by the availability of support and the guarantee that it is a typically female profession. Despite the extensive list of required skills as I got older, I did not give up the dream of becoming a flight attendant.
Profession guaranteed a comfortable life because it was a lucrative occupation (my peers and relatives taught me so) and suitable for my gender, race, and age (teacher). My upbringing and environment allowed me to consider this job not only prestigious but also suitable for me and later to undergo initial training (Swanson & Fouad, 2019). The change of plans, in this case, is not connected with a change in the profession’s prestige but with a change in social conditions and attitudes, which form my attitude to the activity.
Cognitive information processing theory
Cognitive information processing theory is based on the availability of specific resources, which can lead to a career decision if adequately used and analyzed. According to this theory, a career decision is the result of the analysis of the state of content, conditions of activity development, knowledge, and skills required for a particular profession (Dozier, Gary & Bullock-Yowell, 2018). It is essential to understand that each area of knowledge and skills is part of the cognitive comprehension and self-knowledge of the individual. Hence, career problems and decisions arise individually. The process involves communication to establish knowledge, analysis, and subsequent stages of data synthesis and evaluation, all of which enable the persona to act and make one career choice (Wu, 2018). Throughout one’s career, a person goes through the CASVE decision-making cycle, which is fundamental to career choice.
When analyzing one’s behavior, one should look in detail at the process of making a career decision, which is the process of making a career choice. Life skills were acquired to develop empathy, adaptive capacity, and knowledge about children’s habits and behaviors in the knowledge phase (Sampson et al., 2020). In the process phase, the acquired knowledge was gradually analyzed and evaluated: it was synthesized into a coherent system in which my abilities acted as the main criterion of my suitability for childcare (Dozier et al., 2018). My cognitive framework consisted of respect and understanding of children, an awareness of my strength to overcome other people’s difficulties, and the ability to communicate with younger children. After collecting all the data and the final assessment, a decision was made as to what would be the leading profession based on ability and knowledge.
At this point, I also have a specific goal: I want to pursue a career as a counselor working in schools in the future. This goal is my decision, which I am gradually pursuing through accumulating knowledge (content) and credentials (process). This consideration of a career path is expected to produce the best results because it is cyclical and continuously adapts to changes in the environment (Sampson et al., 2020). There was an accumulation of knowledge at each career stage, even in the first period. The theory assumes that the accumulation of content is part of the professional and personal experience, allowing the career to evolve and transform (Wu, 2018). The process is the passage of this experience, for without testing one’s skills and exploring one’s practical abilities, one cannot achieve the desired career decision.
The Significance of Explored Theories
Savickas’s career construction theory allows us to explain what kind of system of adaptation the person has developed while striving for career advancement. It forms a general plan of “survivability,” which the individual creates to acquire professional competencies that will facilitate adaptation to social conditions (Jones & Hite, 2021). Adaptation was a significant attribute of my first professional career milestones because it allowed me to get into a topic more quickly and cope with several things (Kwon, 2017). The theory is echoed in the way it looks at the process of achieving a career: career advancement is significant because, without it, one cannot provide for oneself (Wen et al., 2022). The importance of this theory to my career development is that it explains why my actions can be fluid and that it is a normal process (Soares et al., 2022). Relative to other theories, Savickas’s theory is more important than cognitive development (because I already went through it as a child) and about as necessary as information processing.
Gottfredson’s career development theory allows us to explain the reasons why we make confident choices. It is essential to understand that the theory is mainly related to the choices made in childhood because of the appropriate social environment. Understanding limitations and the ability to compromise are also crucial in the adult period of life (Swanson & Fouad, 2019). Limitations in the context of career development have to do with understanding one’s options: for me, as a woman, there is a glass ceiling and prejudice (Zacher et al., 2018). These define my empathy for children and their problems, but I will look for options to overcome these barriers. I expect that the trade-off will be getting a job in a high position that I deserve because of my skills and knowledge. Compared to other theories, Gottfredson’s theory allows us to categorize social and other constraints to achieving a career goal. Nevertheless, the cognitive developmental stage was passed as a child, and at this stage, rationalism and a nutritional assessment of possibilities can be taken from this theory. Savickas and information processing theory are more important than Gottfredson’s theory.
