Theories in Career Development

Topic: Career
Words: 262 Pages: 1
Table of Contents


Parson’s trait theory is one of the fundamental theories of career development, as it stems directly from the roots of this discipline. Parson has proposed a set of straightforward steps that can help one to find a suitable career, which includes the understanding of self, one’s skill set, and their relationship (Hicks et al., 2021). In turn, cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) is more adaptive to an individual.


This method takes into consideration a person’s desired position and guides them through emotional and cognitive changes that are required to become better suited to take this role (Hicks et al., 2021). These theories share a similarity in focusing on one’s interests and skills, yet they differ in the ways the career is selected and pursued. The trait theory proposes that one’s career choice is shaped by their personality, while CBT suggests adjusting oneself to become better suited for the job.

The trait theory remains a widely used approach due to its focused take on an individual’s qualities and can be successfully implemented among older generations whose interests are already established. CBT is less decisive in its judgments and more adapted for younger adults whose personality traits still fluctuate. While trait theory has numerous tools for assessment due to its age and usage of statistical information, it is also challenging to apply because of many possible interpretations of the results (Hicks et al., 2021).


In conclusion, CBT is less confining yet can be confusing for people whose mindset is already established, making it usable for people who can work on vague goals.


Hicks, J., Flamez, B., & Mayorga, M. (2021). Career counseling: Theory, practice, and application. Cognella Academic Publishing.

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