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Career Development Theory Article

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A Career Development Theory Changes with the Tides


Our world is ever changing. What may be the normal behavior one year may change the next. Knowing this, businesses owners and teachers often reexamine one career development theory out of many theories and fit it into modern times.

Individuals go through the process of career development to learn more about themselves and their career paths knowing a combination of the two leads them to self identity in American society. Those who take courses and seminars, join internships and apprenticeships, and continue research tend to succeed in their careers better than those who stop, or slow down the learning process after they begin a career. Businesses know and rely on this to stay ahead of other companies.

One early career development theory focused on stages concerning the adolescent phase, the preteen through teen phase, and young adulthood. The adolescent phase details that the world is open to the child. "What do I want to be when I grow up" is thought of, but isn't important. For instance, one adolescent may pretend to be a dancer, while at the same time she wants to be a doctor, a scientist, a veterinarian, and an artist. She is too young yet to know if she will want to follow these career choices later in life.

In the preteen to teen phase of this career development theory, the individual starts to lean towards what she likes to do. What areas she excels at and finds useful. The female in the earlier example has only a passing interest in dancing and art. Her activities and knowledge begins to lean towards science and health while preferring to study the ins and outs of domestic animals. This is when she considers research and classes she will need to continue in these fields. Through the career development theory we see she is starting to think more about what she wants to be when she grows up.

The final step in this career development theory is the individual's preferences, likes and dislikes that lead her to the career she eventually chooses. In this example, the female decides she would rather work more with animals than people and chooses to become a veterinarian. She now needs to go beyond high school, take required courses, and train with professionals in order to take on her career goal.

This is only one of many career development theories and among some of those that omitted the poor, women, and people of minority at the time. Newer theories encompass everyone of wealth, genre, and race with a better understanding of how career development continues through each individual.

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