Cognitive information processing theory is probably the most important when compared to the others. The theory defines a clear concept of the resources and processes that can be followed to achieve career goals. A career decision is a complex concept that can only be fully understood by analyzing resources (content) and determining a sequence of steps (process). Analyzing my career development, the process is still ongoing (Sampson et al., 2020). It is consistent and diverse, and I am educated so that my accumulated content (including work experience, knowledge, and skills) can lead me to a solution. My solution is already mapped out and justified, but experience may be lacking at this stage. The theory makes it clear that, in most cases, achieving a result is a legitimate process (Dozier et al., 2018). Compared to Gottfredson’s developmental theory, information theory is universal and, therefore, can be applied regardless of age. It is probably also more critical than Savickas’ theory because a career cannot be just an adaptation. Consequently, it can be used at any stage, even after a career decision, because it does not define a ceiling of possibilities.
Savickas’s theory allows me to understand and establish the adaptive nature of striving for change and making a career decision. From the theory’s perspective, my future actions will affect how I communicate with clients: I will probably strive to show my mastery, which comes from a sincere desire. Gottfredson’s theory allows me to understand how I came to a decision and why I pay attention to the conditions and possibilities. I will be able to approach counseling clients more objectively, integrate them into real-world contexts, and avoid value judgments without first results. Finally, cognitive information processing theory is most important for the practice because it will enable me to structure my work and my consultation with my clients orderly. I expect that by analyzing my own experiences, I will help others understand the relationship between experience, knowledge, and the resulting career decision.
Thus, conducting an analysis based on various theories of my career development, we can conclude that it is a set of adaptation processes and the gradual accumulation of experience. From Savickas’s point of view, it will happen after complete adaptation and moving needs. From Gottfredson’s point of view, it will be justified by the opportunities and limitations of the professional environment. From the point of view of cognitive information processing theory, the decision will be obtained after all resources have been used.
Chen, H., Fang, T., Liu, F., Pang, L., Wen, Y., Chen, S., & Gu, X. (2020). Career adaptability research: a literature review with scientific knowledge mapping in Web of Science. International Journal of Environmental Research And Public Health, 17(16), 5986.
Jones, L. K., & Hite, R. L. (2021). A global comparison of the circumscription and compromise theory of career development in science career aspirations. School Science and Mathematics, 121(7), 381-394.
Kwon, C. (2017). Career construction as a way to promote self-determined vocational choices of people with disabilities. Adult Education Research Conference. Web.
Lipsa, J., & Umakanta, N. (2020). Theories of career development: an analysis. Indian Journal of Natural Sciences, 10(60), 23515-23523. Web.
Osborn, O., Dozier, C., Gary, P., & Bullock-Yowell. (2018). Cognitive information processing theory: international perspectives. In Contemporary theories of career development (pp. 61-77). London, England: Routledge.
Sampson, J. P., Osborn, D. S., Bullock-Yowell, E., Lenz, J. G., Peterson, G. W., Reardon, R. C., … Saunders, D. E. (2020). An introduction to cognitive information processing theory, research, and practice. Web.
Soares, J., Carvalho, C., & Silva, A. D. (2022). A systematic review on career interventions for university students: framework, effectiveness, and outcomes. Australian Journal of Career Development, 31(2), 81-92.
Swanson, J. L., & Fouad, N. A. (2019). Career theory and practice: learning through case studies. US, LA: Sage Publications.
Taylor, E. A., Siegele, J. L., Smith, A. B., & Hardin, R. (2018). Applying career construction theory to female national collegiate athletic association division I conference commissioners. Journal of Sport Management, 32, 321-333.
Wen, Y., Li, K., Chen, H., & Liu, F. (2022). Life design counseling: theory, methodology, challenges, and future trends. Frontiers in Psychology.
Wu, J. (2018) Efficacy study of using cognitive information process model in college counseling. Psychology, 9, 2984-2995.
Zacher, H., Rudolph, C. W., Todorovic, T., & Ammann, D. (2018). Academic career development: a review and research agenda. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 8.